A Career in the Media..Directing Live TV Shows at Royal Media…Meet Carolyne

Carolyne Kiambo - Associate TV Producer/Director at Royal Media Services
I am a sucker for inspirational stories. Of people who have made it. Of people who are trying to make it. Of people who are still trying to figure out what in the world they are doing with their lives. Of people who have messed up in the past but somehow found (or still finding) their way back……

Sadly, a lot of women shy away from such interviews. Timid? Modest about their success? Take your pick.

So, when one agrees to be interviewed, I am all giddy and shouting “OH Yes!” followed by a jubilant punch in the air … Phew…“Finally!”  

Meet Carolyne Kiambo an Associate TV Producer/Director at Royal Media Services. TV Production is her vocation. “I love the adrenaline of directing a live TV show,” she says.

What was your first job and how much were you earning then?
I got my first job two weeks after my KCSE exams. I used to do a lot of drama in school and I wanted to explore that as a career. One day I walked into the Kenya National Theatre, scanned the notice boards for an audition and got the part. That’s how I got into acting set books. The crew and I would travel all over the country acting different set books and we would get paid Ksh.500 per show.

What’s the best professional advice you’ve ever received?
(Thinks) ‘Do your best, God will do the rest’…and that is what I live by. Before I go to bed every night I ask myself, did I do my best today? Did I give it my all?

What have you done differently to be successful in your field?
Well, I have not yet achieved the proverbial ‘success bar’ that I have set for myself but I believe that having a teachable spirit has contributed to the heights that I have scaled so far. I am always willing to learn and I am not afraid to take risks.

Is a career in media “all rosy” as many people perceive it to be?
Is there a rosy career really? (laughs) The grass is greener on the side you water it. A career is what you make it. For me TV production is very fulfilling. I love the adrenaline of directing a live TV show.

Are there parts of your job that make you go Aaaaaargh!?
Media has crazy shifts and we have no holidays; even Christmas …, people always switch on the TV expecting to watch something, little do they know that someone somewhere sacrificed their holiday to entertain them.

Any Career regrets so far?
Well there is an internship I wish I never quit. I think my life would be so different right now. Lesson learnt: Never choose money over your career.

Who has had the most impact in your career?
There are two people: First is my current boss Ms. Eunice Mwangi who has taught me a lot of TV production. She taught me how to produce and direct a live TV and some of those things are not taught in media schools.

There’s also my former boss at CNBC-Africa Nairobi Bureau- Ms.Nicolette Arends; She believed in me when I did not believe in myself. She assigned me big stories which projected me to be the confident lady I am today.

What gets you up early in the morning?
The desire to be a better Carolyne with each passing day; Every day I get up to correct my yesterday’s mistakes and to forge forward. My second life mantra is ‘Today,I am a better me’

What’s your advice to young graduates struggling with unemployment?
Unemployment …. I hate that word…it’s the nightmare of many Kenyan youth today, However, find something that you are good at and do it with all you’ve got. You don’t have to wait for someone to employ you. You could be the next big employer.

Also, please…. I beg O….don’t be those people who just carelessly apply for jobs online then sit back  and watch TV series as you wait for a reply. Be proactive, customize your cover letter and your resume. It just takes a few minutes of giving your best to land that dream job.

After a long day at work you like to go home and…
Make dinner for my husband, enjoy the dinner as we share our day’s occurrences, read the Bible, pray together and sleep. Tomorrow the journey continues.