Citizen TV anchor Jeff Koinange is among friends and former employees of media boss Rose Kimotho, who surprised her in an appreciation banquet on Friday, November 13.
Veteran broadcasters, marketers and advertisers organised a surprise ceremony to celebrate Kimotho for the trailblazing work she has done for the Kenyan media industry.
David Kimotho, the media boss' brother, organised the ceremony and tricked her into going to the Emory Hotel in Kileleshwa, where a surprise banquet had been prepared for her.
On getting to the hotel, the Master of Ceremony Mzee Kihenjo, led her to the hotel packed with people and as they applauded her, she got overwhelmed and burst into tears.
Kimotho is the founder and Managing Director of Regional Reach Limited, a company that launched Kameme FM in 1999 - the first vernacular FM station in Kenya. In 2007, see founded K24 - the first news-only television channel in Kenya.
She was awarded Moran of the Burning Spear (M.B.S.) by President Mwai Kibaki in December 2003.
"You had the guts to open a vernacular radio station during the Moi-era. Who does that? Who does that? You did it Rose. You will go in this country's history as not only an icon but a pioneer," Koinange praised Ms Kamotho.
Koinange added that he was pleased to have worked at the station, immediately after he came back to the country from CNN where he was fired under controversial circumstances.
"When Aunt Tabby called me to say she wanted us to organise something for Rose, I didn't recognise her immediately but she explained it and I said no way I would miss it," Jeff added.
The ceremony was attended by ICT CS Joe Mucheru, Murang'a Woman Rep Sabina Chege who previously worked at Kameme FM, Entrepreneur Liz Wanyoike, Former Nairobi Speaker Beatrice Elachi, BBC's Richard Kagoe formerly of K24, Kameme TV's Njogu wa Njoroge, among others.
"When you first hired me, my sister had just been deported from the US and she came with nothing other than her 11-month baby. My mother had long retired and they were relying on me as the sole breadwinner. You did not know but your dream touched so many lives," Kagoe said.
Media personalities praised Ms Kimotho as well as appreciated her for the opportunities that she had bestowed during their time at the station.
"We are who we are because of you," Kameme TV presenter Njogu wa Njoroge stated.
Ms Kimotho later sold Kameme and K24 to Mediamax Limited - a company associated with President Uhuru Kenyatta's family.
She currently owns Three Stones, a Gikuyu television station.
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