Lynn Ngugi: From Working In A Qatar To Winning Multiple Awards And Recognitions As The Best Female Journalist In Kenya

Lynn Ngugi is the CEO and founder of Lynn Ngugi Network.

The highflying journalist is among latest entrants to Business Daily’s Top 40 Under 40, an annual award aimed at recognising and feting 40 men and women under 40 years making an impact in different fields.

Lynn’s meteoric rise from the trenches to a one of the most sought after journalist in Kenya commanding massive influence and an enviable following online is nothing short of inspiring.

Here is her story as told by WoK.


Lynn was born at the popular Pumwani Hospital in Nairobi, and she was raised by her mother after their parents divorced.

Following the divorce, they were forced to move into a cheaper single room house in Huruma Estate.

At the time, her mother was a shoe hawker in Nairobi CBD.

“My mother was a small time shoe hawker at Gikomba market. She would sell her minimal stock of shoes just to bring food to the table. At some point, she became a clothes hawker in Nairobi CBD, and it was a struggle,” Lynn said.


Lynn attended Ndururno Primary School where she sat for her Kenya Certificate Primary Examinations (KCPE).

“My mother was strict on education. She always insisted on school, and even though I was out of class more than I was in class owing to lack of school fees, my mum always found a way to see me through school,” she said.

She excelled in her KCPE and got a chance to join Moi High School but due to lack of fees, she resorted to repeating Class 8.

“I passed my primary exams and remember getting admission to join Moi Girls School

“However, because of a lack of funds or bursary scholarships, my mum convinced me to repeat primary school. She couldn’t manage to support both my elder sister and I in high school,” she said.

After sitting for KCPE for the second time, she enrolled at Magumu High School, a local school in South Kinangop, for her secondary school education.

Despite facing challenges through her time in secondary school, she excelled and despite securing a spot at the University of Nairobi, she missed out on the opportunity due to lack of fees.

Imagine that you have so much potential in you but couldn’t make it to university because of money. It’s tragic

“I wanted to pursue law at university and be like The Boston League or Harvey from Suits, but I didn’t get enough funds,” she stated.

With no hopes of joining university, Lynn started a career in acting, and audition at the Kenya National Theatre (KNT).

She would perform set books and get paid Ksh 600.

In 2011, Lynn joined the East Africa School of Media Studies and graduated with an Associate Degree in Mass Communication and Broadcast Journalism in 2013.

After two years of college, I started job searching, and it was hard. My friend, Kate, and I used to do demo videos and clips and drop them off at media stations

“I dropped my videos almost everywhere with no callbacks. Kate got an attachment, but unfortunately, I didn’t get any. After six months of tarmacking, I gave up,” she said.

Although she had opportunities to work at a filming agency, Kiwo Films, she did not manage to work due to lack of money to make it to video production sets.

Working abroad

After exhausting all the available options, Lynn got a chance to travel to Dubai through a friend she met on Facebook.

Although she flew to Dubai on a visiting visa, she started looking and applying for any job that she could get.

She later secured a job at a restaurant that provided accommodation and a work permit.

”Just a few days before the expiration of her visiting visa, Costa Coffee called me back. I explained to them my situation, and they offered to give me accommodation and a work permit visa. That’s how I began my work as a coffee barista,” Lynn said.

Although she was making money and affording to send some home, she got depressed owing to a lack of fulfillment and decided to quit and return to Kenya after six months.

“Every day I woke up and started making coffee, I would get depressed. I was unfulfilled because I wasn’t following my passion

“I would see my classmates doing well in Kenya, and this reminded me of the dreams I wanted to chase. I had goals to pursue. This made me quit my job and come back home,” she said.

Lynn returned home but she did not get any satisfying job and returned abroad to work as a project manager at Qatar Foundation Research and Development.

She worked between 2013 and 2016.

Journalism career

By 2016, Lynn had saved enough, and she returned home to try another shot in production and came up with a show dubbed, The Kilimani Mums Show.

They shot the pilot episode and after publishing it on YouTube, they received a copyright infringement strike from a famous media channel.

She ended up losing the YouTube channel.

While plotting her next move, she was invited to join TUKO as a reporter by her former schoolmate, Edwin Ochieng.

After working for a while, Lynn impressed the top bosses and secured herself a permanent job as a video producer and content developer.

After a while, she expressed interest in covering human interest stories.

“I shared with my boss how I didn’t want to report on some issues. I wanted to take the road less travelled-I wanted to cover human interest stories,” she said.

Lynn worked for TUKO until 2021 when she left to launch her own company, Lynn Ngugi Network, under which she produces the Lynn Ngugi Show.

“I didn’t want people to manipulate the way I tell stories. I also felt the need to own my own intellectual property. I saw the stories I shared are beautiful and thus wanted to be the full owner of my content, answerable to myself and my audience,” she expressed.

With 265 videos, Lynn’s YouTube channel boasts over 589,000 subscribers and 78.1 million cumulative views.

BBC 100 Most Influential Women

In 2021, Lynn was listed among 100 most inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2021.

Established in 2013, the BBC 100 Most Influential Women examines the role of women in the 21st century including broadcast, online reports, debates and journalism on the topic of women.

“I am not even going to lie right now, I never thought I would be in this category. How? I mean, who would have thought I would one day be acknowledged among other 99 influential women globally?  To God be the glory,” Lynn said.

Top 40 Under 40

Lynn was in March 2023 listed among the top 40 most influential and progressive personalities by Nation Media Group’s Business Daily.

Top 40 Under 40 is an annual award aimed at recognising and feting 40 men and women under 40 years in from various industries, including science, arts, sports, and technology and entrepreneurship.

Gender Justice Champion award

In February 2023, Lynn was awarded the Gender Justice Champion award.

The award was given by women’s rights organisation Echo Network Africa during the launch of their Stop Cyberbullies Now campaign on Tuesday.

She was awarded the prize for her work in highlighting women’s stories and advocating for an end to bullying.

“I want to say thank you so much for this award. But I also want to recognise the fact that if it were not you, then I wouldn’t be standing here

“You are the people who once I put the content out there, you are the people who are commenting, demanding, challenging and supporting,” Lynn said

In March 2022, she was also awarded as the best digital content creator at the Women in Film Awards (WIFA).

This followed another fete as the I Change Nations Community Ambassador Award and the Cafe Ngoma (CN) Humanitarian of the Year.