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Celeb chat with media personality turned pilot, Tim Njiru

By Winnie Mabel September 21st, 2023 4 min read

In the era of social media, we’ve become accustomed to catching glimpses of their meticulously curated lives, as they unveil carefully selected moments to share with family, friends, and thousands of followers.

From the outside, their existence seems impeccably planned, every minute accounted for but what lies beyond the screens and the glare of the cameras is a life woven with the threads of human experiences—moments of soaring triumphs and the humbling depths of vulnerability.

Today, join Nairobi News (NN) as we embark on an exhilarating journey with a media personality who traded the limelight for the open skies, Tim Njiru (TN), in a rapid-fire celeb question-and-answer chat…

Also read: EXCLUSIVE: Tim Njiru on why you should not spend much while dating

NN: Where are you from and what was your upbringing like?

TN: I’m a pure Embu bloke, born and raised in Nairobi’s Eastlands, socialized and molded with rich values.

NN: Who are the members of your immediate family?

TN: My father is my best man. That Man has seen it all and says it as it is. Mother is the prayer warrior and continuously instills intuition. My 3 siblings bring out the different perspectives and views of life.

NN: What’s your favorite family tradition?

TN: Nyama choma (grilled meat) whenever there’s a celebration or a public holiday.

NN: What’s your family’s role in your decision making a life path?

TN: They keep me on my True North bearing.

NN: What’s your typical day like?

Also read: Exclusive: Obstacles former journalist Tim Njiru overcame to become a pilot

TN: School life: Class at 6 am (ground school, revision, new lessons). If the weather is good, fly at 8 am, and back at 10 am depending on the exercise.  The afternoon is for beating stories and socializing with Wilson airport community. There are amazing people at the airport. Leave school to chill, music, make an elaborate balanced meal, take an evening stroll around the estate then turn in at 10pm

Also TN: Non-school life: Up at 6:30 am, simple morning workout, read a devotion. Prep for the day. If there’s work, it will start at 9 am. If there is no work, I’ll try a new video editing technique or study what else I can do with the camera beyond what the manual says. Go to the club to play table tennis or swim. The day ends at 3 pm. After 3 pm, I’ll explore new music and new books or plan a trip. Depending on personal and work needs, I’m always out of town every 2 weeks or sometimes every week.

NN: What’s your philosophy on maintaining work-life balance?

TN: Media and Aviation are both demanding. There’s a client whose expectations have to be met and there’s a lot to brush up on to remain current with flying. The best one can do is pause and make sure the lines are drawn.

NN: What do you do to unwind and recharge after a particularly intense day or week?

TN: Binge watch Just for Laughs, BBC Proms  and tech videos on the iPad.

NN: How do you deal with people in your audience who have opposing perspectives?

TN: Do your best to listen carefully to what they are saying and do it with your heart.

NN: How do you balance your public persona and your private life? Do you have boundaries in place?

Also read: Exclusive: I sleep better – Tim Njiru on career change from journalism to aviation

TN: Yes. Your dustbin, your bank account and your love letters should remain private.

NN: What’s your financial hack approach?

TN: Most things we spend money on today will run out of fashion or become obsolete after some time. It is best to have just one good thing following the function. E.g. Have one nice suit, a good cologne, dress shoes, and a few shirts. I’ve perfected my cooking skills. I rarely eat out.

NN: What have you cut spending on to save up on money?

TN: I don’t need that Netflix subscription. There’s been no TV in my space since 2019. I have an iPhone 7 to this day that still works perfectly- I might upgrade once I’m done paying for commercial hours at school. I stopped hiring filming/photography gear and personnel. Had to cut the back and forth and learn to manage focus.

NN: Your best self-investment expenditure?

TN: Investing in a good videography gear and swiping my card for online photo editing courses. Made me get paid for being both a videographer and photographer.

NN: How do you deal with your critics and naysayers?

TN: 99.99% of what naysayers say is their projection. The remainder is noise.

NN: How do you deal with them when it comes down to it?

TN: Cue “Schnappi das kleine krokodil” song and let it play in your head till they’re done speaking, then respond with a “thanks for sharing” and move on.  Schnappi is a happy crocodile.

NN: Can you share any insights into your approach to fashion and personal style?

TN: Dress the part, and don’t go past 3 colors.

Also read: Crazy Kennar reveals ambitious plans for a live comedy show

NN: What is: The most fashionable item in your closet?

TN: The black beaded bracelet with two yellow stripes from Maasai market- worn on my right hand always. Had it customized. It serves as a daily reminder of where I want to be. I look at it. It is my vision. A daily reminder of the big picture which I always have to keep an eye on.

NN: Your most expensive item?

TN: My camera bag.

NN: Your cheapest item?

TN: The transparent Kenpoly plastic lunchbox where I store the wireless mics. It stays in the camera bag.

NN: Your most precious item?

TN: A beard shaving kit. It’s the first thing to pack.

NN: Your most hated item?

TN: A tea sieve made of plastic.

NN: Can’t do without item?

TN: A red pair of Adidas sneakers. That’s the shoe I will wear when I’m in a filming work environment outdoors.

At the age of 38, Tim Njiru made the bold and daring move to venture into a career in aviation after working in the media industry for 23 years. He is a licensed pilot who hopes to be one of the most renowned African aviation storytellers.

Also read: Masauti: I was discovered by a blind producer