BY PETER ONDABU
The interview Kanze Dena did with President Uhuru Kenyatta alongside her co-host Lulu Hassan before the 2017 General Election seems to have impressed the President. Now, she has been appointed the Deputy State House Spokesperson and also the Deputy Head of the Presidential Strategic Communications Unit (PSCU).
From an interview Kanze did with Maisha Magic East earlier this year and reported by Nairobi News, she revealed several details about her life, some of which we list below.
1. She was born in Nairobi and raised in Mombasa.
2. She admits to being a naughty girl in school who “used to fight a lot with boys in school”. But she was also a good actor who was in her element when reciting poems and acting in plays.
3. She had a strained relationship with her mother and there were times when they could not see eye to eye. To make matters worse, her mother sent her to a boarding school in Embu, which made her hate her mother for a long time.
4. She completed high school in 1997 and her first job was being a potato peeler at her grandfather’s restaurant in Nairobi. She later worked as a dish washer then a waitress.
5. Her first lover was a hit-and-run man who impregnated her then left. When hooking up with the man, she could not even believe a man could love her as she had grown up with a very low self-esteem.
6. She kept the pregnancy, though she hid it from her mum. She was planning to put up the baby for adoption after birth. But due to a miscommunication in the hospital, she was given her baby. Ideally, she should not have seen the girl. So when she saw her, the bond was too strong for her to leave her. Sadly, the baby would die after three months.
7. She studied journalism on the advice of her mother. For internship, she was posted to the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC). She was later hired by KBC. On the first day when she was anchoring alongside Badi Muhsin, she lost her voice due to anxiety. But after the commercial break, Badi helped her gain her confidence. In 2005 when she had graduated to anchoring news on her own, she discovered she was pregnant. She later gave birth to a baby boy.
8. Shortly after she left KBC to join Citizen TV, her mother succumbed to colon cancer. By this time she was enjoying a cordial relationship with her mother and the loss sent her into depression, making her suicidal.
More facts …
9. She has been a Kiswahili news anchor-cum-director at Citizen TV and is known for her signature melodious voice.
10. At 2.43pm on Tuesday, PSCU posted a tweet to welcome her to her new role, and a flurry of congratulatory messages have been flying in.