Home GENERAL Waihiga Mwaura Biography, Age, Wife, Wedding, Career

Waihiga Mwaura Biography, Age, Wife, Wedding, Career

by Louis
Waihiga Mwaura Biography

Waihiga Mwaura Biography

Waihiga Mwaura is an award-winning Kenyan journalist and Citizen TV news anchor. In 2018, he was the BBC Komla Dumor Award winner. He was also the first man to clinch the coveted award in its 4th edition.

Waihiga made a mark on the map of Africa after winning the much-coveted CNN Africa journalist of the year award in the sports category. This was after working only a few years for Royal Media. The fascinating part of it all is that Mwaura does not have formal training in journalism.

Waihiga Mwaura Age, Waihiga Mwaura Birthday

The Kenyan born sports anchor was born on 6 June 1984. There is no provided information about his birthplace. As of 2019, he is 35 years old.

Waihiga Mwaura Height

The Citizen TV news anchor maintains a low profile about his personal life, and hence, there is no provided information about his height. This information will soon be updated.

Waihiga mwaura

Waihiga mwaura

Waihiga Mwaura Family, Waihiga Mwaura Parents, Waihiga Mwaura Father

Not much is known about his family. In an interview, he once mentioned that he has two other siblings. He also said that

“They talked to us about the prospect of being a family of lawyers and passing it on through generations but the best thing about them was that they allowed us to express ourselves from a young age. They instilled in us the value of education and strong Christian values.”

He referred to his parents, which means that he had parents though he did not mention their names. This information will soon be updated.

ALSO, READ Hussein Mohamed Biography, Education, Quit, Career

Waihiga Mwaura’s Marriage, Wife Joyce Omondi

On 18 November 2015, the Citizen TV sports and news anchor walked down the aisle with the love of his life, gospel singer Joyce Omondi. The wedding ceremony was held at Sawela Lodge in Naivasha. In attendance were a good number of citizen TV journalists, close friends, family, and other members of the media fraternity.

As little was known about the couple’s courtship and wedding, not many were able to attend as it caught them by surprise. Once the news of their wedding broke, it was splashed on many local websites and blogs.

Waihiga and Joyce Omondi opted for an intimate out-of-town wedding

Waihiga mwaura's wife

waihiga and wife Joyce omondi attending an event

Waihiga Mwaura Education

Waihiga grew up like all other kids having different career choices. He initially wanted to be a pilot. When his family moved from Donholm to Westlands, technical sciences piqued his interest, pushing him to pursue a computer science degree at Africa Nazarene University eventually.

“I was one of those kids who were confused about what they wanted to do, and computer science at the time seemed like a good idea – the Internet boom was happening in Kenya, and everyone was big on IT,” he explains.

His career kept changing from a doctor being inspired by the works of Ben Cason to being an engineer. After doing his internship and graduated from the course, he confesses that he since hated IT.

Waihiga Mwaura BBC

“My media journey has been one of the gradual steps forward. Even when I took a step forward and two steps backward, the highlights have been incremental. I thank God for this because it gave me a chance to take it all in at every level. Sometimes when success comes at a very young age, you can lose your head,” says the journalist who describes himself as dependable, resolute, bold, and helpful.

To him, any other challenge was preparing him for greater things. One of these greater things is his most notable award yet which came in September 2018 when he became the first Kenyan journalist to win the BBC World News Komla Dumor Award for his passion for giving Africans a voice. According to the panel, this was what set him apart. His story-telling ability, as well as his on-screen presence, also impressed the judging panel.

Unknown to many, he had been shortlisted twice before but did not clinch it. Interestingly, Komla Dumor, the Ghanaian journalist the award is named after, also did not have formal journalism training. The steady effort, consistency, and persistence, he reveals, is what has worked for him.

Citizen TV Unveils Waihiga Mwaura As Hussein Mohamed’s Replacement On News Night

Royal Media Services (RMS) has settled on a replacement for Hussein Mohamed on News Night show at Citizen TV.

In a video, the television station announced that Waihiga Mwaura would take over the news segment that airs every Tuesday effective November 5, 2019.

Newsnight takes a new form, shape, and substance. Beginning Tuesday, November 5, Waihiga Mwaura steers the ship that is one of Kenya’s biggest news and current affairs show,”

Waihiga’s Life Story to becoming an award-winning Journalist

Like most kids, growing up, Waihiga Mwaura wanted to be a pilot, then shortly after, a neurosurgeon, having been inspired by the works of Dr. Ben Carson. Brought up by parents who are lawyers, there was also the notion that he and his two siblings would take up the profession.

“They talked to us about the prospect of being a family of lawyers and passing it on through generations, but the best thing about them was that they allowed us to express ourselves from a young age. They instilled in us the value of education and strong Christian values,” he says as we start the interview.

“Going to church for us was pretty non-negotiable until we were about 18,” he adds, chuckling as he reminisces on his upbringing.

When his family moved from Donholm to Westlands, technical sciences piqued his interest, pushing him to pursue a computer science degree at Africa Nazarene University eventually.

“I was one of those kids who were confused about what they wanted to do, and computer science at the time seemed like a good idea – the Internet boom was happening in Kenya, and everyone was big on IT,” he explains.

Foray into the media

“I knew I was not passionate about IT, even before I graduated. I had done an internship with a non-governmental organization before graduation and realized that it was not something I could do for the rest of my life,” says the 34-year-old.

