By Lorna Abuga.
Egerton University’s Jonathan Masongo is among three journalists who have been shortlisted in the video category of the local heroes’ Journalism Competition awards organized by German broadcaster Deutsche Welle.
The competition that attracted journalists from various parts of the country required participants to come up with a three minutes video project of a local unsung hero whose efforts or activities have had a positive impact on the society.
Masongo chose James Wakibia, a Nakuru based freelance photo journalist and blogger as his local hero. Wakibia, an Egerton Media and Communication graduate has had a notable online presence for he uses the online platform to awareness campaigns including human right and environmental conservation campaigns.
On this particular entry, Masonga says that he was motivated to pick Wakibia following his efforts to rescue Baby Jeremy Osidiana who rocked news headlines early this year after he was detained for four months at the War Memorial Hospital in Nakuru after his mother was unable to clear his medical bill. The baby had been delivered through Caesarian Section at the hospital, but the newborn developed complications, which required medical attention before discharge.
“Wakibia is my colleague and he has always been passionate in advocating for the rights of the poor and the vulnerable thereby I thought it was prudent to recognize him as my unsung hero,” Masongo says.
Wakibia’s posts about the agony of the baby on twitter prompted Nakuru County government led by County Secretary Joseph Motari and County Assembly Speaker Susan Kihika to clear baby Jeremy’s bill, who had been detained at the facility since December last year.
Following this video that highlighted the efforts of Wakibia, Masongo will now battle out with the other two finalists, Mungai Kinyanjui and Kennedy Munene for the top prize in his category which includes traveling to the DW journalism academy for a two weeks mentorship.
Apart from the video category finalists there are six other finalists in two other categories, namely, audio and photography. The winner will be the one who gets the highest votes in each category.
To vote for Masongo one needs to visit the website, watch the video, and vote online or send a text ‘Video 3’ to the number 22847.
“I am passionate about media and am very happy about this nomination,” says the media and communication finalist.
“Coming up with the three minute documentary was very technical as we had to tell a complete story about the hero within that duration.”
Besides being a student Masongo is a radio show host at Egerton Radio, a students’ training radio at the university, he is also striving to do production which he says provides room for exploiting creativity. In mid February this year he was among students who presented impressive radio programmes at a convention to mark World Radio Day organised by the United Nations in Gigiri, Nairobi. The radio programme which he did with one of his classmates focused on the hidden fears of youth in same sex relationships.
The official awards ceremony will take place on July 14th at the Hotel Villa Rosa Kempinski in Nairobi.