Citizen TV Anchors Trailblazing With Writing Side Hustles

  • Jeff Koinange (left) and Swaleh Mdoe (right)
    TV anchors Jeff Koinange (left) and Swaleh Mdoe (right)
  • A number of Kenyan TV anchors who have graced our screens have also branched out to publish books for the masses. 

    Having a book published is not a mean feat, and some journalists have taken it upon themselves to pen down pieces of literature.

    Here are TV anchors who have gone on to publish books.

    Jeff Koinange

    Award-winning Citizen TV anchor Jeff Koinange holds many titles, with one of them being that of an author. His book Through My African Eyes is one of the revered pieces of literature by a member of the fourth estate.

    The celebrated anchor had a number of African personalities endorse the book, with veteran Kenya author Ngugi wa Thiong'o writing the foreword. The preface was written by former South African  President Thabo Mbeki.

    "The book is a concise narrative covering the major players in 20th century African politics. The book is rich with insights into the personal and intellectual underpinnings of many historical events on the continent," reads a description of the book.

    Jeff Koinange's book Through my African Eyes
    Jeff Koinange's book Through My African Eyes

    He went on to produce segments based on the book titled "Chapter a Day" both for radio and for his social media channels.

    Unknown to many, that was not Koinange's only book, years prior, in 2000, he published a book based on his grandfather Mbiyu Koinange.

    Titled, Koinange-Wa-Mbiyu: Mau Mau's Misunderstood Leader, Jeff sought the biography of a complex man who masterminded a movement that very nearly brought the British colonial empire to its knees.

    Swaleh Mdoe

    He is arguably one of the longest-serving Kiswahili news anchors in Kenya, with a career in media spanning over 30 years.

    Away from gracing the Citizen TV screen, Swale Mdoe is also a writer and an enthusiastic Kiswahili poet.

    He is a published author with seven books to his name, majorly written in the Kiswahili language.

    Citizen TV anchor Swaleh Mdoe
    Citizen TV anchor Swaleh Mdoe holding copies of his book

    His catalog includes Fumbo La Hadaa (Mvule Africa, 2005), Nachora Kwa Maneno (Oxford University Press, 2009), Michezo Yetu ( Moran Publisher, 2010), Tafakari Ya Babu ( Moran Publishers, 2011), Mwanasiasa (East African Educational Publishers, 2016), Mpira wa Kilo na Wenzake ( Phoenix Publishers, 2018) and a self-published book, TV News Anchoring which came out in 2019.

    Janet Mbugua 

    Media personality Janet Mbugua quit Citizen TV in 2017 and went on to work on various projects including publishing a book.

    The book title 'My First Time' directed the conversation towards menstrual health in Kenya.

    The book was a portrait series of Kenyans openly sharing what their first experience with menstruation was like.

    "It strikes a healthy balance of representation and inclusion and captures the accounts of both men and women from different cultural backgrounds, religions, and abilities. 

    Media personality Janet Mbugua with a copy of her book
    Media personality Janet Mbugua with a copy of her book

    "From some of Kenya’s most famous faces to individuals who don’t often have their voices heard, the book captures powerful information in the form of storytelling as a tool for advocacy and policy change, addressing the causes, manifestations, and injustices associated with Period Stigma Menstrual Equity and period poverty in Kenya," the book descriptions reads.

    According to the Mbugua's Inua Dada Foundation, the funds raised from the book went to providing innovative solutions for access and information and solutions to addressing period poverty, with the Carolina For Kibera and Inua Dada Centre being one of them.

    Purity Museo

    In 2020, KBC anchor Purity Museo launched her first book Titled “You Will Overcome” which she wrote after contracting Covid-19 earlier in the year.

    In the book, she documented her recovery journey as well as her childhood that was fostered at a village in Tseikuru, Kitui County, and her journey of becoming a senior news anchor and health reporter at the public broadcaster.

    The launch of the book was attended by Kenya’s ambassador to Uganda Kiema Kilonzo and ICT cabinet secretary Joe Mucheru who described the anchor's achievement as a demonstration of resilience.

    KBC board director Charles Mulila commended Purity for taking the initiative to document her story that he said will inspire thousands of other young girls from underprivileged backgrounds.

    KBC News Anchor Purity Museo strikes a pose. November 25, 2019.
    KBC News Anchor Purity Museo strikes a pose. November 25, 2019.

    The list would not be complete without mentioning the late Ken Walibora who excelled both in the studio and in the publishing world. He was in many ways a trailblazer in the literary world, and was well known for his literally works Siku Njema, Kidagaa Kimemwozea and Ndoto ya America among others.