By Judy Kosgei – Ekwam
Woman, you are only a good journalist until you decide to focus, further your studies or start a family, while at it . You will be insulted, Your baby, Spouse or family will too. Why? It’s the newsroom for a woman . I tried to figure out the editorial connection to this, in vain.
Woman journalist, you will become immune to the insults, but before you get to the ‘immune’ level, you will cry, sulk, hate the very job you love, your esteem will be shredded into small invisible pieces, you will doubt your capability, you will have a truck load of unanswered questions – nothing ‘woman’ about them.
The beauty is, the passion in you never dies. The fire to always be a better writer, story teller, will keep burning, even if it’s a flicker. That woman was me.
** * Insert effect – Deep to colour ****( I still love TV production/editing)
” where is your script, you were a good reporter until you decided to get married, what did he give you, huyo *insert tribe* alikulalia usiku mzima mpaka umeshindwa kuandika” shouts an editor across the newsroom * some of the insults with regard to this, are too obscene to post in a public space *
Then God blesses Woman journalist with a baby ????
” Do you think your baby is so special, mtoto wako si mayai ati lazima ulalie, we have babies too **man speaking** that baby has slowed you down. Judy, when it happens, don’t say I never warned you.”
…but they are just words, I would console myself.
Words broke whose bone? A colleague asked me one day, No one? I answered. It made a lot of sense, no orthopaedic surgeon has ever received a case of Bones broken by words. If there’s, it is not documented. No bone was broken, none, why lie while I can cheat????, but that muscular organ that pumps blood ????, pieces I tell you, pieces and not pieces for picking.
… Woman journalist, you will head home at 10 pm, carrying with you a broken heart, a tired body, a clogged brain and eyes balancing tears, you will drive home while crying for no apparent reason… then you turn on the radio ????. Voila! the broken car radio self healed.
Now playing; ‘voice of Truth’ by casting crowns, crank it up, dry your eyes kapsaaa at the parking lot, pick up your handbag, the shredded pieces of what was your heart and walk to the door of your dark house. EVERYONE is asleep. You go home late everyday so you have the spare key. Your baby slept at 8pm, you have a 6 am assignment tomorrow, call time is 5 am. You will tip toe out of the bedroom at 4.57am, you will not kiss her, you will not even dare breath near her, she will wake up…
Then one day the woman in me, the lioness who had been rained on and people thought was a cat, roared. I realized they weren’t just words, it was the woman being fought yet fighting for her space in the newsroom at the same time.
Woman with no heart for insults coined as obscene jokes walked to and worked in the newsroom, she was a shell, she had become defensive and unhappy, she loved writing and the production of great pieces but she would never trade her family for anything. Her mother a career woman with 7 children never did, why?
Remember the flicker, it flared up, she decided to do what she loves on a different platform. A Platform where women are respected.