George Maringa is a broadcast journalist with KTN. At the age of 23 and having graduated from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) in November 2016, he is already a reporter with one of the leading media houses in Kenya.
George is among the few young journalists on Kenyan television. At a time when the media landscape is fast changing with many challenges in the practice, here is what makes him stand out.
When did you get employed at KTN? What would you say enabled you to secure the employment?
“My journey to the KTN Newsroom is one that I could only thank God for. I had applied for the position of Video Editor – Intern in June 2017 but after interviews, HR didn’t get back to me as promised. I called them a week later and they told me that the position had been occupied but they would get back to me if such opportunities were available; and I told myself that’s a polite way of saying no. Lo and behold the next day I was called to interview for an internship position in Programming. I didn’t feel excited about it but the Head of Programming referred me to the Chief Director. I had always wanted to join the newsroom and so I took up the position of Production Assistant – Intern with the hope of being a reporter someday. Four days into the job, I had a conversation with Yvonne Okwara moments after reading the prime time news and she told me to “make good use of my voice.” That sparked a fire in me and the next day, I expressed my interest with HR to ‘use my voice’ in the newsroom. To my surprise they were looking for reporters! I did an interview and that’s how I joined the newsroom as an Intern Reporter. I interned for six months and towards the end God opened a huge door for me! I am now a KTN News Reporter based in Meru.
I could say hard work, aggressiveness, persistence; patience and above all prayers have brought me to where I am.”
What genre of journalism interests you?
“I have a bias in feature stories and human-interest stories. I like to tell unique stories that are impactful.”
How is it in the newsroom? What challenges do you face as a young journalist?
“Wow! Like any other job, challenges in the newsroom are inevitable. As a young journalist, you will meet and interact with people who have been in the industry for decades! In this day and age, one has to be creative.”
Which local and or international journalist(s) inspire you?
“I look up to a lot of journalists but Alex Chamwada, Yvonne Okwara, Njeri Kihang’ah Chege and the late Ahmed Darwesh have it for me. Internationally, George Howell, Anderson Cooper and Christiane Amanpour.”
Where would you want to be in the next 5 years? What are your aspirations?
“in the next five years I would like to tell the African story to an international audience focusing on features and human-interest stories that will probably make the world a better place!”
What would be your message to other young journalists?
“Going through school should broaden your thinking. Be yourself; do not attempt to be like someone else. We are all born originals; don’t die a photocopy. Above all, commit your work to the Lord and all your plans will be established.”
There are more young journalists like Maringa on Kenyan TV, their stories are coming up soon. I hope this series of #YoungAndBold will help inspire young people to work smart to meet their goals.