By Prudence Minayo
Ali Khamis Manzu is a celebrated KTN Swahili news anchor who was born and raised in Mombasa, Kenya. He has an impeccable grasp of the language and his delivery of news has made him a darling to many. Working for the Standard Media Group put him in the limelight and accelerated his journalism career. The journalist pays special attention to human interest stories, current affairs, health, wildlife and conservation.
Linus Kaikai and Faridah Karoney are people he looks up to since they helped him in his journey
“ They know what they are doing and can shape you to become who you want to be in the industry,” he once said.
The Swahili news anchor is a devout muslim and admits to reading the Quran every morning since it is his source of inspiration.
The anchor is a well educated. He studied architectural draughtsmanship at the technical university college in Mombasa. Just like with most courses in Kenya, the market opportunity in this field is very limited. Ali decided to try his luck with communication and pursued a diploma in Communication and Journalism in Nairobi. He then proceeded to Moi University for Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Public relations, and graduated in 2015.
Amina Gullam, an airline hostess with Etihad Airlines, is his wife. The wedding ceremony was held at The Sir Ali Muslim Club in Ngara, Nairobi. Mr. Manzu has five siblings and both his mum and dad are arsenal fans.
In 2003, the talented journalist decided to leave Mombasa for Nairobi. His mother His mother told him not to talk to strangers. He recounts his journey to the city:
“ I remember sitting in the bus at Mtito Andei enjoying home cooked food as the rest, probably Nairobians traveling from Mombasa, stepped out to eat at the restaurant,” Ali Manzu recalls.
Nairobi was a whole new world full of strange baffling scenarios. The shock he felt seeing a mugged woman screaming for help with no one stopping to assist her. Everyone was minding their own business. The preachers at River Road were another baffling sight. Shouting at the top of their lungs you’d think it was a competition on who is the loudest.
Not forgetting Kanjos (city council officers) chasing hawkers around the street. Then, there were the queues in order to board a van. All this was so different from the Coast.
Kariobangi South was forbidden territory for him. His grandmother told him it was the hub of all manner of theft and he should never go there. An advice he took seriously until the day he became a full fledged Nairobi.
The KTN news anchor’s journey started in 2002 when he was working as an intern at KBC’s Sauti House, Mombasa, in video production. While there, he worked on a classic local television show called “Penzi Hatari” (Dangerous love).
Mr. Manzu left KBC to join a religious radio station (still in Mombasa) called Rahma. He perfected his radio production skills through different departments in the radio. This is what fashioned him to who he is today.
Radio Salam in Mombasa was his next stop. This furthered his career in the media industry. The six-year training nurtured and advanced his career.
Before the 2007 general elections, Katua Nzile from KTN tracked him at Radio Salam and this was the beginning of his journey with Standard Media Group. He covered 2007 and 2013 general elections among other stories.