Weldon Oriöp Kirui became well known for several programs he hosted during his time at KBC National Radio.

Currently, he is a presenter at Kitwek Fm radio station, owned by the Government Broadcasting Corporation – KBC.

“I was born in 1972 in the Langam area of Nakuru, as the youngest in the family. I started my education at Kiplokyi Primary School, then joined Cheborge Secondary School in Kericho County from 1987 to 1990, where I sat for my KCSE exam,” Kirui explains.

“I started this broadcasting work while I was at Cheborge Secondary School, in Form Two, in February 1988. I remember very well because I wrote news during a school festival and read them to my fellow students. The news I composed covered various events in school such as students fighting over food, tea, school gossip, bullying incidents, and events from around Cheborge, like arrests of drunkards, and so on. The news I composed interested students and teachers to the point that I was called a broadcaster. I continued writing and reading news until I completed my high school studies, and the zeal to pursue journalism ignited within me,” recalls the broadcaster.

After completing his high school studies, he continued to write opinion letters for newspapers such as Taifa Leo, Daily Nation, The Standard, Kenya Times, The Weekend Mail, and Die Welt.

Later, he joined the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication (KIMC) where he studied broadcasting, program production, and journalism.

“While at KIMC, I had the opportunity to write numerous news articles for newspapers. Also, I learned the German language for the first time at an institute in Nairobi,” he reveals.

Kirui joined KBC in February 1997 and worked in various departments, including reading news bulletins, producing programs like ‘Did You Know?’, ‘Microscope’, and ‘Farmers’ Wealth’, among many others.

Before joining KIMC, he worked at the Kenya News Agency (KNA) in 1994 and ECK (now IEBC) in 1992.

“I was fortunate to study extra courses in Germany where I was awarded a certificate called ‘Fortgeschritten Diploma in Rundfunk, Presse und Radio Produktion.’ While in Germany in 2005, I produced programs that aired on Sauti ya Ujerumani and Radio Deutsche Welle, English service,” Kirui discloses.

“If there’s one program people still ask about to this day, it’s the History and Development program I started producing from 1999 to 2007. This is a program about historical events in Kenya and the world at large as narrated by Historian Peter Chemaswet and Dr. Kipkoeech araap Sambu, who is currently the chief manager of Kass Fm International Radio, Washington DC. This was a program that people loved so much, and even the late Former President Daniel Arap Moi was a big fan. This program touched on the history of the Kenyan community, the history of heroes like Koitalel arap Samoei, Ole Nana, Waiyaki wa Hinga, Lwanda Magere, Mugo wa Kibiru, Wangu wa Makeri, and other heroes.”

“We also extensively covered the history of the Jews, the love affair between President Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinski, and the wars between Iraq and the United Nations. However, this program took a new turn when Dr. Sambu urged us to narrate the ancient history of Egyptology, in English.”

“Dr. Sambu narrated how Africans, especially the Kalenjin community, were ruling. Not only Egypt but also Europe, Indo-China, America, Australia, Japan, Southeast Asia, and even Mesopotamia. This program had many fans, so much so that in 2002, we received several congratulatory letters from embassies in Congo, Belgium, and many parts of the world,” says Kirui.

“I was inspired by broadcasters like Francis Bale (Radio Uganda), Omir Herr, Ahmed Mohammed (Voice of Germany), James Njuguna, Said Ali Matano, Catherine Kasavuli, Hilda Odera, Mambo Mbotela, Martin Mule, and others.”

“There are pitfalls in broadcasting. Journalism focuses on certain aspects and is written in a certain style. In 1999, I invited a young man with a talent for broadcasting. That young man, Naphtali Ndege, who is now a broadcaster, imitated Mambo Mbotela’s voice at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. He pretended to invite the president after a foreign visit. Things went haywire because the voice he imitated was that of Mambo Mbotela, and many people thought the president was really at JKIA, causing a stir in the government. Many bosses rushed to the airport, thinking the president had just returned from abroad. I almost got into trouble, even though it was a talented young broadcaster. These days, there are many people imitating the president’s voice, but at one time, it was considered a mistake,” he narrates.

Do you know the secret to excelling and succeeding in the broadcasting and journalism industry?

Kirui advises that a journalist and broadcaster must read many books and newspapers to understand what is happening globally.

“I have been reading many books to increase my radio usage knowledge. I love to read until late at night. I have read books like ‘Egypt: The Light of the World’ by Egyptologist Gerald Massey, and another one, ‘The Sirius Mystery’ by Robert K.G. Temple. Broadcasting also requires a person who loves to travel and visit both local and foreign countries.”

He says that nowadays broadcasting has been greatly degraded, unlike in the past.

“Broadcasting is no longer the same. Everyone is a broadcaster, even acrobats are broadcasters. Businessmen and others are broadcasters. If you turn on the radio, you won’t believe what you hear on the air. They don’t adhere to broadcasting ethics, but their topics are only about things like love, sex, family matters, and a lot of filth being spewed on the radio. KBC is a unique station where broadcasters are closely monitored and listened to carefully by bosses and supervisors,” says the broadcaster.

Kirui advises those intending to join the broadcasting and journalism industry not to lose heart and to study hard.