NTV's Dennis Okari Narrates Surviving During Covid-19 Crisis

NTV news anchor Dennis Okari at the station's studios
NTV news anchor Dennis Okari at the station's studios

NTV's Dennis Okari has shared lessons he's learnt from the Covid-19 crisis and how he is adjusting - admitting that it is a season of uncertainty and being a journalist is not easy.

In his first-ever Facebook Live video on Monday, May 4, the seasoned anchor traded his usual suits for a casual shirt while addressing his viewers.

The NTV anchor elucidated that the current restriction of movement had made him cut back on unnecessary expenditure in his daily life.

Okari admitted that he had to put his foodie nature on hold, adding that he had cut costs that he would have incurred while eating out.

NTV News anchors Dennis Okari and Olive Burrows on set.
NTV News anchors Dennis Okari and Olive Burrows on set.

"Previously, I'd spend not less than Ksh 200 on a meal for lunch, but now I am saving a lot," he stated.

He further noted that he had more time to reflect and be grateful for the quality of life he was living. He observed that many people complain from a place of abundance rather than appreciating the little they have.

Okari's sentiments come at a time when the world is coming to terms with the 'new normal' - that is a world with Covid-19. Businesses grappling to stay afloat in the current state have had to take extreme measures. In Kenya, for example, several media houses have taken to slashing the salaries of employees. 

In April, Nation Media Group (NMG) announced salary cuts ranging from 5 to 35%  for staff earning more than Ksh 50,000.

Okari disclosed that as a journalist, he had to sieve a lot of information about the current situation, adding that there were many more stories that weren't aired.

This influx of information, 'infodemic', has made him appreciate his time with family. After leaving the newsroom, he gets home and unplugs. He noted that having a support system was crucial at this time.

"Connecting with family at an intimate level while celebrating those small achievements and having conversations with my wife with the TV off and reading the bible is really good for me," he stated.

He urged people to find out how to adapt, survive and thrive in their careers, noting that he'd had to unlearn and relearn crafts in journalism.

NTV news anchor Dennis Okari
NTV news anchor Dennis Okari

"Before, I used to prefer one-on-one interviews with a physical meeting and had set timelines for working but now, we are conducting interviews on Zoom and Skype while at NTV, we are working in shifts," he explained. 

The award-winning journalist further revealed that the Covid-19 crisis had disrupted how he'd planned to release features.

"I've had to postpone four investigative stories- one I has set to release in March. Three of those stories have been rendered useless because of the current crisis," he stated.

Okari has now joined a host of celebrities and media personalities in putting up content on social media via the live video formats. Others include K24 TV's Betty Kyallo, and a number of DJs holding live concerts.

He promised to conduct his sessions every weekday from 8 p.m.