By Prudence Minayo
Willy M Tuva is a popular Kenyan radio presenter and TV show host. He has propelled a good number of East African artists to greater heights by playing their music on the Mseto East Africa programme on TV and radio.
The nature of his show and how he interviews his audience with so much finesse has acquired him a massive fan base.
The M in his name means “Mzazi” (parent). He revealed on his Instagram page that he got the name from bongo singer, Matonya.
“TINYA, TANYA AND TONYA: WHAT MANY PEOPLE DON’T KNOW IS THAT MATONYA GAVE ME THE NAME #MZAZI. TINYA ALIPOZALIWA TONYA ALINIAMBIA, “SASA UNASTAHILI KUITWA MZAZI. MZAZI WA TINYA NA MZAZI WA WASANI WA KIZAZI KIPYA,” Wrote the presenter.
His real age is still under wraps but he was born and raised in Lamu, the coastal part of Kenya. The award winning journalist has a twin brother.
Willy’s primary school is still unknown. For his secondary school, he attended Mukaa High School, currently known as Mukaa Boys.
He then bagged a chance at Kenya Institute of Mass Communication (KIMC) where he studied Investigative Journalism.
The TV show host is married to a Tanzanian lady who neither wants nor courts publicity. He name according to news24 is Victoria Amunga. Willy told pulse live:
“ I’m the one in the public eye. Everyone has their life. She doesn’t like being in the limelight at all. She wants to live an ordinary life and I respect her choice,” he said.
The two have been married for over a decade and are blessed with two children, Tinya and Tanya.
From an early age, the popular presenter loved arts. While in class seven, a teacher noticed his love for arts and formed a journalism club to nurture him. He would also draw images that were put on the notice board. Mzazi was also an actor and cartoonist for “katumbilikimo” in Taifa Leo.
The first time he came to Nairobi was when he joined college. Imagine the culture shock! He was surprised to see how fast people were walking. Before getting accustomed to this hurry hurry business, he used to think it was because there was a strike. A thought that prompted him to rush back to where he was staying in South C. There were also the ladies who dressed half naked even when it was very cold.
His love for journalism continued and while in his first year at KIMC, he attended auditions at KBC for a presenter. Unfortunately, after going through the whole process he was denied the chance as he was still in second year. He even requested to air a late night show to no avail. This was really discouraging and he decided to concentrate on drawing.
“ Nikaanza kuchora. I would run from one media house to another looking for an opportunity to give my work. I remember one editor I took my drawings to told me ‘ you are a cartoonist’ but he was too busy for me so he told me, ‘you see all these files, they belong to people like you who are looking for what you want. So put your files here and come later’ I said no I won’t leave my files there and left,” said M Tuva (source: Nairobi wire)
Again, he went to another media house but it didn’t work out as he had no appointment and didn’t know anyone there.
Finally, he visited Kenya Times, the editor looked at his work and saw talent. The editor told him he will give him a list of names that he was going to look for. The following day he went there and confidently presented the name. This was followed by his work appearing on the newspaper, a source of great joy for him.
One day, he got a call from Royal Media Services and went for the interview. He presented his idea and was offered the job. He started Mseto East Africa on Radio Citizen. Later on, he presented the idea of hosting the show on Citizen TV which was given a nod. Today, he still hosts the show which has been running for years and even other media houses are following suit.