Kenyan Radio queen Sheila Kwamboka, better known as Kwambox is arguably one of the country's most outspoken presenters.
Her uncanny ability to speak her mind on any issue, whether controversial or not, while maintaining her energetic and positive vibe is unmatched.
However, unknown to most, beneath her pretty face and infectious charisma, lies a tale of triumph over adversity.
Speaking to Radio Maisha's breakfast show host Billy Miya, Kwambox opened up on one of the toughest periods in her life.Vybez Radio Presenter Sheila Kwamboka.
Asked to share the story behind why she is known to have moved houses at least 20 times, the radio journalist shared the gripping tale of her autistic younger brother.
"There's no landlord who liked us. We were constantly being kicked out. I remember there's was a time in South C, I think I was in form 3 or something, it was the year in which Aaliyah died. Have you ever auctioned your furniture to your neighbours? It was crazy. It was such a painful experience, but we had so many of those so we kinda got used to it," she narrated.
She further revealed that for 10 years her brother was undergoing weekly treatment at a hospital in Nairobi.
"We did not have insurance so every single penny we had was going towards his various treatments such as physiotherapy," she explained.
At one time in Kenya, autism was associated with mental illness, curses or witchcraft. As a result, children suffering from the same were usually confined to their homes while young adults were whisked off to psychiatric institutions.Vybez Radio Presenter Sheila Kwamboka.
However, with increased awareness championed by families such as Kwamboka's, the situation for children with autism has changed for the better.
Official data on autism prevalence in Kenya are not available, but the Autism Society of Kenya (ASK), a parent-driven organisation established in 2013, stated that it could be up to 4%, translasting to 1 autistic child for every 25 children.
This is higher than the global average, which is one in 160 children (less than 1%), according to 2018 statistics by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Kwambox explained that growing up with such challenges greatly shaped her character and firm belief in the power of positivity.
She further detailed her journey from being a Miss Tourism Kenya winner in 2005, and explained the real reason behind her controversial dethroning by the title sponsors.
However, it was her revelation that she once played in the National Women's Basketball League that turned out to be her best kept secret.
A knee injury was what actually forced her to trot off the court and walk down the runway.
She soon abandoned modelling and explained that it just wasn't her calling.
Always ready to spark conversations, Kwambox then resolved to pursue a career in radio at all costs. Despite countless rejections, she just kept hacking away before she finally got her big break.
She earned her stripes during her seven-year tenure at Homeboyz Radio where she co-hosted the ‘Ignition Drive’ show alongside Mike Wachira and Kerry Martin.
In September 2019, she then moved to the newly launched Standard Group-owned station Vybez Radio.
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