“Walking Around College With A Baby Bump Was Embarrassing” The Story Of Sultry Presenter Jackie Waithaka
EHer infectious laughter, Her audacious spirit and sultry voice that most fans can’t get enough of, (infact in ghetto language they say “Sauti ya kutesa, ya kukondesha), these are just a few of the accolades that precede this full of life presenter at Ghetto Radio.
The GhettoAtHeart series unfolds the struggles and hardships behind all the glam and celebrity status of our Ghetto Radio presenters and who better to start us off than the bold presenter who in her early twenties got pregnant while in College.
She is tense as she settles for the interview and she for the umpteenth time jokes about not being sure on opening up her wounds. She holds a handkerchief tight in her left hand and gives out a deep long sigh to signify she is ready.
Describe yourself in One Sentence:
- Low key
Wewe ni wale wa Ocha wa kucome na Easy Coach ama wewe ni born tao?
(she laughs heartily) mimi ni ndege ya tao, was born in Eastleigh then we moved to Githurai 45. She hums the ‘Wasee tumetoka Githurai’ anthem then laughs out loud.
What do you consider your ‘broken place’
When I got pregnant while still in college. My parents are typical African Christian Parents and pregnancy before marriage was not something they would take lightly. The fact that I was in my last year of College made matters even worse. Luckily I survived eviction from home but I had to stay In school. Walking around college with a baby bump felt like those embarrassing moments in primary school when one had to carry a ‘monto’ for speaking Swahili.
I then moved in with the father of my child in a bid to save face and align myself with society’s expectations but we were still very young and clueless about marriage and so it naturally fell apart. Women who break away from marriages are shunned upon by society, not many understand the pressures of being a young single mother. These were very low times and too many times I felt like a failure.
How did you rise up from that?
My family was very supportive. They allowed me space and time to pick myself without being too judgmental. I’m also a strong believer of time being a healer.
Do you still believe in love?
Of course I do, I’m a hopeless Romantic and like they say, one man’s meat is another man’s poison. I’m still looking for my meaty poison.
How is it being a single mother?
I don’t like being referred to as a single mother, it makes me look like a victim. Being a mother is tough whether you are doing with someone or alone. These little creatures don’t come with a manual and so you just gamble and hope to God that they turn out okay. I will however tell you that my daughter is my life. I wouldn’t know what to do with myself if I didn’t have her. She is my saving grace.
I live by the mantra that everything that happens is for a reason and season. I embrace the lessons, treasure the memories and recite their purpose. So I do not have any regrets. I’m a stronger woman today because of my experiences.
My baby girl…
What do you do for fun?
I work six days a week so fun is a very strange word to me, the little time I get off I try to spend with my baby girl. We cook and watch lots of cartoons and movies.
How did you get to Ghetto Radio?
I started as an intern as soon as I got my baby. It was my chance to prove to the world that a broken pot could still carry water. I worked for free for almost a year patiently waiting for a chance to open up and when I was put on probation I gave my best. Six years on and Ghetto Radio has been that hub of hope for me and my child.
Why Chanuka Dada?
Initially Chanuka Dada was just an opportunity for me to keep my hustle but in time it grew on me and a voice in me was awakened to use this platform to impact the girl child, the youth and society at large.
I was once a broken girl and society’s judgment almost killed the little dream and spirit that was in me. I craved for someone to listen to me. I strive to be that ear for the girl child out there who has lost hope because of an early pregnancy or social judgment.
Message to the Young Girl?
There’s nothing as being privileged or less privileged. It’s all in our heads. Break that vibe; with patience and discipline you can be anything you want to be. Life is not instant coffee.