Archive for December, 2011

DIVING INTO KARATE

December 20, 2011

….and bonding with my fellow female karatekas

karate

karate is great!

Beginnings

It’s been two weeks now since I began karate classes. Each of us gets into martial arts for different reasons. Mine? Being a fitness enthusiast, I wanted to push my body further, to test myself. Now, I’m in love……

A certain Sensei once said that ‘Karate is about discipline and the first discipline is showing up for class.’ I haven’t missed a class yet. Only thing missing is my ‘gi’-I don’t have a karate uniform yet, but I’m saving up.

Classes and fellow karatekas

I met two lovely karatekas at Sensei Caleb Atemi’s class. (Mr. Atemi is also the chairman of the Kenya Karate Federation). Sylvia aka Sly and Grace aka Tatiana are their names.

Sometimes, when our Sensei is out of town or a training room is unavailable, we attend Sensei Bon Owiti’s class. (Bon is the National Karate coach, a splendid technique teacher, if I may add).

Here, I additionally met other karatekas; the female ones (I bonded with) being Flozzie and K.C. who I get down to knowing as we trek from class to town after class.

The five of us recently hang-out at Uhuru Park, Nairobi (it’s on the way to Bon’s class) and bonded like cream and nuts. Ofcourse I had to ask questions, and here’s more on them….

the girls chill out

from left: Flozzie, Sly, Tatiana & K.C

Sly…. Is a writer/author whose Sensei  is Mr. Atemi. She started Karate five months ago and already has a yellow belt.  “I love the discipline and the fact that I can use Karate for self-defence (I’m no longer scared when provoked). I also like the fitness bit as it leaves me feeling light on my feet,” she said.

Besides Karate, Sly enjoys writing, music, travelling and sex.

Tatiana…..Cleared high school last year (2010). She is currently helping with the family business, but is planning on studying  Fashion Design in 2012. She started Karate classes when she was in Form 2 (2008). Her  Sensei was Mr. Murimi, a business teacher and counselor at All Saints Academy, Sagana. Her current Sensei is Mr. Atemi. Besides Karate, she enjoys dancing and designing cards. Tatiana will also appear in an upcoming Nimechill advert doing some katas. Anasema amechill, for real. Kiai!!!

K.C………A Form Three student at All Saints Academy, Sagana, K.C. got into serious karate last year (Form 2). Her Sensei is also Mr. Murimi.  “I love Karate because it is fun and I truly enjoy it,” she said.

Besides karate, she enjoys art, drama and dancing.

showing us how...

showing us how

Flozzie….Cleared Form 4 last year (2010) and is planning to study B.Com (Finance) at the University of Nairobi  in 2012. She started Karate classes in 2009 (Form 3). Her Sensi then was Mr. Murimi of All Saints. Today, it is Sensei Bon Owiti. “What I love about Karate is that it can be used both for fitness and for self-defence,” she explained.

Besides Karate, Flozzie loves listening to music, playing phone and card games and chatting on the phone.

 

I’m the only beginner in my class, but these four young ones are a blessing; inspiring and encouraging along the way.

INTERNEWS STORYFEST 2011

December 15, 2011

A media awards event by Internews  Network

I know the week isn’t over yet, but this was the highlight of my week.

On Tuesday evening, I attended Internews Network’s  StoryFest  2011 at their I & M building in Nairobi. The awards celebrate local storytellers, specifically journalists.

Internews Network is in the business of empowering local media worldwide and currently works in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and Middle East. Some of its activities involve training  journalists in investigative journalism. “It is in the business of making better storytellers,” as Ernest Waititu said at the awards ceremony. The StoryFest 2011 is their very first media awards event but they plan on making it an annual event.

I loved how….

  • I loved how MC Bonnie Odinga did his thing, throwing in words of wisdom and humour  that was just right for those in the industry.
  • Dressed in black and gold, entertainer/ comedian Eric Omondi got me cracking up as he made fun of reporters  and their ways. “Not many of you know that I studied journalism at Daystar University. But after I began appearing on Churchill Live, I realized no one could take me seriously ,” he mentioned.
  • Listening to and later talking to the Chief Guest Peter Kimani . Mr. Kimani is a poet, journalist and a PhD candidate at University of Houston (Creative Writing). Hence he was the right person to discuss my battles with life as a poet and journalist.
  • Watching, reading and listening to clips of the winning entries. I especially loved an FGM story (see TV Category) done in Merti, Isiolo  and another one on climate change conflicts in North Kenya and neighbouring Ethiopia. The latter was done in Kenya & Ethiopia but by an international journalist and was only shared to inspire us to better (and more creatively) package our stories.
  • The give-aways on the way out. I’m glad I stayed through to the end of the event.

The winners…..

  • Highest number of stories-Violet Otiondo
  • Online Category- Sidi  Sarro
  • Radio Category- Zeinab Dinn

NB:  When doing her winning story, she was asked to pass this message to all men;  “It is also your role to take up the responsibility of family planning.”

  • Print Category-Dann Okoth

NB: He says he is inspired by the need to ‘inform policy that changes people’s lives especially the most vulnerable.’

  • TV Category-Irene Choge

NB:  Irene was limping from an injury obtained on her last assignment.

  • Overall winner/ Storytellers of the year –Dann Okoth (Print Category).

His winning entry was a story on ‘Where childbirth is condemning women to an early grave’.

SAYING OF THE EVENING:

A good journalist sees what everyone sees, but thinks what no one else does…’-the MC.


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