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Inside Multi-million US Firm Owned by Kenyan Journalist

  • A Kenyan-born journalist is making a mark and at the same time impacting other content creators through her organisation based in the US.

    Polly Irungu is a multimedia journalist and a freelance editor based in New York. Before joining the competitive world of self employment, she served as a digital editor at the New York Public Radio.

    Irungu shot to fame after she was featured in the Nasdaq billboard in New York’s Times Square for her role in amplifying black women voices and her exemplary photography work.

    Photo of Polly Irungu when she was featured in the Nasdaq billboard in New York's Times Square

    Photo of Polly Irungu when she was featured in the Nasdaq billboard in New York’s Times Square

    File

    In her photography in the US, she discovered how difficult it was for black women to receive recognition. This realisation pushed her to launch her organisation, Black Women Photographers in July 2020.

    The outfit was founded with the aim of providing a platform where black women photographers from across the world would showcase their work while at the same time impacting them.

    To give back and support other women, Irungu partnered with Nikon USA to give selected photographers over Ksh5.6 million (USD 50,000) grant cash rewards to support their ventures.

    Twelve photographers have been selected in the grant after over 1,300 sent in their applications for considerations.

    “I was looking at who had an obvious passion for what they were doing,” she stated.

    “I wanted to know that the gear they won, or the money they were granted, could take them to that next level of their projects.”

    Irungu, with the help of a judging committee that consisted of Audrey Woulard, Jessy from Jessy J Photo, and Danese Kenon, the director of photography and video at The Philadelphia Inquirer, chose 12 recipients, one of them being a Kenyan.

    Wanjiku Gitau is among the lucky winners and will receive a share of the Ksh5.6 million grant. According to reports of the winners, the Kenyan photographer is set to receive Ksh568,000 (USD5,000) grant.

    A collection of work by photographer Tiffany Sutton won Ksh1.1 million to support her project photographing Black women native to Iceland.

    Other women who won Ksh568,000 each include Toni Shaw from North Carolina, Zhané Gaybyrd from Oakland, California, and Clara Watt from Geneva, Switzerland.

    The Kenyan-born journalist also provides educational opportunities aiming to impact the society of black women.

    File photo of Kenyan born photographer Polly Irungu and founder of Black Women Photographers

    File photo of Kenyan born photographer Polly Irungu and founder of Black Women Photographers

    File

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