Anne Ngugi best exemplifies resilience, hard work and a ‘never give up’ attitude. She was unceremoniously fired at Mediamax Limited owned K24 TV when she was five months pregnant with twins. The former Swahili news anchor made headlines months later when she was accused alongside her husband of conning a Nigerian national.
WoK brings you the story of Anne Ngugi, raising a daughter with hydrocephalus, getting fired and finally landing a lucrative job at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
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Anne Ngugi is a renowned journalist who began her career at KTN TV before moving to K24. In 2014, she was fired putting her life at crossroads. She said of the experience:
“I was sacked by Mediamax when I was five months pregnant with twins. I never imagined losing a job like that. I always thought that I was in control, but it happened. I have moved on from that. It was a learning experience”, she told the Standard.
“My life changed a lot. I used to earn a good salary and could afford a good life. I have had to make adjustments in my life, but we are fine”, she added.
Her friends and some family members deserted her at her hour of need.
Months later, she was accused alongside her Nigerian husband of defrauding a Nigerian businessman and two Koreans of Ksh 6.4 million. According to media reports, the two pretended that they were in a position to sell their accusers 50 kilos of genuine gold and received the money in Nairobi and Kinshasa in 2013.
She delivered the twins named ‘Precious’ and ‘Princess’ and then got a job with Christian station MBCI TV where she worked until landing a new position at BBC.
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Daughter with Hydrocephalus
Anne Ngugi is a mother to Angel and twins ‘Precious’ and ‘Princess’. Angel was born in 2004 with a condition known as congenital hydrocephalus. The condition is caused by the release of excess cerebrospinal fluid in the brain at birth which increases pressure in the baby’s brain. This in turns causes the baby’s head to swell abnormally and eventually results in stunted growth.
During a past interview with one of the local dailies, Ann narrated the ordeal of raising a disabled child.
“When I held Angel in my arms, I refused to accept that she had a problem and kept hoping that the swelling would subside and that she would be normal like any other baby within the shortest time. In the days following, I would massage her head with Vaseline for two hours daily but her head kept swelling and the veins were protruding. It was then that I realized I needed to seek medical help,” she narrated.
“Angel had her first operation when she was only three weeks old. Doctors fitted plastic medical gadgets called shunts in her head that went right through to the stomach so that it would direct the flow of fluids. However, four months after the operation, she began to experience hot spells, her head was still big and she could not smile as yet. I could see she was very uncomfortable but not knowing what else to do, I only watched her helplessly. It was heartbreaking,” she added.
She accepted her child’s condition and decided to embrace the situation courageously. Angel is now 17 years old and an amazing musician who has featured her mum in a gospel song dubbed ‘Natakajua’ and ‘Typu Yako Mungu Hakuna.’
Landing a job with BBC
In 2018, Anne Ngugi landed a lucrative job at BBC. She took to social media to celebrate her huge milestone as the host of Dira Ya Dunia programme that airs at BBC Swahili (Nairobi Bureau).
“Started new job at BBC Swahili. I was sacked by Mediamax when I was five months pregnant with twins. I never imagined losing a job like that. I always thought that I was in control, but it happened. I have moved on from that. It was a learning experience,” she wrote.
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