- Mashirima Kapombe
Citizen TV news anchor Mashirima Kapombe on Wednesday, October 13, won the 2021 African Journalists Gender Equality Awards for her Halfway Haven story.
The Global award aims to highlight the work of African journalists in advancing gender equality and transforming the world towards a more just, equal, and healthy planet.Mashirima Kapombe(centre) together with other winners of The 2021 Gender Equality awards on October 13Association of Media Women in Kenya
“I started working on the story in February of this year, it took a few months to get it together and it aired in the week of May” Kapombe stated
She noted that the story faced a myriad of challenges as the scheduled release date was postponed.
“The story was supposed to air on my birthday but that was the day they announced Martha Koome as the Chief Justice, so we had to rest it until a few days later,” she recalled.
The news anchor highlighted that the story came up after interviewing a woman who was in an abusive relationship before learning that there were shelters for Gender Based Violence Victims (GBV) in the country.
“After my first interaction with the fact that there are shelters in the country, I just thought as there are shelters for women who are going through SGBV but there are those who will go back to their abusive partners, so through my source I talked to another lady whose experience was even worse we spoke to her and she agreed for us to do her story,” Kapombe highlighted.
She noted she was happy that some of the women who have gone through SGBV and had found shelter at the rescue shelters have made something out of themselves.
“It was nice to see that some of the women who have gone through SGBV and had found shelter at the rescue shelters actually made something out of themselves, were empowered and they were able to leave the shelter and start a life a fresh,” she mentioned
While working on the story, Kapombe highlighted that her, together with her team faced numerous challenges.
“Getting the women to open up was a challenge as it not the easiest thing to share your hardest moment and it was even hard for me to keep prompting as it felt like I was making them release their sad moments in their lives, but they understood that we had to do this “she stated
She stated that she urged the women to tell their stories in order for others to first be aware that they are shelters in the country and most importantly to make sure that the government set up the shelters and make sure they are fully functional.
Another challenge she faced was from the founder of the shelter allowing them to do the story of the women from the facility.
“When we went to the shelter the founder was not really willing to do the story because she felt that journalist always do a story then they leave and really there Is no lasting impact. It took some time to convince her that we are doing the story so that we can see change and action,” Kapombe added.
Mashirima noted that after the story, the founder of the shelter was happy as she was approached by government stakeholders who wanted a sit down with her to see how she had been running the shelter.
“After the story then she received a lot of calls from stakeholders in government who wanted to sit down with her and see how she has been running the shelter, what lessons can they learn from her in the shelters that they were planning to set up and even looking at how they can assist in terms of funding,” she highlighted.
Mashirima noted that they had to stay up for a few nights editing the story with her video editor, Mamuo Achimba.
She recalled that Mamuo was so graceful as she kept pushing her to make the story a success.
“After the story aired Mamuo noted that it was the story was the most heartbreaking story that she ever did but she felt like she did something that would be good for a lot of women and girls in this country,” Kapombe recalled.
Mashirima was thankful to the entire team that was able to make the story a success.
“It was not just me, but it was a team effort form the graphics person, Dickson to the camera men. It was a lot of team effort,” she noted
Mashirima noted that she did not expect to win the award as the chances of winning a continental competition were slim.
“The stories that we do are about the impact that they will have its not about how many people will watch it but its more about who are targeting and for me I was targeting the ministry of gender and government as a whole and I have seen a lot of effort going into SGBV” she noted.News Anchor Mashirima Kapombe inside Citizen TV studio on January 5, 2021.Mashirima Kapombe
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