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How to make media interviews work for you

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BETT KINYATTI

By BETT KINYATTI
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Part of our job descriptions as writers is to interview Kenyans about their business pursuits for a feature story in a publication.

We hunt these business owners down on social media, and call them with an invite to an interview.

You can only make a first impression once. The rule of thumb is to gas them up until they are like an inflated balloon floating away into the outer limits of the stratosphere.

I will say on phone, “Hallo. Am I speaking to Ajitsa? Ajitsa of RK Designs?” Yes, this is she. “My name is Bett. I’m a writer with the Saturday Nation. I got your number from your Instagram profile. I’ve been following you for a while now and I’m blown away by your work. My goodness! It’s so creative, so visionary!”

I will pause here to give Ajitsa room to chuckle and blush, wave away my truckload of unexpected flatter.

I will carry on, “I’m curious to hear your inspiring story; I know our readers are too. I’d be honoured if you’d give me an hour of your time to share your story with me. Is this something you’re open to?”

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Who would say no after that hyperbolic intro? “Great! I’ll come over to your studio. Our conversation will take an hour tops. How is your Tuesday, 10am?”

So on Tuesday 10am, Ajitsa and I will sit next to her sewing machine at her workshop on Ngong Road to have a conversation about RK Designs.

These interviews usually run for eons because folk generally love to talk about themselves. I egg them on with my genuine mix of amazement and curiosity.

“You’re crazy, Ajitsa! Ha-ha. What did you know about tailoring clothes for preteen boys?!”

Anyway, we will have a riot at the interview. I will return to my desk after to draft the story. I may do a call back to iron out little creases like dates and names, then tighten the copy and file it with the editor for publishing.

There is a fleeting moment after filing copy where you feel oddly liberated, as though you have just completed an exam. There is a burst of endorphins.

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You want to take two shots of vodka, maybe nap until the New Year or finish that very long movie on Netflix you paused, the one about the Italian mafia’s hitman.

What remains to wrap up the feature are photos. You did not take any on the day you and Ajitsa met for the interview; she asked to do her hair first. You obliged.

You could have tagged a newspaper photographer along to Ajitsa’s but let us be honest, newspaper photographers take newspaper photos.

Those action photos they take of politicians midsentence makes them look rather ridiculous.

What I recommend to business owners is to have a press kit. Think of a press kit as a resume for you and your brand. Three pages at a maximum.

Have some spare information about you, your brand – why and when you launched, what it is about. Also have some product images and contact information, plus handles to your social media platforms.

Attach to your press kit some professionally done photographs. Stay away from studio photos because they make you seem like a talk show host from the 90s.

It is best to have context. Pose next to your tool of trade or your products; if you are like Ajitsa here, pose next to your sewing machine.

If you have a capsicum greenhouse in Kisaju, hold a crate of those freshly-harvested greenies. If you are a blogger or social media influencer, pose with your Canon PowerShot camera.

Some women put on so much makeup for these press kit shoots that no one can recognise them. Not even themselves. Forget the faux eyelashes, darling, and be natural. Be you.

I insist on a press kit because you are being featured in a national newspaper. This is the equivalent of a full-page advert in colour.

If you were to place an AD, in full colour in the same space, it will cost you roughly half a million shillings. Your feature builds your business’ credibility.

It also tells your personal story, which means your audience will have an emotional connection to you, your brand and its story.

Do not squander this opportunity. Do not casually send the writer a grainy selfie on WhatsApp.

Worse, a duck face selfie with your fingers in a peace sign. Take the feature as seriously as you take your brand.

Bett Kinyatti is a certified accountant with ACCA and a former financial auditor.

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Singer speaks after attacking lover at WCB signee Zuchu’s star-studded concert

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By Standard Entertainment



56 minutes ago

Controversial singer Gigy Money turned WCB signee Zuchu’s concert into a fight club, hurling shoes at her lover.

On 18 July, there was fanfare at the Mlimani City Hall in Dar es Salaam as WCB signee Zuchu held a thanksgiving concert months after her debut EP, I Am Zuchu. The event dubbed ‘Ahsante Nashukuru’ mainly featured performances by artistes from the WCB stable and attracted the whos-who in the Tanzanian entertainment and political scenes. 

READ ALSO: I’m not behind Diamond, Tanasha split- WCB’s Zuchu sets record straight

However, singer Gigy Money who also performed made the headlines for the wrong reasons after getting into a scuffle with her lover during the much-publicised concert.

READ ALSO: I was bewitched by a friend – Gigy Money

Peaceful arrival, later chaos

Moments earlier, Gigy and her Nigerian man were seen arriving arm in arm at the event whose highlight featured Zuchu receiving a brand new car from WCB head honcho Diamond Platnumz. Donning matching outfits, the couple was spotted on the red carpet as the paparazzi scrambled to capture the moment.  However, all hell breaks loose later and viral videos depict the visibly angered Nigerian arguing with a bouncer at the entrance. After a tense confrontation, Gigy’s man is seen being led by the screaming bouncer towards the exit. Shortly after, a similarly irritated Gigy emerges and follows the pair.

“Gigy! Wewe Gigy wewe!” a woman in the background is heard dissuading the singer from pursuing them but the singer pays no heed and heads for the pair.

“You want to beat me?” the boyfriend is heard asking an approaching Gigy as the bouncer acts as a barrier between them. The bouncer manages to steer the incensed man towards the exit as Gigy follows behind, hurling obscenities.

READ ALSO: I will get a baby with your eldest son – Gigy Money warns Zari

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At some point, a barefoot Gigy turns into a sprint before throwing one of her shoes which hits the man who then responds with an insult. Another bouncer finally intervenes and the two are separated. Gigy then asks for her vehicle so she can head home before warning the press against sharing videos of the incident.

