12 media personalities who ditched the screen for government jobs and politics

A good number of journalists have switched careers

Munira Muhammad, Dennis Onsarigo and Carol Nderi

The Kenyan General Election always comes with a number of changes in the country, not just a change of leaders and government.

The allure of governance and power seems to also appeal to media personalities in Kenya.

This year, for example, will see renowned radio presenter and YouTuber Jalang'o step into the world of politics.

After 2017, a good number of media personalities ditched the screen to try their hands in politics and others earned themselves positions in state offices, particularly State House.

News of former Citizen TV anchor Kanze Dena-Mararo being appointed as State House Deputy Spokesman and Deputy Head of Presidential Strategic Communication Unit (PSCU) added her name to the growing list of journalists who have ditched the screen.

She would later rise to the position of State House spokesperson after Ambassador Manoah Esipisu took up the diplomat appointment.

Other than Ms Mararo, a number of journalists were elected as MPs and one governor while others took up Cabinet Secretary positions and even communication officers for politicians.

Here is a list of those transitioned from the screen to state jobs

Farida Karoney

Former Royal Media Services’ Chief Operating Officer (COO) Farida Karoney was appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta to become the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Lands.

Karoney had worked as the Royal Media Services COO for 3 years and 6 months and also served as the Group Editorial Director for the media house.

Sabina Chege

Before joining politics, Murang'a Woman Representative Sabina Wanjiru Chege worked as a presenter at Kameme FM and Coro FM.

Ms Chege who is a second time women rep also worked as a video vixen singer in John De’Mathew hit song dubbed Njata Yakwa.

Kanze Dena-Mararo

Former Citizen TV Swahili anchor Kanze Dena-Mararo ditched the screen after being appointed to the Presidential Strategic Communications Unit (PSCU).

She took up leadership of the core communications teams which included digital, messaging, research, branding and press.

Munira Muhammad

Former KTN journalist Munira Muhammad serves at State House Deputy Head, PSCU and Head of the Presidential Library.

She used to serve as PSCU's Director of Press.

Mohammed Ali

Respected Investigative Journalist Mohammed Ali, left KTN and joined politics before being elected as Nyali Member Of Parliament.

Granton Samboja

Former K24 Journalist Granton Samboja floored former Governor John Mruttu to become Taita Taveta County boss during last year's elections.

Naisula Lesuuda

Former Nominated Senator Naisula Lesuuda clinched the Samburu West Parliamentary seat during the 2017 elections.

Lesuuda was a former employee of Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC).

Carol Nderi

Nyeri County poached KTN reporter Carol Nderi to become its head of communications.

Ms Nderi was based in Nyeri as a KTN reporter for 5 years before being appointed the Director of Communications for Nyeri County.

Joy Doreen Biira

Former KTN news Anchor and the official East African Correspondent for Deutsche Welle (DW) Joy Doreen Biira exited the media industry after landing a job with the Ministry of Mining.

The TV girl made the transition towards the end of last year, to settle as the Advisor, Strategic Communications officer at the ministry.

Ms Biira had joined Standard Media Group in January 2012 as a news anchor and reporter with KTN.

Mwenda Njoka

Kenyan investigative journalist and winner of CNN Journalist of the Year Award, Mwenda Njoka landed a job as the spokesman for the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government.

Dennis Onsarigo

After announcing his exit from mainstream media back in 2018, investigative journalist Dennis Onsarigo kept a low profile off-screen and has only recently announced his affiliation with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Onsarigo is believed to be running the top politician's social media pages.

Gathoni Wa Muchomba

Kiambu Woman Representative Gathoni Wa Muchomba wears many hats.

Before ditching the media for politics she worked for stations such as Kameme Fm and later Inooro Fm. Gathoni is a first time politician, almost at the conclusion of her first term as MP.

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