Ruben FM Intern: I Planned to Quit Days Before Uhuru's Visit

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta at Ruben FM with presenter Shaffie Zele on July 6
    President Uhuru Kenyatta at Ruben FM with presenter Shaffie Zele on July 6
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  • Ruben FM intern Shaffie Zele has revealed that he had purposed to quit the station just days before President Uhuru Kenyatta ambushed him during a live broadcast.

    Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke in a clip that surfaced on Sunday, July 18, Zele noted that he had planned to tender in his resignation on Friday, July 2. He was, however, convinced to ditch that plan by a friend and the Head of State showed up on Tuesday, July 6, four days later.

    He further revealed that the broadcaster had agreed to offer him a wage at the beginning of July but had failed leading to closure of his house due to rent arrears.

    "I had talked to the management and they had agreed to pay me beginning July 1, but they did not see through. When I enquired, they explained that the organisation had not received finances.

    Ruben FM Presenter Shaffie Zele
    Ruben FM Presenter Shaffie Zele.
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    "At the time, my house had already been closed (by the landlord) and upkeep. My parent was also calling him and because of the challenges, I had resorted to resigning," stated Zele

    He also explained that his decision had been influenced by years of non-payment despite the constantly rising cost of living within Nairobi.

    "I did not know since morning (that Uhuru would come). I had been moody since the Friday of the preceding week. I was to tender my resignation," he added.

    He, however, revealed that he did not go through with the plans after his friend and Radio Maisha FM presenter Mbaruk Mwalimu convinced him otherwise.

    "Mbaruk told me that a person should not resign. Just continue working and if a person notices your worth, they will pay you right," he added.

    Zele further noted that he had worked for three years in the industry without steady pay despite his family facing challenges back in Mumias, Kakamega County.

    He noted that he was moody throughout the weekend till Monday, July 5, because he was expected to settle Ksh2,000 rent arrears and that day was the deadline. 

    His troubles were compounded by a call from his mother that his younger sister had been chased away from school over school fees.

    He has been his family's sole breadwinner since his father passed away in 2019; an event he described as traumatic costing him a job he held at the time.

    "It affected me and cost me a job. I was forced to go back home for the entire 2020 but I kept making reports for KTN's Zinga la Sport.

    "I applied for a job in December 2020 here at Ruben FM but officially began in January 2021. When the internship programme lapsed, I stayed as a volunteer," he added.

    In a special message to the Head of State, he urged Uhuru to follow through with his pledge to invite him to State House.

    "Dear President, If you are watching this, I ask you to change my life," he noted while urging other media employees to consider hiring him. He dreams of working at the BBC.

    Uhuru visited the radio station as part of his night tour in Nairobi to launch recently constructed hospitals.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta at Ruben Mukuru Kwa Ruben on July 6
    President Uhuru Kenyatta at Ruben Mukuru Kwa Ruben on July 6
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