Dennis Itumbi is a Kenyan journalist, social media consultant, play write, PR/ Branding consultant, businessman, Digital and Political Strategist. He often refers to himself as a seller of ideas.
He is known for his effort in digital campaigns for President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto during the 2017 general elections.
The award winning journalist has a nose for news. He has the ability to source for news only few individuals can access and in a timely fashion. He has often found himself at the end of criticism for reporting incidents shortly after they have occurred and in most instances he is right.
For instance, during the July 15, 2021, Kiambaa Constituency by-election, Itumbi had his own parallel tallying center with which he used to call the results of the election. He called a win for UDA candidate John Njuguna Wanjiku. Hours later the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) declared Wanjiku the winner in the polls, with a marginal disparity in the results.
Itumbi, a trained journalist has served at the highest office in the land and boasts vast knowledge in digital strategising and journalism.
Background & Education
Itumbi was born on March 18, 1985 in Gichugu, Kirinyaga County and is the first born in a family of five boys.
The journalist is multi-lingual, as he is known to speak Maasai, Kikuyu, Embu and Luhya fluently.
He attended Meru High School for his secondary school education, and later proceeded to join the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication where he attained a Diploma in Journalism.
Itumbi later joined Moi University and graduated with a degree in Mass Communication. He proceeded to the University of Leicester, United Kingdom, where he attained his Masters in New Media, Governance and Democracy.
He hails from a humble background and his journey to success has been through sheer hard work and determination.
Itumbi and renowned investigative journalist Dennis Onsarigo go way back. The two once lived together and had rented a house in Mukuru Slums for Ksh3,500 a month.
More often than not, they would fail to raise the rent and spend the night at the University of Nairobi.
“Our First jobs paid a partly Ksh9,000 and less for a months work but we took it on our slide and kept our eyes on the ultimate prize,” he said during a past interview.
“Later as we moved on I met Martin Gitau, a man I have literally grown up with from my days as a teenager and we together took a single room in Mbotela Slums – definitely an improvement from the former place we lived, but here we had Richard Bosire, Imende Benjamin and Kiura. At least here rent was not an issue,” he recounted.
Itumbi always wanted to be a lawyer and would sometimes attend court sessions and take notes, just as he saw lawyers do.
However, after sitting for his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams, he did not meet the cut off point and he resorted to journalism.
“I would see journalists being very close with the lawyers in courts and this became my option,” he stated.
At first he struggled finding jobs but later landed one where he earned Ksh9,000 per month. The cash was not enough, which saw him and his friend Onsarigo come up with various ways of raising cash.
He however, grew to make a name for himself in the media industry, working for some of the most reputable media houses in the country.
Itumbi has worked for The Standard Newspaper, Voice of America, Royal Media Services, and Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC). He also worked for Baraka FM as a correspondent.
He quit mainstream media and went into digital media, founding his own blog, dennisitumbi.com.
“I felt I had achieved it all having worked in both print media and electronic media. The online platform was unexplored and I saw great opportunity in it. Blogging gives me social command where I let people tell their story unlike the media that owns peoples story.
“I realized the mainstream media aims at the mind which only digests it, while I aim at the heart which owns it,” Itumbi stated.
By the time he was transitioning into blogging, he had a lot of political contacts and this made the job easier for him.
Itumbi was later appointed as State House Digital Communications Director where he served until his unceremonious ouster.
Itumbi owns his own blog along with a media company named Supreme Media.
He is also into agriculture, with interests in pig and avocado farming.
Itumbi was feted the 2006/07 GJLOS journalist of the year award. At the time he was a correspondent at Baraka FM and had done a piece on Mungiki.
“My inspiration was to unveil the life of a Mungiki member socially. I realized 60% were strong people; they had wives and who were very religious and lived a normal life like any other person,” he stated.
Fake DP Ruto Assassination Letter
Itumbi is no newcomer to controversy. He was charged in connection to a fake letter alleging a plot to assassinate Deputy President William Ruto.
The court stated that the letter dated May 30, 2019, was intended to cause unrest among members of the public.
The letter had claimed that four Cabinet Secretaries had met at La Mada Hotel to plot the assassination of the Deputy President.
The digital strategist claimed that an unknown man fired at him in a botched assassination attempt.
Speaking to Kenyans, the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) Communications Director Wanjohi Githae said that a man aimed a gun at Itumbi and fired at him but he managed to sped from the scene.
“A man walked out aiming a gun at him and fired some shots. Itumbi sped from the scene and in the process hit another vehicle that was on the road. He was not arrested. Reports alleging that he was apprehended by the police are false,” he told the online publication.
Reports had first circulated on social media alleging that he had been arrested with leaders allied the UDA wishing the blogger well.