For ages, journalism has been christened a high-pressure job whose staffers have their innate life occurrences under the watch of the world.
These six journalists have endured the pressure especially when their beloved jobs screeched to an abrupt halt in a dramatic fashion.
From being fired through a phone call while driving or being shown the a few minutes before your show is about to go live, the scribes experienced have seen it all.
Below are six of the journalists who were fired in controversial circumstances.
1. Jeff Koinange
Citizen TV news Jeff Koinange in an interview with Kenyans.co.ke on Monday, November 25, 2019
Arguably the best journalist in the country in 2019, Jeff has been through his fair share of low moments and comebacks.
His most devastating, however, was his dismissal from CNN in 2007, where he had been a star reporter for six years.
Though he had been cagey about the issue, Jeff confessed in December 2017, on his Hot 96 FM radio show that his boss at the global news network fired him over the phone as he drove down the highway.
“My boss called me and asked me to pull off the highway and he said, ‘listen, man, there is too much crap, too many rumors and Nigerians think you stage-managed that story. I don’t think we can sustain you any longer, we will need to let you go’,” he recalled the firing that was widely covered by local and the international media
In 2016, KTN also ended a contract with Koinange after lawyer Miguna Miguna verbally assaulted Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris.
Koinange was accused of failing to control Miguna Miguna for his actions on the show that was later cancelled.
So serious was the situation that the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) warned Koinange and KTN, that the show had violated Clause 9 on obscenity, tone and taste of the code of conduct for the practice of journalists.
2. Kirigo Ng’arua
Former Citizen TV anchor Kirigo Ng’arua at the station’s studio.
In 2016, former Citizen TV news anchor Kirigo Ng’arua was on top of her game before the world came tumbling down on her. She was fired minutes before her lunchtime news bulletin.
She disclosed that the station was planning to lay off some staff members and when she took a glance at the list, her name was second.
“I was in the office, I was actually preparing for the 1pm news. It was around 12.30pm, and I was literally the second person on the list to be called in.
“There was talk it was going to happen, and so a part of me expected it. There was definitely some shock that it actually did happen, but I just accepted it,” Kirigo narrated in a previous interview.
Kirigo is currently involved in communications, youth, women, governance, mediation, international diplomacy, farming and branding.
3. Eric Njoka
K24 News anchor Eric Njoka at the station’s studios.
Former K24 TV anchor has also had a rough ride in the TV industry with woes stemming during his time at KTN in 2013.
In November 2019, the former anchor narrated the KTN firing was the hardest in his life because it happened when he was just about to present the news.
He further disclosed that the then management explained the move as redundancy in the media house and that he did not relate well with the audience.
“I remember that day, I was preparing to read the primetime news when I was called by the Human Resources Manager at Standard Group.
“When I was fired, it was hard to take in. I just got in my car and drove away along Mombasa road, I think I got to Makueni,” he explained.
4. Dennis Galava
Former Nation editor Dennis Galava career was fledgling in 2016 before the axe fell on him due to an oped he had written criticising the presidency with the bold title – ‘Mr President, get your act together this year’.
In the editorial piece, Galava addressed President Uhuru Kenyatta directly over how his government had responded to national crises in 2015.
A few days after it ran, Galava was suspended because he hadn’t “followed the correct procedure” before publishing and his contract was terminated immediately.
“Just been fired over the editorial I wrote in the Saturday Nation on January 2,” Galava announced his unceremonious exit on January 20, 2016.
The veteran journalist has since sued the Nation Media Group and its management, demanding Ksh425 Million for unfair dismissal, defamation, and contravention of his freedom of conscience.
5. Godfrey Mwapemba (Gado)
Cartoonist Godfrey Mwapemba (Gado) giving a speech.
Gado was well-known for his hilarious caricatures on the Nation, where he had worked for 23 years.
He was fired in November 2017, over what his employers termed as pushing the boundaries with his caricatures.
His sacking was reported to have come after he had spent eight months on a forced sabbatical leave under the guise of going to London to study film.
The real reason, was however, later revealed that Tanzanian then President Jakaya Kikwete was not impressed by a cartoon Gado had done about his government threatening to close NMG operations in Tanzania.
Less than five months after his firing, Gado landed a job with Deutsche Welle (DW) Swahili, a German-based media house.
6. Chacha Mwita
In 2014, Chacha Mwita was steadily rising through the ranks at Standard Media Group before he was unceremoniously kicked out.
In court documents that he filed shortly after, the journalist claimed that the then Standard CEO Sam Shollei humiliated him by asking guards to eject him from the building.
“The acts caused me and my family to suffer mental and financial anguish since I am unable to seek alternative employment due to lack of recommendation from the company.
“Despite informing them of my intention to sue, the company refused to address the issues I raised,” stated Mwita.
Mwita had, at the time, been accused of running a front page story claiming that President Uhuru splashed Ksh100 million on a four-day retreat at Mt. Kenya Safari Club.
Shollei later issued an apology noting that after confirming with State House, the event consumed Ksh8.4 million. Mwita had allegedly refused to pen the apology.