Please give a small bio of yourself.
I’m Javed Kana, Executive Editor at The Asian Weekly. I have about 15 years of
experience in the media, having worked as a Commercial Producer at East FM and a
columnist at The Star before taking up my current position at The Asian Weekly in
2012. I am currently pursuing a PhD in Mass Communication at the Jomo Kenyatta
University of Agriculture and Technology; and I am a part-time lecturer too.
Growing up, I always knew I’d either land up in the teaching profession or the media. To
have both, at just 39 years, is like living my dream.
I’m also blessed with a loving family; wife and three kids. Mere paas maa bhi hai! Bas,
what more could one want?
PS: Since both you and I are die-hard Bollywood fans, rest assured I’ll be throwing in
such filmy lines from question to question.
My granny says my name means someone who seeks knowledge (that explains my PhD
pursuit). Google says Javed means eternal/loyal friend (that’s really me. A small but
valuable friend circle). And Urban Dictionary describes me as clumsy and
misunderstood – guilty as charged!
I think I’m creative too. I’m too filmy for my own good and, my second favourite F word
How do you think people perceive you?
So proud of himself, too sarcastic, know-it-all… I mean kuch toh log kahenge. However, I
have more reasons to be happy than be bogged down by people’s perceptions of myself.
What do you think about when you’re alone in your car?
Why do people misuse the apostrophe? I see that happening a lot on social media. I
think about how to start a movement to save the humble apostrophe from such
I also think about how, besides randomly checking licenses, the cops should also ask
drivers to demonstrate the difference between ‘than’ and ‘then’ in a sentence. And, there
should be a special sentence (pun intended) for those who can’t differentiate between
the words – their, there and they’re.
Tell us something we don’t know.
You’ll star in my first ever production. We just don’t know when!
How many friendships have you ruined because you refused to play a game of
Not Monopoly because the only pounds I care to lose are around my waistline. But, I’ve
whooped ass many times at Scrabble.
How long does it take you to scroll through Instagram before you eventually give
I’m usually done after seeing Vikash Pattni’s comments on Katrina Kaif’s posts; I love
that he is getting more creative by the day. Of late though, I don’t stop until after seeing
Rakhi Sawant’s videos. Go Corona Go Go Go!
What do you think cats dream about?
If you were a Disney/ mythological character, who would you choose to be?
Next question, please…
You’ve got to give one up:
Give up coffee!
Why would you give it up?
Simple, I don’t like coffee; I’m all for good ol’ kadak chai. The only time I won’t give up
coffee is if it’s with Karan Johar. And cheese, because cheese badi hai mast mast.
What do you think is completely overrated in this world?
Hollywood action films! I mean, let’s leave Sunny Paji (Deol) and his doh kilo ka hath for
a moment… but Rambo over Rajnikant? Yenna Rascala Mind it!
What series are you watching currently and would you recommend it to others?
Of late, I have been binge-watching Pakistani serials – I’ve so far watched Alif, Humsafar
and Zindagi Gulzar Hai. I strongly recommend Zindagi Gulzar Hai; such a beautiful story!
If you have no financial restrictions at all, what would be the one thing you would
buy for yourself?
A five-bedroom house atop a mountain at Interlaken, Switzerland. Overlooking the city,
the lakes and the snowy capes. It should have a state-of-the-art library; well-stocked
with books and movies, and a cosy fireplace. I’d love to retire at a place like that.
Do you ever compliment yourself? Do you acknowledge your success or the good
job that you’re doing?
Not enough, to be honest. I view success like an ever-shifting goal post. Just when you
think you’ve hit it, the desire changes to something else.
For instance, at one time in life, all I ever wanted was a career in the media. I was
advised against pursuing journalism because it was not for us ‘Muhindis.’ It was a quite
a struggle to get to where I am. When I came to Nairobi in 2004, and landed my first job
at East FM, I lived as a paying guest for a few months at the house of a friend’s aunt.
Barring a few relatives that I wasn’t in touch with, I knew no one. I was unfamiliar with
the roads, the people and the Nairobi lifestyle. When I look back, I do see a roller-
Winning the Best Employer of the Year award at Radio Africa in 2007, William Pike (the
MD of The Star) complimenting my column – Asian Scene, winning the Best Writer award
at The Asian Weekly, covering the Cannes Film Festival and rubbing shoulders
with celebrities at IIFA Awards courtesy of The Asian Weekly; these are all accolades
and enriching experiences that bring me tremendous joy. I am grateful for the successes
– in both my personal and professional life.
But, am I content? I feel there is so much
more I still want to do and achieve.
The goal post is shifting…
Who applauds your success the most?
My family; they are my strength and my pillars of support.
Five worldly possessions you cannot live without.
An old key chain bearing my name that was gifted by a friend when I was studying in
India, a pen with my name crafted on it gifted by another friend, my first laptop that I
bought after becoming a columnist, a phone that my wife bought for me as a birthday
gift and my Being Human t-shirts. Alhamdulillah.
What’s your favourite holiday destination that you’ll go to again and again?
I hardly spent four days in London in 2016, but I saw so much! From Romford to
Croydon and Oxford Street to Southall, and everything in between; I saw, I loved and I
want to go there again… and again.
What’s your honest opinion on family Whatsapp groups?
Good platform for unverified messages and random Tik Tok videos.
Lastly, you’ve been gifted an elephant. You can’t give it away or sell it. What would
you do with it?
I’d use its dung to make remedies for nosebleeds and sinuses and sell. True story, google
it! Haathi mera saathi!