Alex Chamwada Reveals Why he Resigned From High Paying Citizen TV Job

  • File Photo of Journalist Alex Chamwada During a Past Interview
    File Photo of Journalist Alex Chamwada During a Past Interview
    File
  • Decorated journalist Alex Chamwada has opened up on why he had to resign from a high pay job at Citizen TV at a time when his career was at its ultimate peak in 2014.

    In an interview held on Wednesday, November 17, Chamwada explained that it was a hard decision to quit the Royal Media Services owned TV station, where he worked as the associate editor and senior reporter, to chart his own path.

    Justifying his decision to desert his prestigious position, the award-winning journalist detailed that he felt the type of stories he wanted to run with were not getting coverage at the time.

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    TV producer Alex Chamwada (right) with President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) and NMS General Badi Mohamed (centre) at Michuki park in Nairobi County on August 14, 2020
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    CHAMS MEDIA

    He further decried that he felt censored and confined to the normal content in the newsroom. In addition, he expounded that despite being a veteran with years of experience, he was not recording any positive career growth.

    Chamwada, who was conferred with the presidential commendation – Order of the Grand Warrior – by retired President Mwai Kibaki in 2010, added that he decided to walk out in order to pursue his own stories, something he was deprived of while in other mainstream media stations.

    It was a blow to Citizen TV as he was their first reporter who made headlines with his straight to the point delivery.

    "First I had grown in the industry as a reporter. I was a prominent political reporter but then at sometime I felt I was not growing. I felt confined to the normal content in the newsroom, confined to cessation and politics," he stated.

    He added, "I felt I need now to control my stories. In the newsroom, I was not really in charge of my stories and I wanted stories that impact people. So I decided to step out so that I can tell my story and now begin the journey afresh as an independent content producer."

     After quitting, he started his own company called CHAMS media limited, a TV production company that supplies content to different TV stations.

    However, taking that leap of faith did come with its own challenges. Chamwada opened up on facing rejection by media houses that refused to embrace his content. He was simply turned down and told that his content had no commercial value to their TV station. This is despite pitching the idea to various TV producers and editors.

    "When I was outside, I thought it would be easy for media to embrace my content, it was not easy. Every media I went to in 2014, was like who would watch development stories? How will we get money to pay you? in a nutshell, they were saying my content had no commercial value," he stated.

    But his big break came when Standard Media launched KTN News TV, which agreed to air his content. That is when he started Daring Abroad. The show was a series that focused on life-changing stories of Kenyans making it big outside the country.

    He was inspired to start the show to tell stories of Kenyans doing exceptionally well abroad, as he had established a good network of contacts while on duty, including covering US elections, The Hague, among other international stories.

    He wanted to showcase Kenyan stories to the world and their impact on their mother country. 

    Through his show, he was crowned by the African Media Initiative as the second runner-up in Africa’s most prestigious award on food security reporting, for his compelling features on large scale farming in Somalia.

    He is a fellow of the CNN International Professional Program. Chamwada is also a food security fellow of the Oklahoma State University, following a study tour that was sponsored by the U.S. State Department in 2011 under President Barack Obama’s Feed The Future Initiative.

    Right now, he is still pushing on with his show that currently airs on NTV and his life has been one inspiring journey.  He has paved the way for content creation in the country.

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    Alex Chamwada (right) shooting one of his episodes in Ghana on September 21, 2020
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    Chams Media