I am a creative writer, journalist, civil society leader, environmentalist, filmmaker, farmer and entrepreneur from Kenya.
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP):
Between 2003 and 2006, I served as the Africa Regional Coordinator of the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Africa Environment Outlook for Youth Project. This project mobilized over 3,000 youth in 41 African countries to establish a regional environmental network and produce a publication by youth, for youth. Known as Africa Environment Outlook for Youth, the publication was based on UNEP’s Global Environment Outlook Report for Africa. I then provided editorial coordination of UNEP’s first ever Handbook for environmental journalists. Later in 2008 and 2009, I served as communications consultant and creative writer for UNEP’s Division of Environmental Policy Implementation (DEPI). I wrote powerful stories that were compiled in a booklet known as, ‘Ecosystem Management: Some Key Initiatives by UNEP.’ In 2017, I was enlisted as a consultant in editorial coordination of the Global Environment Outlook 6 (GEO-6 Africa) for Youth.
Thereafter in 2011, I was the sole writer of a United Nations Environment Programme Paper entitled, Harnessing the Potential of the African Youth for Sustainable Development: UNEP contribution to the AU Summit on “Accelerating youth empowerment for sustainable development.” Based on the success of this paper, UNEP’s Regional Office of Africa mandated me to write another paper in 2014. The paper was entitled ‘Accelerating Youth Action Towards Africa’s Greener futures.’
As the founder and Captain (CEO) of Sasafrica Productions, I coordinate Sasafrica’s work in Kenya and Rwanda. Sasafrica initially produced short films whose actors were mainly drawn from Kibera slums. Thereafter, Sasafrica’s work extended to production of audio news and features that were showcased and shared online.
Apart from film and audio, Sasafrica also provides strategic communications consultancy. We have in the past used strategic communications as a tool of linking SMEs, women groups and youth groups from Lamu Island and Wasini Island to investors. In Wasini Island which is located in Kenya’s South Coast, Sasafrica trained three local organizations in strategic communications. These organizations are Wasini Women Group, Wasini Beach Management Unit and Wasini Youth Group.
In addition, Sasafrica worked with several other organizations, communities and institutions in Kenya to empower them through film, creative features and enhanced communication skills. In Nairobi, Sasafrica has produced a powerful film documentary and a book for The Youth Congress, Miss Koch and Koch FM, three well-known youth organizations from Nairobi. Koch FM is the city’s first ever community radio station.
Sasafrica later expanded its work to the East African region. In Burundi, it worked with UNDP Burundi to coordinate an experiential learning trip for tourism stakeholders in Burundi’s government and private sector. In Rwanda, Sasafrica produced a film documentary, a magazine and a book for ARAMA, one of the leading Rwandan organizations in the fight against Gender Based Violence.
In 2017, I guided Sasafrica to start Sasafrica.Shop, an online store that prides itself as Africa’s marketplace for African products.
Radio France International: I am the local correspondent for Radio France International (RFI). My highly informative audio stories can be found to at this link: http://www.english.rfi.fr/auteur/david-bwakali
My coverage for RFI has taken me across Kenya as I conducted hundreds of interviews that led to powerful stories. I have always believed that the story of Africa must always be told in the authentic, powerful voice that can be heard and felt in these audio stories.
Sud Nord Funk: I have done several audio features for Sud Nord Funk, a German Radio station. One of my favourite was a feature that sought to take the listener behind the scenes of Kenya’s great athletic success. Listen to it here. I also did another feature that focused on the effect on climate change on Kenya’s small scale farmers. I have been a climate change activist for almost two decades so this feature resonated very loudly with me. Listen to it here. Further to these two, it was my great joy to also do an audio feature known as ‘voice for the voiceless.’ It is about Koch FM, Nairobi’s first ever community radio station. Listen to it here. I believe in the shared humanity of all of us in this world irrespective of our origin, race, religion or class. I was therefore happy to work on another feature about Somali and Congolese refugees in Kenya. Their never-say-die spirit should be an inspiration to all to look beyond their refugee status and reach out to them. Listen to this audio feature here.
Indymedia: I am the co-founder of Kenya’s chapter of the Independent Media Centre (Indymedia). Indymeda is a global grassroots media movement that is an early pioneer of the social media concept. In 2007, I played a lead role in converging global Indymedia activists to Kenya for the World Social Forum. After the Forum, these activists joined Indymedia Kenya in establishing Equator FM in Maseno University. This was one of Kenya’s first ever campus community radio station. Eight years later in 2015, I attended another World Social Forum which was hosted in Tunis Tunisia. While there I spoke widely about enhancing the people’s voice in today’s society. My thoughts were well received prompting the Brazillian media to write about them. You can read more on this here.
