5 Kenyan Journalists who failed in Politics

Everyone knows of journalists who succeeded in politics, but do you know there are journalists who failed in politics? Sometimes in life, one must take chances and travel to uncharted territories. Although some risks can yield significant returns, other times they might not.

Numerous journalists took on the risk of leaving their already lucrative careers to try their hand at politics, with many promising to overturn the current system.

failed in Politics
Photo/The Citizen

Mohammed Ali, among others, profited from the gamble, but others missed their opportunity and were forced to hunt for alternative sources of money.

These five journalists ran for office but were unsuccessful.

Kenyan Journalists who failed in Politics

1. Boniface Mwangi

Journalists who failed in Politics

The activist Boniface Mwangi has achieved success in journalism and activism, two different disciplines, yet politics has eluded him. He is among the top journalists who failed in politics.

Photographs by Mwangi depicting the post-election violence that wracked Kenya in 2007–2008 are well known. He is the youngest Prince Claus Laureate and has received the CNN Multichoice Africa Photojournalist of the Year Award twice.

In addition to being a senior TED Fellow, New African Magazine named him one of the 100 Most Important Africans of 2014 and 2016. He was chosen as one of Kenya’s Top 40 Under 40 Men in 2016 and named a Next Generation Leader by Time magazine in 2015.

After raising Ksh6.7 million in 2017, the photojournalist chose to put down his camera and run for the Starehe Parliamentary seat, but he ultimately lost to well-known musician Charles Kanyi (Jaguar).

2. David Makali

 Journalists who failed in Politics

In his prime, journalist David Makali could be seen on Citizen TV hosting the Morning show and Cheche with Uduak Amimo every morning.

Yet in order to reach that position, the outspoken political analyst first held the position of chief of content at the Star newspaper, where he declined to extend his one-year contract.

Makali left his job in the media in the months leading up to the 2017 general elections to contest for the Bungoma Senate seat.

After Moses Wetangula won the election, Makali, who had run for the job through the Amani National Congress (ANC) party, announced his resignation.

2019 saw the appointment of Makali as the task force’s chair for enhancing government information and public communications functions by ICT Ministry Cabinet Secretary Joseph Mucheru. He still maintains the role.

Read Kenyan Journalists who became Politicians

3. Kendagor Obadiah


In the desire to have the chance to better serve his followers as the Kapenguria Member of Parliament, the former Senior Reporter for Citizen TV made the decision to quit stardom in 2016.

At the time, Obadiah said that he was inspired by rampant livestock rustling and developed an enthusiasm for overturning the status quo.

“I have reported on raids between the Pokot and Turkana, the famine that my people experience, and the poor educational standards. Obadiah said, “I think the time is perfect to assume leadership.

Obadiah’s opponent, Chumel Samwel Moroto, won the seat.

4. Anderson Ojwang


In 2016, Anderson Ojwang gave up his work as a journalist to run for the Karachuonyo Parliamentary seat.

As a Bureau Chief at The Standard, the former journalist had advanced through the ranks.

Ojwang stated that the need to raise the people’s economic standards was what drove him to run, stating that “Karachuonyo becomes a producer rather than a consumer constituency.”

The former journalist finished seventh in the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party primary in Homa Bay with only 816 votes.

Andrew Adipo currently holds the seat for Karachuonyo.

Read Highest Paid Journalists In Kenya 2022.

5. David Ohito


David Ohito, who had risen through the ranks to a managerial position and spent a record 22 years in the newsroom, left the mainstream media and announced his intention to run for the Ugenya Parliamentary seat. He is among the top journalists who failed in politics

Award-winning journalist David Ohito worked as a writer, bureau chief, news editor, and digital editor for The Standard media group.

Ohito, who lost the Ugenya MP seat to David Ochieng’ in the 2017 parliamentary elections, is now the chief of staff for Mandera County.

He was a previous vice chair of the Kenya Editors Guild and participated on the panel of judges for the CNN Africa Journalist of the Year Awards.

He graduated from Moi University with a bachelor’s in government and public administration and from the University of Nairobi with a master’s degree in communication.