Dennis Okari is one of the few journalists who has really learned the art of keeping his life very personal.
It is very rare to see him in an interview but you will never miss his face on NTV every night.
After the drama between him and Betty Kyallo, he has since maintained a very private life. In both his new marriage to Naomi and his co-parenting life with Betty.
NTV has introduced a new digital segment, QuickFire Friday (QFF) and Dennis was their guest last week. He talked about a lot but his career life got my attention. Contrary to so may Kenyan stories, manz has never tarmacked looking for a job.
“I have never tarmacked looking for a job my entire life, I always say jobs tarmac looking for me. So I started off at KBC Metro TV, worked with a producer called Bwana Onguso. Well, those of my age group will know him. That was like our Tyler Perry. Onguso was the producer of Tausi, Tahamaki, those epic Swahili programs…. So I was working with him. I was basically a video editor, producer cum reporter. I helped produce Lupita Nyong’o at the time she was starting out. I used to go through her scripts, and studio frame her. Seeing where she is now, I don’t know whether she will remember me you know those days we used to like really hustle even getting clothes for her to wear onset. So that’s where I started then I went to TBN Family Media then left Nairobi went to Mombasa working for Baraka FM, I wanted to learn Swahili because my Swahili was so bad and when I came back to Nairobi I was supposed to work for Radio Maisha but then the guys eventually hired me for the Broadcast Division (TV) So, that’s my first time on KTN, then I went to Radio Africa then came to Nation Media Group. I was then poached by the BBC went worked in the UK then came back to Nation Media Group.” Dennis Okari shared.
He later addressed the elephant in the room, why he left BBC. In as much as it is almost every journalist’s dream to go international, he was not satisfied.
“That is an interesting question on why I left BBC. Like every other journalist in your career, you are always thinking of your interjectory is always to move from local to international. But why come back it is like a demotion. But for me, it was a couple of things. I always felt like I was telling the kind of stories I really wanted to tell. And BBC was not giving me that platform, because it is like a beast and there are so many people and there is no space for you to tell the African story the way you want to tell it to be honest. Two was family. The traveling was a bit too much on me I was not enjoying it. I wanted to stay and just be around my family. Kenya is a beautiful country and a beautiful place to work in any way. I was also homesick. So coming to NTV and they gave me that opportunity to tell my story was all I need. I could now do NTV investigates an opportunity I did not get at BBC” Dennis Okari added
He said it was fun working at the BBC and they taught him a lot of course, it was a very a different experience for him.
One thing that he made clear was that he has a deep passion to tell African stories in form of investigatives and that has been very evident in his career from the days with Mohammed Ali.