As much as training institutions play a big role in an individual’s line of work, not all renowned news anchors and TV reporters started out by enrolling for a course in journalism.
A number of journalists in Kenya have carved out their paths and grown into prominence in the media business despite having primarily studied health sciences or medicine courses.
They include KTN‘s Mercy Korir and CGTN‘s Enock Sikolia.
Here is a list of media practitioners who are trained experts in the medical field.
- Dr. Mercy Korir
Dr Mercy Korir, a health journalist attached to KTN News Kenya
Mercy studied Medicine and Surgery at the University of Nairobi. She had a chance to practice as a medical doctor before finally swapping the stethoscope for the media.
She worked as a medical doctor at the Nairobi Hospital in 2015 before joining the government as a Liason Officer.
She later joined Standard Media Group in 2017 where she currently started as a reporter before becoming an editor of Health and Science in July 2020.
The doctor rose into prominence especially during the Covid-19 pandemic which was reported in March 2020.
A few months into the pandemic, Korir rose to prominence after she began using her platform to dispel myths and other misleading claims around the virus.
Korir also pursued a Master of Arts Degree in General Communication from the University of Nairobi
2. Enock Sikolia
Enock Sikolia filming one of his environmental pieces
The former Citizen TV reporter has graced TV screens with his gripping tales and deep dive into investigative projects for nearly a decade.
Enock Shikolia is very good and has handled topics outside the medical field that it is hard to fathom that he holds a Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory from Kenyatta University.
In a candid statement he released in 2019, Sikolia admitted that he had no interest in the course and that storytelling was his love.
He spoke about being made to study the wrong course, twice.
“It happened in 2004 after they admitted me to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Laboratory Sciences. I had little or no knowledge at all about this course and I don’t remember it being one of the four choices I applied for being a journalist,” he noted.
After consulting a few friends, Sikolia believed that he could change the course once he was admitted.
“The registrar academics then, lied to me for a whole year since I was to do an Inter-University transfer. The university did not offer journalism then. So I was forced to study something I knew nothing about and didn’t want for four years,” he added.
He, however, dived into journalism after graduating in 2008 by taking manual roles from his church and Koch FM.
3. Lofty Matambo
KTN News anchor and Radio Maisha presenter Lofty Matambo
Matambo is one of the most recognisable faces on KTN today, but few people countrywide are aware of his sprawling career in the laboratory.
The reporter holds a Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology from Kabete National Polytechnic.
His entry into the media industry was a rather dramatic one. In an interview in August 2020, Matambo noted that he left a patient in a hospital for an opportunity to be in the media.
He had worked at a local clinic which slowly drained his energy day after day, to a point where the doctor had noticed and encouraged him to chase his dreams.
One day as he was attending to a patient who needed testing, he heard an announcement on Hope FM and decided to go for it.
He later enrolled for a Degree in Communications and PR at St Paul’s University.
4. Shiksha Arora
File image of K24 TV anchor Shiksha Arora at a photoshoot
During her stint at K24 TV, Shiksha Arora illuminated the screen with her demeanor that veered from serious news delivery when she was on air and goofy dancing instructor when off.
In an earlier interview with Kenyans.co.ke, The bubbly anchor disclosed that right from the onset, she never set out to become a media practitioner. She enrolled at the University of Nairobi to study for a Microbiology degree but “I somehow found myself in radio after I randomly auditioned.”
She had gone for the audition with a friend and luckily, she got selected as a presenter for East FM.
The anchor then served in the capacity for six years before she flew out to pursue a master’s degree at Westminster in the UK. She also worked as a journalist for the BBC while she pursued her master’s.
Special Mention – Eric Njoka
Ex-K24 Eric Njoka lands a new job as a News Anchor at Zee Media Corporation Limited, India’s largest news network.
After leaving K24 TV in 2020, Eric Njoka joined an international media company, Zee Media as a news anchor.
He treats the job as his full time but on the side, Njoka is known for his hands-on approach to his family’s business where he works as a morgue attendant.
In an interview in 2018, Njoka revealed that he was trained for the job by his father, a former nominated MP, so he could hold take over the business.
“My dad trained me to be a mortician so to speak. His family’s objective was to make me work here and learn skills to start my own hospital and mortuary in the future.
“My dream was not to work here. My dream was to become a journalist, but my dad did not appreciate that career. He never saw any talent in that,” stated Njoka at the time.
The morgue has been in existence for 10 years.