Nancy Kwamboka, aka Nana the Diva or Nana Ediva -as she is fondly referred to by her fans -describes herself as a girl next door. The mother of three is a radio presenter at Egesa FM and a programs manager at Royal Media Services.
This is her journey as told by WoK:
Growing up, Kwamboka loved to watch television. She was influenced by the likes of Kanze Dena and the late Catherine Kasavuli.
Her initial aspiration was to study air travel and tourism. She received a scholarship to study for the same in London, but lost the chance when her father passed away.
It was then that she shifted her sights to a media career and pursued a Diploma in Mass Communication at Multimedia University. Like many media students at the time, she got an internship position at KBC in the TV production department, under the tutelage of Josephine Karani and Rachael Nakitale.
However, she wanted to work as a radio presenter, away from the glare of TV cameras. So, she applied and got an internship position at Royal Media’s Egesa FM in 2007.
“At that time, many journalists were shy of working for vernacular media stations. But I was up to the task,” she said in later interviews.
Following the 2008 post-election carnage that shook the country, Royal Media was hard-pressed for journalists and therefore extended Kwamboka’s internship from their initial agreement of three months.
“During the post-election violence, we often worked for long, grueling hours. The ones at the studio had to extend their shifts to cover for the rest of the team that was on the field,” she said.
It was during her internship period that her nickname ‘Ediva’ was born. “My colleagues used to point me out and commend my taste in fashion, saying I was more stylish than other interns. They said I dressed like a diva. I told them yeah, I’m a Diva,” said Kwamboka, who is known for her bubbly vibe.
After her internship, she was employed as a full-time radio presenter, a job that also involved working in the Royal Media’s creatives department. Here, she crafted creatives for Egesa, Ramogi, and Citizen radios.
In 2013, Mrs. Alice Chai, who was the head of Egesa FM at the time, resigned to vie for the women representative seat in Nyamira County. Kwamboka, who was Chai’s deputy, was promoted to the position.
Her first task as Egesa FM’s boss was to organize a roadshow to promote voter civic education in the south Nyanza Region.
Despite being new to the job, she put her organizational skills to work, and the roadshow was a massive success. That year, Egesa FM was acclaimed as the most listened radio station in the South Nyanza region.
Despite her dizzying rise to the top, Kwamboka’s journey was not easy. One of her greatest challenges happened with the advent of digital media, where she was a victim of cyberbullying.
“People created social media pages dedicated to tarnishing my name. They even wrote derogatory letters about me and sent them to my superiors,” she recounted.
However, she credits her superiors and the HR department at Royal Media for being supportive, saying they encouraged her to keep going.
She was also encouraged by the feedback she received every time she visited her Gusii community. “Every time I went to the village, people commended me for the good job I was doing in empowering the community. Schoolgirls told me how I was their mentor and role model. With such kind of feedback from the ground, there was no way social media negativity would drown me,” she said.
After working as Egesa FM’s head for over a decade, she was promoted to become Royal Media’s programs manager in charge of the Nyanza Rift Region.
The position came with a heavier paycheck and better privileges, as she was now in charge of three media stations: Egesa FM, Ramogi FM, and Chamgei FM. Each of the stations boasted a majority fanbase in their respective regions. She holds the position to date.
In the next five years, Nana Ediva hopes to have completed her Master’s degree. She also hopes to have grown career-wise and that, under her leadership, the three stations will have grown to greater heights.
Last, but not least, she aspires to one day be the governor of Nyamira county. Her mantra in life stems from Eliud Kipchoge’s “No human is limited” quote.