Popular radio presenter John Njogu wa Njoroge is set to quit radio to launch a career in politics.
Njogu, who hosts the Arahuka breakfast show on Kameme FM, will vie for the Njoro parliamentary seat currently held by Joseph Kiuna in the August 2017 General Election.
Recently, the presenter, who has previously worked at KBC and Inooro, held a massive prayer rally at the Kasarani Gymnasiums, which was sponsored by 18 companies and institutions, to mark his 15 years in radio.
The aftermath of the rally, which was attended by thousands of his fans, had an ironic twist when two MPs, Moses Kuria (Gatundu South) and Ferdinand Waititu (Kabete), who were among those in attendance, were arrested and remanded in police custody for four days for allegedly uttering hate speech remarks.
But the presenter, who is also referred on radio as Mheshimiwa Njogu wa Njoroge, is not new to controversy. He has several times been accused of entertaining contributions that border on ethnic contempt and hate speech on his show.
If he joins politics, the Daystar University graduate will be following a trend that started in the last elections when several journalists and other media professionals won both parliamentary and county assembly seats.
They include Mustafa Idd (Kilifi South, ODM), Sabina Chege (Murang’a, Jubilee), Ayub Savula (Lugari, UDF), Alice Chae (Nyamira, ODM) and Dennitah Ghati (Migori, ODM). They joined Yussuf Hassan, a former editor with the BBC, who retained his Kamukunji seat.
Naisula Lesuuda, formerly of KBC, was later nominated by the Jubilee Alliance to the Senate.
Apart from Njogu, there is talk that several other journalists, among them KTN’s Mohammed Ali and a senior editor at Standard newspaper, who are mulling to plunge into elective politics.
Raisin funds for worthy causes
Apart from his journalistic prowess, Njogu has emerged as a shrewd mobiliser who uses his radio platform to raise funds for various causes. During the Kasarani prayer rally, Ksh2 million was raised to help children with special needs in Njoro, Nakuru.
A few days earlier, he helped raise Ksh3 million to enable a woman whose matatu was burnt during the Cord anti-IEBC demos buy a new vehicle. The woman has, however, also sued Cord leaders seeking compensation.
Last year, Njogu, through his programme, raised Sh6.4 million in a record two hours for K24 TV anchor Anjlee Gadvi, who has been battling cancer.
In 2014, he helped raise Ksh6.2 million for Kikuyu musician Shiru wa GP to clear a hospital bill. President Uhuru Kenyatta made a donation of Ksh1 million. The musician had delivered twins at MP Shah Hospital but due to complications, one of them died.