(MEDIA: NTV journalist from Bungoma Jesse Chenge attends to his farm products. The reporter is practicing agro-ecology farming during this Covid-19 pandemic as an alternative income generating activity. PHOTO/COURTESY)
As the country sympathizes with 50 journalists sacked by MediaMax last week, tension has continued to mount over the fate of news reporters working with private media houses.
This is after the Kenyatta family-owned media house sent home close to 50 staff among them top news anchors like Betty Kyalo and Tony Kwalanda, citing ‘hard economic times’. What is disturbing is that the sacked staff are slowly being replaced by lower profile figures from younger media houses. This has left many of them with a future to swallow as effects of the Covid-19 pandemic play sabotage in the economy.
However, the script is different in Bungoma County where NTV’s feature stories journalist Jesse Chenge is trying hands in agro-ecology around Pombo Tano area in the outskirts of Bungoma town.
When the pandemic broke out, Mr. Chenge started his small scale farming on a half acre piece of land leased to him by a neighbour. On the shamba, blossoms a healthy, green leaved maize plants with a height starring down his shoulders, with another section hosting sukuma wiki and other traditional vegetables.
Chenge says he has been practicing organic farming where he uses natural farm inputs to avoid harming water creatures in the nearby river.
“I wanted to have a complete package of vegetables which I supply to local hotels and restaurants and earn some income from it,” narrates the video journalist in a video shared by the Nation.
“With a salary from my employer, I was able to start with Ksh.5,000 which enabled me to generate an income ranging from Ksh7,000 to Ksh.20,000 from various harvests,” he adds.
Mr. Chenge exposed the nine-year-old Bungoma pupil who innovated a hand-washing machine that left millions of people amazed despite the journalist being left out of President Uhuru’s State Commendation list.
Mr. Jesse Chenge’s photos of the Standard Three pupil at Siboti Ward circulated across the world with the pupil Stephene Wamukota landing the President’s State Commendation Award.
President Uhuru honoured the young Wamukota for innovating a hand-washing dispenser that eased the process of cleaning hands during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Even as he tries luck in farming, Jesse still manages to go to the field and submits his stories in a true definition of flexibility, balancing between job and personal farm activities.
As an advice to fellow journalists, Jesse, encourages them to engage in other businesses as an alternative means of generating income.
Watch the full interview here: