By Staff Writer
Alex Mwakideu is a Kenyan radio personality and a businessman. He has worked in leading media houses in Kenya and abroad.
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The radio presenter was born on March 6th 1980. He turned 41 this year (2021).
Mwakideu was a student at Shimo La Tewa high school where he was expelled after fighting the principal. Talking on Miss Trudy’s YouTube channel, the presenter recounted how his mother took him to school and only paid his admission fee since she couldn’t afford to pay his tuition fee. Thanks to his acting prowess, Mwakideu continued his studies although the principal would always remind him he had fees arrears especially when he went to serve food.
After high school, he fully redirected his focus on acting. He did not attend college and ended up in radio by chance.
The radio presenter was born and raised in Mombasa. His rural home is in Taita Taveta county in a place known as Wundanyi. His family was extremely poor. Together with his six siblings and parents, they lived in a single room. Mwakideu’s father worked as a cook in school and would sometimes bring left-overs to his family. The family patriarch passed on in 2011. He tattooed his late father on his arm as a tribute to a man who had a positive impact on his life.
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The Milele FM Head of Radio married Mariam Mwemba on December 27, 2014. The two had been dating since 2002. The couple have been blessed with three children.
Mwakideu started out as an actor. He honed his acting skills in high school and continued with his love of the arts after completing his O-levels. He acted in many plays in and out of Mombasa. His big break came when he was given an opportunity to write a script for a radio commercial at Baraka FM. Together with his team, they did an impressive job prompting the happy client to retain them.
In an interview with Ghanaian Wode Maya, the presenter recounted how his entry into the radio world was purely by chance. He credited Peter Musembi-the then Baraka FM news editor-now working at BBC London, for noticing he had a voice for radio and encouraging him to better himself.
His big opportunity came when the president came to Mombasa to open the Mombasa Show Ground. The news presenter had gone to cover the event and someone had to fill that position. Mwakideu was given the opportunity and he did not disappoint.
“……This one time the president came to Mombasa to open the Mombasa Show ground. So there was a lot of traffic and the news anchor was actually reporting the story and I was alone in the studio. Musembi told me this is your chance. It’s a do or die, You are going live on radio to broadcast the 1 PM news.
Musembi gave him the script and told him to go through it because the news anchor could not make it by one.
“I went on air and did my thing……. Coming out of the studio all of them were listening to the radio. It was so loud and they were clapping, telling me I had done so well and I should be their news anchor,” Mwakideu recalled.
He went on to read the 2pm, 3pm and 4 pm news bulletins.
Training as a journalist
The journalist did not attend any journalism course but trained on the job. He worked at DW in Germany for a period of six months and Australia. His contract was to be extended at DW but he declined saying that what he made in Kenya was almost 500% more than what he made in Germany. He has been on radio for 16 years.
He worked in Mombasa’s Baraka FM from 2000 to 2010. He joined Radio Maisha from 2010 to 2018 and currently works at Milele FM as Head of Radio.
Apart from his radio job, Mwakideu imported cars from Japan and sold them locally. He was introduced to the carwash business by his friend Steve Nyabwa who owns Shine and Sparkle carwash. He was pivotal in assisting him set up his business. Mwakideu now owns two carwash businesses in Athi-River and Syokimau both known as Pampered Rides car wash.