Top Radio Presenters Kenya: Muthoni Bwika, John Karani, Jeff Mwangemi, Jimmy Gathu, Eve D’souza, Cess Mutungi, Louis Otieno… These are just a few of the legendary names that dominated broadcasting in the 90s and 2000s. However, very little is known about where these prominent figures disappeared to or what they are currently doing. We have attempted to unravel this mystery with the following info collection:
Muthoni Bwika ruled the air waves back in the day. She was the queen of radio so much so that E Sir endorsed her in one of his lines; “Rap bila Esir ni ka radio bila Muthoni Bwika”.
She blew up at Nation FM presenting “Party Up” an afternoon hip hop show that was unrivalled and won many awards. She did her fair share of station hoping, with a legacy of promoting local content every where she went. In 2016, she was quoted as saying that “I am enjoying my privacy, no one knows who I am and I get to really connect with people. Fame fades faster than you know, just leave a legacy that you can be proud of.”
There were also reports that Muthoni had become a teacher at Hillcrest. She also started a vlog on YouTube. The vlog, however, went silent three years ago.
She is undoubtedly one of the most highly celebrated media personalities in Kenya. She is currently the CMO at Radio Africa Group. She had Caroline Mutoko a radio career that spanned over 16 years, of which twelve years were at Kiss 100 and 4 years at Capital Fm. She hosted the Big Breakfast Show with comedian Nyambane. “ I have worked all my life so I always tell people one of the things about me is I don’t know what it is like not to work but I also don’t know what it is like to be broke because I’ve always worked,” she once told a gathering of Wings to Fly students sponsored by Equity Bank. “When I got my first job in radio at Capital, my job was to go in twice an hour twice for about a minute and give the traffic update. That was my job. I didn’t get the big show. There was a show that used to run from two o’clock until 4 o’clock and between 3:00 and about 5:00. There were three constant traffic updates.”
She recently joined Radio Africa’s Smooth FM. This came barely a year after she left Capital Fm where she had been a senior presenter/ producer of the Jam 98.4, an afternoon radio show which runs every day from 3 pm to 7 pm. “Actually I wanted to be a Christiane Amanpour! But a chance meeting with Bob Kioko, then head of Radio at Nation FM changed my destiny,” Cess once said. After Nation FM, she also worked for Kiss FM, Capital and Hot 96 before she quit the radio scene for sometime. She later returned to Capital where she retired last year before her recent comeback.
He was the maestro that dominated radio entertainment in the 90s and early 2000s. he hosted popular shows such as Saturday Night Show (SNS) and the Beat Time show, and the Youth Variety show on KBC English Service. At one point, he partnered with Charity Karimi. His star in radio, however, faded out when he joined KBC’s Metro Fm. Months after joining Metro, Karani went off the airwaves. He was reported to have crossed over to Tanzania, before returning to Kenya. In his heydays, Karani was also a popular Dj and MC, something that he continues to do until now.
Jeff has remained true to his calling up until now. He is still a radio presenter at KBC Swahili Service dubbed Radio Taifa. He hosts the shows Yours for the Asking and the Reggae show. He has been a star attraction at the national broadcaster since the days of John Karani.
With a career spanning more than 25 years, Jimmy has so far graced our television screens, radio waves, billboards, functions and campaigns. Remember People’s Parliament on Kiss 100? He was the voice behind the show.
“I never sat down and said, ‘I’ll make this last 25 years or 30 years’. I wasn’t classically trained to be a media personality; I learned on the job and because I wanted to be good at it, I paid close attention to everything. I remember, though, in the first four years of my career, my name was always mentioned in the column Letters to the Editor. Mostly it was people complaining about me. Some didn’t like my show, some didn’t like me as a person. So, it shocked me when Coca-Cola called and asked me to be their youth ambassador in 1995. I made my first million at the age of 25. Back then, that was a lot of money,” he recently said in a local interview.
Jimmy is currently focusing his energies on acting. He is known for his role in movies such as is an actor, Rafiki (2018), State House (2014) and Nairobi Half Life (2012).
Top Radio Presenters Kenya: More to follow…