Kenyan TV Anchors Who’ve Gained International Prominence in 2020 

  • Former NTV anchors Larry Madowo (right) and Victoria Rubadiri at NTV Studios
    Former NTV anchors Larry Madowo (right) and Victoria Rubadiri at NTV Studios.
  • The media industry has witnessed a massive disruption in 2020 propelled by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic which has seen realignment in many media houses and change of strategy. While many media professionals have either lost their jobs or their salaries slashed, a few have grown in their careers and can say this is their breakout year. 

    Some have bagged international awards while others have gained prominence beyond the Kenya borders.

    Here are some exceptional journalists who have made it big this year:

    Victoria Rubadiri

    On September 1, 2020, Citizen TV news anchor Victoria Rubadiri was announced as the 2020 BBC World News Komla Dumor Award winner

    Rubadiri became the sixth journalist to ever win the award, two years after her colleague Waihiga Mwaura took the prize.

    Victoria Rubadiri Interviews a guest on Citizen TV.
    Victoria Rubadiri Interviews a guest on Citizen TV.
    Citizen Digital

    The award was created to honour Komla Dumor, a BBC presenter who died aged 41 in 2014.

    Director of BBC World Service Group, Jamie Angus, indicated that judges were impressed by Rubadiri's eloquence and passion for telling African stories.

    "We are delighted to have Victoria on board to bring her insights and passion to the BBC," he stated.

    Rubadiri expressed her excitement after receiving the award. 

    "I am excited at the prospect of learning new skills at the BBC to be able to connect with audiences locally, regionally and internationally, no matter on which platform the story is being told," Rubadiri stated in an interview with the BBC.

    Mashirima Kapombe & Dorcas Wangira

    A month after Rubadiri’s award, Citizen TV news anchor Mashirima Kapombe and reporter Doras Wangira were on October 15 awarded the Merck Foundation Media Recognition Awards 2020.

    An image of Mashirima Kapombe
    Citizen TV news anchor Mashirima Kapombe posing for a photo.

    The two claimed the first place in the Multimedia Category, seeing off strong opposition from Ugandan NBS TV anchor Daniel Sebakijje.

    Kapombe and Wangira walked away with Ksh 54,000 each after winning the award following their story on a spike of Gender-Based Violence during the Covid-19 pandemic.

    The story which aired on Friday, May 22 highlighted a mother in Korogocho slums, Nairobi who suffered Gender-Based Violence due to the economic hardships of Covid-19.

    An image of Doras Wangira
    Citizen TV reporter Dorcas Wangira posing for a photo after winning the 2019 Michael Elliot Award for Excellence in African Storytelling.

    Larry Madowo

    2020 has been a stellar year for Larry Madowo. After going to the US in 2019 to pursue a Masters Degree in Business and Economics at Columbia University, Madowo reunited with BBC, where he became a correspondent based in Washington DC from June 2020. He has anchored Breaking News from the Washington DC studios and presented its flagship program BBC World News America.

    Madowo grabbed the attention of the viewers with excellent coverage of the US elections. While covering the polls in Atlanta City, Georgia, one of the battleground states, he won accolades after he was filmed donning a face mask with the colors of the Kenyan flag.

    BBC's US correspondent Larry Madowo

    Madowo also clinched the 2020 Philip Greer Award for Financial Writing thanks to his 9,000-word thesis exploring the aftermath of the e-commerce firm, Jumia's listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in April 2019.

    He was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2020. 

    He also made history when he became the first black person to deliver a lecture at Carleton University in Canada.