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Mutoko: Why Queen of radio doesn’t settle for average

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Updated Tue, January 12th 2010 at 00:00 GMT +3

By Morris Aron

From the way she authoritatively comments on issues on air, one can definitely discern that she is not your ordinary lady — she almost plans everything to the second.

Forgive her for being tough-talking. You only act like that when you know it is a position you have earned through hard work.

She rose from one of the lowest cadres of employment.

Caroline Mutoko — breakfast presenter Kiss FM and a manager at Radio Africa, handles everything from advertisements and promotions to guiding new presenters. She once worked as a messenger cum sales lady at Kirinyaga Works, now Multi-Option (in receivership), a carpet and rugs dealer along Baricho Road, Industrial area.

Her first salary was Sh1,200 a month and her daily chores bordered on petty errands around the Kirinyaga Works offices and the dusty industrial area streets, in addition to selling carpets and the rugs for a much-needed commission.

But even at that early age, the Loreto Convent Valley Road graduate knew she was destined for greater things. It is easy to tell this from the list of her classmates.

Anna Othoro of Telkom Kenya, Agnes Gathiaya of Deloitte, Anna Maingi-Arung of the United Nation, Lucy Odhiambo of ICT Board, Anne Marie Oyuga of UNDP, Judy Ndungi of Cussons and the list is long.

Qualified ladies

"If I were a President, I would fill the cabinet with some of the most qualified ladies in the country and we would get the job done," she says and one is tempted to believe her.

On a typical day, Ms Mutoko wakes up at 3:45 in the morning and after stretching for two minutes, the first thing she grabs is a glass of water and a prayer journal.

"I pray, write down my goals for the day and ask God to bless them. I then put on my workout gear and get ready for 30 minutes of serious sweating."

"After that, it is a glass of cold milk, and the shower — and I take my time, sleek hair back into pony tail, eye-liner and lip gloss, dress, pack my food, eat my oatmeal while watching CNN, then off I go for a four minute ride to the office."

At the office, the first thing she does is go through her outstanding mail from previous day and check the status of all client promotions on the breakfast show.

She then briefs her co-presenters about the show; checks out the main news stories and scans newspapers for interesting material that may make a good show.

Normal routine

Here is one thing to remember: Before you hear Caroline Mutoko’s voice just as it turns six o’clock in the morning, you can be sure she has visited the toilet a few minutes before that — not because of a running stomach.

In her own words: "You would be shocked how hard it is to leave the studio and go to the loo once a show starts." Most presenters — and managers who attend endless meetings — never talk about this.

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