Why Yvonne Okwara Credits Jimmy Gathu for Her TV Career

An image of Citizen TV's Anchor Yvonne Okwara Matole
An image of Citizen TV's Anchor Yvonne Okwara Matole
Yvonne Okwara

Known for her commanding screen presence, Yvonne Okwara's journey to the apex of the country’s respected media houses was not smooth sailing.

Having majored in a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology, Zoology, Botany, and Chemistry from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) her passion was to be in the media industry.

Her breakout in the competitive media industry would be realised via a job interview with celebrated media personality Jimmy Gathu.

Okwara revealed this via her Instagram handle where she posted a video update disclosing that Gathu gave her a chance when no one did.

Citizen TV anchor Yvonne Okwara left media personality Jimmi Gathu in Nairobi on Wednesday, December 15, 2021
Citizen TV anchor Yvonne Okwara left media personality Jimmi Gathu in Nairobi on Wednesday, December 15, 2021
Yvonne Okwara

“You gave me a chance when no one else would, I don’t think anyone knows this but it was on phone, and I remember it was about Janet Jackson and Luther Vandross. You stated that I did sound really good and I come on tomorrow to meet your boss,” Okwara recalled.

Okwara would attribute her remarkable career to Gathu while gifting him an 18-year-old Johnnie Walker Whisky.

"Thank you for being the star you are, thank you for teaching us that you can be all these things. I did not know what to get you. So I got you this Johnie Walker Whisky of 18 years.

"Almost the time I have worked in media as I have done 17 years. Every drink you take of this represents all of the years for me in the industry," Yvonne added.

In the video, Gathu was overwhelmed by the surprise visit and could be seen holding back tears.

In replying to Okwara's surprise visit, Gathu took to social media where he posted the video and stated that although he discovered many talents, few have gone back to thank him and noted that Okwara's action was a rare moment and that is why it got him emotional.

"In my career, there are people who passed through my hands. If I am able to help someone and give them the opportunity to enhance their talents, I do that and I do everything I can to help that person.

"Like I said, Yvonne Okwara is one of the few who did so recently in a surprise visit that completely caught me off guard," Gathu concluded.

Okwara's journey in media began at a tender age when she hosted KBC's, Variety Show at about 10 years old. 

Okwara has previously worked for Kenya’s Television Network, KTN, as a Senior Anchor and content producer. 

She hosted a Sunday night talk show ‘Checkpoint’, where she moderated analysts in a no-holds-barred assessment of the week’s biggest stories. She was also the Head of News Anchors at KTN’s Standard Group.

On 22 April 2018, Yvonne Okwara ended her contract of 5 years with KTN and joined Citizen tv on June 2018.

She joined Royal Media Services as a Senior News Anchor and Editor in Charge of Research and Planning.

Anchors Yvonne Okwara (left) and Mashirima Kapombe (second left) pose for a selfie during the launch of Ramogi TV on Monday, November 29, 2021
Citizen Digital
Jase Mwangi