By Faith Nyambeki
Investigative journalism in Kenya is synonymous with John-Allan Namu. His incisive pieces exposed deep seated corruption in and out of the country, extra-judicial killings and other ills that continue to bedevil our country. Teaming up with Mohammed Ali-now Nyali Member of Parliament, the Inside Story and Jicho Pevu series on KTN TV were a must watch. The two put their lives on the line and had to go into hiding everytime an exposé was aired.
Here is the story of the award winning journalist as told by WoK.
DON'T MISS: Stay informed with the latest news and interact with us on Instagram.
The journalist was born in 1983.
John Allan Namu is married to Sheena Makena who is 3 years older than him. The age difference does not bother the couple who have revealed the same in multiple interviews. They married in 2010 and have four children. In an interview on Ebru TV, the couple shared their love journey that started at the Standard Media Group where Namu was interning and his wife was working as an editor.
The two had known each other since their campus days. The award winning journalist was in a long distance relationship that wasn’t really working for him. Namu admitted that he fell for Makena who was always supportive of his work. A romantic relationship developed and Makena got pregnant. A forced exile in Europe-with fellow journalist Mohammed Ali after an expose-was the space Namu needed to make up his mind on his future.
JOIN US: Stay informed with the latest Kenyan news and join the conversation on Telegram.
On his return, he informed his parents and ex-girlfriend about his decision to marry Makena.
Also Read: Jackie Matubia Biography, Career & Marriage
Namu studied Journalism at the United States International University. In an interview with a local news outlet, the journalist shared his struggles as he tried to find his footing in the media. He was not sure what he really wanted to do. He joined KTN as an intern and was maintained after his internship. He still did not know where he fitted and would do jobs “no one else wanted to do.”
He wanted to be an anchor and a feature reporter and when he got that chance he realised it wasn’t giving him the fulfilment he desired. The first time he anchored, it went horribly wrong. He froze on screen and was unable to follow auto-cue.
His big break came when Mohammed Ali picked him to do an investigative piece on car-tracking systems titled ‘The Rogue Tracker’. Investigating that story changed his life. He had to go into hiding saying that the story was ‘frightening and exhilarating’.
After a successful stint at KTN as Special Projects Editor, Namu called it quits in 2015. His decision to quit was because:
‘……mainstream environment is just becoming smaller and smaller and that has to be said! Sometimes we editorialize where we should not and that is not what investigative journalism is about. You have to have the freedom to tell your stories,” he said on The Trend show aired on NTV.
He is the CEO and co-founder of Africa Uncensored. The independent media house strives to ‘investigate, expose and empower.’ The Profiteers won the TRACE price. Profiteers documented how the elite in the South Sudanese elite engage in shoddy businesses at the expense of their citizens. Other documentaries by African Uncensored include Kanjo Kingdom, End of The River among many others.
JOIN OUR COMMUNITY: Stay informed with the latest celebrity news on our WhatsApp community or by messaging the number +41774793952.