Exclusive: How Fridah Mwaka bounced back after missing out on KTN job
Despite being a graduate of communication, NTV Swahili anchor Fridah Mwaka has shared that she got into the media space through her passion for radio.
While she attributes her growth in the language to a steady learning process, Fridah in an exclusive interview with Nairobi News revealed that her hard work and belief in herself have set her apart and provided her an opportunity to be seen and heard in Kenya and overseas.
After finishing her university studies, Fridah heard of an opportunity in KTN via a show dubbed The Presenter. She prepared for the interview traveled to Nairobi contested but never got the job despite being in the top five.
“Losing lowered my self-esteem and I never wanted to be a news anchor. I was done trying,” she reveals.
When she got a job offer with Ebru TV for a news anchoring position, Fridah says she requested to be switched to a host where she landed two shows.
“I used to host, Halua Maua, a lifestyle-showbiz show, and Vuka 360, a gospel one. When my colleagues who were doing news were done with their scripts, I would take them and voice them in the booth,” she explains saying she did not know why she leaned towards news anchoring.
From Ebru TV, Fridah was poached by Kubamba radio where she hosted a show dubbed Jikoni, the only Swahili show on the station then.
After years of working there, Fridah felt that her time was up and did not know where to move to, tv or radio, and which station. The staunch Christian believer turned to God for direction.
She went for many auditions and was successful in some but never landed the jobs.
Her prayers were answered and she joined KTN to replace Mashirima Kapombe. “I was shocked. I did not know how I would fit into her big shoes. I had never done news before but somehow I knew I would hack it.”
She worked for the Standard Group-owned station for three years before joining Nation Media Group (NMG) as the NTV’s Swahili anchor.
In her journey, Fridah shares that though the success has not been in quick succession she has conquered so many challenges in her path.
“From not getting jobs even after being the successful candidate, having to fill big shoes by other personalities, lack of confidence in myself…I have gone through it all,” she admits.
Having joined the media space while young, Fridah shares that she has had to develop a thick skin. “Media is challenging in itself. Getting there could be easy but maintaining it is hard.”