Tom Odula, a Kenyan investigative journalist working for BBC Africa recently made headlines in the country after his documentary dubbed ‘Sex for Work’ went viral.
‘Sex for Work’ is a documentary that outlines the plight of female workers in tea plantations in Kericho County.
In the tea plantations featured in the documentary, senior managers sexually harassed female employees and demanded sexual favours from prospective female employees before they could officially be hired.
The documentary went viral in the country prompting the companies mentioned to fire the managers and institute private investigations.
The matter was also brought up in Parliament when legislators called for stern action against the persons exposed for sexual harassment.
But who is Tom Odula?
It is not clear when he was born, however, his Facebook profile indicates that he attended Lang’ata High School before moving to the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication (KIMC) where he graduated with a Diploma in Broadcast Journalism.
His media career began at the Standard Group in the year 2000 where he served as a reporter focusing on crime related stories.
He served for three years and later moved to Ceaj Audio Visual Services where he served as Operation Manager until 2006.
In addition to the two, he’s also had a stint at the Associated Press (AP) and the BBC where he serves as a freelance journalist.
Producing Viral Documentaries
While many came to know Odula after the viral ’Sex for Work’ documentary, it was not his first investigative piece. He has previously worked on the viral documentaries that include; ‘Night Runners of Homa Bay’ and ‘Kenya’s hidden Epidemic’ among others.
Night Runners of Homa Bay
The documentary was released in May 2019. It captures the lives of night runners in Homa Bay County, where the vice is prevalent.
In the documentary, some of the night runners noted that the behavior has been in their families, adding that they picked it up from their lineage.
The documentary went viral across the country and has since accumulated close to 2 million views on YouTube.
Kenya’s Hidden Epidemic
The documentary was released in January 2022. It focused on violence in the police service and discovered that it was a result of trauma and issues around mental health of officers.
The video has since gained over 1.2 million views on YouTube.