For a majority of Kenyans, the mention of Raphael Tuju rings a political bell but not many are aware that the man remains Kenya’s most successful journalist – at least on the basis of financial success.
Long before he became a politician or served in government, Tuju had been one of Kenya’s pioneer TV anchors in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
At the time, KTN was the only privately owned television station and his colleagues included Catherine Kasavuli, Joseph Warugu, Zain Verjee (who later rose to become a top anchor at CNN), Kathleen Openda and Njoroge Mwaura.
Like most journalists, the newscaster did not earn much in spite of the celebrity status he had acquired from appearing on the silver screen.
“I know what it’s like to be reading TV news wearing a nice jacket and tie and not so nice trousers, and then to go home in a matatu people think you shouldn’t be in. They can’t reconcile the glamorous public persona with the very humble life you are living. As a career, journalism is transient. People do it to move on to something else because it does not pay so well,” the father of three revealed in a past interview.
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