Yvonne Okwara Biography
Yvonne Okwara (Yvonne Buliba Okwara Matole) is a Kenyan TV personality. She is a media personality whose body of work runs the gamut of powerful interviews, she talks to shows and news presentation; with experience in radio production, presentation, television content production, interviewing and news anchoring.
Yvonne Okwara Age
Her age will be updated soon.
Yvonne Okwara Family
Yvonne Okwara’s is born to Ms Esther Ambale Sande. Yvonne is the last born of three children.
Yvonne Okwara Education
Yvonne Okwara attended Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, BSc Microbiology, Zoology, Botany, Chemistry as an Undergraduate student.
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Yvonne Okwara Husband
She is married to Andrew Matole Konde who is a veterinary surgeon. Famous blogger Alai revealed that Andrew Matole was initially married to Alice Manyola Matole and already has 3 children, Linda, Faith and Emmanuel with her.
Andrew Matole and Alice Manyola Matole are not divorced officially but instead they parted away after Alice accused him of sleeping around and fathering children out of their marriage. Among the list of women Matole has slept with is Mary Anne Waruingi
Yvonne Okwara Wedding
On 6th December 2014, KTN news anchor, Yvonne Okwara, walked down the aisle with her fiancé, Andrew Matole Konde, in an invite only wedding held at Crown Plaza Hotel in Nairobi. Their was rumous that the wedding venue had to be changed several times after some of Andrew Matole Konde mistresses threatened to disrupt the wedding ceremony. Pastors at NPC Valley Road Church refused to officially contact the wedding since Andrew has not officially divorced his first wife Alice. The colorful ceremony took place at Crown Plaza Hotel in Nairobi where relatives and close media friends came to witness the holy matrimonial union of the two lovebirds. Here is a photo and a short video of their wedding.
Yvonne Okwara Net worth
Yvonne Okwara net worth will be updated soon.
Yvonne Okwara Job History
She does voices work for TV shows like Samantha Bride TV show that airs on NTV and she also voice commercials such the one promoting Laikipia as a tourist destination.
November 2012- Present: News Anchor/ Producer at KTN
- Yvonne has hosted national discussions on civic education on Kenya’s constitution and historic 2013 elections. She covered the political party primaries and general elections of 2013, the Supreme Court Election Petition and the inauguration of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
- She hosts a Sunday night talk show ‘Checkpoint’, where she moderates analysts in a no-holds barred assessment of the week’s biggest stories. She is also the Head of News Anchors at KTN.
- She has also moderated several regional and international meetings including the Conference of African Finance Ministers in Abuja, Nigeria in March 2014.
- Her notable interviews include President Uhuru Kenyatta, Dep. President William Ruto, Cabinet Secretaries Joseph Ole Lenku, Anne Waiguru, Senators, Members of National Assembly, Business Icon Manu Chandaria, Chairs of Constitutional Commissions in Kenya, former Head of United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction in Kenya Pedro Basabe, Rebecca Garang’ widow of S. Sudanese leader John Garang’ among other leaders in the region.
On May 2008 she worked as a radio Presenter: Radio Talk Show Producer at Nation Media Group. She also woked as a Content Producer at Nation Media Group from 2008- 2012
Yvonne Okwara loses his brother
Citizen TV Presenter, Yvonne Okwara is mourning the death of her elder brother, Albert Okwara. About a year ago, the presenter opened up about her brother who lived with a disability as a deaf-blind person. In a long Facebook post titled ‘My Journey With Albert Okwara’, the news anchor opened up about sheltering her brother who had disability. “Allow me to introduce you to him. Albert Okwara was born close to 50 years ago. He is deaf-blind. And yes, it is one word. Not deaf and blind!” she said.
Okwara shared that doctors had told her parents that her brother would not live past 5 years old, but he clearly lived beyond their expectations. “That he would not live beyond his 5th birthday. Or his 10th. Nor his 12th. Albert Okwara is still here! 50 years later! What a journey it has been.” The news anchor shared the news on her Instagram saying that she is heart broken with the death of her brother.
“I’ve lost my beloved brother! A few years ago, I gained the courage to speak about his disability and our family’s long journey with him. So many of you reached out to me and were kind and empathetic! I thank you. My journey with Albert Okwara is now over, at least in this realm. He left us as peacefully and as quietly as he lived his entire life. My heart is broken, but my memories are full. Goodbye my beloved Albert! Fly with the angels….??” she shared.
