While some have been unsuccessful in entrepreneurial moves, others have turned the little they started with into million-dollar companies, providing hundreds of jobs to others and contributing to the growth of their countries.
There have been stories of bankers, doctors, engineers among others leaving their formal employment to start their own business. The story is often not so for journalists, particularly in Africa.
Here are six Kenyan journalists who left their formal employment to start their own business, bringing in six and seven figures.
Carole Mandi was a writer for True Love magazine. She acquired the lifestyle magazine in 2010 after the owners decided to quit the Kenyan market. She and her husband founded Caroline Mandi Media Limited (CMML) and subsequently raised funds from their savings to buy off her former employers.
She relaunched True Love and Drum magazines after being pulled off the market for months. She also runs a YouTube channel where she posts exclusive interviews.
Raphael Tuju was a news anchor for Kenya Television Network (KTN). He was with KTN in the 1980s and early 1990s. While at the national broadcaster, he produced and directed documentaries, radio and television commercials for private and public bodies.
Tuju in 2001 founded Ace communications which reportedly has the biggest audiovisual library in East Africa.
Hilary Ng’weno founded the newspaper Nairobi Times and a television station, STV. He previously worked as a journalist and editor in chief for the Daily Nation and Weekly Times until 1973 and 1999 respectively.
However, falling revenue from advertising sales forced Ng’weno to sell the paper in 1983 to Kenya’s ruling KANU party.
Hussein Mohamed reportedly left Citizen TV as a news anchor at the height of stardom. He founded a media company called Iris Media.
He also serves as a consultant to a project funded by the US government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) called Resilience Learning Activity (RLA).
Zain Verjee worked for Kenya Television Network before leaving to Cable News Network (CNN). She became a correspondent and later a news anchor on the American news channel for 14 years.
In 2014, she left CNN to establish her own media production company called Zain Verjee Group with offices in New York and Kenya.
She is also the co-founder of media startup Akoma media.
Rose Kimotho is the founder of Three Stones Limited, the parent company of 3 Stones TV. The TV station is reportedly the first free-to-air digital television channel broadcasting in the Kikuyu language.
Before starting her own media firm, she was the Managing Director of Regional Reach Limited, owners of Kameme FM in 1999, and K24 TV television channel in 2007.