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Anita Nderu shares her inspiring career journey from PA to media personality

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The 13th of May marked my 3rd year as an employee at 98.4 Capital FM. Coming up the lift to the 19th floor that day brought back the surreal feeling of 23rd of March 2013 when I went up the same elevators to audition for the position of a Capital TV News Anchor.

The only other time I had been to Capital FM was 3 years before the audition when I was the Personal assistant of an event organizer. My job involved among other things delivering invitation cards to select Capital FM staff. I always wanted that moment to last longer than me being stopped at the security desk, asked to hand in the envelopes then directed back to the elevators.

I remember the deep desire I had to be given a chance by someone, anyone! To stand in front of the microphone and prove I had what it takes.

Well, that chance was granted one sunny Saturday morning in March. Knowing that this could be my one and only chance to work for the company I had dreamt of working for since I can remember, didn’t help with the nerves even though I had been in front of the camera as a host of Teen Republic on NTV for around 2 and a half years.

There is something majestic about the huge 98.4 Capital FM sign at our reception, it has this “you have arrived” kind of presence. As I waited at the reception with many other women going through our scripts I was intimidated by how well they seemed to know some of the staff or about how news anchoring works and many a time I questioned if I was worthy for this role.

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This happens a lot when you go for auditions; there is always someone who looks better than you, someone who drops lines like “They have called me back several times so this is like a finalizing audition” or someone who name drops members of the organization and how close they are so this will be a walk in the park, others will flaunt their experience in the field and there you are, a total rookie, you know no one, are related to no one, have no experience, all you carried with you is hope, a prayer and a dream.

It was GO time and I auditioned, I gave it 1000%!

On my way down the 19 floors I couldn’t help but wish that this became my reality.

When I got a call from Capital FM saying HR wanted to meet me, I called all my family members and asked them to pray for me, but even if I ended up not getting the job, the best mix of music thought I was good enough and to be honest that was good enough for me! #Braggingrights

I ended up getting the job, and then came the tough decision of leaving one job that I wished for all my life to do another that I felt the same way about.

It wasn’t easy and my friends and family were split on what I should do. You see any parent or spouse will root for you to play it safe. You are getting paid where you are right? Yes. You love what you do right? Right. So why experiment? You have no experience? What if you fail and are fired?  Because how they see it, passion does not pay the bills, dreams do not put food on the table and neither guarantees you success.

I went with my passion for radio and my dream to one day be a part of Capital FM.

The first year was tough as nails, there was so much to learn, the listeners were used to a certain quality of news reading and I just wasn’t reaching it no matter how hard I tried, I was bullied online, constantly taken off air to practice reporting, I was constantly criticized, some constructively, others were downright mean but I never dropped the mic and walked off. I would just cry in the bathroom, compose myself then get back to work.

It didn’t help that during all this there was always a new face coming to studio to audition for the same role I play. I dreaded emails from my boss saying they want to meet me because I was afraid that was the “we need to let you go” meeting.

But I never said die! I had to prove to myself and to the men and women who saw something in me and gave me this position that I could be great at this! That I could do this despite the rough start!

I am still work in progress but I did it, I am way better than I was before!

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I meet young people who get discouraged when pursuing their passion and things get tough, but that is when you should go into overdrive and do what it takes to get to the finish line!

 

Enough with the days where after a million years of education you go for the interview of your dreams only to be told they want someone with 8 years experience and you are left wondering whether this interviewer wanted you to forfeit high school to gain experience?

What do you do then? You turn that passion for this job that burns deep inside you into your purpose and you blaze it all the up! There is always a way when you want something bad enough! Better yet you get to be your own boss while at it!

I recently started sharing my story through an amazing youth empowerment initiative for the youth by the youth called Blaze! This platform is looking for you, you passionate youngin who desires to achieve what isn’t seen as a usual career, you blaze trailer who ventures into uncharted territory and turns it into a life changing business, you 26 and under youth who wants to stop twerking and wants to start working, you top 30 under 30 to be! Yes you!

Once in awhile in every generation people come together to create a life changing platform that wants to see you win, this generation has Blaze Kenya! They officially launch in three days and they want as many 26 and under youth to sign up and be a part of the greatest call of action to find your purpose and pursue it to fruition.

Log on to www.blaze.co.ke today, show your dreams that you are a doer and not just a dreamer!

I did it, now it’s your turn!

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