You may love them or hate them. Troll them or applause them. It doesn’t change a thing. They are influential, and they are probably here to stay. Here is a list of the top 10 most influential 2013 journalists and media personalities in Kenya. These are the media bigwigs who nobody should get surprised when they win a Pulitzer.
#1 John Allan Namu
Recruited by the Kenya Television Network (KTN) soon after graduating from the United States International University (USIU), John Allan Namu was most influential in highlighting the 07/08 post-election violence in Kenya as well as the plight of the IDP’s. He has done breathtaking coverage that has exposed corruption in the highest echelons of power, drug trafficking and terrorism.
- CNN Multichoice African Journalist Award 2009
#2 Caroline Mutuku
Kenyans love to hate the sashay and controversial radio presenter. Maybe this is what makes her all the more popular. Caroline Mutuku loves to court controversy with the same affection that women love gossip. The Kiss 100 Big Breaksfast presenter commands high ratings and is among the best paid presenters in Kenya;
Achivements: featured by CNN in “From Famous Daughters: What I loved from my mum”
#3 Jeff Koinange
Jeff Koinange (or probably Keff Joinange as the XYZ show calls his mimic puppet) is a household name in Kenya. He is the true image of professionalism and it is easy to work out why. He has been around the globe, worked with a lot of world-renown media corporations and bagged the awards. He currently hosts Capital Talk in K24.
Awards: Emmy Award for covering civil wars in Sierra Leone and Liberia
#4 Maina Kageni
Is he the bad boy of Kenyan Radio? There are all sort of rumors going round concerning this Break Fast show host in Classic 105, but this does not stop the show from being one of the most tuned-in talk shows on Kenyan Radio. The discussions on the talk show tend towards verbal intercourse, and that is probably why he remains popular.
#5 Sophie Ikenye
Back when she used to work as a News Anchor for NTV, Sophie Ikenye was such a cherished face! She was fired together with co-anchor Tom Mboya for alleged indiscipline. This has not stopped the thin-faced presenter from scaling mountains. Sophie Ikenye presently hosts Focus on Africa in BBC where she is highly regarded as a mentor by students in the BBC journalism school.
#6 Zain Verjee
Those who are order than the ‘Swag and Socialite Generation’ probably remember Zain Verjee from her days in KTN. She left KTN for CNN, where apparently the stars are shining brighter. Zain has been a host and co-host of several programmes in CNN, she is also the author of a children’s book. “Live On Air”.
#7 Mohammed Ali
Despite his name raising all manner of red flags in Kenyan and International airports, this bold investigative journalist puts his life on the line to bring Kenyans some the most revolutionary news.
Awards: reporter of the Year Television Award and Journalist of the Year Award, 2009.
#8 Julie Gichuru
Born from a Kenyan Mom and a Kashmiri father, Julie Gichuru oozes charisma, class and beauty. She worked on radio prior to joining television. In Tv, she has graced the lobbies of NTV and KTN but currently works for Citizen TV.
Awards: Martin Luther King Salute to Greatness Award
#9 Johnson Mwakazi
Johnson Mwakazi rose from grass to grace and now graces the households of more than 40 million television viewers in Kenya. Born and raised in Kibera, Johnson Mwakazi is probably the only journalist in Kenya who landed a prestigious position without any training in journalism.
#10 Patrick Mahinge
This unheard journalist just compiled a list of the top 10 most influential journalists in Kenya. Patrick is a blogger, freelance writer and internet entrepreneur who believes in taking the bull by the horns, whatever that means to you.