Powerful African Goddess: Anne Kiguta
If you are living in Kenya you will have heard of the name Anne Kiguta. We think the honest and dynamic media personality at KTN is a force to reckon with and most people would agree with us. Anne Kiguta says she is “smart, bold, present and level headed.” – sounds like a lot of african women that we like to celebrate here at Elleafrique and that is why we caught up with her to tell us a little bit more about herself.
EAMag: Who is Anne Kiguta?
AK: I am 28 years old and the last of four girls. I grew up in an average Kenyan family. We weren’t wealthy and my parents made it abundantly clear that I had to work for everything I wanted in life. So I learnt the values of work, determination and tenacity quite early in life. My upbringing was difficult because I was raised in a home where my father physically assaulted my mother and on occasion my sisters and myself. It was a very painful experience by many beautiful things have come out of that including the work I do with Kenyan families. i am part of various mentor-ship programmes in Kenya for women and girls with save the children as a child nutrition advocate. I am also a mother to the coolest kid I know, Sasha.
EAMag: How did you get into television?
AK: I’ve always loved language. English literature was my favourite in school. I have always had what I think is an above average sense of curiosity. Asking questions was in built. After my A levels I took a gap year to figure out what I wanted. It just so happens that my local church was setting up a radio station and was looking for presenters. I got the job and the rest is history. I worked at Hope FM then News market leader at Capital FM for a total of seven years before venturing into tv. oddly enough, d my screen test while I was pregnant a very prominent baby bump. they told me to return after I had the baby and I did!
EAMAG: How is the competition with the male counterparts? Are you all treated as equals or not?
AK: Media is a testosterone driven business. No we are not treated like equals. but its up to you to make your presence felt and take your position. I have faced my fair of chauvinism. Even now, with some male peers, they still from time to time talk down to women. Having said that I have also had the fortune to work work with great men in this business who didn’t shoo me away from their offices with my million questions as a young journalist. The challenges have become a powerful motivator for me. I strive to be doubly good at what I do. Having said that, who wants to be treated as equals? I’m a woman, specially designed by my creator to bring things to life. I was made for greatness. Treat me special because I am!
EAMag: Is it true that you had to literally fight with another female anchor for the top position?
AK: Haha. No. But isn’t that the story that some bloggers would love to tell! it is as if women can’t get ahead without cat-fights or sleeping around. Any way, I do not shy away from challenges or opportunity. I do my homework and put my best foot forward always! I focus on Anne. I’m her number one cheerleader and her fiercest critic. I don’t look over my shoulder to see who is doing what. I have my mission and my purpose and I’m determined to accomplish it. I have been blessed to achieve many firsts throughout my career. First to go straight to prime time, being the youngest to hold several editorial positions etc. These things did not come on a silver platter. They have come through a lot of prayer and hard work. I’m proud of my accomplishments and thankful for the opportunity to do what I do.
EAMag: A few weeks ago Kenya elected a new President. How was the whole experience of reporting the news?
AK: It was intense and thrilling. I was on air for 10 or 11 hours straight and when it was time to rest, I barely could because I did not want to miss an update. That coupled with the amount of reading I had to do to be ready made it all challenging and great fun. I was proud to be Kenyan I salute the millions who lined up for hours to cast their vote. they redeemed our faith in the democratic process. Kenyans have kept the peace. I am confident they will continue to do so.
EAMag: In your opinion, did Kenya elect the right man for the job?
That isn’t for me to say. I think time will tell. Kenya needs many things from
whoever will be sworn is as president. We need a conciliatory leader who is able to unite the country past tribal and economic lines. We need a leader who cares about the weakest amongst us and addresses as a matter of urgency the issues of the lowly, the poor, the sick, the marginalized. We need a leader who will have a zero tolerance policy on corruption and mismanagement. Kenyans need a leader who can build on the development we have seen so far and propel this country into a middle-level income economy. And that’s not just about the bourses or money markets in the capital, its about ensuring every Kenyan can earn a meaningful income from his or her sweat and provide a reasonable living for their families.
EAMag: What do you thing will happen now with Hon. Raila Odinga disputing the presidential results? (was he right to do what he did)
AK: I know a lot of people including Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s supporters
disagreed with his challenge of the election outcome. I for one support him as a
matter of principle. The Prime Minister must be congratulated for leading the
way in demonstrating faith in our reformed institutions and heading to the court of last resort. It is his constitutional right to do so. What happens next?
Whose to say. My hope is that both Raila and Uhuru Kenyatta will do as they have said on various occasions and that is to abide by the ruling of the Supreme Court. I believe Kenyans will do the same.
EAMag: What do you do when you are not working?
AK: I go about with my mission with women and children across the country. I find it deeply rewarding and it is my way of building Kenya. I love to hang with my daughter. We do a lot of dancing and eating! I’ve also recently joined the gym and found it very rewarding! Then of course there is Friday night with my
girls. We could laugh for days on end sipping on red wine.
EAMag: Do you have a family of your own/are you planning to have any/are you dating?
AK: As mentioned, I have a gorgeous three year old. She is my joy and means the wide world to me. I am seeing someone. I’m taking it a day at a time and enjoying the journey. Living, loving, learning.
EAMag: Men find you very sexy. How does that make you feel?
Haha. Very sexy? Haha. Well it is nice to get a compliment. How does it make me feel? To be honest I don’t think about it until someone does ask. it feels nice and kind of awkward really. I prefer to get compliments based on the work I do rather than how I look.
EAMag: Give us five names of african women who inspire you today?
AK: 1. Njoki Ndugu, Supreme Court Judge – Kenya
2. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Former World Bank Managing Director and Nigeria Finance Minister
3. H.E Joyce Banda, President of Malawi
4. Alek Wek, Supermodel
5. Margaret Kiguta, my mum.
*Interview was conducted before the disputed results of the 2013 Kenyan elections. Uhuru Kenyatta was later declared the 4th President of the Republic of Kenya.