Victor Kinuthia, an employee at Royal Media Services, is the epitome of grit in the journalism industry.
After his show of bravery during the live coverage of the arrest of Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro, Kinuthia now has a new role.
“Boy child rising! Tupatane Sema na Citizen,” an ecstatic Kinuthia wrote on Facebook.
Kinuthia is a reporter on Inooro TV, a 24-hour Kikuyu vernacular station owned by Royal Media Services (RMS).
He will be now also reporting live on the Sema na Citizen show that airs every morning from 10am.
On Tuesday, Kinuthia also received another unexpected call. BBC World Service radio in London had heard about him and wanted to do an interview in the evening. He said yes.
“My story of encouragement will be hitting airwaves across the world in 2 hours time. Stay tuned n be blessed for the continued support,” Kinuthia said.
On Wednesday, Kinuthia told Citizen Digital that the interview had left him even more exhilarated.
“It was a really good interview. I talked about my experience going live on Monday and how my bosses and senior journalists in the industry rallied behind me telling people how the first time is never easy for anyone,” he told Citizen Digital.
On Monday night, Kinuthia had been asked to go live on the company’s English station—Citizen TV–as MP Nyoro was being arrested in Murang’a.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, Victor took the bull by the horns and managed to convince lawmakers who had accompanied Nyoro to comment on the late-night standoff.
Hours after his nail-biting experience, his name was trending on Twitter with a section of Kenyans criticizing him for not being fluent in English.
“I almost gave up when I found myself trending all over after yesterday’s 9 pm news,” he said.
However, in an unexpected turn of events, his phone started blowing up with calls from colleagues at RMS and other media stations as well as family and friends.
They were all applauding him for his bravery and encouraging him not to let online trolls put him down.
According to him, the icing on the cake when his Editorial Director Joe Ageyo replied to one of the critics saying:
“I’ve done this for 21 years and I can tell you it’s no walk in the park. Victor found himself in a breaking news situation and gave it his best- his first live report of that kind. He’s destined for greatness. Truly proud of him.”
Top journalists in the industry including Hussein Mohammed, Yvonne Okwara, Victoria Rubadiri and Francis Gachuri were also rooting for him.
Victor Kinuthia will be FINE. He was thrown deep end as journalism demands in such a breaking news situation. He has the right attitude and with self belief, confidence and a winning spirit, Victor is destined for greatness. We will accord him all the support. https://t.co/Uz7ZmBChQt
— Francis Gachuri (@Fchurii) September 9, 2019
As fate would have it, MP Nyoro who had also been released from police custody with no charges preferred against him, was once again on Citizen TV but this time for the News Night show.
He expressed his dismay over Kinuthia’s experience online saying:
“Victor Kinuthia is my constituent in Kiharu and many times I appear on such a show when we are using vernacular language and I also get a lot of backlash…unaongea Kizungu inakaa Kikuyu…but I can’t change who I am….we must be proud of our identities and where we come from….so I want to tell Victor he is one of the best vernacular reporters on Inooro TV…..he was just holding brief the other side.”
Laura Walubengo had earlier said on Twitter: “We have all been laughed and mocked for being an embarrassment on air. I was even advised not to use the name Walubengo once. But you get better. And skill is a muscle, you shape it, tone it and work at it. All the best”
In many professions, you hide your mistakes. In journalism, you broadcast them. So give Victor Kinuthia a break. Was his first live link in a chaotic scene. He’ll learn like many of us. Let’s revisit this when he makes it in a few years, In Sha Allah @citizentvkenya @inoorotv
— Hussein Mohamed (@HusseinMohamedg) September 9, 2019
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