Eve Mungai, Liz Jackson & 4 Women Taking Kenya's Showbiz By Storm

Pulsers, and generally Gen-Zs see them as their role models. In this happy space, their act, even a meme post could translate into a showbiz headline for bloggers and digital news websites.

Eve Mungai, Liz Jackson & 4 Women Taking Kenya's Showbiz By Storm
From top left: Liz Jackson, Kalondu Musyimi, Eve Mungai and Claudia Naisabwa. /VIRAL TEA KE

As Kenya's vibrant entertainment industry experiences a rapid shift to the digital age just like any other part of the media industry, the now-famous Generation Z category is forcing media houses to rethink their strategies in terms of commanding bigger audiences, and one of them is through the women who gracefully hold the mic.

Show business, or showbiz in Kenya is a big affair, coming side by side with politics in the race for who can amass the most pair of eyeballs on social media, from the murky parts that include gossip and clout chasing to the showcasing in terms of music concerts, film events among others.

With the exploding popularity of digital media motivated by the age of social media comes the demand for the showbiz industry to adapt, and with their bag full of tricks, the new television (TV) girls have risen sporadically, commanding numbers and defining generations. This is a generation of multifaceted media personalities juggling between mainstream and new media.

Pulsers, and generally Gen-Zs see them as their role models. In this happy space, their act, even a meme post could translate into a showbiz headline for bloggers and digital news websites.

A person using Facebook on her phone. /GETTY IMAGES

Some have termed their live reporting and interviewing of famous names in showbiz as one that is reminiscent of their counterparts in world-famous entertainment countries such as Hollywood in the United States (US).

Viral Tea takes a look at five women redefining the media space in Kenyan showbiz:

Claudia Naisabwa

Before her recent exit from Standard Group's KTN, Naisabwa's infectious attitude and bubbly demeanour coupled with enviable energy saw her become one of the most sought-after influencers, at the age of just 21!

She loves dancing and it makes her happy. When she is not dancing, she is writing songs and singing and when she is not writing scripts, she is an actress on the set of a film project. 

Naisabwa, who was the host of Str8Up on KTN Home, was poached from Eddie Butita-owned media house Stage Presence Media (SPM) Buzz to become the new Iwake host, replacing Jamal Gaddafi who moved to K24 TV.

She is also a commercial model, voice-over artist, MC (Master of Ceremony) and runs her YouTube channel.

Her decorated career saw her win several awards with her talent and skills on camera standing out. 2023 saw her crowned The Outstanding TV Personality at the Africa Women Awards.

Her talent was spotted after participating in a TikTok video. Her sister had convinced her to do the Naanzaje Diamond music video challenge.

“My sister Nareyo dragged me into it. I actually used to think joining TikTok video challenges was a waste of time. Frankly, to me, this was just another chance to enjoy myself. I never even thought of TikTok fame, in as much as I knew I was really a talented singer and dancer, which have been my passion since I was a child,” she was quoted by The Standard.

Azeezah Hashim

One of the youngest radio and TV hosts in the country, Azeezah, 23, is a go-getter. Better known as Azeezah aka Media Messiah, her real name is Aziza Wanjiru Hashim.

“I am a radio and TV presenter, an emcee, a voice-over artist, a commercial model and now a deejay. Previously a news anchor and reporter, my journey has been long, full of ups and downs and lots of ‘nos’, but I’m glad that we’re slowly getting there,” she explains.

Azeezah in late 2023 joined Citizen TV as the permanent host of the 10 over 10 show, replacing Willis Raburu who moved to TV47. That was in October 2023 and in November, she was crowned the Best Radio Personality in East and Southern Africa at the Zikomo Africa Awards owing to her stint at NRG Radio.

The University of Nairobi BA in Journalism and Media Studies graduate revealed that she started knocking on doors in 2017. Even though her dream career was to be a pilot and also received an admission letter to study medicine, she fell for entertainment media.

Azeezah Hashim during a recent Citizen TV '10 over 10' show. /JASE MWANGI

“Nothing beats doing what you love and getting paid for it. Some of the major highlights in my day-to-day career activities involve meeting different people through the interviews I do,” she stated in a previous interview, crediting Bonang Matheba from South Africa, Oprah Winfrey, Toke Makinwa from Nigeria and Kenya’s Amina Abdi Rabar as some of the media personalities who inspired her journey.

“I’m ready and I’m hungry for more so the Media Messiah is here to change the game completely. To every youngin’ out there, please don’t be boxed and don’t ever let anyone tell you that any industry is oversaturated."

Liz Jackson

Liz is a reporter and digital strategist who runs SPM Buzz’s digital department as well as a Lifestyle and Travel Content creator with her own YouTube channel which captures her documenting her expeditions to the Coast, Maasai Mara, and Wajir, among others.

On November 9, 2023, she went viral when she was captured in a video interacting with Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary (CS) Alfred Mutua at State House after she was also captured fielding a catchy question to Presidents William Ruto and Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa after they both agreed to lift the visa regulations between the two nations.