PRINT JOURNALIST AND CREATIVE WRITER
EcoForum Journal: Between 2012 and 2014, I was the Editor of EcoForum Journal. This Journal which was founded in the seventies as an environmental magazine was the oldest was in Kenya. It was published by the Environment Liaison Center International. The journal’s articles were well-researched, well written, informative and entertaining.
RITIMO: I wrote an article for a journal that was published by RITIMO a well-known French organization that focuses on the freedom of information, amongst other critical issues. I was one of the experienced writers from across the world who were featured in the journal. You can read the article here.
Contemporary Review Journal (UK Journal): I wrote two articles for Contemporary Review in 2001 and 2003. The first one explore gender inequality in Africa while the second one analysed global terrorism within a Kenyan context.
Peace Forum: I wrote an article on volunteerism and environmentalism for Peace Forum, a South Korean Journal. You can download the article here.
Gaudeamus (Swedish Magazine): In 2008, I wrote an article for a Swedish magazine about the bittersweet experience of Kenyan universities. Read it here.
Jungle.World (German Magazine): During different occasions in 2011, I wrote three articles for a German magazine known as Jungle.World. The first article about insecurity in the Horn of African. You can read the article here. The second article was about Rwanda’s unique experience as it continues taking useful strides away from the genocide. You can read this article here. Later the same year, I wrote another article for the same magazine about the grassroots climate change movement in Africa. You can read it here.
Inter Press Service News Agency: In 2008, I wrote a highly controversial but vital story about Biofuels in Kenya. This story helped in furthering important conversations on biofuels and food security. Read it here.
The Indypendent (American Magazine): In January 2008, I wrote a syndicated article for this magazine. It was about my personal experience in the immediate aftermath of Kenya’s ill-fated 2007 elections. This was one of the most difficult articles that I ever wrote.
EnvironmentalAfrica.com: I am the Chief Editor and Lead Writer of EnvironmentalAfrica.com, an online magazine that uses creative writing to popularize, enhance and entrench sustainability in Africa.
Rivulets of Love in Africa: This is a literary fictional account of a young Kenyan man as he pursues a livelihood that will bring his dreams to fruition. Read more about the book here.
Coming to Life: Memory and History of Korogocho Youth: This was a historic Book. It is one of the few books ever written that traces how three youth organisations at the grassroots level in Kenya were started and run succesfully through sheer will power and passion. You can download it here.
Jane: When a Mother’s Touch Transformed the Society: Published in Nigeria in 2009, this book was the Biography of Mrs. Jane Ogbuigwe, one of the early founders of YWCA in Nigeria and change agent that exemplified ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
Africa Youth Trust: I am currently serving as the Chairman of the Africa Youth Trust, a Youth Organization that has a mandate for mobilizing and working with youth from across Africa. Founded legally in 2005, AYT began operations in 2007 and subsequently employed dozens of young people in full-time jobs, while providing internship and volunteerism opportunities to dozens more. AYT’s work now spans across the entire East African region. I am a co-founder of this organisation and I have served as Chairman since its inception.
Kenya Voluntary Development Association: Between 2001 and 2003, I was the Chairman of Kenya Voluntary Development Association (KVDA). As Chairman, I was responsible for the general overall management of the two-thousand member, fifty-year-old national membership organization with international partners across the world. KVDA facilitated the voluntary service of hundreds of volunteers from across the world.
Million Youth Action (MIYA): In 2008 when Kenya was right in the middle of the post-election violence that claimed thousands of lives and left thousands more injured, I founded a youth movement known as the Million Youth Action (MIYA). This movement had a singular goal of unifying both rural and urban youth in Kenya to embrace peace and national cohesion as they shunned tribalism. MIYA held several weekend forums in different parts of Kenya and brought together more than fifty youth organizations and hundreds of youth in a quest for peace. MIYA was completely self-funded by the young people themselves.
Africa Youth Initiative on Climate Change: In 2006, I was one of the founders of Africa Youth Initiative on Climate Change (AYICC), a regional youth organization that was launched during the twelfth Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Since its founding, AYICC has played a pivotal role in ensuring that the youth voice is fully represented in global and regional climate change related events. AYICC has additionally enabled young climate activists from across African to unify their efforts as much as possible.
Kenya Solargen: In 2006, I was a co-founder and coordinator of the Kenya Chapter of Solargen (Solar generation) project. Solar Generation was a global movement of young people from all over the world taking action against climate change and calling for a clean energy future. It was initiated by Greenpeace in 2003. Kenya Solargen worked closely with the Inter-varsity environment Network (IVEN) in Kenya.
Solid waste Action by Youth (SWAY): Between 2005 and 2006, I also the co-founded the Solid waste Action by Youth (SWAY), another regional initiative for unifying the efforts of African youth in solid waste management. Apart from working with youth at the grassroots, SWAY sought to ensure African youth representation and participation in the Basel Convention and other global platforms for a for solid waste management.