The Star (Kenya)

Life’s strug­gles: A let­ter of grat­i­tude

- BY NA­BILA HATIMY Bloggers · Internet Celebrities · Celebrities

Dear Reader,

This week­end’s ar­ti­cle marks a year of So­ci­ety Talk col­umn. In light of that, I thought I should write di­rectly to you to share my grat­i­tude for shar­ing the year with me. I also wanted to share my jour­ney with you in the hopes that in some small way I can en­cour­age you on your jour­ney.

So­ci­ety Talk was born in the dark­est pe­riod of my life. This time last year I was un­em­ployed (still am), newly mar­ried and liv­ing apart from my spouse be­cause of ex­ten­u­at­ing cir­cum­stances. The only thing I had that was a con­stant was my week­end ar­ti­cle.

I had started free­lanc­ing for the Star back in 2011 when I was still work­ing for the par­ent com­pany in ra­dio. I be­came friends with one of the ed­i­tors on the Fea­tures desk and asked if I could try writ­ing for the pa­per.

I have been writ­ing for as long as I can re­mem­ber, and be­fore I got the job writ­ing for ra­dio, I al­ways ex­pected to work in the print sec­tor. Hence, I picked up writ­ing for the pa­per, con­tribut­ing on a va­ri­ety of sub­jects. When I joined univer­sity in 2014, I could not help but feel some­thing amiss when I was not writ­ing.

I pro­posed a full-time film re­view col­umn. My ed­i­tor (a dif­fer­ent man at that time) was hes­i­tant; he did not be­lieve it could be pos­si­ble to write about tele­vi­sion ev­ery sin­gle week­end. He was pleas­antly sur­prised when I proved him oth­er­wise. Re­view I did … for five years with­out a break. Un­til last year when I learnt from my cur­rent ed­i­tor that my col­umn was be­ing scrapped as the pa­per un­der­went trans­for­ma­tion.

I am still un­sure if I was sad or re­lieved for a change. What I was sure of was that I still wanted to write. I pro­posed yet an­other piece, an idea I had been toy­ing with for years. A col­umn where I could talk about is­sues af­fect­ing us as a so­ci­ety. An op­por­tu­nity to have an open di­a­logue with read­ers, law­mak­ers or ad­min­is­tra­tors. It was at this point I re­alised that op­por­tu­ni­ties rarely come knock­ing. Of­ten, we have to kick in the door and cre­ate those op­por­tu­ni­ties our­selves.

I could have wal­lowed in my feel­ings about my re­view col­umn be­ing scrapped, but I had to act quickly. I had to find an­other sus­tain­able way mov­ing for­ward. I don’t be­lieve that I am tal­ented, I just write be­cause it is the only way I can com­mu­ni­cate. I started won­der­ing if I was mak­ing any kind of im­pact with my writ­ing. It is nor­mal to ques­tion if what we do serves a greater pur­pose in the world.

One day, I re­ceived an email at 2am from one of the big­gest re­view sites in the world. They had come across my re­views and en­joyed them so much that they wanted me to be a fea­tured critic on the site. Five years I had writ­ten the col­umn with­out a com­ment, com­pli­ment or com­plaint. Here I was, six months af­ter the col­umn had been scrapped, be­ing talked to about the im­pact of my re­views. Fi­nally, some recog­ni­tion.

There you have it, dear reader. Some­times, it might seem like what we do is fu­tile. You work so hard and wish for some ac­knowl­edge­ment to en­cour­age you on your jour­ney. You might get frus­trated that no one is notic­ing you. Hear me when I say, if you do what you love and do it well, you are mak­ing an im­pact on some­one some­where. Recog­ni­tion will come when you least ex­pect it but need it the most.

There­fore, to mark the first an­niver­sary of So­ci­ety Talk I would like to thank you all for your con­tri­bu­tion to my story. If you are read­ing this, thank you for en­dur­ing my long-winded ar­ti­cles. If you are edit­ing this, thank you for help­ing me be bet­ter. Paul, Wy­cliffe and Tom, I am for­ever in­debted.

Grate­fully yours.

 ??  ?? Recog­ni­tion will come when you least ex­pect it but need it the most
Recog­ni­tion will come when you least ex­pect it but need it the most
 ??  ??

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