Lynn Ngugi, from an Employee in Qatar to Owning a Media Network
Lynn Ngugi is the CEO and Founder of Lynn Ngugi Network. She is a trained Journalist who appeared in the limelight while working for TUKO News.
The high-flying journalist is one of the most recent entries in Business Daily’s Top 40 Under 40, an annual award that recognizes and celebrates 40 men and women under the age of 40 who are making an impact in various sectors.
Here is her story as told by Jambo Daily
Lynn Ngugi Backcground
Lynn was born at Nairobi’s well-known Pumwani Hospital, and she was raised by her mother when her parents split.
Following their divorce, they were compelled to relocate to a less expensive single-room property in Huruma Estate.
Her mother was a shoe vendor in Nairobi CBD at the time.
Lynn Ngugi Educational Background
“My mother worked as a shoe hawker at Gikomba market.” She would sell her meager shoe collection just to have food on the table. “She became a clothes hawker in Nairobi CBD at some point, and it was a struggle,” Lynn explained.
Lynn went to Ndururno Primary School and took the Kenya Certificate Primary Examinations (KCPE).
“My mother was very strict about education.” “She always insisted on school, and even though I was out of class more than I was in class due to a lack of school fees, my mother always found a way to see me through,” she explained.
She excelled in her KCPE and was accepted into Moi High School, but due to a shortage of funds, she had to repeat Class 8.
“I passed my primary exams and remember being admitted to Moi Girls School,” she says. “However, due to a lack of funds or bursary scholarships, my mother convinced me to repeat primary school.” “She couldn’t support both my older sister and me in high school,” she explained.
She enrolled in Magumu High School, a local school in South Kinangop, for her secondary school education after taking the KCPE for the second time.
Despite enduring obstacles in high school, she succeeded, and despite being accepted to the University of Nairobi, she was unable to attend owing to a lack of funds.
“Imagine you have so much potential but are unable to attend university due to financial constraints.” It’s heartbreaking.
“I wanted to pursue law at university and be like The Boston League or Harvey from Suits, but I didn’t get enough funds,” she told the newspaper.
Lynn began her acting career after being denied admission to university. She auditioned at the Kenya National Theatre (KNT).
She would perform set books for Ksh 600.
Lynn enrolled in the East Africa School of Media Studies in 2011 and graduated in 2013 with an Associate Degree in Mass Communication and Broadcast Journalism.
“I started job searching after two years of college, and it was difficult.” My friend Kate and I used to make demo videos and snippets and deliver them to media outlets.
“I dropped my videos almost everywhere and received no calls back.” Kate received an attachment, but I received none. “I gave up after six months of tarmacking,” she explained.
Despite having offers to work at a filming firm, Kiwo Films, she was unable to work owing to a lack of funds to travel to video production sets.
Working in a foreign nation
Lynn was able to travel to Dubai after exhausting all other alternatives through a buddy she met on Facebook.
Despite the fact that she was in Dubai on a visitor’s visa, she began looking for and applying for every job she could find.
She eventually found work at a restaurant that supplied housing and a work visa.
“Costa Coffee called me back just a few days before her visiting visa expired.” I explained my predicament to them, and they offered me lodging and a work permit visa. “That’s how I got started as a coffee barista,” Lynn explained.
Despite earning enough money to go home, she became despondent due to a lack of fulfillment and decided to leave and return to Kenya after six months.
“I would get depressed every day when I woke up and started making coffee.” I was unhappy since I wasn’t pursuing my interest.
“Seeing my classmates succeeding in Kenya reminded me of the dreams I wanted to pursue.” I had objectives to achieve. “This prompted me to resign from my job and return home,” she explained.
Lynn came home, but she was unable to find a suitable position, so she relocated to Qatar to work as a project manager at Qatar Foundation Research and Development.
She worked from 2013 till 2016.
Lynn Ngugi Journalism Career
Lynn had saved enough money by 2016, so she returned home to try her hand at production again, creating The Kilimani Mums Show.
They shot the pilot episode, and after posting it on YouTube, they were hit with a copyright infringement strike from a well-known media outlet.
She eventually lost her YouTube channel.
Her former schoolmate, Edwin Ochieng, persuaded her to join TUKO as a reporter while she was planning her next step.
Lynn wowed the top employers and earned a permanent position as a video producer and content developer after working for a while.
She eventually exhibited an interest in reporting on human interest subjects.
“I told my supervisor that I didn’t want to report on some situations. “I wanted to go down a different path; I wanted to cover human interest stories,” she explained.
Lynn worked with TUKO until 2021, when she departed to start her own company, Lynn Ngugi Network, which produces the Lynn Ngugi Show.
“I didn’t want people to control how I told stories.” I also felt compelled to possess my own intellectual property. “I saw how beautiful the stories I shared were and wanted to be the sole owner of my content, accountable to myself and my audience,” she explained.
Lynn’s YouTube channel has over 589,000 followers and 78.1 million cumulative views with 265 videos.
BBC 100 Most Powerful Women
Lynn was named one of the 100 most inspiring and influential women in the world in 2021.
The BBC 100 Most Influential Women, established in 2013, investigates the role of women in the twenty-first century through broadcast, online stories, discussions, and journalism on the subject.
“I’m not even going to lie, I never thought I’d be in this category. How? Who would have guessed that I would one day be named one of the world’s 99 most influential women? “All glory to God,” Lynn added.
Lynn Ngugi Top 40 Under 40
Lynn was named one of the top 40 most important and progressive people by Nation Media Group’s Business Daily in March 2023.
Top 40 Under 40 is an annual award that recognizes and celebrates 40 men and women under the age of 40 from diverse fields such as science, arts, sports, technology, and entrepreneurship.
Champion of Gender Justice Award
Lynn was named a Gender Justice Champion in February 2023.
The prize was presented by women’s rights organization Echo Network Africa on Tuesday during the launch of their Stop Cyberbullies Now campaign.
She received the award for her efforts to showcase women’s stories and advocate for an end to bullying.
“I just wanted to thank you so much for this honor. But I also want to acknowledge that if it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be standing here”.
“You are the people who once I put the content out there, are commenting, demanding, challenging and supporting,” she stated.
She was also named the best digital content developer at the Women in Film Awards (WIFA) in March 2022.
Following this, the I Change Nations Community Ambassador Award and the Cafe Ngoma (CN) Humanitarian of the Year were presented.