Hussein Jiva (Class of 2009): A citizen of the world | Aga Khan Academies

Hussein Jiva (Class of 2009): A citizen of the world

Hussein Jiva graduated from the Aga Khan Academy Mombasa in 2009 after what he feels was a transformative journey.  

If he is adamant about one thing, it is the notion that having an open mind allows for an individual’s personal and professional growth. The willingness to consider new ideas and listen to people whose thoughts may be different from one’s own allows one to embrace new possibilities to solve societal problems.

Originally a resident of Mombasa, Hussein says it was his time at the Academy that forced him to examine his old thinking and rewrite a new chapter in his life.  

“I remain a proud alumnus of the Aga Khan Academy Mombasa,” he states unwaveringly. “Given that the institution has had a huge impact in shaping my formative years.” Convinced that the Academy’s International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum played a key role in his growth and personal development, he postulates it is the rigor of the curriculum that made him the person he is today. 

“The IB curriculum education provided me with a well-rounded experience, anchored by values such as diversity, ethics, pluralism, leadership and open mindedness. On a social and cultural front, the pluralistic approach to education embraced by the Academy provided a strong foundation for me to build upon. It helped me in my journey to greater cultural understanding and tolerance, as I grew to appreciate differences in people from various backgrounds.” 

Hussein has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Communication Studies, with a focus on Digital Media at the United States International University–Africa in Nairobi. 

Ruminating about his years at the Academy, Hussein recently spoke about how the Academy places enormous importance on its public service curriculum requisite. He feels this requirement gives students a higher purpose in life a belief that they can make a difference in the communities in which the live. Hussein’s cosmopolitan citizen-of-the-world way of thinking was borne out of this requisite. 

“I recall participating in creativity, activity, service projects, one of the prerequisites to graduate from the Academy. On the surface, the concept is but a mere requirement. However, the esoteric essence of the practice provides for the development of a well-rounded individual who would ultimately contribute to the betterment of society beyond the academic sphere.” 

As a journalist, Hussein has covered various local and international events including the Cannes International Film Festival from 2013 to 2016, the International Indian Film Academy Awards in 2017 and 2018 and the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2015 and ICC World T20 2016. He has also reported on momentous occasions such as Pope Francis’s visit to Kenya in 2015 and the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit also to Kenya in 2016. 

In addition, for almost eight years, Hussein worked at The Asian Weekly, a publication based in Nairobi with an East African circulation. He contributed to the Weekly as a Writer, Photographer and Sub-Editor. He later led the Sports Desk, and covering sports remains his passion.

“Sports commentary has been my area of interest, with football dominating my preferences. As such, I have written on both local and international sports, for media outlets beyond Kenya. My work has been published on portals in Nigeria, the United States and the United Kingdom. I have also been on a local television football show as a guest commentator.” 

Asked what he would like to see happen in societies to make them more stable and better functioning, Hussien stated, 

“Let us become instruments of change and alter the realities we face; let not challenges be viewed as obstacles to success but stepping stones toward it. After all, when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will ultimately change.”