After the protest note, I followed up the matter with a phone and the matter has now been clarified.
The Media Council had two sets of advertisements. One that was in the papers and also on their home page captured all the other categories except the culture and the arts on (MEDIA AWARDS ADVERT MEDIA AWARDS ADVERT). Then there is one in their download segment that has the category (Media Awards Entry Form FEBRUARY 2013).
It looks like the arts have been incorporated after all. Many thanks to Victor Bwire. The awards are open to journalists accredited by the Council.
Someone from the Media Council saw and replied to my protest note.
Victor Bwire Kimani,
Chech on our website, there is arts and culture category, even last year the category was there. Download and send in your application for the category
Thank you very much for taking time but I don’t think what Victor Bwire is saying correct.
Unless I am missing something, the listed categories are:
- The ICT and Telecommunications’ Reporting Award;
- The Children and Youth Affairs Reporting Award;
- The Gender Reporting Award;
- The Environment Reporting Award;
- The Sports Reporting Award;
- The Tourism Reporting Award;
- The Photographer of the Year Award;
- The Cartoonist of the Year Award;
- The Business Reporting Award;
- The Good Governance Reporting Award;
- The Young Journalist of the Year Award;
- The Reporter of the Year Award;
- The Cameraman of the Year Award;
- The Health Reporting Award;
- The Digital Journalism Award;
- The Free Press Kenya Award;
- The Television and News Bulletin Award; and
- The Journalist of the Year Award.
This is also what you added to the statement that you released and posted.— http://www.mediacouncil.or.ke/Latest-News/media-council-to-hold-second-journalism-awards.html
“A new category has been introduced in line with the Council’s mandate of promoting press freedom. The Free Press Kenya Award will seek to recognise efforts made by journalists to promote, contribute and propagate press freedom in the country.
Other new categories are: The Tourism Reporting Award, the Digital Journalism Award and the Television and News Bulletin Award which will replace last year’s Best News Anchor of the Year – Television Award.”
The Council has also introduced the Digital Journalism Award in recognition that new and emerging technology has greatly impacted on modern day journalism. The award will recognise journalists who show the ability to creatively use new media or online platforms to package and present powerful stories that affect peoples’ lives.
There will be two entry categories for the awards namely: Individual and Group news production (Producers and Cameramen).”
So just what am I missing?
I wanted to write this protest note immediately the notice was given but like everyone living in Kenya for the last two to three months, I was enveloped in the political goings-on. Thankfully, tomorrow we vote and with that, we start a new chapter in the country’s various governance processes enshrined in the Constitution of Kenya 2010.
My protest note was/is directed to the Media Council of Kenya (MCK). But before I get to the core of my protest note, let me take this opportunity to congratulate the new MCK board and wish them well as they carry out their mandate within the new dispensation.
Having said that, let me now get to my beef with the Council. Last month, they announced that in May, they would be holding the second journalism awards and they would recognize and award outstanding talents in 18-different categories.
There statement noted: “In efforts to promote professionalism in the practice of journalism in Kenya, the Media Council of Kenya will hold its second media excellence awards. The Media Council of Kenya’s second Annual Journalists Excellence Awards [AJEA] will be held on 4th May 2013 as part of celebrations to mark this year’s World Press Freedom Day. The awards also seek to encourage Development Journalism in Kenya in respect to Vision 2030.”
This is excellent; a noble idea that should be supported by all.
Our men and women in the fourth estate have gone out there and excelled and their exemplary performances at the annual CNN African Journalist of the Year Competition is a clear demonstration of this. The line-up of nominees and eventual winners is incomplete without featuring a Kenyan scribe or broadcast nominee. Regional events too like the East African Community media awards are also foraged by Kenyan men and women in the fourth estate.
The Media Council’s initiative is another good idea that would certainly demonstrate that charity begins at home and it joins a list several other locally managed awards. The Media Council initiative and many others have helped indeed in raising the bar of journalism in the country. The initiative is commendable and should grow beyond the second time.
In the Media Coucil’s initiative, the “awards categories to be competed for will be: The ICT and Telecommunications’ Reporting Award, the Children and Youth Affairs Reporting Award, the Gender Reporting Award, the Environment Reporting Award, the Sports Reporting Award, the Tourism Reporting Award, the Photographer of the Year Award, the Cartoonist of the Year Award, the Business Reporting Award, the Good Governance Reporting Award, the Young Journalist of the Year Award, the Reporter of the Year Award, the Cameraman of the Year Award, the Health Reporting Award, the Digital Journalism Award, the Free Press Kenya Award, the Television and News Bulletin Award and the Journalist of the Year Award.”
In their statement, they also pointed out that “a new category has been introduced in line with the Council’s mandate of promoting press freedom. The Free Press Kenya Award will seek to recognise efforts made by journalists to promote, contribute and propagate press freedom in the country.”
This is where my beef with them starts. As a Culture and Arts writer, I feel truly offended that the Media Council did not deem it right to have a Culture and the Arts category. Are the culture and arts writers and producers children of a lesser God?
This is category that is consciously missing inspite of the great contributions that my fellow writers like Stanley Gazemba, Joseph Ngunjiri, Tom Odhiambo, Mwenda wa Micheni, James Murua, Mwaura Samora, etc are doing.
The Media Council note that “the awards also seek to encourage Development Journalism in Kenya in respect to Vision 2030,” and while I consider this to be important in the political, economic, sports and even health sector, I believe that the same merits in the culture and arts sector. Unless the Council wants to make us believe that the arts and culture will not have a role to play in the Vision 2030.
