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Veteran VOA Journalist Inspires Malawi Scribes

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You can be virtually anything you dream to be - Ssali (right). You can be virtually anything you dream to be - Ssali (right). - Pic by Happy Njalam'mano

His is an inspiring story in itself, but when Shaka Ssali, host of Straight Talk Africa on VOA tells it with his deep voice, it becomes even more alive and real.

On Tuesday, Shaka took some time to inspire Malawi journalists on what has been his challenging but success story on the international media landscape.

During the talk which was organized by MISA Malawi in partnership with UNICAF Malawi University, Shaka spoke of how he dropped out of school and became a child soldier at age 16.

He rose through the ranks to become a lieutenant in just five years, but the constant quest for knowledge led him to the United States of America where he studied further.

During the interaction held at UNICAF campus in Lilongwe, the Ugandan born Shaka encouraged the Malawi journalists never to limit their imagination and dreams on career growth.

"You can be virtually anything you dream to be. You can grow your career to the levels that you want, but you need to know exactly what you want and explore that," he explained.

He also spoke of the need to ensure critical analysis for journalism in Africa.

"When I host my program, I ensure I have done enough research into the subject and the guest so that I can use facts in challenging my guest when need arises.

"My style is also not to embarrass my guest, I just ensure that I have enough facts so am not lied to, " added Shaka.

Asked on why MISA Malawi organized the motivational talk, the organization's chairperson Teresa Ndanga said it was to help journalists refresh their minds and gain more insights into their job.

"Time and again, we need to get to hear how other have managed to get to where they are, the kind of journalism they do and why they do what they do. This helps us improve as well," explained Ndanga.

She appealed to more partners to come in just as UNICAF Malawi did in helping journalists in the quest for capacity building.

"If we had more partners like UNICAF, we could do more of such motivational talks."

The interaction attracted journalists from the industry and student journalists.

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