By Isaac Blessings
Citizen TV is by far the most popular TV station in Kenya. The SK Macharia owned media house is where the crème de la crème of Kenyan journalists jostle for space. As big names exit the station, their void is quickly filled by equally talented journalists.
WoK brings you the ‘after’ stories’ of some of the ex-Citizen TV journalists who either quit the station or were fired for whatever reasons.
Hussein Mohammed joined Citizen TV from KTN in early 2008. He worked at the Royal Media Services owned station for 10 years before quitting. At the peak of his media career, he hosted the Newsnight show that aired every Tuesday at 9.00pm. The show became quite popular with Kenyans loving how Hussein cornered politicians with tough questions seeking to get answers. On October 29th 2019, he hosted his last show at the channel leaving the TV world to pursue other interests. Since then the renowned media personality went silent until when he was appointed by United Democratic Alliance (UDA) political party to become Head of Communications in the William Ruto presidential campaign. He is the current State House Spokesman.
Louis Otieno is arguably one of the best News Anchors to ever grace Kenya’s screens. He started off his career at the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) TV, then moved to KTN TV, K24 and then switched to Citizen TV when he was at his peak. After exiting Citizen TV, the veteran news anchor has had his fair share of struggles. The veteran news anchor was accused of murder that led to loss of his job. He was not able to pay his rent, lost his hearing abilities after falling sick and fell out with his son who is openly gay. Despite all these struggles, Louis regained his hearing and is keen on making a comeback. In a video that was circulated on social media, Louis revealed that he will be coming back with a show titled ‘The second Act.’ He however didn’t reveal where and when the show will air.
Jacque Maribe’s exit from Citizen TV was untimely and quite unfortunate. She started out at the station as a reporter and worked her way up to become one of the prime time news anchors at the station. In 2018 during the company’s brand re-launch, she was unveiled as a Friday night host where she read the 9.00pm news alongside her colleague Waihiga Mwaura. It was not long before she left the station following court cases that are still ongoing to date. Jacque Maribe was allegedly linked with the death of businesswoman Monica Kimani. She currently hosts the Jacque Maribe show that airs on her Youtube channel which has over 2,000 subscribers.
Terryanne Chebet is a veteran in the world of journalism boasting a career of over 15 years. Her peak and major breakthrough came when she joined Citizen TV where she anchored the 9.00pm prime time news and later the Business Centre show for three years alongside her colleague Michael Njenga. After leaving Citizen TV, she joined Fanaka Television as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and later became the General Manager for Metropol TV in 2019. She later quit the position to join the business world where she founded Pink Foundry and Keyara Botanicals in 2020. Pink Foundry is a communications consultancy firm that mainly deals with growing brands both online and offline while Keyara botanicals is a skincare brand that offers beauty products.
Julie Gichuru was among the most beautiful faces to ever appear on Kenya’s television. With a journalism career spanning 15 years having worked in big media companies such as Capital FM, her peak came when she joined the Royal media Services owned TV in 2008. Julie Gichuru was the pioneer of the Sunday Live news show which is currently being hosted by Jeff Koinange and Victoria Rubadiri. After exiting the station, Julie founded Arimus Media Limited – a production company that produces quality African content. She also owns a retail business known as Mimi Holdings Limited and works for Mastercard foundation as the Chief Public Affairs and Communications Officer.
Johnson Mwakazi is a man known for his captivating yet commanding voice that left many Kenyans admiring him. He worked for Citizen TV for eight years where he anchored prime time news, trained students on internship and did voice overs for corporate promotions and advertisements. While he was just at his peak, he shockingly left the station in May of 2014 to pursue personal interests. After exiting the TV he got appointed as the Brand Ambassador for Pan Africa Life Assurance Limited. He worked there for two years before joining the International coalition as a Public relations executive, a position he held for eight months. He later joined Fountain Media Group as an editorial director before being promoted in 2016 to become the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO). He is also the founder of Royal Voice International – a company that offers voice over services to corporate companies. Through this company, Mwakazi is the official voice over for Citizen TV.
Janet Mbugua was among the best journalists in the country during her career at Citizen TV. She worked for Citizen TV for five years where she anchored prime time news alongside Hussein Mohammed. She later left the station to join Nation Media Group’s NTV where she hosted the ‘Here and Now’ TV Show. She worked there for two years before leaving the media space to pursue other interests. During her stint in the journalism field, she was named among the top three best news anchors in the by Media Council of Kenya in 2014. She was also among the list of top 40 under 40 released by Business Daily Africa. She is the founder of Inua Dada Foundation – a non-profit organization that has so far supported and empowered over 12,000 girls. She recently authored a book on empowering young girls titled ‘My first time.’
Kirigo Ng’arua was among the journalists who started off with Citizen TV during its baby days. She worked at the station for eight years where she hosted the ‘Power Breakfast show’ that had a viewership of over 1 million viewers every day. She was later fired minutes before a news bulletin in 2016 for reasons that were not revealed to the public. She joined Dashers Inc for one year as a consultant before landing a job in the government as a media, communications and branding specialist in the Coffee Sub-sector Implementation Committee. She later left the job in June 2020 after working there for two years. She is currently a MC moderating various corporate events and meetings.
Belinda Obura began her journey at K24 as a senior anchor and Features editor. She later left the MediaMax limited owned station to join Citizen TV. At Citizen she became quite famous but it was not long before she left the station and joined Triple Edge Media Limited as a media consultant in 2014. She worked for the company for four years before leaving employment and joining the business world. She currently offers consultancy services to various organizations and has moderated various conferences such as African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN).