Social media and mass media have changed the face of news. People receive first-hand information on their smartphones nowadays. What better way to address sustainability matters if not through the media?
Sam Dindi, a wildlife management and environmental professional is the founder of mazingira yetu magazine which majors on environmental issues.
What does mazingira yetu magazine do?
Mazingira yetu magazine initially started as a blog, where we would write and post articles on sustainability. From there came a magazine addressing environmental issues affecting our daily lives. In the same line, we have mazingira yetu radio a station that air shows on environmental issues. Also, there is a youtube channel on the same.
How do you integrate sustainability and media?
Being a trained professional in wildlife management and environmental issues makes it easier for me to relate to environmental issues and media. I developed a program to share my passion. We tackle stories of people dealing with environmental sustainability and feature their stories on our social media platforms. A documentary on the same is also shared.
Do you have a target audience like most media houses?
We target anyone and everyone as sustainability should be everyone’s problem. Our aim is to have everyone on board so as to have a sustainable future
What are the challenges you have encountered so far?
Running these programs is very expensive for publishing, web hosting and paying up for sound cloud channel just to name a few. At the end of the day, telling people to purchase something for a good course becomes challenging.
People are yet to grasp the concept of sustainability. Shifting their mindset becomes a challenge as they believe it’s more of a government issue. So as we spread awareness very few are on board. But we are hopeful, one step at a time.
Do you feel like mazingira yetu has made an impact so far?
Yes, I believe it has. For the past seven years, we have worked with around thirty schools across Kenya and they have embraced sustainability issues and programs. We have also worked with farmers and wetlands such as ondiri swamp. Mazingira yetu has also brought on board people from Tanzania and Zambia. So we have made an impact as all these people are on board with sustainability.
Any word for someone who wants to venture into environmental sustainability?
It should be a calling. This is because this venture will not make money instantly. Money should not be the driving force. You need to come up with mechanisms that will support your activities and your venture.