When she was handed a trophy that symbolized peace at the Coast, she knew it was more than just recognition.
However, she termed it as a challenge bestowed on her shoulders and that she cannot remain numb whenever there is conflict.
Beatrice Dama Kahindi may appear new to others but a household name to the Mijikenda community.
She has been waking up locals especially the Mijikenda community every 4 am transverse her confident commanding voice at the Kwale based 93.1 FM Radio Kaya where she host Voroni enehu (Good morning my people) breakfast show alongside a comedian Kura Tsuma famously known as ‘Kalambua’ where the two are extra compatible to an extent that even those who do not understand the Giryama language stay tuned.
‘Tausi wa Kaya’ her on air brand ventured in to current affairs issues, peace and unity topics among others directly touching the lives of the Coastal community.
She openly preached peace in 2013 and 2017 general elections efforts that moved Kaya elders under the ‘Malindi District Cultural Association-MADCA’ who recognised Beatrice as the Coastal peace ambassador.
During the early August Freedom fighter Mekatilili wa Menza cultural celebration, Dama was bestowed the challenge by Kaya elders led by Joseph Mwarandu at Shakahola area in the interior of Magarini where the week long Mekatilili celebrations were held.
Mwarandu recognised Dama as the Mijikenda lady from the Giryama community who had peace matters at her heart and would always despise conflict or people who propagates conflict or violence.
He said that MADCA also valued efforts from Radio Kaya, a station that is broadcasting in both Swahili and local dialect with an aim of uniting the Coastal community.
“Radio Kaya has brought us far and helped us value and recognise our own and discard poor cultural practices that poses major setback to our economic growth,” added Mwarandu.
During the celebrations which were also graced by Mau Mau leader Gitu wa Kahengeri, Dama only knew that the trophy translated to a challenge bestowed on her.
“I am proud to be recognised by Kaya elders, my work and efforts have touched many and I promised to work extra harder to ensure that the Coastal community remain united and live harmoniously,” she said.
Dama noted that it was not easy for a Mijikenda lady to host a breakfast show and talking to elders, women, youth and children in the language they clearly understood, however she has managed.
With eight years experience in radio broadcast and working at Radio Kaya, Beatrice boasts of a vast audience in all the six coastal counties while others working abroad always engage her online.
“I love my community and I value my Tribesmen, when together we discuss about poor cultural practices that pulls us back, early marriages, early pregnancies, ‘disco matanga’ issues, gender equality and peace issues we are simply safeguarding the society and future generation,” she disclosed.
However, she has had a taste of bitter pill especially in 2013 political campaigns where the Mombasa Republican Council- MRC was against voting.
“I remember in 2013 where I received a call from one on the MRC members who told me that I was against the Coastal people will of session and that I was not supporting my own Mijikenda people, I panicked and would fear going on air,” she revealed.
A hardworking, humble, beautiful, with a commanding confident voice on air, Beatrice Dama Kahindi has soldiered on informing her vast audience fresh well researched topics of discussion every weekday from 4 am, as well as editing and reading the Mijikenda news bulletin at 4 pm.
With the current Peace ambassador recognition, the Mijikenda Radio queen transversing through Radio kaya frequencies sees a bright future.