Sometimes you know what you want, or you think you know where your life is headed. The problem is, most of these times, you never know how to get to the destination. In my decade-long working life as a print and digital journalist, with a bias in cut-throat political and legislative journalism, that was one of my early challenges until… Pauline stepped in. She gave me that little push: An intellectual jolt and an emotional nudge, that simply told me to follow my passion, have fun with my career, enjoy it and get paid for it!
It was serendipitous that she was in the recruitment panel when I began my career at the Nation Media Group –East Africa’s largest media house. She nurtured me professionally. When she moved to Standard Group Limited – Kenya’s oldest media house—and the team there needed a boost, she knew where the talent was and how to match that talent (me) to the vacant role(s). Then she set the targets, set the systems and created the environment to ensure the team at SGL achieved its full potential. I had fun!
She is a scary judge of talent –in a gratifying way. She has a very open mind and she knows the trends. Pauline listens from the heart and understands with both mind and soul. She loves when everybody wins. She inspires you to open your mind to different possibilities to becoming a better you. All this is done effortlessly, with empathy, real-life personal examples and with a gentle professional discipline. When she’s got your back, you won’t ever reinvent the wheel.
At times, I wonder, what she gets out of it all. But, well, after a decade of watching and trying to understand her, I just concluded that, in life, there are people who truly want everyone to succeed. They live for others. They hold your hand and help you climb the staircase of life. In the journey of life and career, they know where the pebbles, boulders, rocks and potholes are. When you stumble, slide and fall, they pick you up. Yes, Pauline is one of those big hearts.
With Talent Guru 254, I am sure Pauline will touch many more lives and careers; shape more dreams and nurture them into reality; ignite individual passion and ensure that people, like you and me, don’t just exist; but that you LIVE your dream!
Joys Wanja Muraya | Senior Health and Science writer, Standard Group
My interest in health journalism was nurtured and flourished because she saw my potential and gave me a chance.
Eight years ago, I was a young and ambitious finalist student at Kenyatta University when I met Pauline Kiraithe at AZ39 lecture hall during the Nation Media Group career talk which also served as the recruitment for journalism graduate trainees.
I eventually made it as one of the 20 trainees for the Media Lab journalism training programme and interacted with Pauline sharing my interest to grow beyond general news reporting into specializing in telling the health and science story.
She encouraged me to be grounded in journalism then further develop my interest in specialised writing.
While on my fourth year at the Daily Nation, I pursued a Masters of Public Health at Moi University specializing in Health Promotion and this opened doors into the world of health journalism.
I covered medical mysteries and dilemmas, dug into scientific journals, swam in jargon, witnessed several heart and kidney transplants, told of triumphs of persons healed, wrote on health policy and planning milestones, covered public health outbreaks and even shared stories of survivors.
However my biggest story was in a village in Isiolo September 2012 on the traditional midwives of Isiolo where I witnessed a home delivery and to date the You Tube version of the story has 2.8 million views to date .http://tinyurl.com/hx7tnmp
Story telling even got better when I began working at Standard Group six years later as a specialised heath reporter and I have had the opportune chance to interview pacesetters in the health both at home and globally including like philanthropist Melinda Gates in Mexico City, President of Mauritius, Dr Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, a prominent scientist on the sidelines of a conference in Nairobi and most recently the immediate World Health Organisation Kenya representative Dr Custodia Mandlhate on retirement and beyond.
There are times when I was impatient about my career growth but she was tough, honest and nurturing to my professional development, my crowing achievements are because I met the right mentor at the right time.
“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction,” words of American politician John Crosby best illustrate this.
I am still a work in progress but having Pauline as a coach has made all the difference.
Yvonne Okwara-Matole | Senior News Anchor | Editor KTN News
I have known Pauline 9 years. More importantly, she has known me 9 years, very well! We have worked together in 2 different organisations. In all these years, Pauline has remained consistent. True to character. True to her ideals and values. It is those same values that she has imbued in me over time. Through 9 years and 2 different organisations, Pauline has seen me grow. She has infact nurtured that growth. My journey from a radio producer, to TV anchor/producer, Head Of News Anchors and now news editor and senior news anchor would not have been happened without her constant guidance and sometimes tough love. She has seen my in my most rugged and raw form and now, the person I am today. She has pushed me, challenged me and celebrated my successes too. She is passionate about girls, women in leadership and, most importantly, value based leadership. I am proud to have worked with her, but I am most proud to call her a mentor and a friend!
Ayla Bwana – Form 2 student
Ignite Youth Leadership Program is a really nice program To Help you find oneself if I may say…. I have been able to discover who I am and I’m so happy about the results and I would really like this program to go on.
Njenga Wimmy – 4th year USIU
Ignite Youth Leadership Program has been an experience unlike any other. I have been able to discover myself, discover my purpose and appreciate others. I would recommend this program to everyone as this is a lesson for life.
Tellvinch Imani – Form 2 student
Ignite has been like a God sent gift to me it has helped me know what i can really do and what am capable of doing.
Mwende Mutuku – Budding entrepreneur
Ignite has reaffirmed who I am. I have confidence in my skills and abilities. And I am stepping out, and making my voice heard – positively on social media.