Who is Caroline Mutoko?
Caroline Mutoko is one of the most popular radio hosts in Kenya. In her morning show she addresses the issues that affect Kenyans. Her brutal honesty has been described as controversial, but Caroline maintains that what she does or says is simply stating the issues as they are.
The daughter of a civil servant and a human resources manager, Caroline Mutoko majored in Economics and Maths at The University of Nairobi and pursued an MBA at the same university. She tried her hand at banking before turning to Radio in late 1996, working for Kenya’s first privately owned radio station- Capital FM. She left that job to host the morning prime time show on Kiss 100 in 2000. Four years later she was promoted to programme controller, a role she does along side her anchoring job. In late 2009, Mutoko took on new responsibilities as group marketing manager for the media network Radio Africa.
In 2008 Caroline was awarded a Millennium Torch by the Danish government to assist in the meeting of Millennium Development Goals and her mission is to make a difference in the learning environment for girls in rural Kenya.
"Everything that will define the next twenty years, will happen in Africa", says Caroline Mutoko
1. If I was on your doorstep right now, where would you take me?
I would like to take you to my garden. It’s probably the most quiet and most beautiful place I can think of. Then I would take you to my kitchen. I have a stunning kitchen and I like to cook.
2. What cd/music and book would you bring along?
It would probably be Beyonce’s latest album I am 'Sasha Fierce', because of two songs. One is 'Halo' and the second is 'Single Ladies'.
3. Who else would you invite?
My sister. We connect on a level that is close to my heart. When you have a public job and a public profile, there are not very many people who know your heart. Another person would be Michelle Obama. Not necessarily the Michelle Obama in the White House, but Michelle Obama the woman, the academic, the intellectual, the mother. She strikes me as the kind of person that can stay grounded, no matter what.
4. Who or what makes you laugh most?
One is my sister Regina – she has an amazing wit. Today we were in my car on the way to my garden and she made me laugh so hard I had to stop at the side of the road. I can’t remember what we were discussing though.
5. When was the last time you cried and why?
I cry only once a year. I also lose my temper only once a year. I think the last time I cried was when I finally looked at the photographs of the violence that shocked our country in recent years.
6. What made you decide to do what you do?
I think the first couple of years in my radio job it was about showing that I can command a morning show audience, as a young black woman. My former boss came from a place where you had to be white, male and over 30 to run a morning radio show.
7. Being a role model yourself, who is your role model?
I have never seen myself as a role model, but I have stopped arguing about it. As to my role model: that’s my mother. She never had the opportunities that I had. She had no university education. Her possibilities were limited. But later in her life she went back to school and now she wants to get a degree. I am amazed by who she is today.
8. What was your first association with the Netherlands?
I think of place in Europe that is small, quiet, pristine and organised.
9. I am proud of being an African because...
… we are where the world is going. Everything that will define the next twenty years, will happen on this continent. In fact, it’s already happening now. Look at the World Cup in South Africa. It is such a huge platform for the continent that there is no looking back.
10. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Number one: I will be a mother. It’s a dream I have. Furthermore, I want to take a role in shaping Kenya, although nothing turns me off more than the idea of a political career. But there are so many more ways to serve your country and I hope that in the next five years I will get the chance to do so.
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