About Jeff Koinange
Jeff Koinange Biography
Jeff Koinange is a Kenyan Emmy & Peabody – Award Winning journalist, broadcaster, television news anchor as well as an author. Jeff is also a great negotiator, a skilled motivator, excellent showman and gifted presenter.
He makes interviewing look effortless but the subject is always treated with integrity and credibility. He hosted the popular and controversial Talk Show, Jeff Koinange LIVE #JKL broadcast on Kenya’s Television Network, KTN before relocating to Citizen to host the popular self titled Kenyan talk show “Jeff Koinange Live”.
Jeff also doubles as the Chief of E.A Bureau at Kenya Television Network. In regards to publications, he is a best-Selling Author of a publication titled ‘Through My African Eyes.
Jeff Koinange is the premier African journalist to be prominently featured on an international network television. At CNN, Jeff cemented his reputation as one of the most accomplished journalists of our time. Perseverance is the hallmark of Jeff Koinange’s career, impartiality and level-headedness is what makes the audience truly… Sit back! …through many memorable interviews to his jaunty refrain, All Kenyan! All the Time!
Jeff Koinange is also a keen and energetic Master of Ceremonies and has hosted numerous Bilateral and Multilateral events for the African Development Bank (AfDB), the World Health Organization (WHO), The Economic Commission of Africa (ECA), the East African Community (EAC), the African Union (AU) and various United Nations (UN) Organization agencies.
Jeff Koinange consummate skills have been recognized internationally with numerous awards. Less known is that Jeff is the first African in history to win an Emmy/ and most notably the first African to win a Peabody Award. Additionally, he is the first African National to be awarded a Vernon Jarrett, and the Prix Bayeux.
Jeff Koinange Age and Birthday
Jeff Koinange was born in Nairobi, Kenya on 7 January 1966; and is 53 years old in 2019.
Jeff Koinange Education Background
1989- 1991: The journalist was an undergraduate student at New York University, Phi Theta Kappa, BA, Broadcast Journalism.
1987- 1989: Student at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, NY, Associates of Applied Science with HONORS, Broadcast Technology and Management.
Jeff Koinange Work Experience
September 2013- Present: Talk Show Host; Jeff Koinange Live/ E.A Bureau Chief at Kenya Television Network/Arise News
January 2013- August 2013: Chief Anchor/ Correspondent, Africa at ARISE Television ,Johannesburg Area, South Africa
- Jeff was the Chief Anchor, Africa for Arise Television Ltd based in Johannesburg and responsible for covering the entire continent. Arise Television is the continent’s first Africa-owned, Africa-run News Channel focusing on Africa, African Americans and the African Diaspora.
November 2007- December 2012: Chief Anchor, Talk show host, K24, Mediamax Network Limited
- Five years on-air, the station K24 was awarded various honors including a CNN/Multichoice African Journalist of the Year, two prestigious awards from the Martin Luther King Foundation- one for the station and one for the talk show, Capital Talk, a show hosted by Jeff was voted the ‘Best Talk Show’ and Jeff the ‘Best Talk Show Host’ in the country in 2010, 2011 at the Kalasha Film and Television Awards.
July 2001- May 2007: Africa Correspondent at CNN
- Jeff was CNN’s Senior Africa Correspondent for six years, responsible for reporting from across the African continent. Since joining CNN in 2001, he covered a wide range of African issues and events with dedication and professional impartiality while using his experience to report on topics sympathetically yet address the issue at hand in all the seriousness it deserves.
September 1995- April 2001: Chief Producer covering Africa at Reuters Television, Ltd
- He was covering the majority of the African continent from bases in Nairobi, Abidjan, and Johannesburg.
1994: Producer at NBC where his mandates entailed the production of content that was to air via the news network.
1991- 1992: Worked for ABC News
Jeff Koinange Exclusives
Jeff’s reportage has impacted major events from all across the African continent and led to global action. His reflection of life on the continent to CNN’s global audience is unprecedented. Although Jeff was CNN’s Africa correspondent, his journalistic reach was as influential beyond the continent.
- In 2005, he was part of CNN’s Peabody Award-winning team that covered the devastation wreaked on New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina.
- At the height of a violent civil war that led to the overthrow of Charles Taylor in Liberia- he secured an exclusive interview with the outgoing President.
