By Prudence Minayo
Massawe Japanni is a seasoned Swahili news anchor whose grasp of issues has endeared her to many fans. Her life has largely been scandal free making her the ideal role model for young women. Her melodious Swahili accent has been a magnetic to her audience who are drawn from every corner of Kenya. The radio host has been in the industry for over a decade and has managed to remain relevant.
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Massawe Japanni was born on 28 July, 1981.
Massawe’s family did not think she would ever get married. Not only is she married but she is also a doting mother of three. Tom Japanni, former radio Maisha boss, is his husband. They met back in 2002 while they worked at a local radio station, Baraka FM, down at the Coast. At the time, Tom was a breakfast show presenter while Masawe was an intern producer.
Up until Tom left to join BBC World service, their relationship was platonic. In 2004, they became romantically involved. They currently work for competing radio stations but manage to keep their professional and private lives separate.
The doting mother of 3 lost her baby a while back. This was one of getting most painful events in her life. She addressed a radio Jambo correspondent and shared the painful story of how she lost her firstborn 14 years ago:
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“ It was an immense blow since I was straight from the medical procedure room. After all the difficult months I got back flat broke and you know the fervor that accompanies a family anticipating their youngster.”
“It was an exceptionally excruciating encounter by the way 14 years back I had recently gotten hitched, our first brought into the world was a child whom we had just named Kwame and it came as a tremendous hit to us. I set aside some effort to settle that I had quite recently lost my infant”
As painful as losing a child is, the good news is that she moved on and now has 3 wonderful kids.
Her radio journey began at Baraka FM in Mombasa before joining QFM. At QFM she hosted “Tabaradi”
Milele FM poached her from QFM and she hosted a show alongside Kazungu Matano (Captain Otoyo). Word out there is that she left the station after a disagreement with her bosses.
The seasoned Swahili anchor made a comeback on Radio Jambo. She hists a show called “Bustani la Massawe Japanni (MJ) on Radio Jambo every weekday from 10PM to 2PM. The show gives advice to people going through tough relationships. It has quite a huge audience.