The Journalism & Creative Arts club was established in February 2016 after consultations between the current patron (Mr. James Kituzi), and the principal. The objectives of the club include the following:
- To train students in life skills e.g. leadership skills, effective communication, conflict resolution and public speaking skills
- To help students acquire knowledge and skills in research, news gathering, interview, writing, editing and presentation skills
- To train students on how to use various media tools like computers, digital cameras, video cameras, sound equipment in collecting, documenting and presenting information in preparation for careers in the media industry
- To empower, motivate and inspire students to discover, unleash and nurture their God-given talents in poetry, drawing, singing, dancing and other forms of performing arts.
- To instill moral values like respect, self-discipline, integrity and responsibility; and to cultivate the fear of God among the students even as they pursue their aspirations in life
The above objectives are achieved through the various activities that the club engages in as shall be illustrated in this report.
Since its inception the club, under the leadership of Mr. James Kituzi, has been privileged to make some commendable strides through numerous successful activities as follows:
- Membership registration and election of new officials
- Events management-Planning and hosting major school events
- Coverage and documentation of major school events and daily happenings through photography, video recording and news presentation on general assemblies
- Training and motivational workshops
- Intra-school and interschool debates
- Talent shows, Essay writing and creative arts competitions
- Inception of the School magazine
By the end of the first week since the announcement had been made, the club had attained a membership of 80 students. During the first meeting, the members held elections for the club officials through secret ballot after a talk on leadership Skills by the patron, Mr. James Kituzi. This was to encourage democracy and student participation in leadership and decision making thus giving them a sense of belonging. However, a few form 1 students registered as members.
The club was able to successfully organize and actively participate in the following major school events:
(a) International women’s day celebrations
The members actively participated in marking the event through MCeeing, essay writing competitions, poetry, artwork and entertainment.
(b)Prize Giving Day
The club under the guidance of the patron played a pivotal role in the success of the award ceremony which was attended by the top–level management of the Apostolic Carmel congregation and the Makadara Sub-county Director of Education (Mr. Olooltua) as the chief guest among other education officials. Two students (Ednah Kareri and Deborah Naliali) co-hosted the event alongside the patron as MCs.
(c) The Cultural Festival and Talent Extravaganza
In order to identify, acknowledge and nurture the wealth of talent among the students and to help them appreciate our cultural differences, the club organized this event themed “Promoting unity in cultural diversity through talent”.
The talent extravaganza was the second of its kind held on August 2017. The chief guests were renowned gospel musicians, led by Mr. Collins Majale aka Collo Mfalme and the Kenya Melody band, from Kisumu. The event was not very well covered by leading media houses like Standard Group, Nation media group and the national broadcaster (KBC) as they were busy covering the campaigns for the general elections. Students got a lifetime opportunity to showcase their talents to the world through music, dance, poetry, artwork and modeling.
They were highly commended for not just their breathtaking performances on stage but also for their discipline, neatness, organization and responsibility. The most commendable fete was the fact that this was an event fully sponsored by the students themselves as they had fundraised. Indeed, an event for the students by the students!
(d) Essay writing and Creative Arts competitions
The club was able to organize intra-school essay competitions to mark the international women’s day. The artwork was displayed on the notice boards and the winners (Form 3A) were rewarded for their outstanding displays. Also, students participated in both interschool and international essay writing competitions.
(f) Training and motivational workshops
In order to build confidence and develop public speaking and critical thinking skills, the club held several successful interclass debates on a wide range of emerging topical issues.
The debates, held every Monday evening, were lively, informative and educational. However, these were interrupted as most of the members in charge of the organization were also actively engaged in rehearsals for the drama and music festivals in term 1 and 2 respectively.
These were carried out continuously during the weekly club meetings by the patron, Mr. James Kituzi. Members were trained on several skills including public speaking, research methods, note taking, news gathering, and interviewing and news presentation.
They also got an opportunity to be motivated and inspired by renowned media personalities like Mr. Fred Njiri and Mr. Richard Kagoe from K24TV and Mr. John Kasalah of Radio Maisha.
- Training workshop on Leadership, Self awareness and Communication skills.
- This was facilitated by the CEO and founder of Badilika Youth Initiative-Kenya (Mr. James ) and attracted students from several schools including Huruma girls, St. Aquinas Boys and Makongeni secondary schools.
- Training workshop on Videography, Photography and modeling/Casting
(g) School magazine
So far the chief editor, Mr. Kituzi, has typed and edited all the articles from the students. However, plans to launch the magazine by the end of the year were hampered by the delay of teachers and other members of staff to write and submit their articles and departmental reports.
The patron is currently working on running a digital version of the magazine on the school website. The print version is expected to be launched early next year pending the cooperation of staff members and availability of funds to publish.
In 2017, the club has experienced numerous challenges including:
- Dropping out of members following conflicts with the officials and lack of constant incentives in terms fun activities/trips and gifts
- Lack of funds to finance its intended activities following the ban on the sales that were previously used to raise funds for the club activities.
- Lack of time to hold club meetings as all evenings were used for remedial classes. This caused a breakdown in communication between the patron and members and also hampered preparations for major events hosted/organized by the club.
- The scheduled end-year party for the members and award of outgoing officials did not take place due to lack of funds and demotion of most officials for incompetence respectively
- Members need more training on leadership skills so that they can identify and elect effective officials and/or become better officials when elected
- The club should be allowed to raise funds through at least monthly sales or otherwise be sponsored by the school administration through the activity vote-head in order to carry out its activities
- An evening be set aside for club meetings in the school routine as was the case previously to avoid breakdown of communication between patrons and the clubs which might lead to disintegration of the club as was witnessed this year.
In the year 2018, God willing, we look forward to bringing the following plans into fruition:
- The official launch of the school magazine both in print and digital form (school website)
- To carry out at least two trips to leading media houses to experience TV and radio studios and learn at the newspaper printing press
- To conduct training workshops/seminars and career guidance with experienced media personalities for inspiration and motivation of members
- To participate in educational and entertaining youth TV and radio shows like the Great Debators, Teen Republic, Elimu TV, My Skooltv and Nuru Ya Lugha on Radio Maisha. This is aimed at exposing students’ talents and marketing the school through publicity and public relations.
- To organize and participate in interschool Debate contests (and eventually in the National Great debators competition on KBC TV and Citizen TV); and essay writing competitions(local and national).
On behalf of the club members, I would like to register my appreciation to the patrons of the Drama and Music club for their support in preparing the students for performances in various school events that were hosted by the club.
I am sincerely grateful to the rest of the staff for their support. Last but not least, I am deeply indebted to the principal, Sr. Joanita AC, for her valuable advice, leadership, mentorship and undying support for the club.
Compiled by: Mr. James Kituzi
Club Patron and Chief Editor