Citizen TV Presenter Whose First Pay Was Ksh 350

  • Most media personalities have success stories of life before the limelight but here's a journey of grass to grace worth telling.

    Popular Citizen Radio and TV presenter Willy Mtuva who exclusively spoke to, shared how he worked his passion opened doors for him.

    Mzazi, as he is popularly referred to, disclosed that he was a published cartoonist, a painter, and a signwriter and from that, he made his first money.

    16-year-old Willy Mtuva painting a school logo in his hay days.

    "I began drawing back in nursery school and on noticing my talent, my father bought me drawing books. While in high school, customers would call me to do logos, paintings for their business premises. I earned Ksh 350 and trust, that was good money then.

    He was later sought by the Standard where he had a column for his cartoons.

    I had a column where I published cartoons daily on Taifa Leo and Neo. My first cartoons were published on November 30. They gave me a check of about Ksh 15,000 and I thought of saving up for a car but my mother advised me against it.

    By this time, he was already a first-year student of Kenya Institute of Mass Communication. Willy thus resolved to spend his money the next best thing, food. He became a regular at South B food joints, occasionally treating his classmates.

    Willy who solely believes in pursuing one's passion as opposed to prioritising money, wrote several scripts for Baraka FM, in bid to grow his career.

    After school, he tried his luck at several stations in vain. He would at times stand in for Jacob Mogoa in a 15-minute health show, Afya Bora that he ran solely, occasionally squeezing music, in what later became the birth of his long-time dream, Mseto that would unite East Africa through music.

    "This particular instant broke my heart, I walked in with my proposal for Mseto and this particular employer asked me to leave my proposal, without even looking up, to which he politely objected," narrated the award-winning journalist.

    He attributed his success to Mogoa, who according to him helped nurture him through his career. He returned the act of kindness by sharing his house and even campus meal card with Mogoa before he got on his feet.

    In 2006, his dream was finally realised and Mseto hit the airwaves at Radio Citizen. Though the pay was discouraging, he had his eyes fixed on the prize.

    "As fate would have it, I rose slowly through the ranks in the process nurturing other young artists and presenters that I interacted with among them DJ flash," he stated.

    Recently, Mtuva was feted in the African Muzik Magazine Awards (AFRIMMA) where he was recognised as the radio/TV personality of the year.

    Willy Mtuva posing with his AFRIMMA award at Dallas, Texas in the US on October 27.