We had a chat with Mbaka Muriuki the Deputy Head of radio at Muuga FM about being a presenter and about the famous M-Urimi farming show on Muuga FM. Talk about education and challenge, all in one sitting. Muriuki is one very passionate man. And his heart beats for both radio and farming.
And listen to what we got for you…As from Monday, we will be sharing farming tips and stories on farming! This will be a follow up to the show he hosts on Muuga FM called M-Urimi. Most of you will be interested in learning about farming and you will have questions as we write on. Feel free to ask them on the subsequent articles. Here is a little about one of your favourite presenters.
Did you always know you wanted to be on the radio?
Yes, and I wanted to be a Swahili presenter. I loved Kiswahili so much but my primary school teacher would discourage me so much. When I wrote inshas this teacher would award a measly 12 or 18 out of 40. When I joined Form One I met a teacher who believed in me. He would encourage me and my love for Kiswahili came rolling back. I would write mashairi for taifa leo in form two, present school news in Kiswahili- kimeru at the assembly and I was celebrated for my Swahili prowess. In form three I would “chambua mashairi” in every which way. I was a pro, I even wrote a shairi book called “Fahari ya ushairi” that made me my first Ksh 25,000.00. I thrived.
How did you end up on radio?
I went to The East African School of Media studies. I did media studies. After college, I looked for work for a long time without success. Since I already knew the editors at Taifa Leo I kept writing “Makala” features. I had also met the famous Wala Bin Wala. I would go to KBC on Sundays when he had a show and he would mentor me and show me the way around a radio studio. This made me so happy despite being jobless. For a long time, I couldn’t get a job as a Kiswahili presenter and I had vowed not to work at a mother tongue radio station. But clearly, God has a sense of humour that is unlike any other.
After looking without success I decided to look for attachment at Muuga FM. I got and in about two weeks I was on air when the presenter was working under lost her voice for a few days. My passion for my job was very evident such that when the attachment was over they kept me on. The rest, as they say, is history.
Let’s talk about M-Urimi?
When I started M-Urimi I was targeting the small farmer. I still do. The farmer who puts in an effort but ends up with about five litres of milk. I realised the small farmer has no one to explain to him how to maximise his/her profits. The farmer who needs to learn how to maximise productivity with minimal resources.
I also wanted to empower young people and make them learn that farming is a viable career. Farming feeds the world. I am working hard to change the mentality that people have that farming is a retiree’s job or a poor man’s job. Farming isn’t a dirty job. If you do farming after you retire that means you are only farming as a by the way. Farming can be fun and it can also be a very rewarding side gig. You can farm and it can make you a second income since you do not need to be there the whole day. Farming can help you learn so much about eating healthy since you are on the ground. You can even end up loving it so much and you decide to do it as your main source of income. Farming is rewarding.
What else do you do apart from being on the radio?
I love farming – I do not just have a show as a by the way, but I practice it. I farm watermelons, I rear pigs and I do poultry farming.
What keeps Mbaka Muriuki grounded?
I have never forgotten where I came from. All those people that have given me a stepping stone I wouldn’t be the person I am today. You know the saying, do not burn your bridges? Be honest and pleasant but also don’t sell yourself short. By don’t sell yourself short I mean know your worth.When you get a platform to educate and entertain use it to touch everyone around you. Remember your candle doesn’t burn brighter if you blow off someone else’s candle. A thousand lit candles will light up an entire neighbourhood, your candle alone will probably be blown off by the wind. When God blesses you, pass it on.
P.S Don’t forget to check back on Monday for something exciting!