|Joy Jelimo Chelagat. (Photo:Beverly Musili/Standard)|
JOY JELIMO CHELAGAT, 24, is passionate about digital media and is using it to foster agricultural growth. Her passion saw her appointed as the AGCO Africa Ambassador. She spoke to SHIRLEY GENGA
GN: Tell us a little about yourself?
J: I am a classic small town girl. I grew up in Eldoret and did my primary education there. I later joined Kabarak High School. I come from a close-knit family of three children and I am the middle born.
GN: What do you do for a living?
J: I work for Standard Digital as the head of social media and convergence. I am in charge of growth, dissemination of content on our social media platforms and boosting our social media presence. I also work with our various brands to ensure that they take full advantage of our social media platforms.
GN: What and where did you study?
J: I joined Daystar University in 2009 to study Radio and Production and graduated in 2012.
GN: What inspired you to enter the competition to represent Africa in Berlin at the AGCO (Allis Gleaner Corporation) Summit?
J: I had promised myself that I wouldn’t allow a terrible accident I was recently involved in to slow me down. When I saw the competition online, I knew I had to give it a try. The video contest was seeking a young person to represent Africa in Berlin at the AGCO Summit. (AGCO is a global agriculture company http://www.agcocorp.com) and ordinarily I would have shied away from the opportunity, but I decided to go for it. Two videos later, the team in Stockholm had several Skype interviews with me and soon after I was appointed AGCO Africa Ambassador.
GN: What was your pitch to the AGCO?
J: My pitch to the AGCO team was the use of social media to boost agriculture in Africa though increasing access to agricultural knowledge and sharing success stories of farmers across the continent. To that effect, I am launching an online community, Kuza Africa, which will act as an agriculture information hub.
GN: Where you surprised when they picked you and why?
J: Yes I was. To begin with, I saw the competition a few days to the closing date and I did not have time to organise for a professional production. I shot the video on my phone over lunch and the quality was not very good. Also, there were other eloquent and impressive applications. There were about 100 videos submitted for this year’s contest.
GN: What does your role as an ambassador entail?
J: As Africa Ambassador, I hosted the annual AGCO Africa summit in Berlin last month. I will also represent AGCO at the International Green Week in Brussels, Belgium in June. In addition to that, I will act as a community manager for the AGCO pages for this year. In that capacity, I will be expected to encourage young people to be involved in agribusiness and production. Basically, I will be involved in the promotion of agriculture on the continent.
GN: You mentioned an accident you were involved in. Tell us more about it…
J: It was June 19 last year. I had just come back from leave. I was fully charged and had big plans for our social media platforms. After work, I went to do a little shopping. I was crossing Parliament Road when a car hit me. I remember screaming when I looked down at my deformed leg and I fell backward. A good Samaritan caught me from behind as I fell. I called my boyfriend and he got an ambulance to rush me to hospital.
GN: What injuries did you sustain and how long did you stay in hospital?
J: I sustained a double fracture on my right leg and had two surgeries to correct it. I was hospitalised for a week and placed on bed rest for a month. I was on crutches for six months after that. It was a major life change — from the buzz of a newsroom to limited mobility.
GN: How was the recovery period and what kept you going?
J: My movement was restricted to places where I could access on crutches and even then it was quite laboured. The Standard Digital team was understanding and sometimes let me work from home. My family and friends were also very supportive. My faith also played a big part in keeping me strong.
GN: How did the experience change you?
J: It taught me to live in the moment. I have the tendency to over think things. It taught me to embrace experiences and take life as it comes because one never knows what tomorrow holds.
GN: What do you do for fun?
J: I love to cook and to host my friends over the weekends. I am also passionate about travel and cultural tourism.
GN: What philosophy do you live by?
J: Carpe Diem, which in Latin means seize the day. I want to live life to the fullest one day at a time and to enjoy every single day.
GN: Is this it for you, if not where do you see yourself in next ten years?
J: In the next ten years I would like to be one of the leaders in the digital media arena in Africa. I would also like to be involved in community development and promotion of agriculture.