- The inauguration of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in Liberia as Africa’s first female elected president.
- The arrest and deportation of Charles Taylor.
- The State of Sudan and the crisis in Darfur with Anderson Cooper
- Uganda on the refugees of Sudan’s Lords Resistance Army.
- Nigeria extensively, its politics, it’s economy and its people and traveled extensively to numerous locations.
- Malian drought
- Bukavu and the victims of rape.
- Mozambican floods-baby Rosita born in a tree.
- Niger delta and the Filipino hostages
- Nigerian Tycoon’s and Presidents.
- Hurricane Katrina.
- Reports from Baghdad on the post-war insurgency, reconstruction and the historic elections in Iraq in 2005.
Jeff Koinange Significant Events
- USA President, George W Bush’s Africa tour, the first by a sitting US Republican President;
- The ten-year anniversary of the Genocide that killed up to a million people in a hundred days of savage slaughter in Rwanda;
- Africa’s preparation and anticipation of the FIFA World Cup’s debut on the African continent in 2010;
- Elections and politics in Zimbabwe, Congo, Sierra Leone and Somalia;
- Troop deployments to counter the War on Terror in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa;
- The attempted coup and evacuation of French and American civilians in the Ivory Coast as well as the ensuing peace talks;
- The World Summit on Sustainable Development in South Africa.
Jeff Koinange Awards & Accomplishments
- 2005 : Jeff was awarded with a Television Emmy for coverage of the devastating famine in the West African nation of Niger. The Primetime Emmy Award is a symbol of peer recognition from over 16,000 Television Academy members. An Emmy Award recognizes excellence in the television industry. Academy Award (for film),Tony Award (for theatre), Grammy Award (for music).
- 2006 : The remarkable journalist was awarded with The George Foster PEABODY Award for his coverage of the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina. The George Foster Peabody Award (Peabody Award) recognizes distinguished and meritorious public service by radio and television stations, networks, producing organizations and individuals. The Peabody Awards judging process is unusually rigorous. Judges seek “Excellence On Its Own Terms.”
- 2006 : Jeff was awarded with the Vernon Jarrett Bronze Medal for ‘Best Feature’ on ‘Mass Rapes in the Congo’. The Vernon Jarrett Institute awards the medal, for journalistic excellence, annually to exceptional journalists. It honor’s outstanding coverage of people of African descent and the issues that impact their lives.
- 2006 : The best selling author was awarded with The Prix Bayeaux for War Correspondents for humanely reporting on the civil war in the Congo.
- Since 1994: the city of Bayeux, associated with Calvados General Council organizes this award to pay tribute to journalists who are working in hazardous conditions to allow access to free information.
- 2006: Finalist of the Diageo Awards for Business Reporting in Africa.
- 2007 : Finalist of the Diageo Awards for Business Reporting in Africa.
- 2007 :He was awarded the Vernon Jarrett Bronze Medal for ‘Famine in Malawi’.
- 2008: Due to his journalistic prowess, Jeff was awarded with The Moran of the Order of The Burning Spear (MBS).The MBS Award is the highest honor accorded a Kenyan civilian by the President of Kenya for contribution to journalism in Kenya, Africa and internationally.
Jeff Koinange Book: Through My African Eyes
“Through My African Eyes!” is a concise narrative covering some of the major players in 20th century African politics. The book is rich with insights into the personal and intellectual underpinnings of many historical events in Africa.
The book narrated the chronicles of some pretty interesting Africans from warlords, soldiers, victims and politicians lend insight into Jeff’s celebrated journalistic style.
Through his eyes we are made to understand the role of journalist’s as binders of our social fabric.
“Through My African Eyes” is very informative and quite humorous, utilizing a modern quick precise narrative style. He is able to describe complex global geopolitical issues with incisive analysis. The book surf’s one through the experience with speed and historical accuracy.
We see the visual the words impart, rather than being stuck in prose. The best part is being able to walk the journey informed by a largely Kenyan perspective. Jeff outlines clearly how biased reportage can splinter any society and promote its disintegration by pandering to people’s lowest instincts.
The narrative draws out lesser-known aspects of his life. Jeff’s unblinking examination of his grandfather’s life is historically illuminating and serves as a symbolic bridge between the beginning and the end of colonialism.
