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Jeff Koinange on his first marriage and why very little is known about his family

By Elizabeth Ngigi September 14th, 2023 2 min read

Jeff Koinange is an undeniable icon in Kenya’s media landscape, celebrated for his illustrious career in broadcasting and journalism.

Yet, despite his omnipresence in the public eye, little is known about his personal life, especially his wife and family.

In a recent interview on the Convo YouTube page, Jeff offered a rare glimpse into his private world, shedding light on his family and the journey that led him to where he is today.

Jeff, known for his candid and fearless approach to journalism, revealed that he takes extraordinary measures to protect his family’s privacy, recognizing the stark contrast between his public persona and his personal life.

Award-winning Kenyan journalist Jeff Koinange. PHOTO | COURTESY

Marriage has been a transformative aspect of Jeff’s life. He recounted his first marriage to Sonya, a flight attendant, in New York.

This chapter of his life unfolded during his academic pursuits and early career.

“You know, you fall in and out of love, things happen, and you move on, but that was a tough breakup, but ni life,” he said.

When asked about his current relationship with his ex-wife, Jeff acknowledged that they are still in touch despite the geographical distance.

“We kept in touch; she is in Florida now. And because of this digital age now, we are still in touch. It’s been a while since we met,” he shared.

In 1998, Jeff embarked on a new chapter by marrying his second wife, Shaila Koinange, a Kenyan-Asian, after their paths first crossed back in 1986.

Award-winning Kenyan journalist Jeff Koinange. PHOTO | COURTESY

“I am still married to Shaila, and I keep that a bit private since the other side of me is very public,” Jeff explained.

However, being a prominent public figure comes with its own set of challenges, as Jeff admitted. He candidly spoke about the demanding nature of fame and the toll it can take on personal life.

“Being a public figure is very draining sometimes, but you asked for it,” he acknowledged.

Despite the challenges, Jeff expressed immense gratitude to his fans for their unwavering support, even though his son may not share the same sentiment.

“My fans made me, and that is why I am very gracious with them. My son hates that,” Jeff revealed, highlighting the complexities and sacrifices that come with being a beloved public figure.