10 Kenyan celebrity journalists who took to self-employment after years of working with giant media corporates

Cases of retrenchments and mass firings from local media conglomerates almost became the order of the day especially after Coronavirus hit.

It is no longer a new tale in the media industry, a lesson that majority of journalists have since learnt and taken steps on in the event that they face redundancy or even for those that already have.

Citizen TV studios

Once bitten, twice shy. Media professionals have now opted for second, third sources of income to sustain their families and even for financial security. However, for those that opted out of the circle or were forced out by unforeseen circumstances, self-employment has become the route to take for them. Lets get right through it.

1. Betty Kyallo

The sassy celebrity journalist has hopped several times in the media industry especially after her exit from her first home, KTN in 2018, to join rival station K24 where she exited in May 2020. Since then, Betty has been all about her beauty parlor business, Flair by Betty among other partnerships.

Ms Betty Kyallo

2. Maalika Kazia

Late August 2020, the young beauty called it quits at KTN where she had been for the last 2 years in what she termed a new step into a different chapter. The beauty is now into content creation on her YouTube channel ‘Maalika Kazia’ where she mainly talks about her personal life.

Maalika Kazia

3. Eric Njoka

The former K24 news anchor who teamed up with Karen Knaust for the Weekend Edition, has made his major comeback with his own online talk show Centred set to kick off this Thursday.

Former K24 Editor and producer, Eric Njoka

4. Jacque Maribe

Maribe, after being surrounded with controversies in late 2018 while working at Citizen TV, bounced back in August 2020 with her online political show dubbed Hot Seat that has aired several episodes so far.

Ms Jacque Maribe

5. Janet Mbugua

The mother of 2 quit her plum job on Citizen TV’s Monday Special show as she went into maternity but never returned, where she soon after launched her book My First Time and has since been doing all sorts of gigs including running her enterprise Inua Dada. 

Janet Mbugua

6. Mwanaisha Chidzuga

Mwanaisha was among the team of professionals shown the door at K24 in late 2019 where she dropped her journalism cap to take up full-time catering which was her main profession and has since started her own online talk show The Dada2Dada Uncensored.

Mwanaisha Chidzuga

7. John Allan Namu

The popular investigative journalist resigned from KTN in 2015 after multiple frustrations, to start his own investigative documentary series Africa Uncensored.

John Allan Namu

8. Terryanne Chebet

Terry was fired from Royal Media Services owned TV station Citizen TV in 2016, a move that totally broke her down for months before fully taking up her business empire, Keyara organics, that she had founded in 2014. She however currently holds multiple power positions in different entities.

Terryanne Chebet

9. Asha Mwilu

Asha worked as special projects editor at Citizen TV before announcing her exit in May 2020 before unveiling her own media company dubbed Debunk, on July 1, 2020.

Ms Asha Mwilu

10. Nancy Onyancha and Joab Mwaura

The celebrity couple took up their media organization, Sauti Tajika as option B after being shown the door during K24 TV’s mass retrenchment in June 2020. Nancy however joined Switch TV in early July.

Nancy Onyancha and husband, Joab Mwaura

Fired K24 TV couple re-emerge with own media company (Photo)

It is said, that when you get shown the door by your employer, you better have a plan B or somewhere to run to. For some, this statement has been taken for granted, while for others, they got wiser before they got bitten in the skin.

K24 TV´s recent mass lay off sent parking hundreds of employees – some not prepared for what was coming next, but for others, it had just opened doors for bigger and better things in their career life.

Media celebrity couple, Joab Mwaura and Nancy Onyancha rattled fans after they both got fired and the big question was: what´s next?

Ex-K24 couple, Nancy Onyancha and Joab Mwaura

Well, a question that has now been answered after the TV couple revealed they have been running a media organization of their own for 6 years now.

Also read: Mwalimu Churchill publicly declares how he prefers to get fired after ugly K24 saga

Therefore, getting fired only gave them the opportunity to grow their business more and focus on that alone.

Own media company

Mr Mwaura divulged to Kenyans.co.ke:

At Sauti Tajika, we cover TV and online commercials, documentaries, event coverage and voice-overs. I started working at K24 TV as a reporter. Before I was promoted to the assignment editor and finally full editor. So I will take that experience and put it in the work in producing documentary features and voice-overs.

Award-winning journalist, Joab Mwaura

Turns out that Sauti Tajika production company was birthed in 2014 as an extra source of income for the former K24 TV couple.

Also read: Blessings on blessings: Betty Kyallo to make TV comeback after quitting K24!

And now that this is currently their main focus, Joab stated he is seeking to purchase more equipment and set up a voicing booth in his home.

I have two camera persons who can handle shooting for events like weddings, graduations, company events, we are up for that task.

Nancy Onyancha and Joab Mwaura´s media company

However, he clarified that this by no means meant fans were never going to see them on TV anymore. If anything, he stated that his wife, Nancy was already receiving offers from local stations.

As I run the company, I am open to offers from other media stations because journalism is my passion.

TV couple, Nancy Onyancha and Joab Mwaura

The couple anticipates to set up an official office come August 2020.