RMS Journalist Who Hawked Biscuits For a Living

  • Success is not final; failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. This quote serves best to describe Nelson Andati, Omwana wa Chifu, a radio presenter at Mulembe FM, arguably one of Kenya's best vernacular radio stations. 

    He coined the name Omwana wa Chifu (chief's son) as a way to relate with fans since his father was a chief in former President Daniel Arap Moi's era. 

    Blessed with a commanding voice and an outgoing personality that strikes you when you meet him for the first time, Andati detailed to Kenyans.co.ke that his ascent to ruling the airwaves was not rosy, as he had to hawk biscuits before his breakthrough.

    Nelson Andati (left) with a colleague pose for a photo at Royal Media Services

    The 29-year-old runs a show dubbed Baze Yetu alongside co-host, Rozzy Atieno, at the Royal Media-owned station. The show which is aired from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. from Monday to Friday, targets the youth and has highlighted some life-changing stories which have transformed many lives.

    "It was a difficult journey, chasing my broadcasting dream. I used to hawk biscuits, after working in a biscuit company in Industrial Area, where we used to be paid Ksh 250. I also worked as a motorbike rider and an untrained primary school teacher so as to make ends meet," the Kenya Polytechnic alumnus disclosed.

    The youthful presenter could not hide the passion he has for his show, detailing how it has touched the lives of many.

    "In my show, we highlight the stories of needy youth, mostly who are talented and we expose them to the world. Two such cases are one Ghetto Girl, a musician who I spotted and she went on to grace bigger events like Bambika (Citizen TV gospel show). There is also a young skilled boy who used to draw with grass, and after we aired his story, more opportunities opened up for him," the Mukumu Boys old boy affirmed.

    The media star, who hails from Zimmerman, Nairobi, argued that he also met challenges in his career like everyone else as he strived to follow up in the footsteps of successful presenters such as Francis Luchivia (Milele FM) and Lydia Pamela Nyangala alias Senje, who ventured into politics, among many others. Both presenters worked at Mulembe FM.

    "There are changing trends with the youth. Our language, dressing and music is ever-changing and I strive to be up to date, while also looking for new ways to create content. I can never rest on my laurels," the father of one affirmed.

    Nelson Andati in Mulhembe FM studios on Monday, January 27 (Photo/Courtesy)

    He also lauded the digital transformation in the field of journalism, which has enabled him to interact with more fans, even those who are not from the dialect used in the station. 

    "This career is all about sharing knowledge. On social media nowadays, we have online translations and people love anything that educates or entertains. Social media has enabled us to reach out to more people. Even those we host are not only from the Luhya community but Kenya as a whole," Andati stated.

    For him, working under renown presenter Pamela Akadima, who is the head of the station, and also working at Royal Media is a big blessing.

    "Royal Media is the best place to work. A dream for many. In here, you can relate with many journalists from the 14 radio stations to the two TV stations (Inooro TV and Citizen TV). You can also work in any department as a way to expand knowledge, so long as you are done with your departmental duties," Andati disclosed.

    The presenter won the Scope Media Personality of The Year 2019 Award and was also recognised at the 2019 Nairobi Music Awards. 

    For the youth, he had one piece of advice.

    "Use any opportunity you have, whether you have the talent or not. Do not rush, learn to be patient," Andati advised.