Lofty is one fine ball of energy, his vibe is contagious in every sense of the word. A news anchor at KTN News, radio presenter at Radio Maisha (Shangwe na Lofty) and host of the TV Show Kimasomaso, the man has come a long way. If there is one thing his audience enjoys about his personality, it is his ease in connecting with the kawaida mwananchi. About 8 years ago, Lofty gave up a pensionable job to take up a 6 month contract for a TV show that was to air on KTN. He didn’t test the waters with one toe nail, nope. Not Lofty. He went all in and let the chips fall where they may. That risk has come with its rewards. He shares his story.
Between news anchoring and radio presenting, which one do you enjoy most and why?
Radio presenting. It comes with a higher level of freedom in terms of what I can actually control. The most enjoyable part however, is the heightened level of interaction with my audience. The call ins make the experience so much better. The level of entertainment is higher. As a news anchor, my experience is wonderful but I don’t get much of an interactive experience since I’m handling news, so yes, my pick would be radio.
How would you describe your journey so far?
It has been a roller coaster of happenings. I have had to take risks for which I could not see the end of the road. I gave up a pensionable job to take up a 6 month contract for a TV show, the switch also involved taking a pay cut. I didn’t know what I would do after the 6 months but a friend told me, “If you want to grow in your career in this industry, you have to take risks.” And so I did. I’m glad I did, that is how KTN noticed my talent as the company I had been working for had their content airing on KTN. After the 6 months were over, I got offered a job by The Standard Group and as it is said, the rest is history. Sometimes in life, one just has to take the first step by faith and trust that everything else will work out. Risk has its rewards.
What has been the hardest part of handling the changes that have come with COVID-19?
Remaining relevant. Content for TV, news to be precise is less. That means we have to think on our feet because the content is less and the demand is more since people have been spending more time at home.
What has been the most rewarding thing about this season for you?
My level of digital literacy has gone up.
What has been your secret to getting what you want?
One, my personality; I easily get along with people
Two, I apply myself 100% to everything I do; I go out of my way to deliver the best that I possibly can with what I have. Excellence will always be rewarded.
What’s the most memorable part of your journey so far?
My first day of live TV reporting.
My boss at the time called and asked me to report live on a national event that was of great interest. I was in casual wear when I received that call, so I went and withdrew all the money I had, shs. 25,000, bought a suit worth shs. 20,000 a tie and earphones.
I nailed it! Sometimes opportunities find you when you least expect it, live prepared.
What are you most grateful for?
- My journey; the far I’ve come.
- The impact of my content. When I receive feedback from my audience on how my shows, be it on radio or TV had a positive impact on them.
What would you say is your greatest asset as a creative person?
- Creative scriptwriting for features and commercials
- My command of the Swahili language
- Ability to relate with people from all walks of life
What’s vision do you have for your career?
My vision is to have an institution that trains in production; a centre that marries excellence and passion when it comes to raising youngins interested in pursuing a career in this field.
If you were not an anchor or radio presenter what would be your alternative career?
I would be a Music Producer
A word of advice to all creatives out there…
- Give your artistic pieces 100%+, avoid mediocrity at all costs.
- Endeavor to produce pieces that offer gratification to your audience. What do they really want or need?