Jeff Koinange is the first African ever to win a Television Emmy and a George Foster Peabody. He merited the Vernon Jarrett Award as well as the prestigious! ‘Prix Bayeux’ for reportage that arrested global crises.
Published by Footprints Press, Kenya, 2014.
Jeff Koinange Family and Parents
Jeff Koinange’s father was Mr. Federick Mbiyu Koinange. He was one of the sons of eminent Giyuku tribe’s Senior Chief Koinange wa Mbiyu. Jeff’s grandfather had six wives. On the other hand, Jeff’s Mother was Hilda Ngoima, the first child to Mwaura wa-Ngoima from Githiga village in Githunguri. Jeff’s maternal ancestors were renowned farmers of Githunguri. Jeff’s father died 2 months after his birth.
Hilda Ngoima Koinange single-handedly raised Jeff and his three siblings Hilda Wanjiru, Phyllis Wangui and Freddie Koinange. Jeff’s mother was a strict disciplinarian as well as a headmistress in Kiambaa village near Banana Hill, Kiambu. Apart from this, Jeff is nephew to Peter Mbiyu Koinange, who was the first Kenyan to obtain a Master’s Degree.
Jeff Koinange Family Background and History
His grandfather Koinange wa Mbiyu, the founder of the family. Illiterate himself but very smooth-talking and active did a lot so that Kenya could gain independence from Great Britain. He actively supported the Mau Mau Revolt and then was given a post of the headman by British authorities.
In 1938 he became the Senior Chief of Kiambu District. He lived a long and bright life. Koinange wa Mbiyu had six wives and 36 children.
Jeff Koinange and family history continues with the name of Peter Mbiyu Koinange Jeff’s uncle.
Mbiyu Koinange continued his father’s work and did everything he could for the independence of Kenya.
He was the first Kenyan ever to get higher education. For this purpose, he went to USA state Verginia and entered Hampton Institute. Then he continued his studies in Ohio where he got a Bachelor Degree. After a year there he went to study in Columbia University and Cambridge. This was followed by the University of London. And only after that he returned home as an educated man his father and family could be proud of.
Mbiyu Koinange served his country as a politician and a member of the Cabinet of the first President of independent Kenya – Jomo Kenyatta. And his younger brother chose a political career as well. For more than three decades he was a colonial chief and then a civil servant.
Jeff Koinange Father: Fredrick Mbiyu Koinange
Jeff Koinange father was Fredrick Mbiyu Koinange, son of Chief Mbiyu Koinange and ran a string of businesses including a popular petrol station Koinange Petrol Station in Kariokor
As it was mentioned above the founder of the Koinanges family had six wives and his third wife gave birth to his son Fredrick Mbiyu Koinange the man later would be Jeff’s father. Fredric was a businessman in Nairobi, he owned the first Kenyan petrol station.
He fell in love with the daughter of a prosperous farmer and made a proposal. The couple got the family blessing but Fredric didn’t have the opportunity to actually marry his fiancée. The state of emergency was announced in Kenya; prompting his arrest and imprisonment.
After some time his fiancée got tired of waiting him and she eloped with another man. So, her elder sister Hilda, the first child in the family started to send letters to Fredric. At that time she was a teacher. It’s said that he was confused by the fact at the beginning. But that letters supported him and through them the couple fell in love.
Hilda started visiting him in the Manyani. Hilda got pregnant and their son Jeff was born. But Fredric didn’t get a chance to see him growing into famous journalist. He died two months after the day his son was born. This led to Hilda raising Jeff and three other children by herself.
Jeff Koinange Wife and Jeff Koinange Son
Jeff Koinange is married to Shaila Koinange, a Kenyan of Asian origin. He prefers to keep his private life away from the public and very little is known about his wife. Shaila is Jeff’s second wife after separating with his first wife from Panama in 1994 due to infidelity. The couple have a young son, Jamal Mbiyu Koinange, who was born in 2007 after nine years of his parents’ childless marriage.
Jeff Koinange Salary
Jeff Koinange is one of the highest paid radio as well as TV host in Kenya. It is reported that he pockets a six figure salary at the end of the month. According to some of the reports, Jeff Koinange revealed his net worth when asked by some of his fans was about KSh 50 million.