It took some nudging from a pastor in his church to push him into the media space. “I used to emcee events in the church, and each time he would tell me that I should be in media, but I kept ignoring him,” he narrates.

Despite being dissatisfied with his job as a bank cashier, it still took him a while before taking the leap. However, when he turned 25, he realized that if he was ever going to join the media industry, he would have to do it while there was no pressure from responsibilities or his parents. He then resolutely quit his job as a cashier at a local bank.

Renowned journalist Ephy Hunja is among the people that he looked up to at the time, and he still does. “We worshipped in the same church, so when I took that leap, I reached out to him. He bought me lunch and gave me such great advice. I have been trying to repay that lunch ever since,” he says jokingly.

Having not gone the conventional path of formal media training, media felt far removed. This prompted him to get into acting even as he asked around for media internships and dropped his CV at media houses. After one season of production, he realized that he was also not cut out for acting.

Reminiscing his acting days, he says, “That experience was an eye-opener. I got into it thinking that I would be the next Will Smith, but I left there humbled. Portraying different emotions on cue is hard! I have a deep respect for actors.”

It is during this period that he refers to as a ‘wilderness experience’ that he got his first call to audition for a show at Citizen TV. Unfortunately, he did not get the callback. Always the optimist, he reveals that this period allowed him to trust in God and learn how to survive on little money.

“I am grateful that my parents did not kick me out during that time because, to them, I had refused to get a job despite having gone to school to chase my passion,” he recounts.

As fate would have it, the producer of the show, having seen his potential, recommended him when the next auditions came round. Waihiga finally got his big break when he got picked to host Zinduka – entrepreneurship shows that ran on Wednesdays during the prime time news; something he admits is no mean feat. Naturally, he was very excited and relieved that he was finally getting direction in his life. His parents also shared in the relief as they felt that he had finally gained traction.

Becoming an award-winning journalist

 

After two seasons of Zinduka, a vacancy presented itself within the organization, and he thus joined the Power Breakfast show team, where he worked for two years, becoming a familiar face on TV screens. Around the same time, he also involved himself with the sports desk, and when the breakfast show ran its course, he joined the sports desk fully as a producer and anchor. It was here that he would slowly but surely become a household name.

“I was always aware of my lack of formal media training, so I kept taking every opportunity to learn. I applied for training programs and talked to seasoned journalists. I was also very persistent and strove to bring something unique to the table,” says the three-time Annual Journalism Excellence Awards (AJEA) nominee.

This saw him clinch the CNN MultiChoice Africa Award in 2012 for a story on Maasai Morans who were using cricket in the fight against female genital mutilation (FGM) dubbed Maasai Cricket Warriors.  In 2015, he won the inaugural Mo Amin Award for a story on doping in athletics that was recognized by World Anti-Doping Agency, who warned Kenyan authorities against laxity in taking action against the vice.

Nine years in the industry have definitely not gone without their fair share of challenges, the most significant being self-doubt, which he says he had to fight to overcome intentionally.

“My media journey has been one of the gradual steps forward. Even when I took a step forward and two steps backward, the highlights have been incremental. I thank God for this because it gave me a chance to take it all in at every level. Sometimes when success comes at a very young age, you can lose your head,” says the journalist who describes himself as dependable, resolute, bold, and helpful.

To him, any other challenge was preparing him for greater things. One of these greater things is his most notable award yet which came in September 2018 when he became the first Kenyan journalist to win the BBC World News Komla Dumor Award for his passion for giving Africans a voice. According to the panel, this was what set him apart. His story-telling ability, as well as his on-screen presence, also impressed the judging panel.

Unknown to many, he had been shortlisted twice before but did not clinch it. Interestingly, Komla Dumor, the Ghanaian journalist the award is named after, also did not have formal journalism training. The steady effort, consistency, and persistence, he reveals, is what has worked for him.

The London experience

As part of the prize, he traveled to BBC’s head offices in London for training, a lesson; he terms as enlightening and humbling. “In Kenya, people might easily recognize you on the streets, but there, in the midst of 20,000 other journalists, you realize that you are just one small part of the puzzle. The way they also take the information they put out seriously is something as Kenyan media we should emulate, especially now in the wake of fake news,” he emphasizes.

He also challenges other Kenyan journalists and media professionals to take up solution-focused journalism, something he is vocal about on social media and on his website – www.waihigamwaura.com.

“We have so many negative stories about Africa, but journalism does not have to be ‘if it bleeds, it leads.’ We should also talk about the solutions and stop obsessing over politics. Personally, I want to tell African stories in a different way and also be able to help people,” he reiterates while revealing that he is now focusing on more human rights and investigative pieces.

Impacting young people

Having had great mentors and role models, Waihiga is keen on helping young people make their mark as well. He mainly advises young journalists to carve their niche, take up training opportunities, work hard, and be persistent and ready to work long hours. He also cautions them against getting into it for the fame and being quick to welcome new friends when things seem to be going well. These, he says, keep him grounded in a time when news anchors are treated like celebrities. He especially credits his wife, gospel musician Joyce Omondi, for his success as they are able to challenge each other for both personal and professional growth.

Keeping his private life out of social media has also helped him keep a level head. Waihi is also involved in ministry in the church and seeks to inspire young people to stay faithful even as they achieve success in the world. “I hope to live what I preach and encourage others through my work,” he concludes.

Contacts

https://www.instagram.com/waihigamwaura/?hl=en

Waihiga twitter

Related Posts