Viral KBC reporter Alvin Kaunda opens up on life after instant fame
KBC reporter Alvin Kaunda who went viral in a clip of him with elephant babies interrupting his reporting brought instant fame.
Alvin, who has been in the media industry for just a year, says the elephant story was his first major assignment.
In an exclusive interview with Nairobi News, Alvin said that he is a passionate journalist about wildlife conservation, and the prolonged drought that has not spared wildlife is what pushed him to do a feature story about the effects of the drought on wild animals as well.
He says that he has been studying wild animals since childhood and that after the viral video, he now feels he has a voice to speak about the benefits of wildlife conservation.
“At least I have a voice, and I’m planning to use it to educate the public about the benefits of wildlife conservation preservation and how we can save them from this severe drought,” Alvin said.
The charming thing about the passionate journalist on wild conservation is that he has been researching the Big 5 animals and plans to dig deeper into them.
“‘I’ve an interest in wildlife. Ever since I was young, I’ve been studying wildlife ever since I was young, especially the Big5. I know almost 95 percent of the Big5 characteristics of the elephant, Leopard, Lion, Rhino, and Buffalo.”
Elephant Man Alvin Kaunda explains that he was not kissed by the elephant
His interest in knowing about the characteristics of these wild animals made him approach the elephant babies without fear during his assignment at the Shedrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi.
“At that point, I was not scared because I trusted this animal because I’ve studied elephants so much and I know and I can tell the elephant when they are loving or being defensive so at that point, so I was not really scared and I’m urging people not to see elephants as only wild but can be loving and caring and curious too.”
On the day he shot the viral video, Alvin says that he woke up for his normal daily routine. He was assigned the task by his editor, and did not expect it to be such a hilarious moment in his career.
“I’m a wildlife enthusiast and I have always dreamed of becoming a wildlife conservationist and a wildlife journalist. With this ongoing drought in Kenya, I thought that since I love wildlife and I know about Shedrick Wildlife Trust and what they do. So I thought I should do this and seize the opportunity, which is also my first feature story ever since I became a reporter at KBC.”
His all-time role model is the Kenyan wildlife conservationist and chief executive officer of WildlifeDirect Paula Kahumbu, known as a campaigner for elephants and wildlife.
“My role model is wildlife conservationist Paula Kahumbu. She is a very inspirational person to me I’ve never met her, and I’m looking forward to meeting her one day because she has been following me on Instagram for over a year now.”
Since the video went viral not only in Kenya, Africa but even in Europe, Alvin says that his popularity in terms of followers on Instagram grew from 700 to over 4,000 followers within three days.
“The whole world is relating me to wildlife, specifically the elephants but I’m not only campaigning for elephants but all wild animals out there. I want when people see me, they see a wild life conservationists, to an extent that when they see wild animals being mistreated they can call me the way they have been tagging each other including celebrities being associated with animals to come and watch the video.”
Alvin says that whenever he walks along the streets, people call him the elephant man, but maintains that his status has not changed.
“I’ve been nicknamed an elephant man after the clip went viral and whenever I walk in the street people call me the elephant guy.”
After the hilarious moment, the journalist said that he is now active on social media platforms and that he has realised it’s power.
“I’m the type of a person who cannot multitask, I focus on one thing at a time. I have focused on studying wild animals to the point where I feel like I give social media very little time. I rarely use social media but after this, I now see how powerful social media can be because, within a few hours, my video had gone all over the world.”
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