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My story: Janet Mbugua’s rise from bad girl to TV role model

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[dropcap]J[/dropcap]anet Mbugua, born in January 1984, has risen from obscurity to become a prominent media personality, anchor and actress. As a news anchor, she worked KTN in her earlier years of her career before joining eTV of South Africa and then later on Citizen TV.

But Janet says she did not aspire to be a TV personality. “I didn’t think I had a look for TV,” she told Standard in a past interview. “I grew up a tomboy, not coming my hair, climbing trees and fighting with my brothers as I ran up and down in rubber shoes. I was a bit of a bully who used to fight boys. That’s not a picture of a TV girl. Mind you, I never wore make up and had no time for the mirror. I don’t wear make-up unless I am going on air.”

Her dreams were to become a psychiatrist or study criminology. She could fulfill part of that dream at Red Cross where she

will deal a lot with people in distress.  Her high school and college life were a mess, as she indulged in drinking and what she calls “crazy” life. “My parents pushed me to USIU where I didn’t do much but a lot of drinking and partying,” she said in the interview.

That’s where she went back to Mombasa and found a job at Pulse FM, before returning to Nairobi to join Capital FM. She then went to South Africa for a bridging course, but her love for money and good things took the better of her, again. She started modelling in Cape Town and got distracted.

“I liked the money,” she added. “As we got to 2005, I moved to Malaysia and strange enough my first day of class I was being recruited for a fashion show. And soon the world of glamour consumed me for the next two years.”

So how was it working with media? She says: “Oh, one thing is that I lost my private live. I had all these cool piercing and tattoos all over that had to go.”

Janet is also an actress. She played the lead in television series Rush. In 2014, she starred in the sitcom, cast in the lead role as Pendo Adama, the owner and editor-in-chief of Rush Magazine.

Related >> Janet Mbugua lands lucrative job international job

Janet was raised in Mombasa, Kenya. She has a twin brother, Timothy Mbugua.

In 2004, at the age of 19, Mbugua joined Capital FM. In 2009, she was hired as a news anchor, reporter and producer of Pan-African current affairs show, Africa 360 by eTV in Johannesburg, South Africa. At Citizen TV she has been hosting Monday Special and The Big Question news programmes.

Janet is the founder and director of Media Avenue Limited, which provides training public speaking, moderating and emceeing. She has also reinforced the empowerment of young females with the Inua Dada campaign, which has been endorsed by the First Lady, Margaret Kenyatta.

Mbugua got married to Edward Ndichu in May 2015. Together they have a son, Ethan Huru Ndichu born in October 2015.



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