New Year, New Things

Welcome to our first Barua Ya Baraza of 2022, and happy new year – I insist, the year is still new. I hope you are all well and in good health. We at Baraza have hit the ground running; this being our third year we are hitting an inflection point, where we will focus our energies more on finding and supporting innovation in media, wherever it may be. I’m excited that through a global pandemic, Baraza has been able not only to get off the ground but also to achieve quite a bit – from hosting conversations, designing and running programs, and a whole vaccination drive! –  and we have our team, members and partners to thank for that. 

It’s an election year in Kenya, and historically elections in this country bring about a slowdown in everything. For media and creative folks, it’s usually a mixed bag – some will be awash with cash from political campaigns, while others will see opportunities put on ice with otherwise reliable sponsors developing election jitters. We’re hoping that some of what we do at Baraza will smooth out some of that volatility, and still give room for storytelling to be done in the public interest – so keep an eye out for upcoming events, announcements and opportunities.

I’m excited to see what the next year at Baraza will bring, as always, we’re eager to hear your ideas, comments and feedback.

In the meantime, here’s:

What We’re Reading:  It’s a new year, and a new chance to start new habits, and what better habit is there than reading. Many of us begin the year resolving to read more, but often the challenge is just figuring out what to read. Luckily the good folks over at Books Africana have already curated an amazing list of 26 books by Kenyan Authors that you need to add to your reading list. It features works from the likes of Binyavanga Wainaina, Grace Ogot, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, Peter Kimani, Nanjala Nyabola among others. It’s a wide selection, so there’s something for everyone, even the little ones. 

What We’re Watching: Given the financial woes that are synonymous with January or rather “Njaanuary,” it’s only apt we’re watching Uradi, a captivating story of a university student looking for a way to make quick and easy money, which as it turns out, isn’t as easy as he imagined (who would’ve thought).

What We’re Listening To: Sticking to matters of finance, we found ourselves listening to the Cost of Politics –  by The Kenyanist. In this podcast episode, the host Kamau Wairuri sits down with governance consultant Tom Mboya where they discuss how much candidates spend during election campaigns and why this cost varies by party, region, and even gender of the candidate.

 As always,

Christine Mungai

Curator | Baraza Media Lab

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