Some of the best professionals stumbled into their career and have gone to do amazing things in their fields. This could be said of Citizen TV sports reporter and anchor, Waihiga Mwaura.
Having worked for Royal Media for only three years set a mark on the map of Africa by winning the much coveted CNN Africa journalist of the year award in the sports category. This is despite the fact that Waihiga doesn’t have formal training in journalism.
Growing up, like many other kids, Waihiga’s career choice changed from pilot to doctor to engineer. He however proceeded to Africa Nazarene University where he graduated with a degree in Computer Science.
“I hated IT when I started internship,” confesses Waihiga.
So he sought other opportunities outside the computer world. His journey in journalism started when he interacted with several journalists and came to love the profession because it is ‘diverse and fun.’
“It all started at Citizen TV in 2009 where I was hosting a show called Zinduka that used to be aired on Wednesday evening after prime time news. It was a youth entrepreneurship show that featured different initiatives and things that help the youth,” says the 28 old Waihiga.
He later joined the Power Breakfast Show in 2010 after learning the ropes of sports reporting.
“The weekend show needed a sports anchor and that’s how I got a chance to be a sports anchor.”
“What drives me is impacting the world, and as a Christian, I am compassionate to world issues and I believe in purpose and what God has planned for me,” adds Waihiga.
“The CNN moment was an amazing and exciting experience for me. Actually many people have thought that my career has grown in a short time. I actually have a lot to learn and it is all about God…it’s a moment that I will never forget. It’s a big deal and a proud moment for me.”
Part of the learning, Waihiga says, is taking a Masters class in Communication at Daystar University.
The journey to the award was also another ‘stumble’ scenario for Waihiga. He got to hear about the Maasai’s in Narok who had taken up cricket as a hobby.
“I knew the Maasai Cricket Warriors story would be big and when it was aired…my colleagues said it was an award winning story.”
Waihiga was so sure about the story that he did not mind using public means to go cover the story because the company cars were all on assignment.
“At first, people did not understand the story but I had planned the story. What drove me was that I saw the story in my head until it was visual, and the saying ‘the harder the journey the greater the reward’. I am grateful to God for everything,” Waihiga explains.
The sports category was a hotly contested battle between Waihiga and a Nigerian journalist. All the short listed participants were contacted and asked to submit more stories
“The whole process happened and finally the D-day arrived, I was calm about everything and I trusted God had gone ahead. I was very excited when my name was said,” Waihiga says excitedly.
“This (award) was a bit easier for me,” confesses Waihiga. “My next one will b an Investigative story. I am eyeing the top award.”
Things you may not know about Waihiga Mwaura:
- He was an actor in a local production of ‘The Team’ as Abbas but just for one season when he left to join Citizen.
- He has an initiative called Zinduka that gives media students in campus a platform to learn from those who are already in the industry.
- He get speaking engagements, people also want to know more and he use those opportunities.
- He was not a fan of sports he grew to love sports through his job as a sports anchor.