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Bonoko: From A Street Boy To Top Ghetto FM Radio Presenter, Life And Career Journey Of Media Personality

By Prudence Minayo

Life can change at any moment, either for better or worse. The life of Bonoko is what best exemplifies rags to riches story. From a street urchin to one of the most celebrated radio presenters in the country.

He eked out a living on the harsh streets of Nairobi until a chance interview with a leading radio station changed his life. This is the story of how he went from being a street urchin to a journalist in one of the local radio stations.

Here is his story as told by WoK.

Real name

While most know him as Bonoko, his real name is James Kang’ethe, aka, Tete.


The radio presenter was born in Banana. His father kicked his mother, together with Bonoko and his siblings from their home. That’s how he ended up living in the streets of Nairobi for more than 8 years.

Life in the streets is not easy for a lot street kids. Some get killed and to be able to satisfy some of their needs, they steal, beg, eat from garbage pits or take odd jobs. This was the same for Bonoko.

The Ghetto radio presenter lived in the streets until a fateful day in 2007 when his life changed. A police shot and killed to cover the heinous crime he planted a fake gun on the victim to make it look like he was a robber.

James was interviewed and gave an account of what happened and saying the deceased was not a bad man. This eye witness account is what brought him to fame. The accent and how he narrated it made a lot of people entertained.

A producer added some beats to his eyewitness account and before he knew it other versions of the Bonoko song were being produced.

Popular YouTuber Kabi wa Jesus remixed the famous interview by Bonoko. Video Courtesy

He would hear his voice on the song but made no money from it. People would use it as ring tones and it would even be played on Ghetto radio. None of the people making money using his voice reached out to him to offer anything.

This was when he took matters into his own hands and went to Ghetto radio, a move that helped him become an employee of the station.


Bonoko Deh, as he is known by most of his fans, went to Ghetto radio and was granted an interview. He got the chance to tell his story then began hanging out in the station.

This was how he began working as a trainee reporter. Finally, lady luck smiled on him. He later got a job working for the station and used to host the show Goteana alongside Mbusi. This was until Mbusi left the station to join another media house. 

Also Read: Mbusii Biography, Wife, Children, Age And Salary

Thanks to the job, he was able to afford a comfortable life. The former street kid has not forgotten where he came from. He does whatever it takes to help those in need.

In a past interview with a leading media outlet, he revealed he has his own car, house and was building a house for his mother. He also revealed that he sets aside a part of his salary every month to be able to help those who need help.