Sammy Muraya


The year 2009 ended well for me though it didn't start off very well. Just like it was for many Kenyans, we were still coming to terms with what had happened the previous year in Kenya during the post election violence and signing of the peace accord that saw the two principles contesting the 2007 Kenyan general elections agreeing to share power. For most of 2008, fingers had been pointed at journalists and the role they played in the chaos that broke out.

The year 2009 was one that we Kenyan journalists needed to redeem ourselves and regain the trust of the Kenyan public. Having 6 Kenyan finalists in the 2009 CNN MultiChoice African journalist of the year awards was a great platform for us, the Kenyan media, to try and win that trust back. Having 5 Category winners and the overall award was a great boost for Kenyan journalists as a whole.

Personally winning the Radio Category for the second time, after doing so in 2006, was a boost that I needed after leaving journalism for a while in 2007 and part of 2008 and venturing into TV drama production which didn't work very well for me. It reminded me the passion that I always have had for Radio and it was an indicator that it is in radio where I belong. Immediately I got back from the 2009 awards in Durban I signed a contract with Internews Sudan as a Resident Journalism Advisor. Internews is an international NGO that sets up and manages community radio stations in parts of Southern Sudan that have limited access to communication. Sudan experienced 21 years of civil war before the signing of the Comprehensive peace agreement in 2005. My role here is to help recruit and train people who have limited or no journalism background and turn them into a fine breed of journalists that will be the future of journalism in a nation slowly trying to get itself back on its feet.

It's very fulfilling for me to give back to the community and to help shape the futures of young men and ladies interested in our profession. It's also been a great opportunity for me to experience a very rich Dinka culture and I am currently working on some radio documentaries here on the same.

Being a two time AJA Radio Category Winner has lifted my status as an African journalist and it has also given me the opportunity to be a role model to others. This is and experience that I would wish upon all practicing journalists in the continent because it's an unexplainable feeling and one that one has to experience to know.

To wrap up the year I was blessed with a baby boy on the 7th of December which summed what was a great year for me.

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