I resigned from my job to start Smart Africa Media

I identified a problem then came up with a practical and viable solution 

NAIROBI, Kenya: Elvis Mboya, a long serving journalist in the East and Southern Africa region resigned from the Nation Media Group [NMG], the largest media house in Eastern and Central Africa, to start his own media enterprise, by establishing Smart Africa Media.

At NMG, Mboya was a business journalist for the Business Daily and Daily Nation doing features and in-depth reports on the marketplace, enterprise, logistics, technology and data. For a decade, Mboya was a reporter for newspapers in Namibia and Southern Africa region and practised communications at the Kenya High Commission in Windhoek, thereafter moved to Eastern Africa region based in Nairobi.

Mboya’s profile:

Mboya: Having had the exposure in my career for a number of years, I identified a problem then I decided to come up with a practical and viable solution.

Well, a few years ago, when I settled back in Kenya from Southern Africa region where I lived and practised journalism and communication for about ten years, I identified that the news content was intense with constant negative energy across the legacy and new media outlets, whereas there were positive stories that were not getting enough coverage they deserved. 

But, that’s not to say that as journalists we don’t have the responsibility to call out corruption and mismanagement, crime, poverty, and diseases that are entrenched in systems that are mostly fine-tuned not to work, among other ills that dampen the visions and aspirations of our founding fathers and mothers and continue to derail some of the gains we have achieved over the years.

However, the problem is, when we are too focused on the wrongs and give it more latitude yet we have so many pro-development and success stories that are happening on a daily basis then justice to society is not being done.”

Positive and pro-development stories

Mboya: For instance, while working at media houses in different countries in Africa, many having some the most talented teams and well-equipped newsrooms, reporters like myself would be sent out to business events to engage sources, yet over 80 percent of these field stories don’t make it to the paper or given TV coverage as they should, but if they do, they are simply captioned, buried inside the pages, or rewritten to take a different negative angle.

Mind you, most content that journalists generate from the field [business press conferences] or through email correspondences are mostly positive and constructive stories from the business community and investors yet won’t see the light of the day.
So, I thought of how best to breathe fresh life into these contents that would otherwise end up in the dustbins yet they have their own market niche that includes startups, entrepreneurs and SMEs, corporates, mentors, NGOs, and investors who are in dire need to reach their audiences and end-users who are mostly consumers looking for positive, constructive and empowering stories that can inspire growth and development.

So, inspired by mass digital uptake in recent years and further necessitated and accelerated by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, I resigned from my job to venture into private practice by creating an online platform to bridge the gap.”

Reconnecting and building networks

Mboya: Further, having spent most of my career years in Southern Africa where I cultivated a strong network with colleagues who were mostly expatriates and are now based in different countries in Africa and the Diaspora, I thought it prudent to reconnect these like-minded colleagues in order to create a continental online newsroom, where together, we can make use of our networks to collect those content destined for ‘newsroom dustbins’ and publish them – and that’s how Smart Africa Media was born.

Moving forward, we are also seeking to collaborate with more established organizations [both media, private and public enterprises] as we seek the best ways to partner and support one another in our quest to drive the vision home, grow and thrive.

Smart Africa Media has been in practice for a while, and still developing to incorporate digital TV, newspaper and podcast, covering the continent’s pro-development and success stories, to inspire investment and growth.

The Nairobi-based media house is on the verge of cultivating correspondences and audiences across Africa and the Diaspora, with a strong emphasis on business and economy stories that are positive, constructive, and empowering.

Smart partnerships and collaborations

At Smart Africa Media, we are open to partner and collaborate with individuals and organisations to drive the vision home. We welcome invitations to cover in-person and virtual events such as press conferences, exhibitions, AGMs, and interviews among others from anywhere in Africa and the Diaspora

We also welcome writeups, press releases and op-eds, and recorded business-related videos.                       

This story was first published in MediaWeb https://www.mediaweb.co.za/, Cape Town South Africa


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