His father Frederick Koinange was the first Kenyan to own a petrol station and a car dealership in 1948. Jeff Koinange owns a Mercedes Benz G-Class that has a factory invoice of over KSh 10million before tax.
Jeff Koinange Salary at Citizen TV
Jeff Koinange is a trend-setting media personality, not only for his live television programs but also for his handsome salary. According to reliable sources, Jeff Koinange pockets a total of 2 million Kenya shillings every month.
When Royal Media first received Jeff Koinange, other employees at Citizen experienced immense pressure mainly because of his relatively high pay.
Jeff Koinange Scandal
Niger Delta Scandal
In 2007, while he was working at CNN, Jeff Koinange reported on the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND). During the report, he was in the presence of MEND guerrillas who had captured some Filipinos. This report raised a lot of controversy and there was outcry especially from the Nigerian government, which claimed that it was staged. CNN and Jeff Koinange denied the claim that they staged the report.
” In hindsight, it was the biggest scoop of my career and the scariest as well. The response was overwhelming, both positive and negative.
The Nigerian government accused us of staging the whole thing because they were caught off guard. They claimed we even staged the 24 Filipinos who we found captured and detained there.
I went to Niger after getting approval from CNN’s head office, and even after we camped in Abuja for 5 days waiting for an official comment from Nigeria government. Nothing. I was let go for showing the footage.
Why wouldn’t CNN back you up with the kind of background they had?
Look, there are a lot financial gains from dealing with Nigeria. Besides, I wasn’t the only one who was let go at that time for very frivolous reasons while defending their principles. Google Mike O’brien, Peter Dykstra, David Shuster, Jonathan Kline and Amber Lyon.
Jeff Koinange Sex Scandal
2007 was a controversial year for Jeff Koinange. Shortly after the Niger Delta report, Marianne Briner, a Swiss national claimed that she had an affair with him
Yes. It was too coincidental, coming on the heels of the Niger Delta story. This woman contacted me stating that she wanted to write a book and expose some ‘big’ politicians and she wanted me to introduce her to folks like Oprah Winfrey. I couldn’t because I didn’t have the contacts.
She then vamped on the Niger saga and attempted to spin the situation to gain notoriety. Lucky for me, my wife had the back-up phone logs. The whole incident was unfortunate and caused me unnecessary grief.
MCK Recommends Disciplinary Action Against Jeff Koinange For Unethical Behaviour On Live Interview With Francis Atwoli
Kahawa Tungu | August 16, 2018
Media Council of Kenya (MCK) CEO, David Omwoyo has written to Royal Media Services flagging Jeff Koinange’s behaviour in last night’s interview with veteran trade unionist Francis Atwoli on Citizen TV.
In the letter, MCK cites various instances of unprofessionalism by the host;Mr. Koinange, including discussing personal and sexual matters with Atwoli, against clause 13 of the Journalist’s code of conduct which states inquiries into an individual’s private life are not acceptable
“(Koinange) breached clause 13 of the Code of conduct for the practise of journalism on protection of privacy. The article states that inquiries into an individual’s private life is not acceptable and things concerning a person’s home, family, religion, sexuality, personal life and individual’s private affirs shall not be allowed,” read the letter from MCK.
At the preliminary of the interview, Mr Atwoli confirmed his marriage to KTN’s Swahili news presenter Mary Kilobi.
This prompted Koinange to ask questions such as bado Kazi unafanya, katiba bado unasoma” and “Kazi unaweza” loosely translated to “areyou still active/ strong in bed”. In return, Atwoli warned the veteran journalist that it was still watershed period and children were watching, including his.
“The host was persistent in discussing explicit adult related content on TV outside the watershed hour contravening clause 10 on obscenity, taste and tone in reporting of the code of conduct for the practice of journalism in Kenya,” added MCK.
The questions also sparked Kenyans’ fury on social media who said that Koinange was asking inappropriate questions.
This is not the first time that Koinange is courting headlines for unethical behavior on live TV in a desperate attempt to make the show more popular.
In 2016, he left KTN after appearing to laugh off obscene comments made by former gubernatorial aspirant Nairobi gubernatorial aspirant, Miguna Miguna in reference to current Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris.
In 2015, a Nairobi court also ordered for the arrest of Koinange and city businessman Tony Gachoka for contempt.
