Maina Kageni: I Tricked My Boss to Multiply Salary Six Times

  • Classic FM presenter Maina Kageni
    Classic FM presenter Maina Kageni in studio
  • If you commute to work in a matatu, you most likely have a familiarity with Maina Kageni's voice.

    The legendary radio presenter has become synonymous with Classic FM and an embodiment of the growth of FM stations in Kenya. 

    Speaking on Jalang’o TV, Maina mentioned that he joined radio by chance.

    In 1996, he had just returned from the UK. He approached Capital FM looking to advertise a product. There he was asked to avail Ksh40,000 for the voice over. Since he did not have the money, he said he would do it.

    Classic FM presenter Maina Kageni.
    Classic FM presenter Maina Kageni.

    A few months later, radio guru Phil Matthews offered him a job at the station. All he did was read scripts as a sports announcer. Shortly he was made a swing shift announcer.

    After four months, Denis Gacheru from Nation called him. Nation had just launched a radio station and there - he got his own evening show with a salary of Ksh60,000. 

    Shortly after, Patrick Quarcoo called him. Maina agreed to meet with him at the exclusive Italian restaurant ‘Trattoria’. Kiss 100 had a campaign dubbed “make the big switch to Kiss 100”.

    Quarcoo, popularly known as PQ, asked Maina how much he was being paid at Nation FM. At the time, he was earning Ksh 60,000 but he lied that he was being paid Ksh180,000 - three times over his real pay.

    PQ told Maina that if he made the switch to Kiss, he would double his salary and pay him Ksh360,000.

    Hiding his excitement Maina calmly replied, “I’ll think about it and get back to you.”

    The broadcaster approached his manager at Nation and let him know that a better deal was offered to him. With blessings from his manager he left.

    At Kiss, PQ gave him two months salary upfront and asked him to go on holiday for a month before officially starting work.  

    When he came back, the same boss took him and Caroline Mutoko to Simba Colt Motors and asked them to each choose a car of their choice.

    The seasoned radio presenter later made his shift to Classic 105 which is also under the Radio Africa Group that owns Kiss FM.

    Maina now hosts the show 'Maina and King'ang'i' alongside Daniel Ndambuki “Churchill”.

    Churchill Show host Daniel Ndambuki
    Churchill Show host Daniel Ndambuki