Heroes we forget
Heroes’ day is beckoning. We will mention political heroes and the freedom fighters. We thank them for their strength and zeal for this country. Having the drive of champions and the heart of a child. Today we can mention the Kapenguria six, political detainees, fighters for multiparty democracy and more.
In one afternoon when I visited an expo in KICC I managed to come across a book that listed heroes in our country. The book was good and had names I expected. I was however mesmerized to realize that we never had enough people in the media fraternity.
Up to the year 2003, there was only one radio station. It was the KBC, the mother of all radio stations and television stations. During those days, radios were covered by some cloth. It was within the fathers’ throne that listening to the radio was guaranteed.
During those days, programs in KBC were interesting and of value. At news hour one was sure to listen to Leonard Mambo Mbotela, Karo Robi, Martin Kingasia, late Billy Omala and Chalo Juma. Across the board was a mighty Charles Hillary Martin of BBC. In football commentating, Jack Oyoo Sylvester and Ali Salim Manga did their best. The flow of words were natural and Kiswahili was interesting, especially when it came from the experts.
Football commentators of today will quote a word by these experts. They have trained the current generation of radio presenters how to do the work in their way. KBC is one place several people went for training during their internships. During the old days, Kiswahili was a language they had to learn with passion. Some of the best made it to the radio stations to receive a media training while on job.
Today, the number of people trained in media knows the concept but cannot express themselves. They have a poor mastery of Kiswahili language. When they get to the studios, they only do an introduction and what follows are their mobile lines. Their speaking is in sheng. I recently watched an NTV journalist interviewing an athlete in sheng. It is the most horrific thing I am seeing in journalism.
During Mashujaa day these are the forgotten people. Nobody gives them the appreciation they deserve. We need to remember these big names in television and radio stations. They gave us the good things our ears deserved. Today, what we have is termed as half-baked graduates who are running after money. The passion is never in them. I have information that some of the journalists are bribed by politicians and business moguls. The stories they write thereafter changes in their favor. Of those who do not take bribes, we can commend them.
Twenty years from now, we will not have new journalists to name as examples. All of them are becoming corrupt, ineffective and incompetent. Woe unto the lovers of radio and television broadcasts. To worsen the matters, Facebook and Twitter are diluting everything.