Tom Jappani: From A Volunteer To Head Of All Radio Stations Owned By Standard Media Group

The Standard Group Plc is a leading media house operating several TV and radio stations in Kenya. The man at the helm of radio at the giant media house is Tom Jappani. He is charged with the success of Radio Maisha, Vybez Radio and Spice FM. 

Here is his career journey as told by WoK.


Tom Jappani attended Shimo La Tewa secondary school where he sat for his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams. After his O-levels, he joined Tangaza University, London Metropolitan where he acquired a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and Media Studies and later on trained at the BBC College of Journalism.

Career Journey

He began his career journey in October 1996 as a volunteer editor of the Literacy and Evangelism Fellowship at the Catholic Archdiocese of Mombasa. He moved to Mombasa based Bahari FM as a radio presenter in 2002. In January 2003 he joined the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) as a Senior Producer, a position he held for 10 years and 2 months. During his time at BBC, he was in charge of the production of a 30 minute weekly Youth magazine program on Reproductive Health and Rights. He was also in charge of African News bulletins on Network Africa and Focus on Africa shows. 

Joining Standard Media Group

After a successful stint at BBC, the highly sought journalist was absorbed by the Standard Group in mid February 2013. The Moi family owned media house was keen on venturing into the highly competitive radio market and Jappani was the right man for the job. He established Radio Maisha and steered it to become the second most listened to radio station in Kenya. Under his leadership, two other radio stations, Spice FM and Vybez FM, were born in 2020. 

Tom Jappani: From A Volunteer To Head Of All Radio Stations Owned By Standard Media Group
L-R: Tom Jappani And His Wife Massawe Jappani Photocredit/Facebook

Family life

Tom is married to a popular radio presenter, Massawe Jappani, who works at Radio Africa Group owned Radio Jambo. The two met in 2002 at Baraka FM when Tom was a Radio presenter while Massawe was an intern producer. However, Tom would leave the station a year later to join the BBC. The duo have been living together for over 14 years and they currently have three daughters.