The two had ignored the court’s orders barring them from discussing businessman Jimi Wanjigi, Mr Sani Mbui Wanjigi and Kwacha Group of Companies Limited in then KTN’s JKL show.
The plaintiffs had obtained orders barring Mr Koinange, KTN and the Standard Media Group from broadcasting or publishing alleged defamatory statements concerning them and the company.
Jeff Koinange Video
Interview: The untold story of Jeff Koinange
Jeff Koinange and I meet at Hurlingham’s Best Western Hotel, (now Four Points By Sheraton). Jeff has, in person, as much of a presence about him as he does on TV.
The air around him makes almost everything come to a standstill, and it’s not just about the fame and popularity, the effect has something to do with his individuality. It’s the kind of effect that makes heads turn.
Jeff steps out of his very swanky car crisply dressed, with sunglasses on, and, before he can even get to the hotel’s main entrance from the parking lot, passersby start waving at him. He warmly acknowledges all of them, it’s an interesting sight to see, this, his humility.
When I finally get to him, Jeff foregoes the common, firm, handshake, instead, we are hugging and exchanging social kisses by the cheeks, like long lost friends.
As we walk into the elevator, and up the stairs to the Ciroc Bar, Jeff attempts to tell me about his day, but, this proves almost impossible, since his phone won’t stop ringing.
Professionally, Jeff needs no introduction to many an African. From working as a flight attendant as a young adult, he was encouraged by passengers to make use of his golden voice and create something of it. A persuasion that led him into the media industry.
Jeff has worked as a reporter and correspondent for international TV networks such as Reuters and CNN. Now in Kenya, he remains well-known as the journalist who asks his guests tough questions, on what is belovedly referred to by his Kenyan fans and followers as, “The Bench.”
While he is as exuberant and inviting and engaging as his TV persona depicts, there’s a side to him that would be largely unbeknownst to the public, Jeff is extremely serious when it comes to professionalism. He does not faff around with work.
When we both finally settle down to start the interview, he says, “You have one take Yvonne, you have to get it all right, the first time. Understood?”
It’s a stern instruction, and a slightly intimidating one, given that Jeff is such a pro journalist.
However, as we start and get into it, Jeff warms up quickly. He has a witty sense of humour, comebacks that one would ordinarily not expect and, in response to some of my questions, he in turn whips up queries that catch me quite off-guard, and then, we laugh at it all.
Here’s more on Jeff: the man that stands as one of the continent’s most iconic journalists, a man who is proving to have great adaptability for radio, and a man who remains a passionate lover of country music – Alison Krauss and Brad Paisley’s, “Whiskey Lullaby,” being one of his all-time favourites.
Interviewer: “Jeff Koinange,” how hard has it been to make a brand of that name?
Jeff Koinange: Oh wow. Hard enough. Making a name, or making a brand, takes time and lots of effort. So when people appreciate it, that’s great, it’s well and good, but not everybody does.
Interviewer: No? Not even for you Jeff?
Jeff Koinange: (Laughs) Oh gosh, no. I’ve had my fair share of naysayers. But it comes with the territory, so it’s all good.
Interviewer: How do you deal with haters?
Jeff Koinange: Look, not everybody will like you, and that’s okay. That’s totally fine.
I’m of the opinion that, if there are haters, where there are haters, they fuel you, they make you work even harder to try and convince them. This is okay with me, it’s fine.
Interviewer: “Through My African Eyes,” is the latest book you penned, will you work on another book?
Jeff Koinange: Never say never. Dr. Myles Munroe, before he passed away in that horrific accident, said I should work on 10 books, so I have 8 more to go.
There probably is one down the line, but we’ll see. This one alone, took me seven years to write, so, there’s no rush to write another one.
Interviewer: Writing can be quite a process; in the times when you were really struggling with the contents of the book, how did you get your mojo back? How did you pull through?
Jeff Koinange: Writing is indeed, such a process. I stepped away during such times.
I would just put the manuscript away, walk away from it, and not come back for a week, a month, six months. I would do that, because sometimes, you can’t push it, you know?
You know when you get that drive back, and when it’s time to get back on the computer, and start typing away. And when the spirit flows, you have to take advantage and fully maximise on it. But it’s not something that should ever be forced, no.
Interviewer: What have you seen, through your African eyes?
