How Being An Avril Lavigne Fan Got Me My First Job In Media

I have been a fan of the “Smile” star since 2005. She was the first rock star I first fell in love with. But things changed back in early 2013 when I discovered a Kenyan magazine that had worked with top A-list celebrities.

The magazine was Destination, and it is the only African publication that I know that has interviewed A-list Hollywood celebrities. Think of Interstellar actor Matthew McConaughey, Game of Thrones actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and X-Men star Scarlett Johansson…or Empire actress Taraji P. Henson…literally some of the biggest stars in Hollywood.

I liked the publication’s Facebook page and decided to closely follow the new covers. I was a struggling blogger back then. I had the most basic WordPress blog, with no custom domain to my name. I had just interviewed a bunch of local upcoming artists and would occasionally post emotional, self-pity pieces…laced with life lessons that I felt were best for anyone who was about to give up in life like I was.

However, I thank God for the gift of resilience and self-drive as it made me who I am today. I became a fan of this magazine, never expecting to be featured or given a chance to write for them.

In September that year, the editor-in-chief of the magazine, Brennen Matthews reached out to me and informed me that they had just featured Avril Lavigne! I was so excited. I love the artist and the interview, which I would read later was one of the best conversations I’ve ever read. The star opened up on many things, including the creative process behind her hit “Rock n Roll”. She came across as charming, sweet, all rounded and positive. I have never felt so familiar with her like that.

Avril Lavigne September 2014 Destination Magazine

In May 2014, while I was still working as a clerk at a Data Management company, I came across a job advert on the iHub blog. Destination was looking for new editorial interns. Without thinking twice, I applied for the job! I referenced my earlier conversation with Brennen in the email, something that showed the team how close the publication was to my heart; I loved their stellar job.

Later on, I got an offer letter from the magazine; I immediately joined them. That was the beginning of my journey in media. For the next six months, I would learn everything about magazine publications, from sourcing for interviews to dealing with publicists, transcription, editing copy, visiting the publishing factory to oversee the process, managing the magazine website and social media, pitching new stories and so much more. Sometimes I would leave the office late – editorial assistants do that a lot – but it was worth it. In future, I’d love to go back into the magazine world, especially now that I completed a Teen Vogue Magazine fashion course. I can’t wait to see what’s next for me!


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