Despite the existence of several digital platforms where one can readily access information at the touch of a button, tuning in to Radio show remains one of Kenyans popular and favourite pastime activity.
There are currently 173 radio stations in Kenya broadcasting in four main languages namely; English, Swahili, Sheng and vernacular languages, serving different target audiences, according to data by the industry regulator, Communications Authority of Kenya (CA).
Here are the top ten most popular Kenyan radio presenters in no particular order.
The Blackest Man in Africa - Uncle Fred Obachi Machoka
The Kenyan radio industry will be a shell of itself if one Uncle Fred Obachi Machoka hadn’t switched his gun for the microphone.
The year was 1975, then a youthful Fred was serving in the Northern Frontier as a General Service Unit (GSU) soldier and loved listening to radio. It was while listening to radio at one time when he heard of a competition branded “SANYO Juu SANYO talks” and decided to try his luck.
“To my amazement, I won the competition, which came with a radio as the prize. This required me to travel to Nairobi to pick my prize. When I met the producer of the programme that ran the competition, he immediately noticed my voice and told me it would be a great voice for radio if I was interested in radio broadcasting,” Obachi explains of his debut into the Kenyan media scene.
Despite broadcasting being a totally new field for Obachi, he took to it like a duck to water and a year later, he resigned from the forces to take on a full-time broadcasting job and as they say the rest is history.
Today, every Saturday is never complete without tuning in to his popular radio show which has since expanded into a TV show by the same name, the one and only Roga Roga show which features authentic African music served with humour.
He is also a walking archive boosting an unmatched repertoire for African music, particularly Rumba and Lingala.
Willy M Tuva is the true ‘face’ of Kenyan contemporary radio industry which has since come of age.
He will forever be credited with pushing East African music to be heard in local radio stations through his popular show, Mambo Mseto and Mseto East Africa.
With his mastery of Swahili music, up to date information on all the latest entertainment news, coupled with his charm and wit, Will M Tuva has warmed his way into the hearts of young Kenyans and continue to shape the radio stations.
Jalango whose real name is Felix Odiwour is one of Kenya’s wittiest media personality.
He is a Kenyan director, an actor, a comedian, MC and a radio show host.
With no college or university degree many would have given up and resorted to doing menial jobs but not Jalango. His comic side has since opened doors for him and he is now one of the highest paid MC/Event organizers in Kenya.
He is also the CEO of Arena media, an event organizing company.
Maqbul Mohammed is one of Kenya’s most familiar faces and voice.
He is radio presenter and also a successful TV actor and has featured in numerous television series, films and commercials.
His major breakthrough to the entertainment industry was in 2006 when he starred in a local TV drama called Makutano Junction series.
He has subsequently appeared in a number of films such as; Behind Closed Doors, Kwani Readings Weakness and All Girls Together.
In between he still finds time to do other jobs and has worked as floor manager, director, producer and even runs his own company.
If freshness, boldness and unapologetic raw African gusto ever have a face it will be the face of one Fareed Khimani.
The radio guru who worked for Nation FM in the early 2000s is back with a bang on air after a brief hiatus.
With his fiercely independent mind coupled with raw guts, Fareed is one of Kenyan legendary Radio and TV personality.
He currently hosts a morning show on Capital FM from Monday to Friday.
Rachael Muthoni aka Mwalimu Rachael is a radio and TV presenter. She is currently the head presenter at NRG radio.
She started off as an intern at Homeboyz though she did a brief stint at Ghetto Radio.
She is also an MC, voice over artiste, social media influencer and a motivational speaker.
Mwalimu Rachael says she became interested in the media at a young age, though she was torn between law and the media.
Daniel Githinji Mwangi, popularly known as Mbusii is one of the most popular radio personalities in the Kenya. His sheng’ speaking prowess is unmatched and has given him a niche in the reggae Radio shows in the country.
He started his blossoming radio career at Ghetto Radio where he quickly commanded a large fan base hosting one of the biggest reggae shows in the Country. He then moved from Ghetto radio to Radio Jambo where he is currently based.
Anita Nderu is one of the most versatile media personalities in Kenya.
She is a TV and Radio Presenter, emcee, voice over artist & social media influencer.
Anita has worked in the Kenyan media industry for the last seven years and currently works at Capital FM. She is also a panelist on NTV’s The Trend #TTTT show.
She was named among BBC’s 100 most inspirational and innovative women in 2017.
Maina Kageni is one of the most riveting radio personalities to listen to everyday while on your way to work.
He hosts Classic 105’s breakfast show ‘Maina In The Morning’ - a fun-filled show where humour and relationships are part of the recipe - alongside Mwalimu King’ang’I (Daniel Ndambuki).
Together, the two are among the most tuned in radio hosts in the country.
Massawe Japanni is one of the most talented radio personalities in Kenya.
She began her radio journey at Baraka FM in Mombasa and over time has managed to amass quite a huge fan base thanks to grasp of issues, mastery of Swahili language and sultry voice.
Massawe has worked at a number of Radio stations including Q FM and Milele FM.
She is currently a radio presenter at Radio Jambo.