CHANGE OF GUARD

November 2008 marked the beginning of my three-year tenure with Prime Focus, one that ends with my relinquishing the position of editor this month. My purpose during the three years was to make the magazine reflect the community it covers, focus on the prime achievers of the society.

In the months and years that followed, I moved from chief reporter to editor, PF set mighty standards for its staff, for public figures and for the kind of journalism that readers should demand, objective. Among those interviews that caught my attention was when Ngarikutuke Tjiriange called it quits as Minister of Veterans, when Albertus Aochamub took over the monster called NBC, and the wisdom shared with Johannes !Gawaxab. But it was the women in Prime Focus that always made the difference. Under my tenure, we rarely had women on the cover, but when they surfaced, their articles sold out the magazine. The interview with Minister of Justice Pendukeni Ithana this August is a good example, and so was last December’s cover featuring Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah (Minister of Environment and Tourism).

Perhaps that could explain why when the opportunity arose to find a replacement, we went straight for one who could better the position not only of women in society but of the paper’s standing, adopting Prime Focus’ lexicon and expectations, achieving journalistic feats that belie our size.

Dorcas Mhungu has been operating behind the scenes for the past year. She has helped editorials, quietly grilled candidates for the cover, made decisions that meet the cut.

In three years, the team behind me changed the Prime Focus, but those years also changed me. From being an all-out sports writer, fluffy and ‘all-over’ to being an unflappable journalist, this magazine changed me, even in dress-code.

That change necessitated our publishing company Omalaeti Productions to grow bigger through the starting of a new publication, The Villager, a five month old business weekly. We have grown into a full-fledged media house, hence the need to take up other responsibility.

As we turn three this month, Dorcas Mhungu will now take over the magazine as editor and has the full support of the Omalaeti Media Group (OMG). The roots of our media expansion remain in Prime Focus and its readers. PF