Media Stars Who Publicly Asked for Financial Aid

  • From left to right: Lolani Kalu, Swaleh Mdoe and Mambo Mbotela.
    From left to right: Lolani Kalu, Swaleh Mdoe and Mambo Mbotela.
  • Media stars are known for their on-stage presence and flashy lifestyles that portray a life of opulence that is the envy of most Kenyans.

    However, it's not all a bed of roses for some of the media personalities who have resorted to seeking help from the public due to financial constraints. takes a look at 5 media personalities who publicly came out and sought financial aid:

    An image of Lolani Kalu
    Former NTV journalist Lolani Kalu posing for a photo with a friend.

    Lolani Kalu

    Lolani Kalu's plight was addressed in September after he publicly revealed his struggles. He disclosed that he had been conned millions by a company that had refused to pay him his dues. Furthermore, his situation deteriorated due to his ailing father who had medical bills. 

    The two situations, he revealed, further pushed him to the brink of seeking financial assistance from well-wishers. Fortunately, many Kenyans responded to his plea and came to his aid. 

    On September 30, Kalu revealed that he had received slightly over Ksh 200,000. The former Malimwengu host also bagged a TV deal as he signed a one year deal with TV 47 as their Coast Region correspondent.

    Mambo Mbotela

    On Friday, November 13, the veteran radio presenter appealed to Kenyans for financial aid in order to offset his Ksh1.1million hospital bill. 

    Fortunately, 24 hours later, President Uhuru Kenyatta responded to his plight, paying Ksh 1 million in cash in order to facilitate the discharge of the legendary presenter.

    A family member also noted that the rest of the amount was settled by a contribution from well-wishers.

    Louis Otieno

    The former KTN News Anchor made headlines when he publicly appealed to Kenyans to assist him to offset his hospital bill. This news came out as a shock to many as he was among the highest-paid anchors of his time.

    Through a statement from the Louis Otieno Funds Committee, he noted that he required surgery to fix the loss of hearing that he allegedly got while undergoing treatment for acute pancreatitis. Fortunately, Kenyans came to his aid and he managed to gain his hearing back after surgery.

    In October 2020, the former Citizen TV journalist announced on social media that he would be making a grand return with a program dubbed the Second Act. He, however, did not disclose further details related to the program.

    Swaleh Mdoe

    The veteran Citizen TV anchor in February 2018, announced his intention of selling his kidney for Ksh2.5 million in order to solve his financial constraints. 

    This puzzled many Kenyans who couldn't fathom the idea of the veteran news anchor, whose media career spans over three decades, being broke.

    The situation prompted many Kenyans to request the critically acclaimed presenter not to sell his kidney but opt for other ways of responding to his plight. Heeding their plea, he set up a paybill number to solicit contributions from well-wishers.

    Now in his thirteenth year at Royal Media Services, Mdoe continues to present the Swahili bulletin at 7 pm.

    Former KTN anchor Louis Otieno
    Former KTN anchor Louis Otieno