7 Journalists who Left KTN for BBC, NTV, Citizen TV

  • From left to right: news anchors Ben Kitili, Akisa Wandera and Jeff koinange.
    From left to right: news anchors Ben Kitili, Akisa Wandera and Jeff koinange.
    Canva
  • Amid resignations of government officials joining politics, Annette Akisa Wandera became the latest journalist to exit the giant Standard Media Group to join the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) after a six year stint.

    She attributed her excellent career to the time at the Mombasa Road-based media outlet- joining a growing list of journalists who have built their careers and honed their skills at KTN before quitting or being poached by rival media houses.

    From Jeff Koinange to Yvonne Okwara, Ben Kitili to Mashrima Kapombe many journalists acknowledge that KTN somehow, made them who they are today.

    Kenyans.co.ke takes a look at these journalists who honed their craft at KTN before leaving for NTV, BBC and Citizen TV.

    KTN News anchor Akisa Wandera in studio
    KTN News anchor Akisa Wandera in studio.
    File

    Akisa Wandera 

    Wandera is the latest journalist to exit the station in order to join the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Akisa joined KTN in March 2016, and rose through the ranks to become one of top news anchors at the station- hosting a range of shows, including KTN Prime bulletins and The Front Row, a discussion segment that airs on select days at 8PM. Akisa, who hails from Mundika, deep within Busia County, which borders Uganda, also hosted news alongside Ben Kitili.

    Hailed as the next big thing in the media industry by her peers, Wandera is set to join the BBC, with her position at the London-based public broadcaster still under wraps. 

    Unknown to many, the TV siren previously worked for Ebru TV and GBS TV, then along Thika Road.

    Other journalists who joined BBC from KTN include Ian Wafula and Francis Ontomwa.  

    Former KTN anchors Lofti Matambo and Fridah Mwaka (R)
    Former KTN anchors Lofti Matambo and Fridah Mwaka (R)
    Facebook

    Lofty Matambo and Fridah Mwaka

    The dynamic duo of Fridah Mwaka and Lofty Mwaka switched to NTV after successful stints at KTN News mainly as Swahili anchors.

    Matambo announced his resignation on April 18, 2021, after a seven and a half year tenure. Mwaka, on the other hand, broke her departure news on March 21, 2021 after a three-year-stint.

    The two paired at the Twin Towers along Kimathi Street and have since become a staple on the 7pm bulletin, offering captivating news presentation due to their mastery of the Kiswahili language.

    Citizen TV news anchor Yvonne Okwara
    Citizen TV news anchor Yvonne Okwara
    File

    Yvonne Okwara 

    Seasoned news anchor Yvonne Okwara has become synonymous with her in-depth coverage of news that cuts across different topics, including politics and business. With over 13 years under her belt, the anchor began her media career as a radio talk show producer and news anchor at Nation Media Group in May 2008- amassing four years before joining KTN.

    Okwara established herself at the station- spending five years at KTN as a news anchor as well as head of the News Strategy.
    Okwara then jumped ship to Citizen TV, after SK Macharia ruthlessly raided KTN, going for the station's topnotch talent. At the time of the brutal poaching spree by RMS, KTN also lost Joe Ageyo, then the Managing Editor and Asha Mwilu among other big shots.

    Media personality Ben Kitili poses for a photo at the KTN News
    Media personality Ben Kitili poses for a photo at the KTN News
    File

    Ben Kitili 

    Ben Kitli, synonymous with Inside politics- a show that highlights the weekly roundup of political conversations as well as expert analysis. Kitili was the pioneer host of the program.

    The show runs every Sunday from 11am to 1pm. The journalist also anchored prime time news every Tuesday on Newsline.

    Kitili, however, on July 27, 2021 tendered his resignation at KTN and joined NTV as the Deputy Managing Editor. He had amassed eight years at the station.

    Prior to joining KTN, Kitili had worked at NTV before quitting in 2013. Kitili started his TV journey at K24 as a sports reporter and Anchor.

    Renowned journalist Jeff Koinange at the Citizen TV studios
    Renowned journalist Jeff Koinange at the Citizen TV studios
    Facebook
    Jeff Koinange

    Jeff Koinange 

    Jeff Koinane's exit from KTN was not graceful after an episode of JKL show ended up costing his contract with the station.

    Jeff had hosted lawyer Miguna Miguna and Nairobi Women Representative Esther Passaris in 2016 in a show that went into disarray after a verbal altercation ensued between the two.

    The host, Jeff, was accused of failing to take charge of the show that was later cancelled. The show attracted a lot of backlash from Media Council of Kenya which warned Koinange for ethics of journalism.

    News Anchor Mashirima Kapombe inside Citizen TV studio on January 5, 2021.
    News Anchor Mashirima Kapombe inside Citizen TV studio on January 5, 2021.
    Mashirima Kapombe

    Mashirima Kapombe 

    After the departure of Kanze Dena to work as State House spokesperson in 2018, Royal Media Services (RMS) went on a talent fishing mission in search of a suitable fit.

    The Maalim Juma Road-based station then poached Mashirima Kapombe from KTN. She had been a Swahili news anchor and a reporter for human interest stories since 2013. 

    Prior to working at KTN, Kapombe had stints at Nation Media Group - NTV and K24.

    An undated photo of investigative reporter Brian Obuya
    An undated photo of investigative reporter Brian Obuya
    Twitter

    Brian Obuya

    Obuya is described as one of the promising investigative journalists in the country, whose career took off at KTN amassing six years. He however left the station in September 2021. 

    A month later, he joined Nation media Group in order to pursue crime related projects and features. 

    "I have today left KTN News after a fruitful six years. Thank you for being a great audience and big motivation. See you soon," Obuya previously stated.

    Notable Mention:

    Unknown to many, seasoned radio presenter Maina Kageni had a stint at KTN- with promos of the journalist doing rounds on social media.  At the time, Maina Kageni, who went by the name Fred Kageni, read the 1 pm news bulletin.