Jeff Koinange: Well look, if I tell you now, you’re not going to read the book, are you? (Laughs heartily)
Interviewer: For those who haven’t read the book yet, and are hoping to, what should they look forward to?
I’ve been to 47 of the 54 African countries, and covered them, in my time as I worked for Reuters Television and CNN, so I’ve had a front row seat to history unfolding in the last two decades.
In that time, there’s been a lot of stories, a lot personalities, a lot of figures. I’ve been able to witness a lot happen with leaders, dictators, warlords, and I share a lot of those experiences in the book.
Interviewer: Who do you want to read your book? Any particular target audience?
Jeff Koinange: Anyone from the age of 8 to 88, that’s my span.
An eight year old child would be able to read the book because it’s so simply and wonderfully written, and I’m not just saying that because I wrote it, no, it truly is well written. Also, the key target audience is certainly Africans, that’s the main audience.
Interviewer: The kind of journalism you’ve practised over the years has had quite a lot of depth; you must have really seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of humanity. Have these experiences changed you in any way? Did they affect you?
Jeff Koinange: They did, and what I’ve gained with all these experiences, is the appreciation of who I am as a person and where I come from, as an African.
For the longest time, our stories were told by others, but now, we can write and tell our own stories, and just the ability to be able to do that is incredible.
I also keep saying that I’ve been very privileged to have the kind of front row seat that I had, not many people will ever have that kind of opportunity – I don’t take it for granted.
Interviewer: A lot of people would have ideas about who Jeff is, perhaps put you on a pedestal, assume you never make mistakes, or never go broke, actually, do you go broke Jeff?
Jeff Koinange: (Shakes head) Pfft! Could you lend me some money? (Laughs)
Err…how much are we talking here?
Jeff Koinange: (Breaks out in laughter again) Yeah, exactly. And look, that’s what people think, it’s the stereotypical image they have of me, and I hope I can set the record straight with the book, because, everyone thinks I grew up privileged.
I do go broke, just like the next person. But because I was born into a family name like this, ‘Koinange,’ they say, “Oh, you people have a street named after you, your people were in government for the last 50 years.”
And for me it’s like, you know what, that’s all well and good, but listen to my story, listen to the fact that my father died the day I turned two months old, leaving a 28 year old widow to care for four kids on her own, and she did. You know, read the story, don’t just imagine.
Interviewer: Is this why people are misunderstood, assumptions?
Jeff Koinange: This is exactly why people are so misunderstood. And it is also why I think it’s important for everyone to write their story, because, people assume whatever they want to assume.
Even then, at the end of the day, I might not be able to convince some people. They’ll still sit and think, this is just a book, it’s just a story. And that’s unfortunate.
Interviewer: Speaking of your dad, what do you think you missed out on, not having a father around?
Jeff Koinange: Nothing.
Jeff Koinange: Nothing. I don’t regret anything. I’m glad he wasn’t there in a way.
Interviewer: How so?
Jeff Koinange: Because if he had died much later when we were growing up, that would have been very sad.
Interviewer: Also because if he was around, we might have ended up as some really spoilt brats as kids, and I’m glad we didn’t end up that way. So, you know, it’s not my calling, but, I think it’s a good thing he went.
Interviewer: Jamal, your son, how is it being a father to him?
Jeff Koinange: It’s the most incredible thing. We really tried to have him, and when we finally did, we said we’d do our best to give him everything we never had, including the both of us, a father and a mother, which I particularly never had.
Interviewer: You and Shaila, your wife, tried real hard to have a child, and finally had Jamal through IVF; do you think the African society has come of age when it comes to the different kinds of solutions available for having children? Are we there yet?
Jeff Koinange: We are. We are way past there. People are now openly discussing adoption and going out of their way to make it happen.
We are no longer just seeing wazungus on the streets with a little black kid, we are adopting our own, so yes, absolutely, we’re there.
Interviewer: If, God-forbid, you pass away in the next 10 or so years, what’s the one thing you’d like Jamal to always know?
I’d like him to know that he can be whatever he wants to be in this world. He has the opportunity, he has the background, he’s got great parents, (pauses), he can be whatever he wants to be.
I’d also tell him, “Don’t step into anybody’s footsteps, don’t try and be like Daddy in any way, no pressure to do what your dad did, do what you want to do. Carve your own path.”
