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Face on the Timeline

Stepping out: Miriam Miracle Mbithi Munyiva is perhaps no new face to you because well, you have seen her on NTV’s Timeline show. Still at university, Mbithi is already juggling TV, radio and being a voice over artist. Joan Salmon caught up with her and she shares what inspires her and her future aspirations.

What drew you to media?

I grew up watching CNN and BBC with my father. It was a tradition for us, but even then, it never crossed my mind that I would one day read the news. While in my Senior Five, I thought about doing Law, but I did not think that having no life out of Law school was something I wanted. Then I thought I could try out sciences, but they humbled me. For some time thereafter, I did not know what to do and it bothered my father, who often remarked: “Am I paying school fees for you to be clueless about what you want to be in future?”

Then one day, he told me: “I think you can make a good news anchor.” So I started listening to famous news anchors such as Nancy Kacungira and Christiane Amanpour. That is how I ended up doing journalism.

I anchor the 7am, 8am and 9am news on Power FM and present the Timeline on NTV.

What drove you into joining the career world?

I was looking to practise what I study without waiting to finish school. I also needed to put my skills to use, plus I love to talk. I went into radio and along the way, the Timeline opportunity came along after I met Brian Mulondo, who had come to the Power FM studios. We exchanged numbers and the next time I heard from him, he was calling me for a voice test and now the rest is history.

What challenges have you faced since joining the industry?

I am still learning to multitask because sometimes school pressure can get overwhelming. Starting out, there were times I wondered if I had to do all that was on the schedule but then I knew I had a responsibility to fulfil. Then there was family and friends, who at the start were disturbed by the idea of me waking up at 5am and returning home at 10pm.

Also, I am an introvert, yet I have to talk to people to get information. It is still a learning process and I know I am making progress. I am learning that not everyone thinks the way I do. I am glad that I do not have to lose my cool on some things anymore.

What does the future hold for Mbithi?

I would love to be a TV news anchor someday. I also wish to interview presidents and world dignitaries. At a point in time, I would love to leave active employment and take care of my children because I believe it is important that I am part of their growing up.

I would also love to become a life coach because I love helping people become a better version of themselves.

Mbithi at a glance

I am the first born of two, so naturally I have a headgirl mentality because I am used to being in charge. I am also born again and I go to Watoto Church. I am a student of journalism and communication at Makerere University. Although I have Kenyan blood running through my veins, I have lived in Uganda all my life and I find Ugandans so relaxed compared to Kenyans who work faster.

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