Most Kenyans know Joab Mwaura from his career stint as a reporter at Citizen TV and K24. However, the journey to the top hasn’t been a walk in the park. The reputable journalist started out as a car wash attendant before becoming a top reporter in the leading media houses in Kenya. After he was fired from K24, he went on to establish his own media production house.
Here is the inspiring story as told by WoK.
The career journey of the ex-K24 reporter begins back in 2005 after completing his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) which he passed very well. He however couldn’t join university because of finances. He began hustling to make ends meet and that’s when he got his first job as a car wash attendant in Nyahururu town, Laikipia County.
As a side hustle, he would also work as a bodaboda rider earning as low as Ksh10 for short distance trips. He told a leading blog that he would juggle between the two jobs for a year and that’s how he was able to save enough to go back to school.
“After saving some money, contributions from family and friends, I managed to fraise enough funds to go back to school where I joined East African Media Institute (EAMI) in 2006 to pursue a Diploma in journalism,” he said.
After completing his diploma, he landed a job at Royal Media Services as a Swahili news reporter at Citizen TV. It was during this time that he became a household name in Kenya and stamped his feet in the media industry.
He would then leave the SK Macharia owned media house to join MediaMax Limited as a Swahili News reporter at K24. In 2020 when the pandemic struck, Mwaura was among the journalist who were shown the door from the Mediamax.
Other veteran journalists who were also fired by the media house include Milele FM Radio Presenter and Comedian Jalango and K24 News Anchors Tony Kwalanda and Betty Kyalo.
After losing his job amidst the pandemic, Mwaura decided to try his hand in the business world. First, he established Sauti Tajika Productions together with his wife Nancy Onyancha who is a news anchor at State broadcaster Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC). Mwaura explained to Kenyans.co.ke that the idea of starting Sauti Tajika Productions was to change the narrative and freely document human-interest stories.
“In June 2022, I was approached by the management of LookUp TV, seeking my services as head of news. I went for the interview and got the job but my focus is not to compete with the other bug houses, but to get the opportunity of being a mwananchi studio,” he said.
Apart from the production house, Mwaura decided to open his own car wash as a side hustle since he has vast experience in the business. The car was named ‘Jetwash Car wash’ is located in Utawala, Nairobi.