Celebrated radio presenter Maina Kageni is a household name in Kenya, mostly thanks to his popular morning show on Radio Africa Group’s Classic FM alongside popular comedian Churchill/Daniel ‘Mwalimu King’ang’i’ Ndambuki.
The show attracts eye-watering advertising revenues owing to its popularity, mostly in urban areas. This has led to Kageni being one of the most well paid media personalities in the country, but he sees his radio work simply as his day job – enabling him to engage in various other ventures.
His other income-generating activities include influencing for brands, working with major Kenyan politicians on their PR and marketing, and running his own ventures including his travel outfit Tembea Tujenge Kenya. He also works for the Kenya Tourism Federation (KTF).
Kageni’s Tembea Tujenge Kenya has partnerships in place with organizations including Isuzu, Sarova Hotels and Safaricom. Speaking to his Radio Africa colleague Kamene Goro, Kageni urged Kenyans to avoid being reliant on a single income stream.
“The day you have only one revenue stream you’re finished. Totally finished,” he asserted.
Kageni told Goro, who described him as Kenya’s highest paid presenter, that his entry into radio ‘was a fluke’. He noted that he had always been passionate about business, and if he didn’t get on radio would probably be a spare parts dealer on River Road.
A young Kageni, together with friends including one Trevor Kanja and DJ Pinye, wanted to promote an event they had organized on radio. Not being able to pay Ksh40,000 for a voice-over artist for the ad they wanted aired on Capital FM led to the birth of his radio career, which would end up catapulting him to incredible fame and success.
Kageni noted that he asked if he could record the voice over himself since he didn’t have the money. The station was so impressed by Kageni that they immediately offered him a role.
“I paid for the airtime, then they said we need Ksh40,000 for the voice-over – the guy who speaks the ad on the radio and its sound nice. I said can I do it? They said it’s your ad, if its rubbish its rubbish…I did the voice over and then they asked me, have you ever been on radio?” Kageni stated
“Basically if I had Ksh40,000 that day I’d never be on radio,” he observed.