I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination. (Jimmy Dean)

‘Um, so I start…tomorrow?’ I asked Farida Karoney, flustered. She had called me while I was on a break at the Coast after hosting 2 seasons of the travel show Out and About, which was now on a sabbatical and later hosted by someone else. I was trying to figure out the new course my life was going to chart. She had just approved my screen tests for the Late Night News on KTN and two days after my first ever rehearsal, she told me I was going to make my debut in just over 24 hours. It was September 2007, I was 23 years old, I was watching MTV and reading Pulse Magazine. I didn’t feel prepared to talk to the nation about pressing current affairs matters. I was busy having fun!

“Yes”, she told me frankly. “I understand you’re nervous but I think you’re ready”, she added gently, but firmly, like she needed me to believe in what I had. So I did. It’s not the direction I thought I’d take, I was a lot more drawn to lifestyle programs and the free will to be me, but was also aware that opportunities like the one I was being presented with were not easy to come by. I accepted that the winds were blowing me in a different direction for a reason, and I not only had to adjust my sails, I had to trust these winds!

I did a last minute run through of everything, learnt how to apply make up in one swift tutorial, bought two suits that would eventually turn out to be oversized so I would use pegs to secure them from behind and hours later, at 11 pm, I was on the air!


After fumbling for a few days I began to find my way and two weeks later, I debuted on the 1 pm news. A week later, KTN Weekend Prime. By this time I had become more savvy, news-wise and all round. I was wearing my suits and not the other way round. Thanks to Beatrice Marshall, who was always so well out together, my hair and make up looked decent! I remember looking in the mirror before one of my Weekend Prime bulletins and it felt like I was staring at someone else. Where had the tomboy gone? What about the causally dressed traveler? I smiled, I was growing up! And I was beginning to enjoy the news and the bulletins in general.

After covering the 2007 elections and subsequent post-election crisis right through to the signing of the 2008 peace accord in Kenya, I settled into the new Sunrise Live segment as the host, and this is where I would hone my adlib skills and inject humor and personality in to my bulletins. Sunrise Live made me alive to my newscasts and I never did bulletins the same after that.

Later that year Esther Arunga would tell me of an opportunity to work in South Africa that we were both asked to apply for, which we both turned down at thay time because KTN had told us to we were going to debut as the main anchors on the coveted 9 pm news! We had both featured on 9 pm as Business Anchor and Features Reporter respectively but had not been the main anchors so that was huge. In early 2009 we joined Lilian Muli and Beatrice Marshall as the other female 9 pm News Anchors during the week. Various newspaper pull outs had a field day seemingly comparing us, the ‘new kids on the block’. I understood that it came with the territory and to be honest it was a great time to be a Broadcast Journalist, but sometimes it just seemed condescending and almost sexist. Ah well, it’s the life you chose, I’d tell myself. But I started wondering if there was something better out there…

My restless feet, eager for a change of scene,  saw me applying for the News Anchor/ Reporter job in Johannesburg that I’d previously turned down. It was still available so I sent them my showreel and CV and I forgot about it. Over Easter, just two months later, they called me back. I’d been shortlisted! I was beside myself. I began to imagine life in another country, the opportunity to start over, to meet new people, learn a new culture, really grow into my own! When they interviewed me on phone a few months later and offered me the job, I went on my knees and promised God I wouldn’t let him down or, you know, do anything silly! I resigned from KTN on the 5th of June 2009 after eNews Africa sent me an offer letter, making my appointment official, bar my securing a work permit. Which is where things took a turn for the worse…


(To be continued…)


You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down.C. S. Lewis

Photography: Lyra Aoko
(Instagram: @lyraoko)


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40 Discussion to this post

  1. Teresa says:

    Soo feeling this one Janet and following 💓💓

  2. Judith Mutunga says:

    inspirational…waiting for the next.

  3. Judith Mutunga says:

    so inspiring

  4. eunice wanjema says:

    awesome..cant wait for the next..thanks sana

  5. mama Tamara says:

    Everyday i visit this site because I know I will be inspired and challenged at the same time…i love you Janet thanks for Sharing your journey with us….

