Where are they now? 11 TV queens who graced our screens : Evewoman - The Standard
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Meet the top 11 TV queens who inspired, captured the nation back then

When our television viewing was limited to a few stations, and news and magazine segments carried the day, we grew to love and look up to the women who graced our screens. We catch up with some of them to find out what they are doing now.

Kathleen Openda

Kathleen Openda

We loved her energy and skill on KTN’s Breakfast Show. With her no-nonsense yet warm delivery, she captured the minds of viewers with her talent. She also hosted the talk show Third Opinion which invited Kenyans to give their take on issues of governance and civil society.

She also launched Enterprise Kenya which quickly gained popularity because it was one of the first shows that were geared towards the hustler as opposed to big companies. When she left KTN, Kathleen joined the corporate world and took on various roles including Head of Corporate Affairs at Barclays Kenya, Consultant Communications advisor with UNDP, Head of Corporate Affairs at Wananchi Group, Director of Communications at the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission and, more recently as a member of the NASA Coalition’s strategy and technical advisory team.

So does she miss the screen?“Not at all. I did it for 17 years. I’m enjoying my anonymity at the moment,” she said during an interview with Eve, adding that although she enjoyed her work as a News Caster, she would never consider going back on screen.

“Doing that would just be going backwa5rds. I was a journalist before I was a newscaster. Being a journalist was more than who I was and what I looked like. It was more about the stories we were telling. “Her advice to young communicators is that they should be professional.

“Don’t allow yourself to be straight-jacketed into cleavage, hips, and hair but make all you do be for the good of others.”

Misiko Andere

Misiko Andere

Jacqueline Misiko Andere, known to us as Misiko, was the host of the popular show Art Scene, a magazine show about the local art industry that aired on KTN.

It started as a five-minute filler in the late ‘90s and morphed into a slotted show as it steadily gained popularity. When Misiko started hosting the show, she soon gained popularity as the girl with the British accent.

Misiko studied Interior Design at the Evelyn College of Design and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media and Information Studies from the University of Brighton in the UK. When she joined Nation Media Group’s NTV, she pioneered the breakfast show NTV This Morning and rose up the ranks to her current position as a production manager. In her role, Misiko deals with strategy and mentorship.

“I get to ensure that local content gets an opportunity to be seen and felt. I’m also on the board of the Kenya Film Commission. Do I miss the screen? Not so much but if the opportunity arises for me to be back on air, I would take it,” she said during an interview with Eve.

Beatrice Marshall

Beatrice Marshall

We first saw her on KBC news in the ‘90s. At that time, she was known as Beatrice Turkwen. She joined KTN as a news presenter soon after leaving KBC.

Her career at KTN was an illustrious one as she interviewed many renowned leaders. After an eight-year career at KTN, having been a news anchor of the KTN News Prime, host of Agenda 5 and Diplomatic Perspective and Deputy Managing Editor in KTN, she left the station and joined CCTV News.

Beatrice holds a Master’s degree in Mass Communication that she obtained from the University of Leicester in the UK. She has also been a journalism lecturer at USIU.

Currently, she is working as a global anchor, host of Africa Live and Talk Africa at China Global TV Network (CGTN), which was formerly known as CCTV.

Régina-Re Gitao

Régina-Re Gitao

Her name is Regina Wambui Gitao but we simply knew her as Régina-Re. Her signature goodbye, “toodles” on the show Who’s Brighter Now certainly makes her unforgettable.

Sunday nights weren’t the same if you didn’t hear Régina-Re say the word, flash a smile and do her little finger wave. The parting shot, which comes from the French saying “à tout à l’heure” which sounded like ‘toodle-oo’ is still used by Kenyans today in lighthearted conversation.

Régina-Re, on the other hand, has kept away from the limelight. After her stint on the show, she focused her attention on her full-time business as an image consultant and performance coach.

Régina-Re, who has a background in Psychology and Mass Communications, coaches people in public speaking, etiquette, personal branding and performing artistry.

Elizabeth Omollo

Elizabeth Omollo

Although Elizabeth launched her media career on radio, she eventually got on TV at the Voice of Kenya, now KBC.

It was a surprise for many to finally put a face to Aunty Elizabeth of the Saturday morning children’s show. Elizabeth Omollo started her career in 1965 as a programme assistant trainee on a temporary contract.

The veteran broadcaster was associated with the popular educative radio lesson which served as a means of revision for primary school pupils at that time. The mother of six also co-hosted the Sunday morning show on KBC English Service.

