Known for his prowess in live radio commentating and sports news reporting, Stephen Mukangai is among the household names who has successfully increased Radio Maisha’s ratings over the past one decade. Mukangai describes his job as a passion and for this reason does it with ease.
His use of humour, rich Swahili diction and creative ways to keep listeners engaged are just the major reasons why he has amassed big numbers of followers on social media as well.
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Mukangai studied as Namshiya Primary School in Malava constituency of Kakamega county. He attended Ingotse High School where completed his O-levels in 2005. His alma mater is perhaps the reason why he refers to himself as ‘Ingotse all time top scorer’.
In between 2005 and 2006, Mukangai resorted to manual labour and was involved in digging up roads that were being renovated at his Malava home for a pay of kshs70 daily.
In 2007, Mukangai traveled to Nairobi in hopes to kickstart a journalism career after he got wind of an NGO that was offering full scholarship. However, that was never to be as the organization kept postponing their offer.
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“There was an institute of journalism under an NGO that had announced free scholarship. We were supposed to begin studies in February, later it was pushed to April and then July,” Mukangai revealed the frustrations to online segment Kenny TV.
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Later on, Mukangai managed to study journalism at Kenya Institute of Media and Technology and Kenya College of Communication (now named Multimedia University).
Mukangai was brought up in a family of 9. He is the eighth born and has 3 brothers and 5 sisters. Details on his marital status remain unknown.
After Mukangai failed to secure a job in Nairobi, he resorted to looking for manual jobs in construction sites. He found one in Gachie, Kiambu county yet at that time he used to live in the squalid slums of Kibera. This forced him to wake up at 3 a.m to trek to work as he couldn’t afford bus fare.
In 2010, the self – proclaimed ‘man of tactics’ sought to reach out to Radio Maisha’s Ali Hassan Kauleni. On the first attempt, he was unsuccessful but managed to leave his contacts with the receptionist.
A few days later, Mukangai received a call from Kauleni and he secured a chance to meet him. The duo built on their camaraderie and Mukangai was called for auditions alongside another journalist who was also looking for employment.
On auditions, he impressed Kauleni and scored 9/10 in a football trivia against 3/10 by the other colleague.
Another litmus test came when Kauleni ambushed Mukangai, telling him he was going to be live on air in a match between Red Berrets and Ulinzi Stars. His first task was to read the starting lineups which he did with precision.
After the final whistle, Mukangai’s meteoric rise to the crème of Kenya’s sports journalism was clearly evident. Kauleni recommended Standard Media to hire him a reason why he (Mukangai) refers to him as a father.
“He is like a parent to me, he listens and doesn’t keep grudges”.
On his part, Kauleni describes Mukangai as a humble, social and down to earth individual.
“I raised him and one secret about him is that he doesn’t align himself with celebrity status, he is a humble man and interacts with everybody.”
Mukangai polished his skills and made a name for himself on his ‘dozi dozi za premier league‘ feature where he used to deliver timely news on the English Premier League.
Currently, he commentates live football action and also appears on KTN news’ sports segment dubbed ‘zilizala viwanjani“.
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