Kibera, the biggest slum in Nairobi and lauded the largest urban slum in Africa, has valiantly fought against the shackles of a single story with a young crop of journalists arising from its belly.
These young journalists are affiliated to Shine TV Kibera – courtesy of a program that started back in 2013 as a YouTube channel with just three students and a vision.
Seven years later and the program now boasts of 65 students under its wings: they are telling their stories, cultivating what they love and building their confidence in the process.
Job Bitange Moturi, a local journalist and a citizen of Kibera, who started the program spoke to CGTN on January 2, 2020 on the inspiration that pushed him to start Shine Kibera TV:
“We have seen many foreigners from outside Kenya coming and doing stories from Kibera, but they don’t exercise the stories well. We, the people who grew up here, who were born and raised here, are the right people to tell our stories.”
Shine Kibera TV, with Moturi as its producer and its 65 journalists, scours the roads snaking around Kibera in search of the latest news and features while in the process documenting life through their own eyes.
The program involves cameramen, anchors, producers and reporters who work together each week to curate and release news from Kibera.
The program airs on TV47 as a weekly 20-minute broadcast. The money derived from this goes towards the school fees and uniforms of the talented young journalists.
While the program has opened up opportunities for training and employment, Moturi states that part of its core aim is to tackle the self-esteem issues of the students.
“The problem that I wanted to tackle is self-esteem. Most of the students who grow up in the slums feel like they don’t get enough opportunities compared to the rest. They feel they are inferior. But they are unique in their own way because the talent is universal.”
One of the journalists from Shine Kibera TV, Sylvia Adhiambio, 13, stands tall with cornrowed hair and glittering eyes; she is the picture of confidence as she faces the camera in her red school uniform. She captures the essence of Shine Kibera TV in a poignant statement with a clarity and cheerfulness that leaves an indelible impression:
‘Never give up no matter what happens and if you have a talent, come out because you don’t know where that talent can take you tomorrow.”