| Sunday, 29 Jul 2012
Two storytellers and a global village
By Ernest Waititu, Program Director, Health and Digital Media, Internews in Kenya.
Growing up in Es’song’olo Village in Western Kenya, Violet Otindo and Isaiah Esipisu loved listening to radio. With no swanky video games or TV sets in their parents’ living rooms, radio was one popular pastime.
After fetching water from the village well, and between fun things like kicking balls and just being goofy, they loved immersing themselves in the world of radio.
Esipisu loved to imagine the engineering that made the voices possible. Otindo liked sitting at the table where her father would place his old gramophone and listen to music.
Years later, after Otindo had enrolled in journalism school and encouraged Esipisu to join her at the Kenya Institute of Mass and Communication, the two would travel the same road from their village – about four hundred kilometres northwest of Nairobi – to the Kenyan capital to be trained on how to become journalists.
Today, both of them are accomplished journalists who tell stories with global implications. As they work to file stories from this year’s International AIDS Conference, they keep finding themselves returning to tell stories from another village – the Global Village at AIDS 2012.
Otindo and Esipisu won Internews scholarships to cover the AIDS 2012 conference.
In an interview at the conference, Esipisu said what he appreciates most about journalism is that with his storytelling, he can speak to the entire world, the global village.
“I like it when I write something that can be appreciated the world over,” Esipisu says, “when the entire global community is reading my stories which are often posted online.”
For Otindo, beyond the awards, the accolades and the money, she still hopes to get better in telling stories.
“The issues affecting people of Es’song’olo affect many other people around the world,” Otindo says. “These are stories I am yet to tell fully.”
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