Tony Mochama, Boniface Mwalii to be declared winners in arts journalists' inaugural election

Journalists Tony Mochama and Boniface Mwalii.

Journalists Tony Mochama and Boniface Mwalii to be declared secretary and chairperson, respectively, in the January 21, 2023 elections of the Entertainment and Arts Journalist Association of Kenya (EAJAK). as the sole candidates for those positions. Members set to elect leaders for six other posts.

Photo credit: Nation Media Group File Photo | Courtesy Photo

Creative arts journalists will on Saturday hold their inaugural elections to choose new leaders for their organisation, the Entertainment and Arts Journalist Association of Kenya (EAJAK).

Ahead of the election, interim chairperson Grace Kerongo has called for level-headed professionalism and transparency.

Speaking to Nation.Africa, the Nairobi News editor urged aspirants to put more emphasis on professionalism and adaptation to digital transformation.

“We are excited for the upcoming election of the association. The digital shift has greatly impacted the media industry, and how audiences consume content. This will be at the forefront of how the association will be running things going forward.

“This is a great opportunity for journalists and media personalities to join a like-minded association that has their dreams, ambitions and legacy needs in mind,” Ms Kerongo said.

The eight positions up for grabs—chairperson, deputy chairperson, secretary general, secretary, treasurer, executive director, deputy executive coordinator and liaison officer—only six will be up for a vote.

“Voting will be virtual. Only 6 slots will be voted for as 2 positions are uncontested. I would urge all of you to conduct yourselves with decorum and with [the] highest regard for each other,” Ms Kerongo said on Friday in a communication to members.

The position of chairperson and secretary have only one candidate each.

Tony Mochama is the only candidate for the position of secretary.

Boniface Mwalii will be the new chairperson after his only competitor, People Daily’s Entertainment and Arts Editor Elly Gitau, stepped down. He will therefore be uncontested.

“No one talked me out of it. I did it on my own unsolicited volition. Whereas I wanted to contest, I felt that I am not in the right environment externally at the moment to have the time to run EAJAK's affairs,” Mr Gitau said.

With his position as chairperson assured, Mwalii has promised to push for visibility of the association.

“I thank all the members who supported and stood with me throughout this process. We have had a lot of consultations with the outgoing leadership since the beginning of the year and I am confident that the incoming leadership team will champion the best interests of our professional practice.

“The media industry is currently undergoing a lot of structural and operational changes and as a top priority, we shall be engaging various stakeholders across the sector to implement programmes that will deliver wholesome growth for arts, culture and entertainment within the expanding digital space,” Mr Mwalii pledged.

According to the association constitution, the term of office for all the positions is two years and one can only serve for a maximum of two terms.

Of the more than 100 members, only 56 duly registered members will be allowed to cast their votes.

This will be EAJAK’s first elections since its official registration in 2019.

The election comes at a time when the media industry continues to undergo radical transformation under the scalpel of digitization.

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