By Prudence Minayo
Stephen Letoo is a popular senior political affairs journalist, presenter and commentator working at Royal Media Services owned Citizen TV. He has immense knowledge in political news coverage having been in the field most of his illustrious career. The public has at some point called him a partisan journalist but according to him it comes with the territory.
“With politics, all these accusations of being pro-government or opposition emerge. Unfortunately, it is how we are judged by our audiences. During elections people associated me with the NASA coalition while my colleague Jackie Maribe was accused of being pro-jubilee.
But our residents are directed by contacts and calendar of events, it makes it difficult for them to get information since politicians brief trusted reporters consistently,” he told Kenyans.
Here is his story as told by WoK.
The political reporter was born on 27th June 1991.
The 31-year-old attended Kabianga High School before joining the University of Nairobi to pursue a Degree in Journalism.
In his earlier years, he was in love with how news was being presented on the State broadcaster KBC and this sparked his passion to pursue journalism and eventually become a reporter. When he was still a student at Kabianga, he started the weekly assembly news bulletin dubbed ‘Kabianga 100.’
“ As a young boy, I could see many people visiting our home to watch TV. My father was a chief and he owned the only television in our village. I became an all-time fan and liked several KBC News reporters and news anchors.
Later in the years, Kanze Dena also joined the screens and I looked up to what she was doing. While at Kabianga High School, I initiated a weekly assembly news bulletin dubbed ‘Kabianga 100,’ this was interestingly the foundation that later saw me rise to land my first job at Kiss 100,” he said in a past interview.
He started reporting at Radio Africa Group owned radio stations Kiss 100 and Classic 105 and also wrote news for the campus blog.
He went on to land a job at Citizen TV where he works to date reporting news on politics and politicians.
As a political reporter, he has once been assaulted by plain-cloth GSU officers at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA). This was during the Miguna Miguna debacle.
In an interview with a local blog, Stephen Letoo revealed that sourcing for information was not an easy task. This and the fact that at times one is torn between what to report and what to let go.
“ Sourcing for political content is tricky. If you don’t spend time with politicians, you lose it all. Most of the time you have to go out of your way and try hanging out with politicians so that you can get the very exclusive kind of stories. This is usually expensive and the employer can not foot the bill for you.
Again, if you get the very distinctive information that can make you work a talking point, you are torn between what to report and what you just have to let go. At times, you are the only one who has the information on the story that the MPs would not have to want out there. The moment you do it, they can easily come for you,” he said.
The recent coronavirus pandemic has not discriminated who to attack and Stephen Letoo is the recent Kenyan journalist to contract it. He has been on the forefront of covering the Covid-19 pandemic news.
“ I did not have any signs and even now I don’t have any signs. I am fine and I have my appetite like before. You might even think that I am pretending.
I can’t trace and explain how I got it but upon doing the tests at Nairobi Hospital, it turned out that I had contracted the virus,” he was quoted by The Star.
Stephen Letoo is the son of a former chief in Narok county.
In 2019, he took to Instagram to introduce his wife Winnie Nadupoi and newborn son, Santino Leylan Letoo to the public.
The caption read:
“ Babies are like little suns that, in a magical way, bring warmth, happiness and light into our lives…A baby is God’s opinion that life should go on..They are the bridge to heaven..God dropped us Baby Santino Leylan Letoo @santinoleylan as a special gift, I give him to the world, as a sign of peace @winnienadupoi.”