Staff Spotlight: Irene Namyalo
Akakunizo (“Jigsaw Puzzle”), one of our two shows airing in Uganda, is in full swing. We recently caught up with one of our writers for the show to learn more about the day-to-day creating hit radio for change in Uganda, and what inspires her as a storyteller.
What is your name, position, and how long have you worked for PMC?
My name is Irene Namyalo. I am a writer of the Luganda drama in Uganda, known as Akakunizo (“Jigsaw Puzzle”). I have worked with PMC-Uganda since June 2019.
What is your favorite thing about working at PMC?
My favorite thing about working with PMC is that I have been given an opportunity to do something I really enjoy. I like telling stories. When I am writing my storyline on gender based violence, I narrate it through real life stories of different people that have suffered gender based violence. I witnessed and heard a lot of gender based violence cases while I was still practicing journalism. Many of these stories were heartbreaking. I remember a story of a woman, who put in an implant as a method of family planning. And when the husband found out, he beat her and forced the woman to remove it immediately. So if I get this platform which I can use to address such injustices from which perpetrators can learn and transform, it is a bonus.
What is a normal day for you at PMC?
I usually come to PMC’s office to collaborate on our stories with the rest of the team. It is done in a way that each one of us presents our scenes for review. One of the points to look out for is whether it fits into the PMC methodology. So when I come in the morning, I grab a cup of tea, then we all sit at a round table, usually in the board room. Each scene is displayed on the screen where we can all see it for ‘surgery’. We all contribute towards the scenes and fix whatever is lacking. At the end of the day we forward the approved scripts to the head writer.
What is one of the biggest challenges of your job?
One of the biggest challenges with my job is writing something that I may think is perfect and well-packaged but it is not passed by the team. Sometimes I am advised to rewrite it in a different way to fit the methodology, which decision I may not like very much, but will do it because it is to improve the script.
Why did you decide to work for PMC?
I decided to work with PMC because I loved the fact that I will be part of the team that fulfills a great mission of improving the health and well-being of people around the world while doing something I enjoy. What drives me in life is to create a difference in people’s lives, however small it may be.
Tell us a little about your childhood.
While growing up, I had this opportunity to stay with my grandmother for most vacations. She was a very good storyteller. She knew a lot of idioms and legends in the Luganda culture. She would tell me what lessons she has learnt in life, accompanied with stories. And I believe it greatly contributed to my love for storytelling.
Is there anything else you would like to share about working for PMC?
One thing I really would like to talk about, is the recruiting process of the writers. It is one of the most open systems I have ever seen. It allows people to earn their positions on merit. It is not a common thing here in Uganda. This gives me confidence as I do my work knowing that I am at PMC because I deserve to be here.