By Prudence Minayo
Ken Mijungu is a celebrated Kenyan journalist who has worked at the Nation Media Group for a period of seven years before he was unceremoniously shown the door. The well-spoken journalist has amassed quite a number of fans due to his skills in the newsroom and elegant mode of dressing. His entry into the media was purely accidental- as you shall below. Here is the story of a man whose exit from the Aga Khan owned media house ushers him to even greater opportunities.
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Details about his age are not available to the public but he is in his late 30s. In NTV’s “Quickfire” interview, he was asked his greatest achievement yet and replied:
“Being healthy so far, I have been healthy for 37 years, that’s my greatest achievement.”
He was born and raised in Migori county.
He attended three primary schools. One in Homa Bay, another in Mbita and the last one in Migori. He later joined Maseno School before getting a chance to pursue a law degree in Moi University, Eldoret.
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Not much is available about his parents or siblings.
He is married to Laureen. The couple got married in 2016 in a lavish maroon and gold-themed ceremony at Fuchsia Gardens in Limuru.
The invite-only ceremony was attended by family and friends. The groom’s men included fellow NTV (now ex) colleagues, Trevor Ombija, Dennis Okari and Andrew Ochieng. The former NTV General Manager Linus Kakai and News Manager Emmanuel Juma and former NTV presenter Larry Madowo were also in attendance.
The couple is blessed with a daughter.
The news anchor lived in Umoja after graduating with a law degree. Life was not easy. In an interview with Daily Nation, he recounted how it was difficult to get pupilage. This was during the post-election violence (PEV) period. He decided to move out of Jamhuri estate due to the havoc surrounding the place. Kibera residents were on destruction mode and he only lived a short distance away.
One day, he borrowed his brother’s camera and went to take footage. Sheila Kwamboka and Jane Ngoiri-then working for K24-were covering the PEV. Amidst the chaos, their cameras were stolen and they were cased out, hence, they were not able to record anything. Ken received a godsend surprise when he got a call from K24 boss Eric Latif who asked for the footage. This is where his journey in the media industry began.
He worked as a senior reporter and anchor at NTV who also hosted the Sidebar show every Tuesday at 10 p.m. after taking over from Larry Madowo. Sidebar was launched in 2017 by Larry Madowo, a show that hosted different prominent personalities to discuss current affairs, mainly on politics. Mijungu took the stewardship of the show and did a great job.
Recently, he interviewed the deputy president William Ruto at his home in Karen. Millions of Kenyans tuned in to watch the interview. While a section of Kenyans congratulated him, some viewers drew comparisons with former Citizen TV news anchor Hussein Mohammed. A section of social media users felt he had not handled the interview well. On the other hand, Ken Mijungu said that was the easiest interview of his career on NTV’s “Quickfire” segment.
“ In the 12 years of my career, I have never had such an easier interview. Not any form of nervousness, my mind was present throughout. I think it’s also one of the interviews that I really prepared for. That was a well-done interview, I know when I do bad.
“Ruto is a very easy guy. At one point when he came in, we thought because there was a 10-minute break, he probably would want to walk out and come back, but he stayed there and watched the news with us. Occasionally, I would crack jokes and call people to say hello to him,” he said.
After working with Nation Media Group, for about 7 years, he announced the station had fired him on 3rd July, 2020.
“ The axe fell at NTV’s newsroom and I was on its way. 7 years in those corridors summed up in a two-paged letter of termination.
We live to fight another day. Thanks to God, He remains the greatest, thank you NTV for the opportunity and thank you for always staying tuned in,” he posted on Twitter.
Of course his fans and those who love watching Sidebar are sad to see him leave the station as some have expressed on Twitter.
New Job At KTN
Barely 6 months after his exit from NTV, the news anchor landed a new job at KTN. He shared this on twitter:
“KTN News endeavors to give you The Whole Story in our news coverage. To do so we bring in the most trusted faces & voices to your screen. We are proud to introduce @KenMijungu who will be joining our family giving Insight, Context & Perspective to local & international News,”
“The 🤡 found a new home. Asanteni sana sana sana kwa maombi. We are bigger and better with you @ktnnews @ktn_kenya @standardkenya I am humbled to be part of the greatest media team. Mungu mbele, sisi tuko hii town….”
Death of Sister
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Ken Mijungu was hit hard when he lost his sister. He said the death of ‘Jaber’-as he fondly referred to his sister-had hit him hard than the passing of his father.
“This one hit me harder than my dad’s death! I called her Jaber inside, she is no more. When your baby sisters leave so sudden, where do they go?” read his tweet.
Apart from his job at the newsroom, Ken Mijungu owns a car hire business called Exerca-tive CarHire. This company leases vehicles for events and executive transfers. According to their Facebook page, they have top range cars and drivers to get people anywhere at competitive prices as well. They also import cars on behalf of clients from Japan, South Africa, Australia, Singapore, Dubai and the United Kingdom.
Their services include: Airport to Hotel Executive Transfer, City Tour, long and short time motor vehicle leasing services, wedding cars, conference transfers among others.
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Days after being fired, the lawyer by profession avoided the pity party and started a consultancy firm-“Ken Mijungu Legal Consultancy” . The firm-according to the post he shared on Instagram-deals with matters legal, immigration, finance, property, import and exports.