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Why I do investigative stories – John Allan Namu 

Having earned his place in the media industry as an adept investigative reporter, John Allan Namu has showcased more than a sense of duty in his line of work, exhibiting a passion that lies beyond responsibility. 

In the heat of his newly released investigative docu-series dubbed ‘The Last Door’, which covers some of the most high-stakes crime stories in the country, Namu shares the reason behind his passion for investigative pieces. 

Speaking to Nairobi News, Namu said that telling stories that are true about society is something that he builds up to. Giving a voice to the voiceless and telling stories that are not romanticized but rather those that show transparency of a matter. 

Also read: ‘Behind Closed Doors’: Arshad Sharif’s engagement with John Allan Namu

NTV’s John Allan Namu (right) climbs onto a Kenya Defence Forces truck as John Ngirachu, writer Nation Newspapers prepares to board after alighting from A Kenya Military Aircraft at Kiwayu in Mkokoni during the ‘Operation Linda Nchi’ to get rid of the Al-Shabaab group, on November 07, 2011. The group’s team is embedded with the Defence Forces in the operation.

“It’s definitely a passion, but mostly it’s because it’s important for us to tell stories both good and bad so that we have a better understanding of what our society is. Sometimes we tend to be overly positive about what happens but there are a lot of difficult things that happen that we need to explain and explore,” said Namu.

He added that it’s not just telling stories of the who is who in society but reporting objectively about anyone and anything that has an impact on society.

“I like to elevate the voice of those who are voiceless or can’t be represented properly. Now this does not mean people who are in certain statuses in society, but rather it can be anyone,” he said.

Seen as a triumphant journalist in the media industry, Namu’s work and dedication has sparked nothing short of inspiration among youngsters. Sharing his two cents on great reporting, Namu said,

“Pay attention to questions that are clinging in their heads about what might be wrong, and tell more diverse stories.”

Also read: Slain Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif ‘interviewed’ John Allan Namu on investigative story

After leaving mainstream media in 2015, Namu co-founded Africa Uncensored, which has been actively telling stories that he said he had no freedom to tell in mainstream media.

“The mainstream environment is just becoming smaller and smaller and that has to be said! Sometimes we editorialize where we should not and that is not what investigative journalism is about. You have to have the freedom to tell your stories,” Namu said in a past interview with NTV.

In October 2021, Namu was one of the journalists who contributed to the revelation of the extent of the Kenyatta family’s wealth.

John Allan Namu also published a video expose titled Pandora Papers: Kenyatta’s Secret Companies, which detailed the complex web of the first family’s wealth stashed abroad.

On December 3, 2022, Namu was named by the Working Group on Human Rights Defender of Kenya the Human rights defender of the year.

Also read: ‘I saw Tecra turn into someone I didn’t know,’ – Senator Tabitha Karanja