Well sought-after Kenyan journalist, Victoria Rubadiri had a hard time trying to fit in the USA, coming from an African country and after 14 years abroad, fitting into the Kenyan community proved a challenge as well.
If there is something undeniably notable about the ravishing 33-year old journalist, must be her foreign accent, that only enthralls you the more.
Back on track, Vicky is of mixed race, actually multiple–race, but her ancestry in Malawi and Kenya is proven. Atleast.
At just 10 years of age, the then-little girl had to adapt to a different environment – America – amidst her ´funny accent´ and ´funny name´ – that she says.
This saw her struggle to fit into the American culture and community as a whole.
I’ve always wanted to fit in. I’ll admit it’s been a weakness of mine. I guess it stemmed from that insecure 10-year-old Kenyan girl trying to find a place in this ‘New World,’ called America. My ‘funny accent,’ and ‘funny name,’ would ensure my square peg would never fit in their round holes.
Things supposedly went her way and life started becoming normal for her in the States.
Return to Kenya
14 years down, the line, she returned to Kenya complete with a degree and ready to kick-start her career in the East African country.
Well, it wasn´t going to be as easy as she presumed. Remember, she had spent a solid 14 years overseas.
The people she had exchanged thoughts and ideas with and most especially the culture she had inherited was nothing like the Kenyan culture.
She now had to re-learn the Kenyan people, their practices and way of life – if at all she desired to ´fit in´.
Funny enough, Kenya was home but everything about her just felt foreign. Okay, at least not Kenyan.
A decade ago I returned to Kenya. After 14 years in the US, I was met with the same dilemma. This time trying to fit in to a culture that was my own but was so foreign. Again my ‘funny accent,’ 😜and ‘funny name,’ (Rubadiri is Malawian🇲🇼) made sure of that.
¨I realised the harder I tried to fit in, the louder my difference would SCREAM¨ she said, opting to take the wiser option – to just be herself and do things her way.
The way out was in Journalism, which she aptly took and gradually worked her way through the Kenyan culture.
Something helped though and that was becoming a journalist right when I got back home. It turned me into a student of my Kenyan people, language and peculiarities. Every story I told was a lesson.
The mother of one eventually came to terms with who she was, accepted her flaws and actually used it all to her advantage.
Each year I grew in my career, I accepted my ‘outsider’ tag a bit more and used it to my advantage. I gained a unique perspective on the world around me and tried to articulate that through my storytelling.
Every sunrise only pushed her to be better, to be more diffused with the Kenyan people, yearning to tell a story as it is.
And for every sweat she put in, she has no regrets because through her career in media, she was able to tell her story.
Now proudly a well-blended, idolized personality who is part and parcel of the Kenyan heritage.
Not having the comfort of ‘belonging’ kept me hungry to learn more and strive to tell a story as it is. It is a privilege to do what I do and give my audience a view of their world through my lens.
It was in accepting she was who she is and didn´t need to change that to ´fit in´, that she spread her wings and flew.
Once I accepted that I’m terrible at fitting in and better off working on myself and my craft that changed everything for me.
Wrapping up, she jotted:
So here’s to the outsiders, the misfits, the quirky, awkward, quiet ones. Celebrate your difference, while daring to shape the world around you.
#TuesdayThoughts💭#Thankful 🙏🏽#IntrovertsSpeakToo😏 📢#AcceptandMoveOn💃🏾
November 25, 2022