Interviewer: So, if he wakes up one day and says, “I want to become a carpenter.” What’s your response going to be?
Jeff Koinange: “What kind of wood are you going to use?”
Interviewer: Ah, what an answer!
(Smiles broadly and nods).
Interviewer: In Kenya, we still hear the same narrative when it comes to creative works, that talents can’t really make money without having side hustles, why do you think this is?
Jeff Koinange: I think it’s people’s attitudes. You can make money with whatever you do, you can make money selling newspapers on the streets. You can make money selling books. Look, if you don’t believe you can do something, then you won’t do it. If you believe you can do it…!
I mean, who ever thought the likes of Kipchoge Keino, going on down, that one day, they’d be multimillionaires? And that’s running only, you talk about us, and what we do? This, this is a different kettle of fish. You can make a hell of a lot of money, if that’s your intention, you can.
Interviewer: So, no need to fly abroad for opportunities?
Jeff Koinange: No. The playing field has been levelled now, we are a global village. Gone are the days where one had to travel to America, or Europe, or Asia to make money, no. If you’re determined to do it, you’ll make it happen.
Interviewer: Jeff, talk to me about fame, is it all it’s cracked up to be?
I don’t know, you tell me, you’re the famous one.
Interviewer: What? Wait, what?
Jeff Koinange: (Looks down with a serious pause) I always tell people, fame is fleeting. And, be careful what you wish for, because you may just get it.
Those who wish for fame, and want to be on the cover of magazines at the end of the month, or in newspapers, or spotted at such and such a place, that’s the lifestyle you want? Go for it! But you have to maintain it. You have to live it up, every single day. It’s a lifestyle that needs lots of maintenance.
Interviewer: Do you wish you could get a break sometimes? Like, just take a break from being, “Jeff Koinange the famous journalist?”
Jeff Koinange: I do, and I do take breaks. And I go somewhere where nobody will see me, or know me, I switch off my phone, and I just renew and refuel my energy.
Interviewer: Where do you go?
Jeff Koinange: I won’t tell you. I can’t tell you that.
Interviewer: You can tell me. Just me. I won’t tell anyone.
Jeff Koinange: Right. Of course. I’ll write it down for you. (Laughs)
Interviewer: For the 20-somethings out there, who want to be like you when they grow up, who want to get into journalism and be famous, but right now they’re going through a quarter-life crisis, they don’t know what careers to get into, or what to do with themselves, what would you tell them?
Jeff Koinange: Good, very good question. Two things, for someone who wants to get into my industry. One: you’re only as good as your last story.
You can write, you can edit, put together, report on, the most fantastic story seen on the planet earth. Everyone will be raving, talking about it, tweeting, Facebook-ing, trending, you’ll be the flavour of, literally, the day.
However, the human attention span is so short, that by tomorrow, everyone will have woken up and moved on. So, always remember, you’re only as good as your last story.
Jeff Koinange: Two: no story is worth dying for. And this is certainly from experience.
There’s a story I talk about in the book about my time in the Niger Delta. It was a very controversial story concerning some rebels; that story could have easily gotten us killed.
Our death would have made breaking news that day, and maybe that evening too, but that would have been it, the next day, we’d be dead and forgotten. So no, no story is worth dying for, none whatsoever.
Interviewer: What’s the one main lesson you’ve learnt, from all your life experiences?
Jeff Koinange: A key lesson of mine has been to live each day as if it were my last. To enjoy every day to the max.
We live in one of the most incredible countries in the world, good weather, great people, and even greater wildlife. Having travelled as much as I’ve travelled, I can say this without fear of contradiction, Kenya is a spectacular country.
And to anyone who wants to travel elsewhere, go, please go, but I can assure you, you’ll come back.
Interviewer: And, what’s the one lesson you’ve learnt about women?
Jeff Koinange: Respect! My mother, again, young widow, she didn’t remarry, she was committed to educating her children, and she’s still alive, she’s over 70 years old now. That’s respect right there.
And every time I interview women on my show (shakes head), I realise it’s long overdue that Africans gave women the mantle. It should have been done a long time ago. If women were to run this continent, oh, I tell you, it would be, “Smoking!” (Laughs heartily)
Interviewer: Speaking of, “Smoking,” how does it feel to be on the other side of, “The Bench?” To be the one answering the questions?
