This has been my best and most productive year in recent memory. I can only hope that the experiences and lessons will stay with me for years to come. Given that this is my blog and is the only place I’m allowed to gloat a little, here goes.
In 2013 I…
Resigned from UP Magazine after working there for nearly 3 years. Happily started off as an Editorial intern and left having enjoyed creative and editorial freedom as Associate Editor.
Travelled to Garissa on my own. During the course of that trip I missed my first bus, ate camel meat and prudently hailed a taxi. In short: good and weird times, as usual. Read about it here and here.
Participated in my first public protest. I marched and danced on the streets with the best of them and would gladly participate in more non-violent demonstrations.
Wrote profiles of extraordinary Kenyans as part of the audacious 3-month-long, city-lovin’ festival, Nai Ni Who. I even took home a lovely trophy with my name on it at the end of the festivities.
Pigged out on behalf of online restaurant booking service, Eat Out. Writing reviews for four cool establishments across the city gave me a sneak peek at how the other half dines.
Began writing short profiles and features for Home & Living magazine. I even wrote an article about my bedroom walls that was published under a pseudonym.
Was among a group of four emerging writers who were presented as StoryMoja Fellows at this year’s Hay Festival. The Fellowship is facilitated via email and runs to 2014.
Helped put words to photographer Mutua Matheka’s amazing prints available through his Market Place.
Started writing entertainment stories for DStv Online Kenya. Had to remind myself how to plan in advance and meet daily deadlines. (FYI: I have a very cool and kindhearted boss.)
Had a short stint as a Social Media Manager for Mnet’s first telenovela, Kona.
Run PR on a very cool week-long project called Spoken Wor:l:ds that brought eight creatives (poets, rappers and spoken word artists) to Nairobi to work with a similar ensemble. It was incredibly fun and potentially life-altering.
Got to chaperone and hang out with Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. This was the highlight of my year. She was around for 4 days and was a complete riot. Love her to bits.
Living most of this year as a freelancer has been as terrifying and it has been exciting. Financial commitments stared me in the face month-on-month and I had to learn how to keep my head above water and still meet my obligations.
Some assignments were on familiar territory but many were not. I made a lot of mistakes but I’d like to think that I learnt from them. And as much as it has been tough, I love that I own my time. It is powerful to reclaim your right to say ‘yes’ and ‘no’. I now take on projects based primarily on whether they appeal to my sensibilities or not.
In all these things, I thank God and all the people who supported or took a chance on me, thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Oh yeah, I also got a kitten. Her name is Dutch, The Duchess (D). Check out her Twitter account.
Have a great 2014.