Veteran media personality and preacher Michael Gitonga is the Communication Director at the office of First Lady Rachel Ruto. The former KTN News anchor and morning show host is said to have worked with the first lady for a while now.
Gitonga boasts an illustrious career in the media. According to his LinkedIn profile, he also served as the Director of Corporate Communications at MAMA, an empowerment programme launched by Mama Rachel Ruto.
While he might enjoy a seat at the big table now, Gitonga’s rise to the top has not been rosy. Here is his story as narrated by WoK.
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Background & Education
Gitonga attended the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering.
During an interview with the Standard, Gitonga revealed that he was always passionate about music, so he did a course in making and engineering of musical instruments. He developed an interest in engineering first, due to influence from his father and second, for his love of gadgets.
While studying in the UK, he found it hard to pay school fees, and therefore, he had to work hard on the side to raise money, all while focusing on what had taken him to Nottingham.
“I washed supermarket floors at night and stacked the shelves. Towards the end, I was a cab driver,” he said.
Gitonga was focused on his studies and tried as much to avoid all distractions. For instance, he did not date in college. He believed that it was too early for most people to make serious decisions. He, however, had a lot of friends.
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“(In campus) Live life but stay focussed. All the fancy things out there have their time. Also, heed to advice. It is meant to help you, not stop you from having fun. Fun is overrated,” he says.
While in the UK, Gitonga recounts that his worst moment was having to work at night.
“I recall a day when I dozed off at the traffic lights (I was so tired) only to be startled by an ambulance. My highlight were the friends I met and the culture exchange I experienced,” he says.
Despite pursuing engineering in college, Gitonga found himself in the world of media. His path to the industry, he says, was driven by passion. On several occasions, he found himself doing TV and Radio shows in his head, and back when he was thirteen, he had recorded something, impersonating a show host.
At one time, he had gone to a local radio station to advertise for the church, however, a member of staff at the media house told him that the advert could not go through since the guy that does voice overs had left.
“I insisted on trying and, fortunately, he agreed. As I was recording, the owner of the station happened to be passing by and asked to see me. The rest is history,” he recalled.
Gitonga first worked for Family Media, that owns Family TV and FamilyRadio316. On radio, he was popularly known as Mike on the mic. After leaving the media house, he joined Mombasa Road-based Standard Media Group where he was a news anchor and also hosted the Morning Express show.
Currently, he serves as the Director of Communications in the Office of The First Lady.
Gitonga is a passionate photographer and a cycling enthusiast.
The former KTN show host is married to Joyce Gathigi and they have been blessed with two lovely children Jerome and Shalom.
Gathigi holds a Bachelor of Education degree in Mathematics and Chemistry from Egerton University. Despite having a background in education, she has cracked it in the corporate world and worked with some of the biggest brands in the country including East African Breweries Limited (EABL) and Unilever, among others.
Gitonga first showcased his preaching skills to the rest of the country during a live church session that aired on Citizen TV on August 2, 2020.
On that particular day, he graced the podium of the House of Transformation Ministries, Nairobi Gospel Assembly Church, located along Garden City Mall, to complement the preaching by famous pastor Alloys Rutivi.