by Martin Oduor
Mzazi Willy M Tuva is arguably the most famous radio presenter in East Africa. But surprisingly his first job was a newspaper cartoonist.
Mzade opened up about his past in an interview with the Star. He reveals that he had a passion for radio and drawing while he was still a kid living in Lamu.
“I was also a cartoonist and sometimes my mother would scold me, asking me why I was concentrating so much on art rather than my studies. On the other hand my dad was so supportive and he bought me a drawing book. I longed for the day I would be a public figure and because I never doubted myself, I am who I am today,” said Mzazi.
Mzazi reveals his first shot at being a presenter came when he qualified for a job at KBC. The national broadcaster however rejected him because he was still a student at Kenya Institute of Mass Communication (KIMC).
“When I was a first-year student at the KIMC. I remember there was a time they were doing auditions for KBC at the college, I gave it a try and qualified. They called me for the interview and I was one of the top 10 who were selected. I ended up not being given the job since I was still in school. I asked them to give me a night show, but they refused. I almost gave up but my friend encouraged me not give up.”
Mzazi resorted to being a newspaper cartoonist after failing to secure the radio job at KBC. He worked for Kenya Times before he before he quit drawing altogether when he landed a job at Citizen Radio as a presenter.
“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 cartoonist’ but he was too busy for me so he told me, ‘you see all these files,[they belong to] people like you 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.”
“I went there (Kenya Times) confidently with the name and presented my work to them, and the next day my cartoon was in the newspaper. I felt so happy. Later on, I had never applied for a job at Citizen Radio, but one day I was called there for an interview and I passed. I thank God He had His reasons.”
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