TV was never my first choice – Mich
Ronny Mich Egwang or Dr Mich is one of the most loved and admired TV personalities in Kenya with his unique sense of humour and mien. The Ugandan recently hosted Tusker Project Fame 6 together with Joey Muthengi. He told Chillax how public speaking was never his first love.
First of all are you a real doctor?
Yes, I am a certified veterinarian. I studied veterinay science at Makerere University and specialised in canines, so it is not a hoax. I practised for a while but then realised that I had a passion for public speaking and that is when my career as an emcee begun. I’m still passionate about animals.
Tell us how you started out as an MC?
It started when I was in South Africa where I was hosting a show called Deal or no Deal. My entry in Kenya was through Sharlene Poppat, who saw what I was doing in SA and was very pleased.
She gave me an opportunity to host the Concours d’ Elegance twice in a row. I have also worked for the Aga Khan Foundation, emceed for Miss India Kenya in 2008, can you imagine a Ugandan hosting such an event. The rest is history.
Should we change your nationality since most of the work you have done to establish yourself has been here in Kenya?
Let me tell you, I’m so Kenyan. Do you know that when I come to Kenya I drive myself around-no taxi or a chauffeur. That’s how well I know the streets; even the Thika Super Highway because I was here when it was being constructed.
Are you the only ‘loud person’ in your family?
Yes I am. I think the next person who I can say is close to being loud like me is my mum because she is the disciplinarian in the family.
We call her the dragon because she will always spit fire on you when you do something wrong.
Are you married?
I have been married for seven years now. My wife is called Monalizer and we have a two-year-old daughter, Michelle – it is the ‘M’ family.
I met my wife while emceeing for Miss Uganda. She was my best friend’s girlfriend, but don’t get me wrong. We started dating three years after she broke up with my friend who went to live in the US. And for the record, my buddy and I are still best friends.
In fact, I was his best man for his wedding in the US and another one in Uganda where he had a traditional wedding.
What do you do apart from presenting?
I run an events and marketing company called Eclipse in Uganda which I started in 1999. I also worked with EABL, Coca Cola and Qatar Airways.
Eclipse usually takes most of my time since there are many things that I have to foresee.
Don’t you feel that something might go wrong with your company since you are always away most of the time?
My theory is that to succeed in business you have to disassociate yourself with it as much as possible. I’m glad I have an amazing staff who I will never trade for anything.
They each have made an input to the growth of Eclipse.
There were rumours that you were broke and TPF came to your rescue when they gave you the job, how true is this?
It is frustrating that some people are out to feed the world with wrong information. I wasn’t actually broke but what happened was that I had made an investment in which I lost $300,000 in a day.
It was a difficult time for me but I thank my staff for understanding. I sat them down and told them that I had made some mistakes and couldn’t pay their salaries.
Slowly, the business started picking up and I can say that I have settled all the bills. I also learns a lesson about taking uncalculated risks. I anlayse everything I do these days.
Who between Sheila Mwanyigha and Joey Muthengi would you want to work with again given the chance?
Each of them is unique. I enjoyed my time with Sheila, she is free spirited and has a great sense of humour. We had a nice chemistry on stage.
Joey on the other hand, is so cool and I have worked with her only for a few months and we are getting along very well plus she is so small that I can carry her with one hand without breaking a sweat. I know we’ll become the thermal duo with time.