Fri. May 29th, 2020

Kenya Mails

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Citizen TV reporter who once worked as ‘mtu wa mjengo’

3 min read

Mr Chris Richard Otieno with Jeff Koinange. Photo/Courtesy

He missed the chance to join The Nairobi University and study law, worked as a construction worker and how he ended inside Citizen Television newsroom remains a dream to date.


Mr Chrispine Richard Otieno says that his parents were so open to him and told him that they were not in a position to pay his school fees.


“They told me that most of the money was going to my sister in Kampala who is also a journalist by profession. They could later ask me to join Kisii University which I did but one semester down the line I dropped out of school,” Mr Otieno said.


It is then that Mr Otieno started working at various construction sites within Kisii County and according to him he could not miss a job because investors were putting up rental flats in Mwembe area.


Mr Otieno told Kenya Mails that one evening he was busy working at a construction site when his Girlfriend who is now his wife called him saying that she was not feeling well.


“Since I was almost done with work, I told her to be patient. Once I was done with the day I expected to be paid so that I could cater for the emergency when the foreman refused to pay me,” he said.


According to the Gusii based Citizen TV reporter, the man went away with his Sh800 and he went back to his house to deliver the sad news.


Mr Otieno said that his wife was understanding, and they had to raise money from friends, and she went to hospital.


“That was the last time I worked in a construction site, I then decided to try freelancing,” he said.


From construction, Mr Otieno started contributing as a writer at Hivisasa and here he says that things were equally not working out.


Mr Otieno said that he was not well received by his seniors in the field and they always mistreated him.

Mr Chrispine Richard Otieno during his graduation. Photo/Courtesy


However, he never lost hope and went on contributing for Hivisasa until one day when he joined Sahara Radio as a volunteer.


“Everyone used to praise my work and I went own covering what most people did not like Human Interest stories,” he said.


He worked there for a year until one day he sought refuge at the Kisii Kenya News Agency (KNA) offices.


He says that he met Ms Jane Naitore who welcomed him and played a great role in shaping his career.


“I one day opened up to her that I was interested in doing TV work and she asked me to follow my dreams and even gave me a camera,” Mr Otieno said.
It is then that Mr Otieno started working even harder because he was now doing what he loved.


Ms Naitore could later absorb him as the Kisii based KNA Camera man and his stories were aired on Government owned KBC.


Mr Otieno said that he could receive guidance and training from one Mr Khasim Adinaji, the Citizen TV reporter based in Siaya who showed him the basic aspects on matters Television reporting.


During his time as a cameraman he also gave stories to various media houses which include Ebru TV, Citizen TV and GBS TV.


“One morning I was set to attend an interview at Ebru TV when I also received a call from Citizen TV also inviting me for an interview. I decided to prepare for the Citizen’s Interview,” he said.
“On the interview day 18 candidates eyeing the position turned up but the company decided to give me a chance and the rest is history,” he added.


Mr Otieno says that his passion for human interest stories has increased and he will go on covering stories that touch lives.


“I recently covered a story of a needy student who was scheduled to repeat class 8 due to lack of school fees after she scored 400 marks and may people volunteered to sponsor her. What else do you want as a journalist?” he posed.

Against all odds, Mr Otieno graduated recently from Kisii University.

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4 thoughts on “Citizen TV reporter who once worked as ‘mtu wa mjengo’

  1. As your eldest sister I must say Congratulations.

    I remember the very day you were to report to Kisii University Dad was admitted at Ombo Hospital and Mum was looking after him I had to take you to Kisii University.

    You are Destined to Win

  2. Real evidence that the Lord exists and is always by our side. May God continue blessing and lifting you even more¡!!!

  3. Am encouraged. I always admire to work in vernacular Radio stations but don’t where to start. I wish to volunteer and maybe discover more in my areas of interest.

    Still convenced I’ve what I takes

  4. I can still remember the first time I met Richard, I was in the University library computer desk, doing some research, when Richard came asked me a space to do a report for one of the local radio stations.Truely you started from a humble platform, but God keeps on elevating you….. Congrats Ja fwambo.

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