But perhaps they are right. The Vision 2030 is very silent in the Creative Economy. I only wish that they would revise their social pillar to tap into the creative economy and then they would understand the full potential of culture and arts. Talking about tourism is not enough. Tourism is a poor parasite of the development in culture and the arts. The designers if the Vision 2030 should have gone to the roots. Anyway, this is an argument for another day.
Today I take issue with the organizers of the second Media Council Journalism Awards. How could you leave out culture and the arts? In most of the categories that you have, I noticed that you also borrowed from other initiatives spread around the world. While you were researching, did you notice that the CNN African Journalist award has a whole segment dedicated to culture and the arts?
Well, maybe you didn’t. And I am not surprised. Your counterparts at the East African Community who organize the East African Media Awards are not different. At the 2012 awards, they totally ignored the culture and arts category even if the arts and culture has been the cord that has tied all the East African states. Long before political and economic corporation had been envisaged by the political powers that be, East Africans had/have been co-operating and exploiting the full benefits that come with a strong culture and the arts industry.
I feel totally aggrieved that the Council would miss to include an important category like culture and the arts.
Today would have been his 68th birthday. Born in February 6, 1945 at Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica, Robert Nesta Marley or just simply Bob Marley lives on in his memorable music that is timeless and cut across many barriers. He is gone but many still remember him and across the world many will remember today as he marks 68. We will not postulate how it would have been had he lived on few more years and what numbers he would have churned out, we celebrate the numerous numbers he left us with.
We all have our favourite number. I like Waiting in Vain, Could You Be Loved, Kaya, Exodus, Easy Skanking and the list is long. Buffalo Soldiers is the song that had tuned to Bob and my son has picked it up too. What is your favourite? What makes it special?
His music is memorable because of the things he said. He also left us with some memorable quotes. Sample this:
- The biggest coward is a man who awakens a woman’s love with no intention of loving her.
- Every man gotta right to decide his own destiny.
- Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.
- My future is righteousness.
- Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.
- Love the life you live. Live the life you love.
- Don’t forget your history nor your destiny.
- Herb is the healing of a nation. Alcohol is the destruction.
- You have to be someone.
- If I was educated, I’d be a damn fool.
- Free speech carries with it some freedom to listen.
- Get up, stand up, Stand up for your rights. Get up, stand up, Don’t give up the fight.
- Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don’t complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don’t bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake up and live!
- Don’t Gain The World & Lose Your Soul, Wisdom Is Better Than Silver Or Gold
- Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don’t complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don’t bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake Up and Live!
- Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds.
This is one of the songs that made Kanda Bongoman very popular. His rendition is awesome. Originally done by S.E. Rogie from Sierra Leone, the song has continued to be fresh and many renditions done to it. The Kanda Bongoman version is particularly popular in Kenya with the part that he talks of “becoming a drunkard, taking whisky, Johnny Walker, that walks all over his head,” sticking out.
Besides My Lovely Elizabeth, S.E. Rogie sung many other memorable songs the include Green Pumpkin. He remembered as the king of the “palm wine” music. It reminds me of Amos Tutuola’s book The Palm Wine Drinkard.
According to Wikipedia, “Rogie was a highlife and palm wine guitarist and singer from Sierra Leone. He was born in 1926 and began performing early, while supporting himself as a tailor. In the 1960s, he became a professional musician, singing in four languages. His hits include “Koneh Pehlawo”, “Go Easy with Me” and “My Lovely Elizabeth”. He formed a band called The Morning Stars in 1965. S.E. Rogers travelled to the United States in 1973. In the US, he performed at elementary and high schools across California, and received awards from the US Congress and Senate, the cities of Berkeley and Oakland, California. He moved to England in 1988. He died in 1994 shortly after recording his last album, Dead Men Don’t Smoke Marijuana.”
A proud product of Sierra Leone, West Africa, Sooliman Ernest ”Rogie” Rogers (S.E. Rogie) entertained millions of people in the continents of Asia, Africa, North America and Europe with his beautiful silk-like baritone ”golden” voice and outstanding High Life (Palm Wine) guitar-playing before his passing on July, 4 1994. Rogie’s music continues to earn new followers across the globe including music lovers from the continents of Australia and South America.
With a music career that spanned 50+ years, his many accomplishments included a special performance for the “Queen of England” in 1961 during the celebration of independence of Sierra Leone from Great Britain. In many circles in different countries in Africa including his home country, Sierra Leone, Rogie is referred to as an ”African Success Example” that others should aspire to. S.E. Rogie was an unrelenting businessman, an enthusiastic entertainer, and a true ambassador for continent of Africa.
Some of S.E. Rogie’s hits include:
- My Lovely Elizabeth
- African Lady
- Green Pumpkin
- Noh Look Me Lek That
- Please Go Easy With Me.
The 2012 African Creative Economy conference ended on a high. At the dinner dance, the true meaning of the words that “music is a universal language” came to pass. Three, no, actually four musicians, who had never played together took to the stage and the outcome was both electrifying and memorable. Saihou Kanuteh from the Gambia, Mahmoud Karar from Sudan and Aadel Essaadani from Morocco were at the conference as delegates representing their respective countries. Accomplished musicians, they decided to have a “jam session”and boy was it memorable.
It started with Kanuteh, who has specialised in fusing mbalax and manding sounds, taking to the kora. And boy did he strum it. Then he was joined by Mahmoud on the bass with Aadel on the the drums and congas. Wait until he opened his voice, Kanuteh had everyone swaying and nodding. Later on, another Senegalese kora specialist joined them with Kanuteh doing the vocals.
They gave a memorable show. And to imagine that they had just met, no rehearsals, no inhibitions, no nothing. The POWER of MUSIC.