Little-Known Kikuyu Station That Produced Larry Madowo, Top Media Stars

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    CNN's Larry Madowo in New York, US on November 19, 2020
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  • CNN's Larry Madowo is arguably one of the most celebrated journalists in Kenya having reached the pinnacle of his career in the media industry.

    With his prime years slated to be ahead of him, the 34-year-old is making waves and placing Kenya on the global map with his exquisite journalistic skills. 

    However, little is known about a now defunct vernacular radio station where he sharpened his skills as a young journalist.

    Kiambu Woman Rep Gathoni wa Muchomba during a past event
    Kiambu Woman Rep Gathoni wa Muchomba during a past event
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    After pursuing a Communication Degree at Daystar University in 2006, Madowo interned at Bahasha FM, a Kikuyu-dialect radio station located in Naivasha, Nakuru county, before kickstarting his career at KTN

    Despite not being a Kikuyu presenter, Madowo presented the news in English. Over the years, Bahasha FM has been credited for producing media giants who have become an authority in the industry.

    History

    The radio station started out in the mid-2000s and attracted a pool of skilled professionals and registered success over a short period time before ultimately closing its doors. 

    The station was the brainchild of Kiambu Woman Representative, Gathoni Wa Muchomba, and former National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) chair, John Mututho. 

    Muchomba had previously worked at the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC), Kameme FM and Inooro FM before leaving active employment to set up the station.

    In a past interview, Muchomba revealed that Royal Media Services Limited (RMS) owner, Samuel Kamau Macharia, had approached her to host a show on Inooro FM due to the success Kameme FM's Canjamuka had registered.

    She had established herself among the leading vernacular presenters, earning a moniker, Wabritish, due to her surname Chomba. 

    Seeking to hit the ground running, the station hired notable presenters including Nominated MCA Mercy Nungari, Githima TV presenter Keziah wa Kariuki, and Kameme presenters Njogu Wachira and Muthoni wa Kirumba. 

    Kameme FM presenter Muthoni wa Kirumba
    Kameme FM presenter Muthoni wa Kirumba
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    Closure

    Reports indicate that Muchomba quit the station after a fallout with Mututho over an episode where she allegedly aired corruption allegations and highlighted the use of CDF funds in Naivasha constituency during the politician's tenure as the Member of Parliament. 

    After her exit, Mututho later renamed the station Countryside FM and later Mururi FM before ultimately shutting down due to management factors.

    corruption killed