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Success is preparation meeting opportunity

By -THORN MULLI | April 14th 2013

The entertainment industry worldwide has been accused of negatively impacting the morals of the youth. Scandals involving actors, musicians, radio and TV presenters and other entertainment personalities are the order of the day.  THORN MULLI had a chat with TAMIMA IBRAHIM, 25, presenter of popular entertainment show Str8-up about her life

Who is Tamima Ibrahim?

Tamima is a passionate go-getter and lover of life. I am a TV personality, Emcee, TV producer and writer.

Tell us a bit about your background...

I was born in a single-parent household in Kibera headed by my mother. Sadly, I am estranged from my three siblings because for the most part, I was raised by my grandmother after I fell out with my mother. I attended Moi Educational Centre in Nairobi West for my preparatory education then joined Moi Girls School, Nairobi for my secondary education. Upon completion, I enrolled at the University of Nairobi for a Development Communication undergraduate programme.

Getting to where you are must have been challenging, considering your checkered history?

Oddly, it did me good. The fact that I did not have the luxury of slacking in anything I did, helped me become independent at a fairly young age. By the time I was 18, I had begun working not only for my upkeep, but also to supplement my tuition fees. My growth has been a calculated risk from the time I worked as a SIM card sales lady, tele-marketer, personal assistant, stylist, writer and editor, to my current position.

How would you describe your time hosting Str8-up?

A challenging thrill. Str8-up is a grounded brand whose target audience is unforgiving if one fails to deliver. As such, a lot of research is needed with frequent re-branding to ensure you are always ahead of the competition. We recently moved the show to 11:30pm as part of our re-branding strategy.

Talking of impact, the entertainment industry has been accused of corrupting youth morals. What are your views on this touchy subject?

The truth is that entertainment is a reflection of society. The audience dictate the trends and the players have a hard time reigning in this demands while ensuring they are still in business. I cannot deny that some of the players take it too far, but on our part, we strive to ensure the content we put out to the public is censored and that it builds rather than break.

What tangible effort have you contributed to this cause on a personal level?

Growing up in Kibera, I got to witness first-hand the rift between parents and their children, especially teenage girls. This came with unsavoury consequences like unplanned pregnancies, drug abuse and others. I tried to remedy this by starting an initiative called Dada, Swahili for sister. Using my influence, I strive to be the bridge between the two age groups. By giving the teenage girls a forum to air the challenges they face in life in a free atmosphere, parents can listen and take an active role in providing solutions. Talk that Talk, a segment on our show is one of the fruits of this initiative as well as school tours I engage in.

Indulge us in two things your fans might not know about you?

One, I am a teetotaller and two; I am spiritual. This two truths tag my firm belief that one does not have to be trashy to be cool. For ladies especially, your body should be treated with utmost respect, but it has to begin with you.

Parting shot…

Success is preparation meeting opportunity.


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