Martin Gicinga is a journalist, community worker and the editor of Nakuru Daily. He is also the County Personal Assistant to the Nakuru County Senator, Susan Kihika.
He has worked in different capacities at different organizations but the most remarkable place he remembers working at is Nakuru Tanners. Having joined the company as a casual worker on 10th January 2010, he almost quit a week later due to the strenuous nature of the work.
However, he soldiered on and due to a combination of luck, diligence and a good attitude, Gicinga was to be one of the only two people in the history of the 80-year-old company to be promoted from a casual worker to a departmental supervisor less than two years after joining the company.
As the supervisor of the Wet Blue department, his work revolved around record keeping, staff supervision and handling the dispatch of material either for local or export market. He resigned from the post in September 2014.
Up to the end of 2014, Gicinga was engaged in stone quarrying business at Maili Saba in Bahati. To supplement his income, he had started journalism and he has been writing for the online publication HiviSasa.com. It was also during this period that he met the man who was to determine the new direction his life was to take.
While still engaged in stone quarrying, Gicinga had joined a training that was being offered at the Kenya National Library, Nakuru, by a Canadian NGO, the Digital Opportunity Trust. And it was during this period that he met Chief Francis Kariuki of Lanet-Umoja Location.
“We became friends and he invited me to speak to youth from his area about Zidisha and working online due to the fact that I was now more known for online news reporting,” says Gicinga.
The meeting with Chief Kariuki also rekindled in Martin a desire to go back to an active social media life, especially on Twitter. Up to until then, Gicinga reveals that he had only two followers on twitter and one tweet. He edited his twitter profile and started the @FamousNakuru handle. It was meant to give posts about what was happening around Nakuru.
A Wider World
Gicinga says that he has known more people within the one year since he left Nakuru tanners than he knew during the almost five years that he worked there. He also says that his life is more fulfilling than it was while in employment.
Journalism has made him interact with movers and shakers in Nakuru County and also opened avenues for travel and learning.
His @FamousNakuru twitter handle is known by most of the residents of Nakuru town and also far outside Nakuru. He has trained people on the use of Twitter and he has earned from twitter.
He strongly believes the future is bright for him in the online world and he can still make an impact in the world by the use of social media.
Martin Gicinga – Serving the community
Gicinga handled the social media for knls Nakuru on a volunteer basis and was instrumental in popularizing the platforms during the three months that he handled them.
When the Nakuru Lost and Found documents centre was set up at Nakuru’s Huduma Center, he worked closely with the founder Mr Lawrence Karani in popularising the idea online.
During the inaugural Nakuru Youth Week Gicinga was in charge of social media and was instrumental in bridging the gap between the organizing committee and the larger audience in Nakuru.
When Coolio Nissan matatus which ply the Langalanga route in Nakuru were threatened with extinction by their competitors the KST, they approached Gicinga with their pathetic story that involved a lot of conspiracy from the powers that be. Working with members of the Nakuru Real Analysts CBO of which he is a member, they were able to help the matatu Sacco that was on the verge of closing business.
“With enough passion, you can make a difference in the lives of people you interact with every day,” says Gicinga.
Martin Gicinga can also be found on Twitter and Facebook on these profiles
@FamousNakuru – Talks about famous people, places and events in Nakuru
@MartinGicinga – His personal twitter account
Martin Gicinga – His official Facebook account