Feature: Chinese have changed my life: Kenyan journalist

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Kenya's journalist Jubat Adow has heard a lot about the Chinese influence in the country, Africa and the rest of the world.

Adow, who works for The Standard Newspaper Group in Northern Kenya, knows that they have invested heavily in the transport and media sectors in the East African nation.

All along, he never thought that the Chinese would have an impact in his life, as they have had on Kenya in general. "I have used roads built by the Chinese and even their radios, but I never thought that they would at one time touch on my life and career," said an excited Adow in an interview with Xinhua on Thursday.

Adow won the Global Awards for Excellence on Monday that was hosted in China. His interest in the Chinese and China has now increased four-fold.

"My journalism career would never be the same again, thanks to the Chinese. They have given me my first major award. It is the first time I have been recognized on the global stage," said Adow.

Adow said he would now write more stories about China and Chinese people.

"One that comes to mind is how the Chinese electrical gadgets have helped people in Northern Kenya access energy. With electricity being a distant dream, hundreds of people are now using solar lanterns made in China. The gadgets have changed their lives," said Adow, adding that Chinese-made radio have also been embraced widely in the region.

The journalist would also work on a story of how the road construction projects done by the Chinese have improved lives of people in the remote region.

"Travelling from Nairobi to North Eastern has become a little easier with the building of the Thika superhighway and the highway in Isiolo by the Chinese," he said.

His wish is to visit China and see what makes the country stand tall among its peers."I know the Chinese have the biggest infrastructure in the world, huge population, rich culture and heritage. These are things I would wish to experience firsthand. I would also wish to learn Mandarin and report in the language."

Adow said the award he received has encouraged him to work even harder. "It is a crown on my 13 years in journalism. And that it comes from the Chinese even makes it more special to me."

Adow said his secret of winning the global award is to be resilient and consistent in his work, and more importantly, writes human interest stories.

"Political stories are good and have great audience in Kenya, but they cannot win a journalist an award. One must do stories that better the lives of people. Stories about ordinary people and the ordinary things they do in their communities," said Adow, adding that the main drive of a journalist should be to tell stories, not make money.

The award came with 5,000 U.S. dollars prize. Adow said he would use part of the money to pay for his university education, where he is a first-year journalism student at Mt Kenya University. He would also buy good video and still photo cameras and a laptop.

"Money aside, I hope that the award comes with mentorship program that would enable me to work in the Chinese media or any other to sharpen my skills," he said. Endi

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