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Two Kenyans Natives in running to fill Oprah Winfrey’s shoes in 2011

Posted by Administrator on June 16, 2010

Mukami Kinoti a former KTN Anchor is one of the Kenyans hoping to succeed Oprah as the queen of daytime TV takes a bow. Photo courtesy/ Mukami Kinoti

Mukami Kinoti a former KTN Anchor is one of the Kenyans hoping to succeed Oprah as the queen of daytime TV takes a bow. Photo courtesy/ Mukami Kinoti

By Antony Karanja in Dallas, Texas

The Kenyan community in the US is keenly following and casting votes in droves for a real estate agent and a former Kenyan Television Anchor as they seek to succeed the most powerful woman in television, Oprah Winfrey as she takes a bow in 2011.

David Nguah, 40 and Mukami Kinoti-Kimotho, 36, are in the running to have their own shows on the new Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) to be launched in January 2011 and owned by the reigning queen of daytime TV. The two contestants have launched massive Facebook campaigns hunting for votes as Kenyans urge them on. They have both submitted entries in the Traditional Talk show category through Oprah.com

David is currently a real estate agent in Miami specializing in luxury homes and condominiums and is a resident of Miami, Florida while Mukami who is a former television anchor with Kenya Television Network (KTN) is President and Founding partner of MaWazo Media which deals with issues affecting women and children. Until last April, she was Vice President, Manager and Senior Consultant with Bank of New York Mellon in New York. She currently resides in Washington, DC. Mukami covered the inauguration of President Obama in 2009 as KTN’s international correspondent.

At the time of filing this story, David’s audition clip had amassed over 1.2 million votes and in 5th place while Mukami’s submission had garnered 123,000 and holding the 70th position.

The top five (more than 5 will be flown to LA – but the 5 with most online votes are guaranteed to be among them) contestants will be flown to Los Angeles for the auditions and if David maintains his current position, he will make the cut. The competition runs through June 26, 2010. The Oprah Winfrey Show will air for the last time on September 9th, 2011 after 25 years of a tremendously successful run. The show has averaged over 42 million viewers every week.

According to David, he is a private person though he confesses that his entry for the competition is contradictory to that fact. He did not wish to comment further on his background in Kenya and wishes to wait until the competition progresses into advanced stages.

Mukami was born in Nyeri in a family of two boys and two girls. She was howver raised in Nairobi’s Woodley area. She attended Kilimani Primary School and Moi Nairobi Girls High School. She received a degree in Management Information Systems from USIU-San Diego and a Masters degree in Applied Communication and Organizational Development from University of Denver in Colorado.

Mukami is married and has a four old son. Her husband, Kim Muhota and parents, Stephen Kinoti and Tina Kinoti all reside in the US capital and have been very supportive her campaign.

Reacting to the support she has received from Kenyans all across the Diaspora who have heard of her campaign, Mukami could not contain her gratitude. “I have been humbled and I cannot tell you how grateful I am for the overwhelming support that Kenyans have offered me,” Mukami said. “Kenyans have supported me through Facebook, Twitter and even had an interview with a section of the Kenyan media. I am so proud to be a Kenyan.”

Responding to a question on how she would handle such huge responsibilities that Oprah has considering that she is has a young son, Mukami was quick to point out that working in the corporate world was quite as challenging and she believes in personal discipline and personal sacrifice. She says she would make most of her time with her husband and son. “As women we find ourselves proving that we are super women and all this can be done by making sure you balance all aspects of your life,” Mukami said.

Mukami notes that if she lands the plum job, she will seek to tackle globally and socially relevant issues and tell stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. She will also seek to show the human element of celebrities and ultimately the viewer will relate, be inspired and empowered by that element that is rarely seen in public.

Oprah has been credited with discovering Dr. Phil, Rachel Ray and Dr. Oz and many contestants have this on the back of their minds. For now, David and Mukami hope to be next in line as they await the results with anticipation as do the rest of the Kenyan community.

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2 Responses to “Two Kenyans Natives in running to fill Oprah Winfrey’s shoes in 2011”

  1. Akinyi said

    I think there was a third…she was trying to get a cooking show under the same competition. I think it was called “Nkatha’s spices”. I don’t know how she is doing….

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