When listing the few investigative journalists in Kenya, John-Allan Namu’s name comes at the top. John-Allan Namu is a former Features’ Editor and Investigative Reporter at KTN. Upon leaving mainstream media, he, together with Kassim Mohammed, Mohammed Ali and Wanjala Were co-founded Africa Uncensored which focuses on investigative and in-depth journalism. Having done notable feature stories like “The End Of The River”, “The Rogue Tracker”, “Kanjo Kingdom”and many more, Namu seeks to tell stories from the point of view of the most affected; the poor and marginalized.
Being the lead in a genre many fear to venture into, Namu talks about his love for investigative journalism and its importance in society.
Why did you decide to do investigative journalism? Why not any other genre?
I think that investigative and in-depth journalism is the pinnacle of journalism. You get a lot more from an investigative or in-depth piece than you would from other genres
What keeps you at it?
It helps me learn about things I wouldn’t otherwise know about. I like that.
Is there a future for investigative journalism in Kenya?
Yes there is, a big future at that. I think that because (more recently) the media in general has got a bad rap, people think that investigative Journalism is dead/dying. I meet a lot of younger journalists who are interested in the sub-genre and are talented/committed enough to do it.
How would you rate the importance of investigative journalism in the Kenyan context?
It is crucial. There is a lot that needs to be explored, exposed and explained that hasn’t yet been done. While all journalism can do this I think the purpose and value of investigative journalism in doing so works well.
John Allan-Namu is an inspiration to many young journalists and has been a trainer at #TopStorySn2, a competition that seeks to nurture the next crop of investigative journalists.
Read more about Africa uncensored here: http://africauncensored.net/