By Prudence Minayo
Bernard Ndong is a long serving sports news anchor at Citizen TV. He is among the few well-known names who has managed to survive the unpredictable media industry in Kenya where journalists are fired at will. Ndong, who also doubles as a digital journalist, won the Best TV Journalist of the Year Award during the 2012 Elliptics Awards.
In a past interview with Racheal Murimi, he said his three life mantras are:
- If you always look at the negative side of things, you will never be disappointed
- If you get a chance or opportunity, take it and run with it
- Be careful not to step on people’s toes
The popular presenter was born on 4th October 1984.
Bernard attended St. Nicholas School in Nairobi before proceeding to Lenana School. He then joined Daystar University and graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Broadcast journalism. Later on, he proceeded to Hekima University College for a Masters Degree.
Getting into the media world, especially if you don’t know anyone, is a difficult affair. You have to knock persistently, make do with rejections and soldier on until you break through the scenes which is what many journalists with a passion for the art do. Bernard’s love for sports began earlier in life. While he was at Lenana, he participated in a couple of sports including swimming, football and rugby. Later in Daystar, he played a bit for the rugby team.
In 2007, he was an intern at Kenya Broadcasting Corporation. He tried to get into the media but was met with rejection on the basis that he looked like a child. Not one to give up easily, he auditioned at NTV but was rejected yet again. This rejection did not deter him and he went on to audition at KTN in the first season of ‘The Presenter.’ He had prepared well for this opportunity but unfortunately, Bernard was overcome with stage fright and the presentation went completely wrong. He messed up and was told by those present including former Citizen TV anchor Janet Mbugua, that he should try something else.
After graduating from Daystar University, he got a chance to join Royal Media Services as a sales person and was working at Mulembe FM. Luck knocked on his door, when Royal Media Services were looking for an anchor. He gave it a go and told himself that that was going to be the last time he tried for a job as an anchor. While sitting at a cyber café writing his resignation letter, Mike Okinyi called him with good news. He was among the people shortlisted for the anchoring position. This was how he got into mainstream media and began working as a sports presenter for Citizen TV. The highlight of his career was when he got the chance to travel to Brazil for a month during the 2014 world cup.
Apart from anchoring sports news, he is also a social media influencer, a consultant and also does translations for corporates.
The sports anchor has one sister and several step siblings. His father died and that was a very difficult time for him as he was not always in his life, the finality of his death was not an easy thing to deal with. The most difficult part for him was deleting his phone number and removing him from Facebook to avoid being caught unaware by the notifications. His mum is present in his life and he draws inspiration from her.