NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 27 – When she joined Capital FM in 2008, presenter Joey Muthengi admits that she was a little star struck by all the big names.
Her friends describe her as hilarious, gets what she wants, lives by her own rules, loves to entertain and hyperactive.
She says when on radio she is not a personality, she is just Joey.
In this exclusive with Capital Lifestyle Presenter, Poet and Rapper Joey talks about her tattoos, her music and how she deals with gossip and rumours written about her in tabloids.
You spent a large chunk of your childhood in the US.
Yes, my family moved there when I was two years old. We lived in Philadelphia and Chicago for most of my childhood.
How did you find Kenya when you returned as a young adult?
To be honest, I hated it, especially the school system. I must have run away or got kicked out of three schools before my parents got the hint to send me to Rift Valley Academy (go buffaloes!). Socially it also took some time for me to adjust.
When did you join Capital FM?
I started training in December of 2008.
What show(s) do you host on Capital FM?
The Heat and Soul Inc.
Had you worked on radio before?
Prior to coming back to Kenya this last time, I co-hosted a youth radio show for Voice of America in Washington DC. I started out doing television production for VOA and wandered into their radio department out of curiosity.
What attracted you to Capital FM?
I did not have to change who I was to work with Capital. Capital accepted me just the way I am. The on-air personality is not a personality. It is just me.
How is the working environment at Capital?
It is unpredictable but fun. The people are very friendly and helpful which is great for someone starting out. I got a little star-struck when I first came on board with all the big names but after a while, I realized they are my co-workers and got on with it.
You recently released some of your own music. Tell us about your music?
That is how I define myself as an artiste. My brother is a rapper so when I first came back and did not have much to do I spent quite a bit of time in the studio with him coming up with rhymes. That is how my first two rap songs happened. I have not pushed them to the mainstream media though because my taste happens to be a bit grittier than is generally appreciated. I am very content being an Underground artiste for now.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
My original dream was to be a police officer. I liked the power they had when they walked down the street (plus I would still die for an AK of my own). After my mom quickly killed that dream, I decided I would be a music teacher. I still have time I suppose.
Away from work, what other interests do you have?
Writing and performing my poetry, hosting events, a bit of modelling, working out, shooting hoops, making beats in the studio, and shopping for sneakers. Real talk.
Are you in a relationship?
I am actually freshly out of one (sad face). Although I’ve been told I give my prospects the same amount of time I give my hair-styles…anything that makes it past a month and-a-half without boring me scares me, occasionally in a good way.
Describe your ideal man?
Can I name names? Hah, all right how about a go-getter who inspires me to stay on my game; ride-or-die type, swagnificent, tall, handsome, mature, funny, honest, intelligent, respectful, well-groomed, athletic, sociable, God-fearing, financially and emotionally stable. He must also have a basic understanding and general appreciation of Hip-Hop.
If you could give one piece of dating advice, what would it be?
I am probably the least qualified person to give dating advice but just do not force it. Do not change yourself to be with someone. It is fine to better yourself in a partnership but changing a core aspect of who you are for somebody… not worth it.
How do you deal with malicious gossip and rumours written and said about you in the media?
It is hard to ignore that stuff I mean, I am only human but I keep it real. I do not take things as personally as I used to and I know people will always talk mostly because they are not truly acquainted with me. They do not know that I am not as outrageous as they would like to think. Surrounding yourself with people who believe in you is one of the most important things you can do in this industry
How many tattoos do you have?
Umm I will say five although a couple are connected. They are of my life journey. I have a tendency to document each chapter in my life in ink so I pick a symbol that describes an obstacle I have just overcome or a lesson I have learnt and have it tattooed. They are not openly visible but I have words, footprints, poker signs, Egyptian symbols…things of that nature.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
In a beautiful house, raising super-fly babies, and bumping some Tupac out the kitchen window. Lol. Of course, I would still like to be in this industry doing more of what I am doing now. In addition, family has always been important to me so when I find that man who gets to the two-month mark and puts up with my shenanigans… time will tell J.