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
Photo/Courtesy

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
Photo/Courtesy

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