On the morning of October 30th, Moses Kanyira was a presenter and continuity announcer at Kameme FM. By 1pm, he was reading on Mt Kenya FM radio station!
That’s just how swift Kanyira’s gears shifted when he learnt that he was among the 160 employees Mediamax Network Ltd – which runs Kameme FM and TV, K24, People Daily and other radio stations – was laying off.
He, in fact, read the one o’clock news on Thursday on Mt Kenya radio, which is owned by Kirinyaga County Woman representative Purity Wangui Ngirici. The radio is a sister company to Mt Kenya TV.
Ms Ngirici has been poaching Kikuyu-speaking radio presenters from Kameme and Inooro FM as radio stations targeting the Kikuyu community in Nairobi and Central region hots up.
Kanyira, a popular vernacular radio presenter on Kameme FM, was a surprise pick for sacking as he was believed to draw in Kikuyu listeners. He had worked for the Kikuyu radio station for 17 years.
The news and sports anchor took to social media to announce he was leaving Kameme FM station, although he did not give the specific reason why the company may have terminated his services.
“Kwaherini ( goodbye) for those days we have been together in Kameme. Thanks to my fans for your support for the last 17 years. To the best of my knowledge, I have offered my service to this station in full capacity.”
As his fans struggled to decode Kanyira’s hint, he was actually at the Mt Kenya Radio studios.
“Good people thanks for your concern. It has taken God only a few hours to answer your prayers. My services have been absorbed elsewhere. I will update you on my new station tomorrow (Thursday),” Kanyira.
When he got there, his first agenda was to announce that he had found a new home at Mt Kenya radio.
Before the sacking, Kanyira had left Kameme FM twice (2013 and 2017) temporarily to run for the Tetu parliamentary seat but has been unsuccessful. The host of the popular Mugithi show, Jeff Njoroge, that airs on Saturdays has also been laid off.
Kameme TV sackings
Meanwhile, its sister company, Kameme TV, appears to be the most affected by the mass firing at Mediamax Networks, with most of its employees losing their jobs on Wednesday, October 30.
Kameme TV, which was launched in 2017, fired all video editors, presenters and a number of producers. There is talk that Mediamax could be planning to close the vernacular TV station which has been unable to wrestle market from Royal Media Services Inooro TV. Other sources indicate the TV station will be rebranded to focus on entertainment.
Inside sources reveal that up to 24 journalists were fired from the TV station, leaving a lean staff of six people. Among those spared the purge are Ngina wa Wandurwa, Wainaina wa Kiarie, Mwaura wa Gunya, Nungari wa Kamau and Kimani wa Ngunjiri as well as news anchor Njogu wa Njoroge.
Emoo FM Presenters Sacked
Kalenjin Radio station Emoo was also affected, losing a number of presenters. Emoo FM is one of the newest stations to launched by Mediamax at the behest of Deputy President William Ruto, who is a principal shareholder in the company.
Those fire from Emoo FM include, among others: Eric Rono (news presenter), Eliud Kiprotich alias Eliud Eliud (news presenter), Abraham Kiplimo (business news) and Kiplagat Kwambai alias Ng’ombe Hamsini (presenter) as well as Benwaa Cheruiyot (sports reporter), Edwin Arap Tanui (presenter) and Julius Kibet (presenter).
Mayian FM Presenters
Maasai-language Mayian FM radio presenter Peter Dio and Deputy head Benson Wuapari were among those affected by the ruthless Mediamax mass sacking. Mayian FM Head of Radio Diana Daido, a former communications director at Narok County, survived.
K24 Staff Sacked
1. Fred Njiri – Managing Editor K24
2. Tony Timase – Head of Business k24
3. Torome Tirike – Head of Sports
4. Franklin Wambugu – Managing Editor, Swahili
5. Boniface Mutakha – Managing Editor, English
6. Frankilin Macharia – Senior Reporter
7. Anders Ihaji – Political reporter
8. Ali Mtenzi- Deputy Managing Editor
9. Mwanaisha Chidzuga – Swahili anchor
10. Juma Bhalo – Swahili Anchor.