Addresses incident

Though the cause of their tiff is still unknown Gigy later made reference to the shocking incident in a social media post, hinting that alcohol had a part to play in the fracas.  In another post, Gigy shared a photo alongside her estranged lover writing: “My mad man looked handsome before his demons arose and mine arose too.”

‘Running over Ali Kiba’

Gigy is not new controversy and recently said she’d run over her ex, singer Ali Kiba for breaking her heart.

“I will knock all of them down, I mean I will kill them. In fact, I will flatten them like chapatis. The first person I will knock down and kill is Ali Kiba.  Actually, I don’t need a weak car, I need a Fuso so that when I knock him down I will be sure he doesn’t survive,” Gigy told Ayo TV.

READ ALSO: Gigy Money under fire for dirty-dancing with married singer

Dating Kiba brothers

Gigy had in the past admitted to dating both Ali Kiba and his younger brother, Abdu Kiba. She solely laid the blame on Chekecha singer for pursuing her despite knowing that she’d been with his younger brother. Abdu expressed being heartbroken after learning the two had a fling, prompting him to marry.

“I was very hurt on hearing that Ali was dating Gigy Money because I dated her first before she became famous. But it’s alleged that Ali didn’t know. It hurt me for a while till when I married,” said Abdu.

 

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Defunct Nairobi County Council  Nurses Go On Strike, Citing Discrimination By The Government

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Defunct Nairobi County Council  Nurses Go On Strike, Citing Discrimination By The Government

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Why Jahmby Kokai is happy her TV anchor dream never came true

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By Diana Anyango



37 minutes ago

Jahmby Koikai is glad her dream of being a TV anchor never came true.

Popular media personality Jahmby Koikai narrated how her first attempt at auditioning as a TV host backfired and she was sent home on the first day of the audition. Reliving her prime days, Jahmby narrated how she was determined to follow her dream of becoming a news anchor after completing her degree.

“There was a reality show that was running on one major TV channel here in Kenya, searching for the next top news anchor. I’ve always had the knack for news. At the time, I was working at Metro FM. Walked to my boss and asked him if he was ok with me participating in this competition. He agreed to it.

“Auditions were at Film Studios. The queue stretched all the way to the showground. I was at the back kabisa. Imagine 300 people before you. Then we got the briefing paper and it indicated, ‘no persons with experience in a media house allowed to participate in this audition’. Mimi Jahmby Koikai, nirudi home after watu 300 kukuwa mbele yangu?” she posed.

READ ALSO: Jahmby Koikai back in Kenya after a year of treatment abroad

According to the endometriosis survivor, she went ahead to audition for the position despite the warning and was the first contestant to be sent packing.

“So I stayed in line until I got to the audition room. The judges were a few people I was in campus with. I felt a wave of despair. Like I’m here auditioning, yet my classmates will be judging me? I did my thing and I was considered. We got into the house and we were assigned to different groups. I was the group leader and we won the challenge. Later that evening, we were driven back to Film Studios for a briefing. The presenter of the show said some of us have to go home.

“My name was called out first amongst other great people. We were dropped home. I cried. It felt like I’d lost such a great opportunity. My mom and late grandma were so sad cos they loved to watch me do the news,” she narrated.

READ ALSO: Why I’m walking around with a mask- Jahmby Koikai

Second audition

Later, Jahmby auditioned for another TV opportunity only to miss out as well.

“Then came another opportunity over 10 years ago, I saw a TV ad and decided to apply for the news anchor position. I didn’t get the job.”

However, due to endometriosis, Jahmby was forced to put her dreams on hold and concentrate on getting better. According to her, it is as though God had better plans for her and is grateful to not have gotten the jobs.

“I battled severe endometriosis in silence for over 19 years. I think of how engaging the newsroom is and I’m grateful I wasn’t in that space. I’d have utilized all my sick-leaves and off-days and just declared redundant.”

 

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There was a reality show that was running on one major TV channel here in Kenya, searching for the next top news anchor. I’ve always had the knack for news. At the time, I was working at Metro Fm. Walked to my boss and asked him if he was ok with me participating in this competition. He agreed to it. Auditions were at Film Studios. The queue stretched all the way to the showground. I was at the back kabisa. Imagine 300 people before you. Then we got the briefing paper and it indicated, ‘no persons with experience in a media house allowed to participate in this audition’. Mimi Jahmby Koikai, nirudi home after watu 300 kukuwa mbele yangu? Nikasema zi. So I stayed in line until I got to the audition room. The judges were a few people I was in campus with. I felt a wave of despair. Like I’m here auditioning, yet my classmates will be judging me? I did my thing and I was considered. We got into the house and we were assigned to different groups. I was the group leader and we won the challenge. Later that evening, we were driven back to Film Studios for a briefing. The presenter of the show said, some of us have to go home. My name was called out first amongst other great people. We were dropped home. I cried. It felt like I’d lost such a great opportunity. My mom and late grandma were so sad cos they loved to watch me do the news. Then came another opportunity over 10years ago, I saw a TV ad and decided to apply for the news anchor position. As you see in this pic, I got my hair done at Ralph’s Hair Salon, new suit etc. I didn’t get the job. After KBC, I never got to anchor the news again. I’m grateful I did not get the job even though I felt dejected at the time. I battled severe Endometriosis in silence for over 19years. I think of how engaging the newsroom is and I’m grateful I wasn’t in that space. I’d have utilised all my sick-leaves and off-days and just declared redundant. There are many people like me who are bound by chronic illness and cannot do the things they love. I share your pain. But there’s hope. I’m grateful to God for His reminder that He will restore to you all the years that the locusts have eaten. Also Jer 29:11

A post shared by Jahmby Conqueror (@jahmbykoikai) on

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