  6. chris says:

    Great stuff!()

  7. DP says:

    The wind. Doesn’t it lead us all? No man has power over his own destiny, ye everyone does have that power. Oh, I know… It’s a perfect dance of the wind and the willows, or if you like, the wind and the tree rows. I like mulberry trees, I just don’t know if you feel the same. But if you yield where the wind blows, and make your move by the rushing sound over the bulrushes, you might just hit the jack pot! I didn’t mention that there is a jack pot, did I? Ah… This is where every man’s dream lies, just where the birds fly, taking the wind in their wings to soar even higher. In the direction of the wind. Stop staring out of the window, open the lachets and go dance in the wind. Dances in the wind. That is where you belong. Free as a bird, carefree as a nerd. In the wind.

  8. Grace ndungu says:

    Can’t wait for the next episode. The direction of wind

  9. Jane says:

    Awesome Janet.

  10. maggie says:

    Nice one.Continue Janet..waiting

  11. Christine says:

    such awesome posts :-).. we are waiting for more

  12. Philomena Kinya says:

    That left me hanging.. The one thing I love about all your blogs is how they inspire me and many others in this platform… I’m proud of you ma, you have taught me persistence in my journey and career. For all the times i self -doubt myself your words keep coming to me. Thanks Janet and may God give you energy to touch many more lives.

  13. brenda andayi says:

    so inspirational….

  14. Faith Muoki says:

    can’t wait for the rest so inspiring. started following you when you become a mum and since then you have been my inspiration. may God bless you and your family.

  15. Kate kamotho says:

    Awesome Janet… Following

  16. Wanjiru Mwangi says:

    Serendipity. Let’s see how the dots later joined.

  17. Sally says:

    After reading your dare to be different , do one thing at a time and what’s really wrong, I felt a shift. As I mentioned those posts caused me to shake off the exasperating appendage of comfort that while I had bemoaned the last year had indeed become my security blanket. I felt a shift, a need to reset my sails as the quote you shared did. Your bravery in this new journey is commendable . So not only did bravely write about it but you went ahead and took the big step! You were not content to bask in the glow of the sometimes fading attention, you took the risk and I applaud you for it. God’s blessings on this new journey and count me as one of your cheerleaders! Be blessed

  18. janet nzilani says:

    Amazing journey

  19. Izoo says:


  20. Monicah says:

    This is so inspiring as I’m in the process of discovering myself.Travelling to different countries and trying to find what I’m made of.Its always inspiring to read your blogs.

  21. Jane says:

    Waiting for the next piece eagerly!

  22. Chelsea says:

    Just when I thought I was getting more spice, she decides she’s not giving it all today. Can’t wait for the continuation!
    As always, nice read Janet!

  23. Karo says:

    Awesome read…waiting

  24. Mwihia Paul says:


  25. Kanini Janet says:

    woow this is beautiful… I just never
    wanna stop reading your story Janet it is awesome

  26. Mercie says:

    Eagerly waiting for the continuation.
    Keep well!

  27. Dee dee says:

    Am waiting, make it sooner

  28. Betty Githiu says:

    Very inspiring,am glued to every word…Wow!!!
    Can’t wait for more

  29. Mercy says:

    Can’ wait for the next…so moving

  30. Damaris says:

    So hungry for the next read, becoming one of my best blogs….you’re truly talented

  31. Suzie says:

    Thanks Janet for sharing. I have been a consultant traveling and living in sutecases at a young age … and am in the process of discovering myself. So I can relate to your previous post as well as this. Keep up the good work!

  32. Florence Kinyua says:

    What an inspiration am Eagerly waiting………..,,,……Janet ahsante sana

  33. Chef Peter says:

    Waaaah really great piece waiting for more…

  34. nancy says:

    awesome piece

  35. Carol Mburu.. says:

    I am super inspired..keep doing it and not stopping at anything no matter what is what I learn from you…This is uplifting…I can’t wait for the rest of it…Thank you Janet…

  36. Muthoni shelmith says:

    …the more you continue the wiser it becomes.. Haiya waiting waiting
    You such an inspiration ma’..
    ….And looking good

  37. muthoni gachoro says:

    The suspense..waiting for next

  38. Lyra Aoko says:

    I have said this before and I will say it again. You have such a way with words Janet! ❤️

    I am absolutely loving these blog posts.

  39. Esther Wachira says:

    wow! well said…so inspirational..keep up and never get tired of sharing these wise thoughts.Thanks sana

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