Ali Jamah: The Secretive Tycoon Who Owns Ebru TV

Ali Jamah: The Secretive Kenyan Somali Tycoon Who Owns Ebru TV
Ali Jamah Photo/Businesstoday

In recent years we have witnessed a surge in the number of privately-owned television channels in Kenya. The newbies in the highly competitive media industry are giving established media houses a run for their money. 

In this article, WoK dives deep to fish out city tycoon Ali Jamah –  the man who owns Ebru TV which is among the popular local television networks in the country.

Ebru Television Background

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Ebru Television was established in the country in 2012 by a Turkish national who owns Samanyolu Broadcasting Company (SBC). The Company operates Samanyolu TV, an international TV station with headquarters in Istanbul, Turkey with successful operations in the United States, Germany and Azerbaijan. On July 19th 2016, the company was closed and license revoked by the Radio and Television Supreme Council of Turkey after it was linked with the failed 2016 Turkish coup d’état attempt.

The owner of the company fled the country and that’s when Ebru TV began experiencing financial problems after funding taps were turned off by the parent company. The owner opted to sell the station since there was no way he could run and manage the company while in exile.

Also Read: Tycoons Behind the Most Popular Media Houses in Kenya

Ebru TV New owners

After Ebru TV announced its intent to sell a stake of the company, five local buyers presented their bids to buyout the station. Kenyan Somali tycoon Ali Jamah emerged the front-runner and took over the operation of the Lavington-based media station. Details of the financial transactions were kept private but insiders say that it runs into hundreds of millions.

With the takeover came drastic changes, first Ebru TV CEO Nadir Kilic was replaced by a fellow Turkish while the Operations Manager position was taken up by Jamah’s wife, Anab Mohammed, who quit her job at the United States International University (USIU) to join the station.

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The station has since found its ground and continues to thrive in the market that is dominated by media giants such as Royal Media Services and Standard Media Group. It is popular for its TV program ‘My Perfect Match’. Popular media personalities have worked in the station in the past including Kamene Goro, Chipukeezy and Dr. Ofweneke among others. In a report released in 2020 by the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK), Ebru TV enjoyed a viewership of between 3 and 4 percent of the total market share.

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