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Mbaruk Mwalimu: From A Coconut Seller To One Of The Biggest Media Personalities In Kenya

Mbaruk Mwalimu, aka Wazzah, is an accomplished Media practitioner. 

He currently co-hosts the Maskani 47 show on Radio 47 alongside Billy Miya. 

They are loved for their informative and entertaining show, especially the controversial Umbeya segment. 

But did you know that Mbaruk was a coconut vendor before embarking on his successful media career? 

This is his journey as told by WoK:

Early Life

He was born on 5th December 1985 in Kwale county. The celebrated radio host hails from the Digo sub-tribe of the Mijikenda community.  

Before embarking on his illustrious media career, Mbaruk did odd menial jobs to survive. 

He started by selling vegetables at Diani before becoming a coconut  vendor in Pemba, Tanzania. 

“I used to travel for five hours from Shimoni to Pemba to sell coconuts. A coconut there is a hotcake,” he  disclosed. 

Apparently, he would gather the nuts for several months from Shimoni, Hamisi, Bodo, and other Kenyan coastal towns. 

He would purchase a coconut at sh 15. In Pemba, he would sell the nuts for between sh 60 and sh 100. 

In one trade, he would sell 12 sacks of nuts, making between Ksh 250 000 and Ksh 300 000 in profits. 

Mbaruk Mwalimu Career

Away from his bravado on radio, Mbaruk considers himself a very shy guy in real life.

For that reason, he says he is more comfortable as a radio presenter than he would be as a TV personality. 

“Radio is fun. It is a lifestyle. You can say whatever you want. You can wear anything and be anything, unlike on TV where you are given a specific character,” he once said in an interview. 

His media career started as an intern at one of Royal Media’s TV stations while he was a student at the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication. 

After his internship, Mbaruk was hired at Mombasa-based Baraka FM as the voice of the station before being promoted to producer. 

After a while, he was promoted to host a breakfast show alongside current Radio 47 colleague Bily Miya. 

From the get-go, their chemistry clicked and they became inseparable. 

Six months down the line, they were poached by Milele Fm. 

Even before their probation period at Milele was over, they were poached by Radio Maisha, of course with promises of a higher paycheck. 

The duo spent five years at Radio Maisha before moving to Radio 47 in mid-2023. 

As they are fond of saying; Mombasa raised us, Nairobi pays us. 

Mbaruk Mwalimu Wife and Family

In February 2021, Mbaruk tied the knot with then-Switch TV anchor Hadiya Mwasiwa. 

Their wedding was held in an exclusive Islamic ceremony (Nikah) in Ukunda, Kwale County. 

The wedding was graced by several dignitaries, including Kakamega senator Cleophas Malala. 

According to Tuko, the lavish wedding, which comprised an invites-only reception in Diani, ran for three days. 

Hadiya is currently a news anchor at KTN. The couple have been blessed with at least one kid. 

Side jobs and salary

Aside from his radio career, he is a brand ambassador for various companies including Kombani Homes Ltd. 

Mbaruk and Billy Miya are some of the highest-paid media personalities in the country.

According to Pulsekenya, their salary at Radio 47 is significantly northwards of sh 500 000, reports we cannot independently verify.

In 2019, he bought a brand new Toyota TX to aid him in movements around town.

He said the vehicle had always been his dream car. 

After his multi-million wedding in 2021, Mbaruk also showed off an imposing bungalow he has built in Kwale, inviting fans for a housewarming party. 

However, despite his millions, Mbaruk says he is the poorest among his circle of friends. 

“I have not yet gained enough money to be considered a celebrity. Some of my friends can buy a sh 20 million property in cash at a moment’s notice. I have not reached such levels,” said Mbaruk, who is a devout Manchester United fan. 

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