28 December 2012

Kenya: The Best Acceptance Speech of 2012


I have often said a good impromptu speech takes at least three weeks to write (actually I can't remember who first said this) and that if I was ever faced with such an opportunity, I wouldn't know where to start.

At the annual Radio Africa Christmas party last week, I was feted for something even I was not sure of. You see, I was sitting there clapping and cheering everyone whose name was called out and I heard Kamal being called out so I looked behind me while clapping wildly and cheering on Kamal Vekaria who is my colleague.

The next thing I know Brenda Okoth is shaking her head at me and yelling at me to go forth because it was me being called out. I did what I do best.

I screamed then I almost cried. I started shaking and made my way to the stage where CEO Patrick Quarcoo was standing with Aleem Manji (who I share this award with but I'm just going to be in denial about it and pretend it's all mine) and accepted the award amidst high drama.

I feigned fainting to start with and had a grin the size of...er... something big, and just as I was waiting to be told to 'say a few words' Aleem helped me off the stage and that was that.

Information minister Samuel Poghisio, our group chairman Kiprono Kittony, the chairman of East FM Sudhir Vidyarthi and the Communications Commission of Kenya chairman Ben Gituku witnessed all this. Say what you want but I was in my element!

Aleem was also gentleman enough to let me hang on to the trophy, which is kept on my dressing table, just in case you wanted to know what I did with it.

I held on to it all night. Even on the dance floor as Andrew Siro kept everyone on their toes until the wee hours, I just held on to that trophy.

What would I have said if I'd been given that chance to say 'a few words'? I would thank my Radio Africa family who, I've said time and again, have always brought out the best in me.

There are times I had no idea of my capabilities until it was pointed out to me or I was nudged in the right direction. I would have thanked Aleem for answering the call one fine day in the studio and after probably getting fed up of me whining on his show, asking me if I'd like to co-host the breakfast show, I'd thank my family for the love and support, I'd thank my gorgeous kids for being so proud of me and for being the reason why I work so hard and above all I would thank Jasmine Postwalla for her never-ending support and understanding, even though she threatened to delete my favourite song from the East FM system.

Some things are (almost) forgivable. I'd thank all my colleagues at East FM, the entire third floor crew whom I share laughs with, I'd thank Pete (yes I would!) as well.

Then I'd ask, 'Have I left anyone out?' and I would turn to Patrick and thank him for being a fantastic team leader who takes you to new heights along with his vision to succeed.

Impossible is not a fact. It's just an opinion. Have a great start to the New Year and be careful on the roads. Wear a seatbelt and do not drink and drive. I need you alive to read this column next year.

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