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Mohamed Ali: How I once almost took up Christian radio station job

Nyali Member of Parliament Mohamed Ali has narrated his struggles earlier in his career as a journalist before he secured his first job in the media.

The first time MP, has recounted how he wrote more than 30 application letters and that at some point he was so desperate that he even applied for a job at Bibilia Husema, a Christian radio station.

“I wrote over 30 application letters, walked from station to station hoping that I would get a job,” Mr Ali said while appearing in an interview on K24.

Mr Ali, who grew up in a polygamous family, said that it is these frustrations early in life that eventually compelled him to join politics.

The renowned journalist even attempted to join the military and the police service.

“The first time I was dismissed and told that my chest was too small. In my next attempt the police asked for a Sh 20,000 bribe,” he said.

MILITARY RECRUITMENT

He says he tried to convince his mother, who had accompanied him to the recruiting center, to pay the money but she turned down his request.

“I was pissed off that the Government that was promising the youth that it would give them jobs was asking for bribes in exchange,” said the MP who grew up in Kiandutu slums, Thika.

However, Mr Ali pushed on with life hoping that one day all would be well for him and that God would answer his prayers.

After his failed attempt to join the military, his mother took him to a computer college, which he attended for a whole term, although deep down in his heart he felt like he was doing the wrong course.

One day as he was on his way home from college, Ali saw a poster on a tree inviting for applications from those interested in studying journalism.

That is how the award winning journalist ended up in journalism school.

During his internship, Ali worked at KBC but left at the end of the internship period.

FIRST JOB IN THE MEDIA

He would later be tricked into travelling to Saudi Arabia seeking greener pastures only to end up serving coffee in a hotel.

“I started by washing dishes before I was promoted to a waiter and that is how I started making friends in Saudi Arabia,” he said.

Three years later, Mr Ali travelled back to Kenya and began seeking employment afresh.

His big break came in 2007 when he joined KTN following a massive exodus of journalists from the Mombasa Road based media house to Citizen TV.

He says that he was greatly inspired to think big by the current Lands Cabinet Secretary Faridah Karoney, who had assured him that he would be given all the support he needed to attained his aspirations of becoming an investigative journalist.