Friday, September 21, 2007

I have just realised politics is messy

Funny how politics can get messy. i have realised that no matter what any government does, there will always be the opposition, and its mission will be to trash what any government has done.
i wish we can shift to better issues.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

final one

the evening was good...

the band again

the song Nisixoshelani from the latest album

At high street

now you get to see Rose better...

With the Nigerian Bishop

With Johnah Iboma. The church he goes to worship has about 1 million members, his church has an auditorium that can house 100,000 people.

But he says he has not been active in the church choir because he is busy in his office at the Punch newspapers.

Last year he won an award at the annual HA awards

And we got down to business...

With Angela(Uganda) and Henrie (seychelles)

more songs

the band continued with the hits

pop duo -Mafikizolo woowed the crowd

you know the song Ndihamba Nawe.... its a famous song. the group led the dance.

@ the awards dinner....

With Timoth Kasolo, from Zambia. Clearly, Rose Nzioka did not want to be in the picture but you can see her anyway........

one of the interesting pix

just came accross one of the pix from Brazil.
it is the adverts they use on cigarret packs, to let you know the disadvantages of smoking.

i thought it was a good way of communicating, though it does not necessarily stop people from smoking.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Newspaper columnists are dinosaur bloggers- Maher

By Rebecca Wanjiku and Mantsha Nkayi

The blurred lines that differentiate blogging and journalism were exposed yesterday, at a discussion on whether bloggers are columnists or columnists are bloggers.

The discussion was spiced up by the presence of Freddy Khumalo, a columnist who thinks bloggers are not necessarily journalists/columnists and Vincent Maher, who is of the opinion that newspaper columnists are “dinosaur bloggers.”

One of the lingering questions was; who do bloggers speak to and who is their audience?

Khumalo took the opportunity to trash some bloggers as mere diarists who do not follow any code of conduct. He argued that some blogs are dedicated to pets and may not make much sense; however, he admitted that some blogs contain important and informative material.

“When am writing a column, I have to take time to consider the impact of what am writing about and whether it has been said before and under what context. With the blog, it is easy, and there are no such considerations because there is no code of conduct,” said Khumalo.

But Maher a former head of the New Media Lab at Rhodes University argued that bloggers have filled in a space that was not previously addressed by the mainstream media.

He was supported by journalism trainer, Roland Stanbridge who added that 50 per cent of the women in the Middle East are blogging and addressing issues considered as taboo and not addressed in mainstream media.

“Blogs are giving people voices, whether it is eroding morality in society is not the issue, it is a place for the people to air what they feel. Maybe the people want a change to such standards of morality,” said Maher.

While supporting the argument that newspaper columnists are dinosaur bloggers, Maher invited participants to evaluate the development of communication from newsletters to newspapers and to letters to the editor-through snail mail.

He argued that blogs give an opportunity for feedback and connection with the communities, which is vital for any media organisation, and he also mentions that blogs are personal web pages.

But the main question that was not satisfactorily answered in the discussion was: given the challenges of technology and information penetration in Africa, can one claim to be blogging for the public while they have no access to internet or computers? Is blogging elitist?

Highway Africa turns 11

Part of the crowd at Highway Africa conference opening ceremony in Grahamstown.

holiday homes??

ever heard of those holiday homes? they are plenty in PE

view from above

Port Elizabeth coast line, from above.

Malawi, Zambia and Mauritius win inaugural gender and HIV/AIDs awards

By Rebecca Wanjiku
Malawi, Zambia and Mauritius yesterday won the inaugural gender and HIV/AIDs awards, in recognition of their exemplary work place policies.

The awards were judged through peer review and targeted 218 newsrooms in the southern Africa region.

Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) won the HIV/AIDs category; Times of Zambia was runners up. In the gender policy category, Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) scooped top honours while the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation took the runners up position.

Organised by Gender Links and several regional organisations, the awards sought to initiate a process where the media houses in the region will develop and implement policies and commit resources to implement them.

“We all know that the media has not produced gender and HIV/AIDs policies. But how do you change an institution without putting your neck on the line? The awards seek to recognise media houses in the region willing to sacrifice and implement such policies,” said Colleen Lowe Morna, head of Gender Links.

While citing scanty statistics of HIV/AIDs reportage in the media, Morna added that the awards are critical in showing other media houses in the region how to implement their policies and improve the quality and quantity of stories.

The awards were organised in conjunction with the Sol Plaatje leadership Institute which is dedicated to training media managers in Africa .

“We would have liked more entries and we hope to receive more last year. It was inspiring to see that most applicants also presented the actual policies and implementation plans, which validated their claims,” said Francis Mdlongwa, head of the institute.

