Verah Okeyo is an award-winning global health reporter and editor from East Africa’s Daily Nation newspaper, published by the media conglomerate Nation Media Group. She is also lecturer and media trainer who has worked with organisations such as Thomson Reuters Foundation to train journalists across the continent on various elements of health reporting.
While she reports generally on health, her journalism leans more towards the following: reproductive, maternal and child health, health systems in the developing world, mental health, infectious diseases, neglected tropical diseases, agriculture and climate change. Due to her love for fighting for the down trodden in the society, Verah founded the Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) desk at Nation which seeks to realign the company’s journalism to be more inclusive and have the voices that represent the country’s outlook. In this capacity, Verah has attracted more than 60,000$ of grants during the Covid-19 period for various journalism projects from organisations such as Microsoft and Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting
Verah holds a BA in Media Communication and Technology (Electronic option) with IT with a minor in Creative and Performing arts from Kenya’s Maseno University and an MSC in global media and communications from the London School of Economics and Political Science in the United Kingdom. Her dissertation—the impact of foundation-funded journalism and the impact of science reporting in Kenya— is an indication of her research interest on the political economy of science journalism and communication in East Africa. She is also about to complete her post-graduate diploma in education.
Verah likes music, textiles, children and animals and spends her spare time reading about them, in a school teaching, in her spare bedroom sewing or playing in bands. She tweets as @VerahOkeyo
Hesbon Owilla is a communication and media scholar with six years of University teaching and research experience. He has taught mass communication, journalism; communication research and is also experienced in communication advocacy, political communication and public policy research. His in-depth knowledge in communication through different media platforms coupled with his research skills in audience analysis puts him in a very strong position as public policy communicator. Currently an adjunct lecturer and PhD candidate at Daystar University, Hesbon is also an adjunct lecturer at United States International University – Africa (USIU-Africa) and is immensely experienced in African mass media systems, political communication, development communication and advocacy campaign messaging. Hesbon is also experienced in audience analysis, media monitoring and media buying with an edge in packaging messages for specific demographics through the right media. His PhD dissertation focuses on the commercial model of the media in a multi-ethnic democracy. As a political communication scholar with a bias to broadcast media, Hesbon has been involved in socioeconomic and political debates in Kenya on one of Kenya’s leading television station as a resident panellist in a show that discusses and unpacks political, economic and social issues that affect the public interest from a scholarly point of view
Grace Mureithi is a Kenyan based science communications and advocacy expert; with more than a decade of experience. She is a writer, a university lecturer and a consultant.
Mureithi is currently pursuing candidate at the University of Nairobi; where she also earned her MA in communication and honors in Bsc. Agriculture.
Her wealth of experience in the corporate world spans through three international NGOs; the INADES International, AHBFI international and Caritas; where she held various positions in the field of communication, networking and media liaison. During her term, Grace EXCEPTIONALLY delivered in multi-million dollars worth projects and earned herself five promotions, several awards and accolades.
Mureithi is currently a lecturer at the University of Nairobi and also at Saint Paul’s University. She also writes for the standard newspaper, a leading Kenyan daily; where she publishes on weekly bases.
Grace is also a consultant at Brits communications; where she specializes in matters agriculture, health and nutrition. She has successfully delivered multiple million dollar projects and earned several awards. She also doubles up as Brits’ media liaisons and networking advisor.
Mureithi is also engaged in social advocacy, where she has founded one social advocacy movement; a national initiative and participated in various advocacy calls.
She is the founder and patron of the True Brotherhood Movement, which advocates for the total inclusion and welfare of students with special need at the University of Nairobi. She also leads the Amani_Kwanza initiative, which advocates for peaceful coexistence and ethnical tolerance in Kenya.
Grace has also lead numerous social advocacy campaigns at national level; including the youth for change campaign, which run from 2007-2009.
Grace is not only a communications professional, but also a life coach, who has mentored several youths. She continues to do so through her job as a lecturer.
Mureithi dedicates her free time to the running and support of the Lilian Foundation; a children’s home she has been supporting with the proceeds from her writing since 2012.
Florence Sipalla has worked in communication in different capacities as a trainer, communication officer, tutor and freelance writer. In the field of science communication, Florence has worked with organizations working agricultural research and development such as the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD).
At CIMMYT, Florence implemented communication strategies for two projects, the Drought Tolerant Maize in Africa (DTMA) and the Improved Maize for African Soils (IMAS) project. This work entailed video production, where she wrote and voiced some of the scripts, writing success stories, generating content for the projects’ websites and CIMMYT’s internal newsletter and blog. She also helped to raise the organization’s visibility through media coverage, coordinating field visits for journalists to expose them to the organization’s research outputs. She also collaborated with communication colleagues to leverage the media coverage through sharing on social media platforms in addition to organizing media training sessions for researchers.
Currently, Florence is working as a communication consultant providing writing, editing and rapporteur services. She also provides communication support to the Multiple Sclerosis Association of Kenya (MS-Kenya) on a voluntary basis. Working as a trainer with the Training Center in Communication (TCC), Florence is also involved in training scientists on how to communicate with non-science audiences which include the media, policy makers and the public. The training sessions cover oral communication and poster presentations for scientific conferences.
Florence holds a postgraduate degree in African Literature from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Language and Literary studies from Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya.