BY PETER ONDABU
NTV cameraman Robert Gichira is fast establishing himself as the best television shot-taker Kenya has ever had.
And because a photographer is as good as the gadgets he uses, Gichira uses a DJI Maverick Pro drone, which sets him apart from other photojournalists when it comes to shooting certain kinds of stories.
What he does is go to a site, take his remote control then move the machine to the place where it can capture the best shot. A number of his photos have hit the front pages of the Daily Nation newspaper and produced award-winning reportage for NTV.
As a testimony to this, he won two awards in the Media Council of Kenya excellence awards of 2017 for stories he had done with Andrew Ochieng and Zeynab Wandati respectively.
By using his drone, Gichira recently brought to the world images from the Patel Farm dam that had broken its walls and killed 48.
A few months ago, Gichira used the drone to show the extent of the crack at Suswa when rains and earth movements split the Maai Mahiu-Narok highway. You can watch a snippet of the video by following this link.
For his ingenuity, Gichira has been featured in the first edition of Nation Media Group’s internal newsletter, titled Nation Connect, which was released earlier this week.
In the publication, he said he began from scratch, not owning a single camera.
While he was in college, he would hire equipment for Sh200 from a friend. He would use the Sony equipment to take videos of Nairobi National Park from the Kitengela viewpoint.
Focusing on the national park was his way of meeting his childhood desire of being a game warden, which he had to forfeit “because life happened”.
He told Nation Connect that his trick to being a good photographer is by respecting people.
“When you treat people like human beings, they open up to you in ways that you would never expect. So I also try to remember that both at work and in my personal life,” he said.