Revered TV girl Victoria Rubadiri says she struggled with culture shock after returning to Kenya from the US 10 years ago.
The Citizen TV news anchor relocated to the “land of greener pastures” at the age of 10. Even then, the media personality struggled to fit in given her ‘funny’ accent and name.
“I’ve always wanted to fit in. I’ll admit it’s been a weakness of mine. I guess it stemmed from that insecure 10-year-old Kenyan girl trying to find a place in this ‘New World,’ called America. My ‘funny accent,’ and ‘funny name,’ would ensure my square peg would never fit in their round holes,” narrated the TV bombshell.
In a heartfelt post on Instagram dedicated to “outsiders and misfits”, Ms Rubadiri said the harder she tried to fit in the more it backfired on her.
“A decade ago when I returned to Kenya, after 14 years in the US, I was met with the same dilemma this time trying to fit in to a culture that was my own but was so foreign. Again my ‘funny accent,’ ?and ‘funny name,’ (Rubadiri is Malawian??) made sure of that. I realised the harder I tried to fit in, the louder my difference would SCREAM,” wrote Rubadiri.
According to the news presenter, becoming a journalist helped as it turned her into a student of the Kenyan people.
“Something helped though and that was becoming a journalist right when I got back home. It turned me into a student of my Kenyan people, language and peculiarities. Every story I told was a lesson. Each year I grew in my career, I accepted my ‘outsider’ tag a bit more and used it to my advantage. I gained a unique perspective on the world around me and tried to articulate that through my storytelling,” she said.
Ultimately, Rubadiri embraced the outsider tag and used it to her advantage.
“Not having the comfort of ‘belonging’ kept me hungry to learn more and strive to tell a story as it is. It is a privilege to do what I do and give my audience a view of their world through my lens. Once I accepted that I’m terrible at fitting in and better off working on myself and my craft that changed everything for me,” Rubadiri added.
Her parting shot: “So here’s to the outsiders, the misfits, the quirky, awkward, quiet ones. Celebrate your difference, while daring to shape the world around you.”