Jeff Koinange: Great, great actually. Less pressure. This is nice. (Laughs again)
Adopted from yvonneaoll.com
Jeff Koinange News
How President Uhuru bullied TV host Jeff Koinange in school
In 2012, Uhuru Kenyatta revealed that he was bullied in school despite being the president’s son.
Recently, TV host Jeff Koinange revealed that the president bullied him when they were kids.
In an interview with Kiss 100 presenter Jeff Mote, Jeff said Uhuru bullied him at St Mary’s School.
Jeff recalled how Kenyatta hit him on the head during a game they referred to as ngoto.
“Boss, Uhunye alinihanda ndani ya minibus ya shule bwana (Uhuru used to bully me in the school minibus). Can you imagine that he is now the President,” he revealed.
The two attended the prestigious school, though Kenyatta was a few classes ahead of Jeff at the time.
Jeff Koinange & Professor Hamo On Hot 96
The search for Jeff Koinange’s co-host at Hot96 was finally over when the popular Churchill Show stand up comedian Herman Kago, who is better known as Professor Hamo, was tipped for the job by many listeners and he has deservedly landed the prime radio job. Prof Hamo beat his comedians counterparts Sleepy David and Oga Obinna, who co-hosted the show with Jeff on a trial basis following Jalang’o’s shock exit.
Following Hamo’s audition in August, listeners were convinced that the comedian wasthe right man for the job because of their undeniable chemistry and Hamo’s humourous attitude which left Koinange in stitches. The duo use the Hashtag #JeffAndHamoOnHot.
— Hot 96 FM Kenya (@Hot_96Kenya) March 25, 2019
Comedian Felix Odiwuor Jalang’o Finally Unveils His New Alliance With Jeff Koinange at Hot 96
Comedian Felix Odiwuor, popularly known as Jalang’o, is set to make his debut on Hot 96 in the first week of May of 2017.
According to reports, the funny man will be hosting the daily breakfast show, dubbed ‘Hot 96 Breakfast’, alongside popular media personality Jeff Koinange.
Royal Media Services, the parent company for Hot 96, has been running promos of the show on social media and by the look of things, it’s going to be one of a kind.
Jalang’o, who was recently named as Kenya’s most popular radio personality in a survey carried out by Consumer Insight, is expected to maintain his comical approach when tackling listener’s problems, while Koinange will have a somewhat sober perspective.
It is hoped that the two, who have both gained a loyal following over the years, will attract more listeners and bring a fresh breath of air to the station. They are also expected to capture the urban youth, who have been avoiding the station for one reason or another, by discussing topics relevant to them.
The comic further fuelled the rumour after putting up a post on his social media pages that seemed to imply he was joining the murky political arena immediately after he resigned from Radio Maisha. But as it turns out, nothing could be further from the truth.
Jeff Koinange Leaving KTN JKL Live
In November 2016, the then KTN TV host Jeff Koinange ended his popular show JKL on KTN with a heartfelt apology to viewers, promising a comeback on another station “in the coming weeks”.
The week before, Jeff had hosted Nairobi gubernatorial aspirants Miguna Miguna and Esther Passaris where their discussions went overboard, with the Miguna remarking “Esther, you are so beautiful, everyone wants to rape you”. Gender CS Sicily Kariuki was among the first to condemn the host who appeared to laugh off the matter instead of calling it outrightly.
After the ordeal; Koinange hosted gospel singers Emmy Koigei and Sinach on the bench the following week, where at the end of the show, he said he had something to add.
“About a week ago we had a programme that deteriorated into something ugly where two guests went at each other; really out of control and there are some people out there who probably thought I should have done a better job in controlling the guests and I agree looking back…but in a live television, it’s always difficult,” he said.
“But I agree, I’m man enough to man up to that. and if there is anyone who was aggrieved by that show, anyone who felt it wasn’t upto par, I didn’t do a good job, I apologize so that we can move on. It was regrettable in most parts but again, it was one show out of 300 that we’ve done here at KTN the last three years.” He added “And having said that, this will be the final Jeff Koinange Live right here on KTN …we’ll take a break, but rest assured JKL will be back on another station in the coming weeks.
Stay tuned for that, we’ll keep you posted on social media and on our networks. JKL is not going anywhere, it’s just changing homes.”
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