The Kenyan will soon graduate from DW Akademie's International Media Studies Master's program. Her goal is to later work as a lecturer and to help improve Kenya's journalism training.
Your group will be graduating at the end of August. How do you feel as you finish the program?
On the one hand I'm sad that it's coming to an end. We've been a very close group and during the two years I've been in Germany I've made many new friends. On the other hand I'm also looking forward to returning to Kenya to see my family and to start a new career.
You're currently applying for jobs there. Which area are you hoping to work in?
I'd like to work with non-governmental organizations and develop and implement their communication and media strategies. Prior to the IMS I'd worked as a TV editor for two-and-a-half years with a weekly news format in Nairobi. I'd now like to work with new media formats and show the potential of new technical developments.
Which new developments are playing a major role in the Kenyan media?
Those relating to the mobile communications market as well as media content - in other words, apps for mobile phones. Most Kenyans access the Internet via mobile phones, and ad agencies want to tap the market. Many of these apps are useful - the exchange services in the agricultural sector, for example, or apps that provide health tips. An app for bank transactions has long been successful. Social media are developing quickly and it's essential for organizations to use them effectively.
Which aspects of the Master's program are you hoping to use in a new job?
One of the most important things I learned during the IMS was to understand the background as well as the links in the media sector. When I started out as a journalist I didn't have a theoretical foundation, but the program provided one. I'd like to apply this in developing and improving communications strategies. My Master's thesis in fact looked at strategies for distributing media content.
Describe the situation for journalists in Kenya.
The media situation is generally good and compared to other African countries the Kenyan media are very free. There have been positive changes in recent years but Kenya still lacks effective journalism training. There are not enough qualified teachers who can teach the necessary skills, and there's also a scarcity of resources.
What do you hope for your own future?
I'd like to work in Kenya for a few years to gain practical experience and apply aspects that I've learned during the IMS. I'd the like to do a PhD and become a lecturer in communications studies. I could imagine returning to Germany, but my priority is to stay in Kenya because the media sector there needs skilled professionals.
Charlotte Hausdewell conducted the interview.