The awards are targeting 80 per cent of Southern Africa newsrooms by 2008 and it is hoped that reporting of gender and HIV/AIDs issues will also improve. It is also projected that more media houses will implement policies to support national, regional and international legal instruments.

Speaking on behalf of the judging panel Mdlongwa said the winners, had committed resources to ensure that policies were understood and complemented through a series of policies. In Mauritius , it was noted that MBC had appointed a gender coordinator who made monthly reports to the head of MBC.

The award ceremony was spiced up by music from Nia band, which embodied the true spirit of Africa with representatives from Kenya , Zambia and South Africa . Participants were treated to songs in Swahili, Xhosa and English.

As the ceremony drew to a close, Morna encouraged participants to dance to the famous song “Vulindlela” which is Xhosa for “open the way”. The song was sung by the late South African musician Brenda Fassie.

The song was symbolic for the winners, expected to open or lead the way for other regional media houses.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Rural stories remain untold

By Rebecca Wanjiku

Africa’s best stories remain untold, because journalists and bloggers have concentrated in urban areas and neglected rural areas, said Tanzanian journalist Ansbert Ngurumo.

Presenting at the Digital Citizens Indaba, Ngurumo indicted journalists and bloggers for the insufficient content of African stories on the internet.

“The stories have to cover the feelings and aspirations of people. Most of the stories cultural, social and political are in the rural areas. These rural people are isolated because they have no access to the technology and if they do, they may not be able to blog or publish their stories,” Ngurumo added.

With journalists, he said they concentrate in town centres because that is where there is technology to transmit the stories meaning that most stories told are from the urban centres and occasionally from the rural areas.

In developing local content, Ngurumo argued Africans have to develop the civic will to blog more because “it does not take political will to start and maintain a blog”. Ngurumo told the Indaba that Africa has to “villagize” the internet and make sure that people in the rural areas blog, podcast and tell their stories to the world.

Speaking about lack of a critical mass of African languages on the internet, Ngurumo said he chose to blog in Swahili because that is the language he knows best and is spoken by about 100 million people in east, central and parts of southern Africa.

“Why would I want to blog in English yet 100 million Africans communicate in Swahili?” asked

Through his blog- , he was able to reach several people mostly from Tanzania where Swahili is the national language. The comments on the blog, he says, have been used to gauge the political and social temperatures. For instance, he said he had been forced to delete certain posts after readers complained about them.


Negative images- Africa complained, the west has responded

By Rebecca Wanjiku

The longest and loudest complaint by African leaders is that western media portrays Africa as desperate and hopeless, the west has now responded.

The complaints have been directed to the global media houses such as CNN, BBC, AP, AFP and Reuters accused of only covering civil wars, hunger, corruption and deprivation in Africa- these are form the bulk of African content on the internet.

Well, the response does not come from the big media, but from a group of Dutch journalists who felt the situation should change and started a website- is a website dedicated to Africans to tell their stories to the world without any inhibitions. The website is targeting politics, social as well as the economic challenges and successes in the continent.

The stories, photographs and video are uploaded to the site and have reached audiences in Europe, America, Australia, Asia and Africa. This is calculated to improve on variety and content of stories available of the internet.

According to Elles van Gelder, the South African representative, the website has received critical acclaim and is hoping to recruit journalists and bloggers from every African country.

“Why should western media fly in journalists while there are local journalists willing to tell the stories? We tap the talent, train them, and they become better writers, photographers and can take good videos,” said van Gelder.

The organisation has started a pilot project for reporting using state of the art mobile phones that can shoot video and upload to the website. This project will be tested during the general elections in Kenya, scheduled for December this year.

To establish the reliability of mobile phones in reporting Van Gelder said a group of Dutch students will embark on an Africa-wide trip, testing the mobile phones and the challenges faced.

This, van Gelder added, will help improve the quality of African content available on the internet, and the stories that come from the continent.

welcome to 11th edition of Highway Africa

welcome to another edition of HA conference.

many speeches, book launches, trainings and the blogging Indaba. keep visiting for updates.

will also try to review some books.


Monday, September 03, 2007

life truly begins at 40

for Edith Masai, this statement is a reality. at 40, the kenyan finished 8th at the just concluded IAAF Osaka athletics meet.

she is a true revelation, started competing at the mature age of 32, silencing those who say that one must start running in childhood. i recall reading a past interview on Ndereba saying how in her youth, running was not so much in her mind but she took it up later, after attending the prisons training college.

so, watching the women in Osaka yesterday, i felt so proud to be kenyan. it was just phenomenal. i must admit that the women's team did well at this event. i hope it gets better.