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THE UNWRITTEN WITH YVONNE OKWARA – A CANDID CONVERSATION
Yvonne, you’ve only ever been interviewed once before, what made you agree to this interview?
Yvonne Okwara: I was intrigued. I checked out your blog and, goodness, you’re an excellent writer! Also, you were very professional in all your texts. All of them. Extremely professional. A part of me decided to show up just out of curiosity. I was eager to meet this person who had been texting me.
Oh, I have no idea what to say to that.
Yvonne Okwara: You don’t have to say anything. But you’re impressive. Your communications left quite an impression. I also had to be a bit careful.
Careful? Why careful?
Yvonne Okwara: I’d read some of your features, and realized you pay attention to everything. So I thought to myself: “I have to be careful here. I have to really think about what I wear and how I show up.” (Laughs)
That’s interesting. Are you nervous about the interview?
Yvonne Okwara: I’m not nervous per se, but because of what I do, I don’t really enjoy being an interviewee. I believe I make a terrible guest, but let’s see how it goes.
What did you study at JKUAT?
Yvonne Okwara: I studied microbiology.
Yvonne Okwara: (Laughs) Yes, microbiology. I know, I get that reaction all the time.
Has microbiology come in handy with your journalism career?
Yvonne Okwara: It definitely has. Not literally, but in the approach. I’m very fact-based, and research-based at work. I try and ensure all the stories I cover are based on something, and that’s an approach I picked up while studying microbiology.
How did you, then, get into the Media?
Yvonne Okwara: I started out doing a children’s show on KBC, before outgrowing it, naturally. Later on, I found myself on a radio, at Hot 96, then joined the Nation group through QFM, QTV and, finally, made the move to KTN.
How long have you been at KTN?
Yvonne Okwara: About five years and a month now.
That’s a long time. Not a mean feat.
Yvonne Okwara: Not a mean feat at all. But I really enjoy the job. And I’m truly grateful for all the opportunities that have been accorded to me while at it. It’s been great.
Who are some of the professionals you look up to in the industry?
Yvonne Okwara: Joe Ageyo, my boss, who’s also my mentor. He’s been very instrumental for me in so many ways. He’s also allowed me to take on many risks on air. And I couldn’t be more appreciative of that. Also, Kathleen Openda. She left mainstream media, but that woman is absolutely incredible!
What kind of risks did Joe help you take on?
Yvonne Okwara: A perfect example is, “My Take.” It wasn’t really planned out, I was giving my opinion one time on some regional East African affairs when he said I should do it for Kenya too. I was terrified. I was like, “How could I possibly give personal opinions about the very things we go through in this country? That would be insane.” But Joe pushed me, and two years on, here we are.
You’ve been doing “My Take,” for two years? Really?
Yvonne Okwara: Yes. It’s been two years.
It doesn’t seem like it at all.
Yvonne Okwara: I know. Success is hardly ever overnight. Now everyone recognizes it and people call me, and stop me, and ask when the next “My Take” is coming, or what’s going to be in it, but it didn’t catch on overnight. It’s taken time.
Do you think millennials understand that? The value of time and experience?
Yvonne Okwara: Some millennials do truly live up to the stereotype of being entitled. They haven’t understood what life really is yet and always appear to be living in a different world. You have to put in the time. You have to get experience. It doesn’t just happen. There is no substitute for experience. None!
Would that be your advice to millennials, careerwise?
Yvonne Okwara: Yes. Get as much experience as you can. Whether it’s paid or unpaid, whether you think it’s relevant or not, absorb every single experience. No experience is ever wasted.
However, not all millennials are entitled, are they?
Yvonne Okwara: No, not all of them. I’ve interacted with some incredible 20-something-year-olds. Incredible minds. Hard workers. Professionals. Millennials are an interesting generation. And for those who take the time to humble themselves and maximize on everything they have, the world truly is theirs.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about journalism?
Yvonne Okwara: That it’s glamorous. It is not. There are more tough times than great times in this career. Also, journalists are friends with all the guests we interview and interact with. Not really.
Yvonne Okwara: No. I’m reminded of an article by Bitange Ndemo. He said when he left government, the very next day, his phone stopped ringing, and at some point, he had to keep checking to see if it was still working. No one called him anymore.
