Fireworks lit up Nairobi skies Friday night as Nation Media Group (NMG) kick-started its 60th anniversary celebrations. It was a special moment for the media firm as Kenya’s high society joined the board, management and staff in the ceremony.
Board chairman Wilfred Kiboro said NMG’s relevance remains in quality journalism, whose mission is to be a trusted partner to African democracies, a champion of the ordinary person, a voice for the rule of law and respect for human rights and a strong advocate for free market economies.
“Our North Star is always the values of truth, independence, fairness, balance and accuracy. The current campaign against corruption undertaken by the media is a true testament of how media can play a critical role in fostering transformative change,” he said.
He pledged that NMG will remain independent, steadfast and true to its values as it continuously improves product quality and innovativeness to further entrench its standing as a true champion of people’s rights.
“What will remain unchanged is our goal to fundamentally improve the quality of life and contribute to a sustainable world through our business. We will stay at the forefront, identifying and being part of the solutions for the many issues that society faces around education, environment, governance, climate change, economy and health,” he said.
Group CEO Stephen Gitagama hailed the media firm’s role as the public messenger, storyteller, fact-checker, explainer and the trusted champion of society.
“We are proud to stand alongside our journalists and we will never shy away or tire from protecting their lives and ensuring their safety whilst advocating our media freedoms,” he said, while at the same time noting that the media is not without flaws. He urged NMG journalists to always be forthright.
“Our story is still being written, and as the next chapter unfolds, I am confident that it will chronicle our continued mission to positively transform society despite the changing tides in the globally competitive business environment,” he noted
His Highness the Aga Khan envisioned the establishment of a nationalist platform where indigenous African voices could be heard and authentic nationalist stories told from a Kenyan perspective.
The Nation was propelled into regional and international prominence through its meticulous reportage on the big headlines of the century, including Kenya’s independence in 1963, the assassination of Tom Mboya in 1969 and the events leading up to the attainment of a multiparty state in the 1970s and 1980s.
Regional readers also enjoyed its coverage of the political events in Uganda as they unfolded following President Idi Amin’s gag on local media during his tenure in Uganda. Today, the group has a presence in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda. NMG has grown from a handful of Taifa and Nation readers to a multimedia news and content outlet of global repute.
The group has remained steadfast in its mission to hold leaders to account and be a voice for the voiceless through balanced, accurate and bold coverage on matters such as corruption and human-interest stories, among others.
The group recognises the need to meet consumers’ needs with innovative products such as Pishi, Nation Kiki, Lit Music and Habari Hub.
The 60-year anniversary will be celebrated under the theme “True & Timeless” that captures NMG’s rich heritage and commitment to a sustainable future, as it recommits its mission of being a true, trusted and independent champion of society.
A series of key activities have been lined up throughout the year, including staff recognition and engagement activities, art and photo exhibitions, recognition and appreciation of clients, vendors, distributors, celebration of Nairobi City’s heritage and history through the NMG Diamond Run and corporate social investment focused on education.
The culmination of all this will be a high-level, high-impact Futures Forum to be hosted later in the year. The forum will bring together a diverse range of stakeholders from East Africa, the continent and internationally for progressive deliberations on matters affecting the region under the theme “The Next 60”.