By Faith Nyambeki
Competition for listeners has seen radio stations pay abnormal salaries for the very best talents. Long gone are the days when Kenyans were confined to one radio station with the liberalisation of the airwaves. And with this development, the country saw a proliferation of stations that majorly discuss relationships, politics and other topical issues. One of the most notable radio presenters whose name resonates with millions of listeners across the country is Vincent Ateya. This writer shares the journey of the man popularly known as ‘coaches’.
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The Jambo Kenya host was brought up in Mukuru Kayaba where ‘sheng’ was predominant. He showed interest early in life of being a broadcast journalist. Together with a friend, they would listen to the only radio station KBC and mimic the journalists. He was interested in football too.
After he completed his Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE), Ateya joined Aquinas High School-also in Eastland. While in high school, he continued to hone his skills in preparation for the big stage even though he was surrounded by ‘sheng’, corrupted version of Swahili. He was a good public speaker and thrived in poetry. Speaking to a local TV station, the journalist said he put a lot of effort in English and Kiswahili languages that even the best student in the class could not outscore him on these two subjects. He was also a good footballer and thought of pursuing the sports professionally. His father, who was a footballer, dissuaded Ateya telling him he had gone nowhere with the sport. He was to later join the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication (KIMC). When he presented his transcript, the director was impressed with his performance telling him he was the kind of student they were looking for.
Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.)communication journalism
2009 – 2012
Kenya Institute of Mass Communication
Diploma Mass Communication
1998 – 2000
Activities and Societies: Drama and football
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He was destined for radio and did not need any godfather to reach where he has. In his second year at KIMC, he joined KBC when the station came looking for fresh talents. He went on to join Family and later on Radio Citizen. He was poached by Milele FM before joining Qwetu FM. At the latter, he worked as a presenter and programmes manager. The station was said to be struggling financially and probably the reason why he exited the station. He rejoined Citizen where he was paired by Inspekta Mwala. The journalist day starts at 3am.
His side hustle is mentoring upstart talents. He trains students in poetry. Some of the schools he has worked with are Alliance Girls, Precious Blood Riruta and St Georges Girls. He has mentored Elizabeth Anyango who works with Hot 96 and Dayo Yusuf who works for BBC.
He is married and has children. Ateya has kept his family out of the public limelight.
More about Ateya
Ateya was mentored by Mambo Mbotela.
He spend his free time mentoring young talents.
Money is not what drives him
He is known as ‘coaches’ because he loves football
Jambo Kenya on Radio Citizen is the most popular morning show in Kenya with a daily listenership of 1.4 million. Ateya hosts the show with funnyman Inspekta Mwala. Their rival is Milele FM’s Breakfast show that comes a close second with 1.1 million listeners. The show is hosted by Alex Mwakideu who was paired Jalang’o who has since quit.
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