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Swaleh Mdoe's Biography: 17-year Citizen TV career, awards & suspension from TV

In the world of Kenyan journalism, one name that resonates with viewers across the nation is Swaleh Mdoe.

Swaleh Mdoe

With his distinctive voice and captivating presence, Mdoe has become a household name, delivering news and captivating stories to millions of viewers.

As a seasoned journalist and news anchor, his contributions to the media industry are unparalleled.

In this article, we delve into the fascinating biography of Swaleh Mdoe, exploring his early life, education, career, achievements, and awards.


Born and raised (May 23, 1968) in the vibrant city of Tudor, Mombasa, Kenya, Swaleh Mdoe's journey to success was not without its fair share of challenges.

Growing up in a modest family, Mdoe learned the value of hard work and determination from an early age. Despite the financial constraints, he was fuelled by a passion for storytelling and an innate curiosity about the world around him.

Mdoe's thirst for knowledge led him to pursue his education with unwavering dedication.


He started his education at Tudor Day School in Mombasa, where he sat for his Certificate of Primary Education.

After completing his secondary school education, he joined The Media Institute where he got a diploma in human rights and media.

Mdoe also attended the Malaspina University College, earning a Bachelor of Communication in Media Studies, an accolade that served as a foundation for his illustrious career.

Swaleh Mdoe's professional journey began when he joined Nation Media Group in 1999 where worked as a news anchor until 2001.


He moved to Standard Media Group-owned KTN. While at KTN, he supervised the Kiswahili news team, editing copies and also presented news live on air.

After six years at KTN, he moved to Royal Media Services’ Citizen TV in March 2007 where he has been for close to 17 years.

After joining Citizen TV, Mdoe's charismatic on-screen presence and ability to connect with his audience made him a favourite among Kenyan households.

It was at Citizen TV, a subsidiary of Royal Media Services, that Mdoe truly made his mark.


As a news anchor, he brought a unique perspective to the stories he covered, combining empathy and professionalism to deliver news that resonated with viewers.

The Citizen TV presenter is known for his segment "Tafakari ya Babu" where he shares anecdotes and profound Swahili lessons.

Swaleh Mdoe is gearing up to release his autobiography, offering readers an intimate glimpse into his remarkable journey in the world of Kenyan journalism.

In this eagerly anticipated book, 'Newsroom Raw Currents', Mdoe promises to share candid insights, personal anecdotes, and invaluable lessons learned throughout his illustrious career.


Stay tuned for the release of this compelling narrative, which is sure to captivate audiences and inspire aspiring journalists alike.

Over the course of his career, Swaleh Mdoe has amassed a plethora of achievements and accolades.

His exceptional reporting skills have been recognized both nationally and internationally. Mdoe's ability to immerse himself in the stories he covers, shedding light on important issues, has earned him numerous awards.


He has contributed news stories, features and reports for the London-based shipping magazine, Ports International (1997-2002), Los Angeles Times (USA), Uhuru, and The Express newspapers both in Tanzania and in the local newspapers. Swaleh was a member of East African Foreign Correspondents Association (1993-1999).

Currently, he is a member of the Media Council of Kenya and Kenya Editors Guild.

He has earned several awards and accolades notably among them being by Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ) Journalists of the Year Awards as the News Anchor of the Year (Kiswahili) for the year 2003 and again in 2004.

He won the favourite TV Male Presenter Award for four consecutive years 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 in the youth premier awards, Chaguo La Teeniz Awards(CHAT).


Also in 2004 Daystar University, awarded his a recognition award, The Star of Excellence Award. In July 2009, he was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador of Culture by Jamhuri Peace Foundation, a programme under UN Habitat.

Between 2012 – 2016, he was a commissioner for ACALAN ( which loosely translates in French as the African Academy of Languages) a specialised body of the African Union assigned with the task of developing and promoting the use of African languages as a pragmatic means of fostering African integration.

In February 2024, it was reported that Swaleh was suspended by Citizen TV after missing a news bulletin he was supposed to present.

According to reports, the news anchor defended that he was sick and had been forced to seek treatment thereby being absent from the 1:00 pm bulletin on Tuesday, January 23.


However, his supervisors were reportedly unaware of his predicament. As a result, the station’s bosses decided to bar him from being on air indefinitely.

In 2006, Swaleh Mdoe, found himself at the centre of a controversy that nearly led to his deportation. Mdoe disclosed the harrowing experience in an exclusive interview, shedding light on the tumultuous ordeal he faced.

The saga began when Mdoe was unexpectedly flagged by immigration officials during a routine verification process. Surprisingly, his citizenship status was called into question, sparking a series of investigations that threatened his residency in Kenya.


Despite being a prominent figure in Kenyan journalism for decades, Mdoe found himself entangled in bureaucratic red tape, struggling to prove his citizenship amidst mounting pressure from authorities.

Fortunately, after extensive legal consultations and presenting irrefutable evidence of his nationality, Mdoe managed to avert the imminent deportation order.


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