By Hillary Ojiambo
The campaign period can be the most enjoyable and the most devastating moment in the life of a journalist. Enjoyable in the sense that you get ready news at almost no price at all! For instance, I can write about Shem Albert’s new suit and at that point, it won’t matter whether you have a better suit in your wardrobe, you will read. Or I can decide to write a piece about Towett Ng’etich’s latest tie and trust me; you will read however much you may want not to. Maybe I should write about Rathore’s new found zeal.This is what makes politics season enjoyable for a journalist- the ability to source and create news from virtually any angle.
However, it can be devastating especially when every candidate assumes that as a journalist, you can wave a magic wand, chant a few adabracadabras and miraculously source for votes to propel a candidate from nowhere to the seat of authority. So one day, you find yourself receiving anonymous calls from different politicians; horses, donkeys and mules alike all scheduling meetings and treating you like you are the latest miracle worker in town with super natural abilities to gunner votes. Now, one thing about these meetings, there is always one question that has to be asked, “Niko aje kwa ground? How can you rate me?” dear politicians, aspirants and contestants alike, let me tell you one thing, if only we had the right answers to all those questions, maybe we could be the ones vying, not you! Anyway, ask me that question again, and you will get a definite answer… one that will satisfy your curiosity anyway.
This is the time when we receive all kinds of promises that at times, all we can do is just stare at a candidate, pretend to be serious while inwardly wondering what kind of an intoxicated concoction these politicians drink when coming to meet us. Dear future leaders, does your girlfriends/ boyfriends know how you mock them by promising a journalist heaven once you get to power yet you can’t even give them attention- just that- attention! I think it’s time we started looking for them and may be telling them what they don’t know…..
Folks, lets talk about overcoming the barrier of ‘elders’ who have strategically positioned themselves to reap fully from the ambitious politicians. I bet you have heard such a statement, “Na hawa ma elders wa skuizi wana njaa! Yaani kila wakikuona, wanataka tu pesa….” Hehehe, MUSO politicians, a journalist can’t help you there! You are on your on bro. just know how to survive…! But elders please, show some mercy. Some of this guys actually sold cows, leased a piece of land here and there or seriously absconded paying school fees for the sake of MUSO. Don’t eat everything; the poor chaps will die of ulcers!
Anyway, time to put a stop to all this. Is there a difference between a journalist and a politician in Moi University right now? I bet you can answer that on your own basing on the fact that it’s always a rich politician meeting a poor or a struggling journalist. So who controls who? I don’t know- all I know is that I have written enough to put the pen down. See you folks.
The Writer is a third year journalism Student