Willis Raburu & 8 Other Journalists Who've Released Music 

  • Citizen TV Anchor Willis Raburu (left), KTN's Fridah Mwaka, and Investigative journalist John Allan Namu.
    Citizen TV Anchor Willis Raburu (left), KTN's Fridah Mwaka, and Investigative journalist John Allan Namu.
  • Journalists are increasingly diversifying into other spheres in the creative space with Citizen TV's Willis Raburu recently launching his gengetone hit Kalale featuring a number of heavy hitters in the industry including Mejja.

    The song had already garnered 65,000 views one day after it was uploaded.

    In a previous interview with Kenyans.co.ke, the anchor stated that if the song performed well he would venture into music and release more songs.

    Citizen TV presenter Willis Raburu on the set of 10 Over 10 on Citizen TV
    Citizen TV presenter Willis Raburu on the set of 10 Over 10 on Citizen TV

    Raburu is not the first journalist to venture into music as more have tried their hand in the studio.

    1. Dann Mwangi

    Away from the screen, seasoned journalist Dann Mwangi  is also actively involved in the Gospel Ministry as he is known under the stage name Number8, the Poet.

    He was part of a gospel rap group Mission Driven, where he was a professional dancer and a stand-in rapper alongside Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja who was a rapper and bass guitarist in the group.

    He later formed another group the Ministry of Mouth, where he has released a number of projects including Rebuilding which he scripted, directed and edited In 2016. The group also produced a beatbox cover of urban gospel songs.

    2. Jason Dunford

    Other than being an Olympic swimmer representing Kenya, Jason Dunford had a stint as a journalist with the BBC East Africa Bureau which he later quit to focus on his music career.

    He later joined forces with Romantico, a former Mexican priest who fuses Reggaeton with urban Kenyan sounds. The first song they recorded was Mbaya.

    Dunford adopted the stage name Samaki Mkuu which loosely translates to 'Big fish', a sly reference to his swimming prowess.

    Since then, they have released other popular singles including Baila Baila which features legendary Kenyan artist Jua Cali and their most recent gengetone single, Tiki Tiki.

    Jason Dunford (left) with Romantico for the song Mbaya.
    Jason Dunford (left) with Romantico for the song Mbaya.

    3. Fridah Mwaka and 4.Lofty Matambo

    The Covid-19 pandemic pushed the two KTN anchors to the studio to raise awareness on the virus. On June 1, Lofty and Mwaka collaborated and released a song on the impacts of the pandemic on the country.

    The song which was birthed while the journalists were in the newsroom, was produced by Saint P and was meant to give hope to Kenyans, that life will go back to normal soon.

    "Lofty and I are both Gospel artistes and we thought why not have a corona song. Later in the day, we visited Saint P who owns a studio and shared the idea with him. It was a done deal and we started writing the song," Mwaka told Kenyans.co.ke in a previous interview.

    Lofty on his part stated that the motivation behind the song was to tell people about Covid-19 using another media other than reporting.

    5. Willy Lusige 

    Before KTN News reporter, Willy Lusige, became the accomplished journalist that he is today, he was once a budding artist with hopes of making it big in Kenya's music industry.

    His musical journey began in 2011, when he would record music, before he switched to managing fellow artists and finally trying his hand at becoming a DJ.

    His dalliance with music however ended due to the low returns he experienced.

    Journalist Willy Lusige
    Journalist Willy Lusige

    "I was a DJ for about four to five years where I did well. I was well known. But apart from that also, I was not getting a lot of benefits. I felt that this was not the best thing that I was doing. I left the music career and ventured into journalism which indeed I'm doing very well," he narrated.

    6. Anne Ngugi

    The celebrated news anchor graced the TV screens with her Swahili diction when she launched her career at KTN.

    After working for some time on the station, Anne left for K24 where she was fired while five months pregnant and with twins. She, however, made a comeback on the screens under the international broadcaster, BBC.

    She later released a song in collaboration with her daughter, Angel Ngugi titled Nataka Kujua. The journalist has gone on to release more music.

    Journalist Anne Ngugi with her daughter Angela Ngugi
    Journalist Anne Ngugi with her daughter Angela Ngugi

    7. John Allan Namu

    Investigative journalist, John Allan Namu's musical prowess has remained relatively unknown until Kenyan musician Muthoni Ndonga AKA Muthoni Drummer Queen revealed that the former KTN journalist helped pen her album "The Human Condition". 

    "I knew John Allan from his days at St Mary's and he is a very good writer. I'm sorry for blowing your cover," the musician stated adding that the journalist was instrumental in creating some of the epic tracks on the album.

    The 11 track album had hit songs such as Mikono Kwenye Hewa, Life, Saidia and Mahabuba.

    Kenyan journalist John Allan Namu.
    Kenyan journalist John Allan Namu.

    8. Tobias Chanji

    While getting engaged to his British partner, Madison, in Mombasa County, Tobias Chanji also recorded the video for his song, Why Pay Love with Hate, on the very same day he went down on one knee. 

    In the song, Chanji who works for KTN advises Kenyans to refrain from hurting and being malicious to each other, because we are all human.

    KTN journalist Tobia Chanji with his fiancée in Diani
    KTN journalist Tobia Chanji with his fiancée in Diani in January 2020.