After a very long and illustrious career at KBC, she finally left and joined the Royal Media Service as the head of Ramogi FM. She also doubled up as a presenter at the vernacular radio station.

However, she eventually left the station and has since stayed away from the limelight.

Lydia Manyasi

Lydia Manyasi

In the 1990s, TV producers felt the need to have a human face introducing TV shows before they began. This is how Lydia Manyasi started her career – as a continuity presenter on KTN Channel 62, as it was called at the time.

She also had a hand in starting the children’s show Club Kiboko which still runs on KTN, and the weekly current affairs show Panorama.

Later, she anchored national, international and sports news before taking up a less visible role as the Programmes Acquisition Manager.

After leaving the station in 2002 and earning her Masters degree from the University of Nairobi, Lydia settled into a life away from the cameras, initially working at the Red Cross before moving to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) where she is an assistant director in the Education Training and Public Awareness department.

Sophie Ikenye

Sophie Ikenye

After studying mass communication, Sophie launched her media career at KBC as an intern in radio. She first appeared on the TV screen while working at this station.

She then moved to NTV, where she was among the top tier TV anchors before she left the station after 12 years in the Kenyan media. Currently, Sophie is working for the BBC in London as a TV host for the Focus in Africa programme.

She initially started out as a presenter for the radio version of the show and after three years, she moved to the screen when the programme was launched on TV.

The successful TV presenter has worked alongside famous personalities like the late Ghanaian presenter Komla Dumor and has rubbed shoulders with famous leaders including presidents, Prime Ministers, and top decision-makers.

Ann Ngugi

Ann Ngugi

The Kiswahili news anchor launched her career on the KTN TV Screen.

After working there for quite some time, she left to join K24. However, her career on the new TV station was short-lived as she had to leave after only six months. The mother of four is currently working for a Gospel TV station.

Her support for her first-born daughter, Angel, who was born with a condition called congenital hydrocephalus cannot be overlooked.

Anne has supported her daughter’s music career through many initiatives including starting the Angel Foundation. She also trains and mentors young people who aspire to join the media industry.

Winnie Mukami

Winnie Mukami

Winnie Mukami made her newscasting debut in 2001 at Kenya Broadcasting Corporation as a TV and radio current affairs presenter and producer but it was not until the launch of Nation TV (now NTV) in 2003 that she gained fame as the news anchor with an unforgettable dimple and warm smile.

Her time at the station came to an end in 2010. She then founded her own public relations consultancy, Winners Frontiers International Limited, which she runs to date.

Winnie holds an undergraduate degree in Mass Communication and Media Studies from the University of Nairobi.

Jacqueline Kamonya

Jacqueline Kamonya

From her vibrant presentation style to her nose ring, Jacqueline Kamonya is one presenter you would not easily forget.

She made her mark in the TV world as a television announcer on KBC between 1995 and 2001 and also assisted with monitoring transmission and directing news. She studied Television Production at Kenya Institute of Mass Communications and later got an Associates Degree in the Arts from Longview Community College in Missouri in the US.

She later joined the University of Central Missouri to study Broadcast Media but transferred to Regent University in Virginia to complete her Bachelor’s degree education in Communication Studies. All through her studies, Jacqueline worked as a nurse to help pay her bills and education but she says that she eventually wants to transition back to a career in communications because it was her first love.

“You can’t be too choosy about you do here so that’s why I got into the nursing field. But I’ve done nursing long enough. I want to use my communications degree. I’m very passionate about this field. There’s so much you can do with Communications especially here in the US. I miss being on the screen. I loved doing what I used to do. I loved that I made my audience happy though I know that you can’t please everyone. I love that I was able to motivate younger people to go into this field,” Jacqueline said during a phone interview with the Eve team.

Esther Mbondo

Esther Mbondo

Her first time in the glare of publicity was in 1997 when she hosted Club Kiboko, the two-and-a-half hour Children’s Show on KTN. She was mentored by Lorna Irungu and Jimmi Gathu who hosted the show before her.

In 1998, she started filling in for Jimmi by hosting the daily music segment that went by different names every day – Jamadelics, Rap-Em, Rastrut, Rythmix and Kass Kass – were each aired once a week between 6 pm and 6.30pm and featured different genres of music.

By 2003, Esther had her own show, Baseline. Yearning to move away from entertainment, Esther left KTN and after receiving journalism training with Medeva (Media Development in Africa) she went on to work as a trainee journalist and won the BBC World Service African New Journalist of the Year Award in 2007 and was nominated for the CNN Multichoice African Journalist of the Year award the same year.

She has since stayed away from the limelight.

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