She shared the clip on her official handles which drew all manner of wild reactions, which were intensified by Viral Tea’s sharing of the same video but including National Assembly Minority Whip Junet Mohamed’s famous phrase “Hii imeenda (it’s gone)”, all of them turning her into a star overnight. 

"He (Mutua) turned to look at who was asking the question because he was a filmmaker who did Beba Beba and Cobra Squad. He acknowledged my question. Nobody else asked about Entertainment.

"Thereafter he said hello to the whole media team, just that the rest were not recorded. I asked if we could do an exclusive interview and he shared his number with us," she exclusively told Viral Tea, further dismissing speculations ignited by Kenyans on social media at the time regarding a romantic thing going on between them.

She has since covered events such as The Real Housewives of Nairobi launch as well as interviewed the likes of Nigerian artist Ayra Starr, who was in the country last year for the much-hyped Shoke Shoke concert. With a very strong social media presence, she has more than 127,000 followers on Instagram.

Liz Kalondu Musyimi

Some call her Liz, but she prefers Kalondu Musyimi. She is a TV presenter, writer and content creator who has also turned her popularity into a brand – Kalondu Musyimi the Influencer.

The multi-award-winning entertainment journalist and TV personality joined the Kenyan media industry back in 2016 and has risen sporadically to become one of the top entertainment journalists in the country.

She joined Radio Africa Group in November 2016 where she aggressively built her portfolio to a highly-sought-after lifestyle scribe who has interviewed A-listers such as Diamond Platnumz, Khaligraph Jones, Jeff Koinange, Konshens, Nadia Mukami, Olakira, Size 8 and Rudeboy, among others.

As a showbiz host, Kalondu gets to interact with some of the most influential celebrities to the extent of testing their thinking capacity and level of opinion on certain issues involving their lives, lifestyles and current trends.

“Nowadays everyone can share content on their phone and be the ‘TV’ girl that everyone once wanted to be. You create your own platform on social media and get to network with sources, other content creators and people from all walks of life.

“I get to travel to places I have never been to before and brush shoulders with all the favourite celebs. My job is fun. It is like living a dream. It is like making a living out of leisure and everything you love,” she says.

She is your go-to girl when it comes to celebrity gossip interviews and exclusive bold personality stories, something she attributes to having good networks with celebrities and understanding the job as well as keeping a professional distance while at it.

Betty Kithinji (Miss B)

Betty Kithinji aka Miss B is a Project and Talent Manager at Stage Presence Media (SPM) and is the face behind SPM Buzz.

In 2022, she became an overnight celebrity when she was filmed doing her daily duties at the inauguration ceremony of President Ruto on Tuesday, September 13 at Kasarani Stadium. She just happened to be caught off-guard by the Head of State waving at her from his ceremonial vehicle.

In 2023, Miss B was awarded the Best Talent of the Year manager during the People’s Choice Awards 2023 held in Nairobi.

“I am happy to have won the award and I give thanks. It is all about the support I got from my family, fans and friends. I thank God and everyone who supported me in this as this means so much to me,” Miss B told Pulse.

Miss Kithinji at President Ruto's inauguration on September 13, 2022. /FILE

“Consistency could easily give you the TV girl tag in a short while as compared to the past. Execution is a bit easier nowadays in terms of structure. You get to be creative in your own way and bring out the best as per your capabilities."

Miss B, a dreamer who is goal-oriented, attributed technology and innovation as the number one attribute in shaping one’s path. As a TV media personality, the YouTuber and influencer says the strength of the content-creating business is pegged on the networks one makes and the precision one has in executing the job.

Eve Mungai

The only one in this list who doesn't have ties to any media house and is also a brand on her own through her YouTube channel, Mungai is one of the most accomplished YouTubers in Kenya who earns more than Ksh1.5 million in monthly salaries through the streaming giant, earning her millionaire status at the age of 21.

Through her hard work, she has covered a lot of untold stories on her YouTube channel, most of them entertainment. The independent investigative journalism student, YouTuber, artist, and businesswoman was born in Gachiku village in Murang’a County before moving to Nairobi to study.

After dropping out of journalism school and meeting her boyfriend Trevor during the 2020 lockdown, she started her YouTube channel, going viral through her coverage of the Machakos Gengetone Festival in October of that year and Madocho and Gotta City, both becoming trends for an entire month.

Her channel won people’s hearts when she helped Madocho, Liyetin, and Stupid Boy come up, covering every news till they got recognized. At one point they got a sponsor (Vagah of Afro Royalties) to sponsor their music, in what many consider a significant turning point in her career.

However, the main reason behind Mungai's success is her boyfriend Director Trevor, who is also her director and photographer, who inspired her to start her own channel. He previously worked at KenRelBis Updates with presenter Ali but decided to start his own.

Director Trevor is also known to handle all the marketing activities at Mungai Eve Media and Division 5 News.