10 Media Personalities Who Made It Big In 2018
2018 has been a great year for several members of the Fourth Estate. From unprecedented talent transfers across stations to government appointments, Kenyans.co.ke compiles a list of the big moves.
1. Kanze Dena
One indisputable entry in the list is the soft-spoken former Citizen TV anchor Kanze Dena who got a prestigious appointment at State House, Nairobi.
Although a portrait of Kanze had been decorating the walls of the house on the hill, her appointment appeared to come as a surprise to many - including her.
When the time came for her to finally leave the media to assume her job as the State House Spokesperson and head of PSCU, Kanze was treated to an emotional farewell by her colleagues including co-anchor Lulu Hassan.
And after days of absence from the limelight, Kanze made her first appearance making a plausible address in impeccable Swahili - a first one for the State House.
She equally stamped her position in the President’s communication department by closing several social media accounts affiliated to the presidency and reportedly sending some PSCU directors packing.
2. Farida Karoney
Another journalist who made it big was Royal Media Services (RMS) chief operating officer (COO) Farida Karoney.
Karoney made a major breakthrough on 26 January 2018 when President Uhuru appointed her as the Cabinet Secretary for Lands.
Since her appointment, Karoney has endeavoured in streamlining activities in her ministry including fast-tracking the issuance of title deeds and digitization of the land records.
Following her appointment, Karoney poached top Citizen editors Peter Opondo and Nixon Ng'ang'a to her ministry.
3. Larry Madowo
Former NTV news anchor and talk show host Larry Madowo is another journalist who the 2018 tides turned in his favor.
Famed for his weekly show then, The Trend, Madowo in April landed a new position as the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Africa Business Editor.
Before his appointment, the outspoken journalist had penned a hard-hitting commentary in the Washington Post on how the UK firm, Cambridge Analytica, had influenced the outcome of the 2017 election.
This was after some of his seniors at a local daily got uncomfortable with his anti-government posture.
In the days that followed the publication, Madowo offered commentaries on several international media outlets including BBC World News, CNN, Washington Post and Al Jazeera before landing the job.
His big move saw a host of other Kenyan journalist follow him as BBC sought to expand its African bureau headquartered in Nairobi.
Some of those who joined Madowo at BBC include former ‘K24 Alfajiri’ host Ciru Muriuki, K24 Swahili anchor Anne Ngugi, former colleagues Hudheifa Aden, Mombasa-based reporter Peter Mwangangi and seasoned producer Maureen Nyukuri.
4. Linus Kaikai/Joe Ageyo
As the old saying goes, one man's misfortune is another man's fortune and the exits called for replacements.
Farida Karoney’s exit as the Royal Media Services (RMS) chief operating officer (COO) saw former NTV managing editor Linus Kaikai hired as the Director of Strategy and Innovation while Joe Ageyo who had resigned from KTN moved to the media house as the Editorial Director.
Former NTV Swahili anchor Jamila Mohammed who had resigned also got appointed to be the Managing Editor Swahili division.
5. Alex Mwakideu
Celebrated radio presenter Alex Mwakideu landed a new position as the Head of Radio at Milele FM after ditching Radio Maisha where he had worked for eight years.
Following his appointment, Mwakideu told Kenyans.co.ke, "Forget all other Swahili stations, we will take over."
6. Akisa Wandera
When KTN prime time anchor Yvonne Okwara left the station to form part of Citizen TV’s dream team at Royal Media Services, it was 27-year-old Akisa Wandera who was to join KTN News prime time newsdesk.
“This is my good luck dress. Good things have happened while in it. This pose was random and that smile is my weapon always.
“Tonight, I officially join the Prime Time desk. I'm yet to decide how I feel about it, but for now... I feel thankful. Thank you for always being such a strong support system. See you at 9 o'clock,” Wandera had announced on her social media announcing a climb up her media career.
7. Laban Cliff Onserio
The NTV Business Anchor Laban Cliff Onserio left Nation Media Group after landing a new job at State House.
Onserio joined the Presidential Delivery Unit (PDU) as the deputy Director of Communications serving under the leadership of Dr. Steve Ndele.
He was among the 45 people employed at PDU in September in a bid to help the President deliver on the Big Four agenda, enhance service delivery in the public sector and deliver on the graft purge to leave a legacy.
8. Dennis Okari
In July, NTV Senior investigative reporter Dennis Okari made his debut as NTV prime time news anchor.
Okari took his new challenge alongside his co-anchor Olive Burrows, who formerly worked for Capital FM.
The media personality who is known for his investigative journalism works being among the best in the sector alongside others like Mohamed Ali, and John Allan Namu.
Popular Churchill Show’s stand-up comedian Herman Kago (Prof. Hamo) also made the headlines in 2018 after landing a job at Hot 96 FM.
The comedian took to cost-host the morning show alongside Jeff Koinange following presenter Jalango’s departure.
The father of two children made the big break days after a video of him as a guest at the show went viral.
This list would be incomplete without the mention of comedian Vincent Mwasia Mutua popularly known as Chipukeezy.
In June, Chipukeezy was appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta as a Director in the board of the National Authority for the Campaign Against alcohol Drug Abuse (NACADA).
Since his appointment, Chipukeezy has been in the limelight having raided Olympic Primary School in Kibera, Nairobi halting a boxing event event due to the sponsorship by Keroche Breweries - an alcohol manufacturing company.
There was a misunderstanding between the comedian and Sonko Rescue Team after they met at Kisumu Airport each with plans to rehabilitate legendary female boxer Conjestina Achieng’.
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