Madelena Mkirema is passionate about broadcasting accurate and verified information that can have a positive impact on her listeners and on society in general. Ever since she started presenting the news during high school assemblies, she has dreamed of working in radio. She says that working as a presenter is the most nourishing and fulfilling goal she has been able to achieve. She currently works for Radio Amani in Nakuru, Kenya, and was one of three winners of the George Atkins Communications Award from Farm Radio International.
Ms. Mkirema has been a radio broadcaster for five years, working for three stations in different regions of Kenya. She is currently a host and presenter at Radio Amani in Nakuru. Over the course of her career, her skills have been recognized with two awards: she won for the most impactful story at the Digi Radio Awards, and was named best radio presenter at the Great Rift Valley Gospel Music Awards.
She currently hosts two shows, most notably a weekly program on livestock farming. And as if that wasn’t enough, she also does commercial voice-overs, and is a news editor and presenter.
For her livestock farming program, she works closely with veterinarians to educate livestock keepers on all aspects of production, marketing, and business dealings. In the last 20 minutes of the 90-minute program, vets answer farmers’ questions, addressing challenges related to disease outbreaks, adding value to animal products, and accessing reliable markets. Her dedication to educating farmers extends to visiting them in the field to record their stories and amplify their voices.
Feedback from listeners reflects their appreciation for what they’ve learned from the program and for the benefits of having veterinarians directly answer their questions and provide them with guidance. Listeners say they know they can count on her program when they face challenges—and say this has motivated them to keep going.
Ms. Mkirema participates in Farm Radio’s WhatsApp group in Kenya, and uses Farm Radio resources to create programs to reach as many farmers as possible. She has also created programs to appeal to and address the challenges of youth, women, and people living with disabilities.
The George Atkins Communications Award recognizes radio broadcasters for their excellence in serving their rural audience and commitment to Farm Radio International. The 2021 winners include: Ms. Mkirema; Alhassan Seidu Kayaba, Zaa Radio, Ghana; and Vianney Watsongo Katsuva, Radio Télévision Évangélique et de Développement Hermon, DRC. Read more about them in Barza Wire.