Yvonne Okwara: It is very sad. Previously, people called him a lot, but they would only look for him because he was serving a particular need, and when he stepped out of government, all that changed. This is a note to everyone, to those who want to get into this industry, as well as that outside of it, fame is not all it’s made out to be.
Celebrities in Kenya, however, tend to hang out in cliques; do you subscribe to that way of life?
Yvonne Okwara: No. Cliques and “squads?” No. I’m most likely the outsider. (Laughs)
What do you do for fun?
Yvonne Okwara: I love long drives. I like waking up on a random day, looking at a map, picking a destination I’ve never been to, and going. That’s perfection for me.
Let’s switch gears, Albert, how is he?
Yvonne Okwara: (Takes a long pause) Yvonne. (Pauses again)
No rush. Take your time.
Yvonne Okwara: I get emotional when I talk about this.
Whenever you’re ready.
Yvonne Okwara: (Takes a sip of water) He’s as fine as he can be.
How old is he?
Yvonne Okwara: He’s 49 years old now.
Albert is deafblind, what exactly does that mean?
Yvonne Okwara: Deaf blindness is an illness associated with German Measles. There are no signs and symptoms when one contracts German Measles, and unfortunately, my mother contracted it while pregnant with him. As one who is deafblind, Albert struggles with mental developmental issues, and he also cannot see, hear nor speak.
That must be very challenging; to especially be a carer for one who has none of those senses.
Yvonne Okwara: I can’t put it to words. It’s incredibly difficult. It’s more than difficult. It’s another thing altogether.
One would ordinarily think, that it’s in such situations, where extended family, relatives, would come through and offer as much help as possible, has that been the case for you?
Yvonne Okwara: Relatives. (Shakes head) The less we say about this subject, the better for everyone.
Describe to me, what this entire experience has been like for you and your immediate family?
Yvonne Okwara: Yvonne, we’ve seen it all. We’ve been through it and then some. My family and I have been looked down upon, insulted, ex-communicated, deserted, abandoned, disinherited, you name it.
Do you think our society, in general, understands disability, or what it’s like to be surrounded by it?
Yvonne Okwara: No, people don’t really understand what it’s like, and I don’t blame them. It’s not their fault. You can only truly understand that life if someone close to you struggles with a disability, or you struggle with it yourself.
How do you feel, when you know Albert doesn’t know what you do for a living, and can’t see what incredible work you do, and what a great advocate you are of him?
Yvonne Okwara: (Pauses) It’s heartbreaking. It’s the most heart-breaking thing. I always wanted him to walk me down the aisle; that never happened.
Marriage, did you ever feel the pressure to get married before you did?
Yvonne Okwara: No. Never. I don’t live my life like that. Never have. I do what I want to do when I feel the time is right. I don’t pay attention to such things.
Do you feel any pressure to have children?
Yvonne Okwara: Not at all. It will happen if it’s meant to happen. I really, truly, don’t take to any societal pressures. Ever. Because I’m such an intrinsic person, if there’s ever any pressure, it would have to be from myself. Never from the outside world.
Your husband is quite a bit older than you, did you receive criticism for it?
Yvonne Okwara: People talked. People said things. That’s what comes with having a job in the limelight, but again, no one lives my life but me. My husband is my best friend, we get along incredibly well, and none of these other issues have ever mattered.
How did both of you meet?
Yvonne Okwara: He’s a vet, we met when I had a sick pet.
That’s a spectacular rhyme.
Yvonne Okwara: I know, right? (Laughs heartily)
For the people who don’t want to get married, or don’t want to have children, and are clear about that, but continue to deal with societal pressures, what would you tell them?
Yvonne Okwara: First of all, it is completely fine if you don’t want any of these things. It’s fine! If you don’t want to get married, and you are religious, talk to your God, and then leave it at that. There’s no point in getting married to show only to lead a miserable life. If you don’t want to have children, and you have a partner, talk to your God, then talk to your partner. These are the only two people who matter. No one else matters. Not even family. The family will talk, but eventually, they’ll get used to it. Stay true to yourself.
What do you wish you knew about relationships and friendships in your 20s?
Yvonne Okwara: Relationships take a lot of work. Every relationship does, and that’s okay. However, I wish I understood that when it comes to friendships, although they take work, they should never be painful. If a friendship hurts, it’s wrong.