Take 5: Mukami Wambora

Sports journalist Mukami Wambora.

Photo credit: Pool | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Professionally, I am a passionate sports fan on a mission to improve the sporting experience in Kenya.
  • While at the Kenya School of Law, I started a sports blog and started analysing sports on radio just for fun.
  • In just two years, I found myself working at a leading TV station!

1. How would you describe yourself?

I don’t like this question because it always makes me feel like I’m at an interview and I never know what to say. Professionally, I am a passionate sports fan on a mission to improve the sporting experience in Kenya. Whether it is by producing unique and interesting content in the media, or influencing and advancing sports policy and culture. I believe I am a creative, open minded, positive and spirited person. 

2. In your opinion, are academic degrees important for scribes?

I believe that once you have passion in a particular field, you can learn the basic rules and ethics while on the job. However, one should have at least one mentor. In my case, I was fortunate to join a supportive sports team. My supervisor and colleagues took time to train me extensively.

3. Was this what you always wanted to do?

This is funny. I always wanted to be a lawyer until I actually studied law. When I found out that it wasn’t for me, I felt really lost, but I decided to finish what I had started. While at the Kenya School of Law, I started a sports blog and started analysing sports on radio just for fun. It is while doing the radio gig that I noticed that I really looked forward to the show on Sundays, and dreaded Mondays because I hated my job as a legal assistant at a bank.

After having a difficult discussion with my parents, they gave me their blessing and I immersed myself fully into sports. In just two years, I found myself working at a leading TV station!

4. You've interviewed many heroes and attended a number of high profile events. Does the thrill   ever go away?

Never! If anything, once you get in you want to feel that experience over and over again. Every event has a different atmosphere and evokes different emotions. The F1 Grand Prix was exhilarating and watching Kipchoge make history was certainly special but the event that shaped my career was the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

The raucous cheers of celebration were so captivating! I would advise every sports fan to make a point of attending at least one live sporting event, local or international. Watching sports on TV is fun but the live match experience is something else entirely. I’d love to attend a Grand Slam tennis match, preferably one where Serena Williams is playing.

 5. Why do you think there are such few women in sports?

Interestingly, I think Kenya is one of the more progressive countries in Africa, if not the world, when it comes to the number of female sports journalists. Every major station in the country has at least one female sports anchor.

Even on radio, one of the biggest sports personalities is a woman. Ever since I joined this industry, I have experienced a rare environment where women are very supportive of each other. Women who have been in the industry for longer end up becoming mentors and those of us who are still growing always support and root for each other.

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