Mac Otani Resigns From Nation Media to Launch Media House

Otani was inspired to launch Swala Nyeti, a new news website whose term he stated was derived from the day to day interactions he had for over 10 years.

Mac Otani Resigns From Nation Media to Launch Media House

For three years, Nation Media Group Digital Sub-Editor Mac Otani has enjoyed his tenure at the media house. However, he has resigned to focus on building his own outlet.

In a candid and exclusive conversation with Viral Tea on Tuesday, June 22, Otani revealed that he stepped down from the media company to focus on his own interests.

He was inspired to launch Swala Nyeti, a new news website whose term he stated was derived from the day to day interactions he had for over 10 years.

Former NMG Digital Sub-Editor Mac Otani watches his ball from the tee box after teeing off at Golf Park, Nairobi during a past golf challenge. /CITIZEN DIGITAL

"I wanted to pursue my other things outside media such as consultancy, influencing and running my own site," he stated, adding that Swala Nyeti was one of those platforms he left to start.

"I left to chase my own dreams. If you have been on social media, I use the hashtag Swala Nyeti and I have used it for more than a decade and it has become synonymous to who I am. I decided to start a site around it. It somehow depicts what I want and where I want to go," explained Otani.

Otani's story almost mirrors that of Viral Tea's founder Marvin Chege, who also recently took a break from employment to focus on his brand fully, and both parties agreed on the direction media houses were now taking, amidst the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It's tricky to hire someone in a media house. That's why you see them rehiring anchors from other media houses," Otani shared concerning the digital shift in which a section of media houses are making efforts to catch up, including KBC which recently relaunched with a hybrid of veteran and young anchors.

Refocusing on Swala Nyeti's steady rise, Otani disclosed that since his launch in 2020, its workforce has grown to up to five employees at the moment.

"I set the agenda, the tone and the direction that I want based on what I believe in. The site has been around since last year but someone was running it.

"I want to also nurture other people to do this. Currently there are five employees and we are looking for more because we want to grow it into a big media house. We are thinking more about content which is wider than just a website," he added.

From doing quick checks on Swala Nyeti's website, one can clearly depict Otani's mission to grow it into one of the reputable platforms mainly focusing on providing the latest in breaking news and entertainment videos.

His website also features the weekly #KenyaWomenSeries that is authored by Media Council of Kenya member Patience Nyange as well as writer, editor and communications professional Esther Kiragu. The series, which Viral Tea also features as its landmark project, helps curate stories of incredible, inspiring, powerhouse Kenyan women. 

Swala Nyeti is one of Otani's latest additions to his career that has seen him traverse media houses across the country in over a decade.

He kicked off his media career at Pamoja FM in 2007 where he was tasked with covering Parliament, Arranging political and parliamentary interviews for station programs.

He later migrated to Ghetto Radio for three years till 2012 before joining Royal Media Services (RMS) as a radio news editor, radio commentator as well as a Digital and Social Media Editor.

In January 2018, he moved to Nation Media Group as a Digital Editor, Social Media Producer and writer.

Image of Nation Media Group. /FILE