VICTORIA RUBADIRI: Funny name and funny accent made it hard for me to fit

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Victoria Rubadiri
Victoria Rubadiri

Kenyan television celebrity Victoria Rubadiri has opened up about her struggles to fit when she returned from the United States a decade ago. 

The Citizen TV news show host says that her American accent and a strange name stood like a sore thumb as he tried to fit in the Kenyan media industry.

“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.

 

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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. 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. 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. 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. So here’s to the outsiders, the misfits, the quirky, awkward, quiet ones. Celebrate your difference, while daring to shape the world around you. #TuesdayThoughts💭 #Thankful 🙏🏽#IntrovertsSpeakToo😏 📢#AcceptandMoveOn💃🏾

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But this wasn’t the only time her peculiarity was making her stand out of the crowd. When she travelled to the US aged ten years, she struggled to fit in American society.

“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,” she revealed.

Victoria Rubadiri is a descendant of the great Malawian author and poet David Rubadiri. They settled in Kenya decades ago and they were naturalised. She was born in Kenya but spent her childhood and in the US.

She returned a decade ago and took up a job at Capital FM as a newsreader. She later joined NTV as an English news presenter before moving to Citizen TV as Sunday news show host. She hosts Jeff and Victoria news show alongside veteran news host Jeff Koinange.

She says her career as a journalist helped her settle quickly into the tough Kenyan society and get to know people and the culture.

“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.

But as she struggled to fit in, she ultimately learnt how to use the outsider tag to learn and understand the cultures that she was exposed to.

“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.

Victoria Rubadiri has words of wisdom: “So here’s to the outsiders, the misfits, the quirky, awkward, quiet ones. Celebrate your difference, while daring to shape the world around you.”

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