Terryanne Chebet is the terrific Business News Anchor from Kenya who has her sights set on even greater things and today, she shares with us on Failure, Success, the politics of remaining relevant in a volatile career and taming the challenges of Africans and Africa.
You chose to make a difference in Africa because…
Because Africa deserves a different narrative. I want my child to grow up proud of being an African. I want her to travel and tell stories about a continent that’s rich, upwardly mobile and a continent to reckon with. Our generation is in the place where we can begin to shape that narrative. I know that there’s loads of challenges the continent faces, but the biggest I think is lack of a common vision. Everyone seems to have a plan on how to ‘deal’ with Africa. Only Africa seems to have no tangible and unified strategy in the face of all the sudden attraction by the developed world. We must build Brand Africa, I want to be part of the team that builds that brand.
Most important tip for remaining successful?
Keep at it. I am a firm believer of Malcom Gladwell’s 10,000 hour theory of mastery. When you master whatever it is you are working on, you will be successful. I challenge myself all the time to be a better person, a better journalist, a better mother, a better entrepreneur. I measure success by the happiness in my heart when I go to bed at night.
If you could change one thing about your life/past, what would it be?
I wish my Dad was still alive, he would make such a great contribution to my career as he helped shape my world view at such a tender age. He would be my greatest supporter and my biggest critic.
How do you keep motivated in the face of failure/disappointment?
I try to read or watch something motivational. Sometimes it is hard to keep a smile when you are breaking itno little pieces inside. I try to learn from those mistakes and move on.
Respecting other peoples time. I am not always the best time keeper, socially especially, but I try to be at a meeting a few minutes ahead of time and constantly remind my self that I will not be the one to waste other peoples time.
Best way to translate dreams to reality?
I’m a believer in Walt Disney’s “If you can dream it, you can do it”. Write down your dreams and begin to see the steps needed to make that dream a reality, then stop dreaming and start creating the reality.
What is your biggest achievement to date?
There are many small things that I have managed to do that I never thought I would be able to do. Like interview Presidents, or just being a mom that my daughter loves. My career has had many interesting highlights, I wouldn’t really point to one specific achievement, perhaps apart from the fact that most people think I carry off the news like I have an economics degree-big smile.-
How do you remain relevant in your industry, year after year?
The Industry I work in is versatile yet volatile. Too fast sometimes; new talent coming through every other day. I work hard at ensuring I deliver beyond my expectations. I believe in charming my audience and delivering news in a different and unrivaled way. I diligently try to make my reports and my presentation stand out in every way, from scripting to producing to the eventual packaging. I attend journalism training sessions and in my head I compete with anchors on leading international channels, I try to live up to their standards.
If you were President for a day…
I would ensure that every African had food to eat, and a warm bed to sleep in.
Africa will truly rise when…
When integrity becomes part of our DNA. Africa’s leaders have failed to tame the challenges that have torn our continent into tiny little fragments that have no economies of scale. When we finally have leaders with no tolerance for corruption and petty politics, who will realize that education is the key to success, who invest in infrastructure to enable our countries to trade with each other and consequently increase competition between borders, we shall surely begin to rise. I am waiting with bated breath for that day.