She is one of the realest women I have met, talked to and shared a laugh with. She is true to herself, confident with her character and honest with her opinion.
Kirigo Ng’arua is Citizen TV’s news anchor and Lifestyle journalist.
On the slated date for interview with Citizen Digital, she arrives looking all ready and set for it. She greets people in the newsroom with a permanent smile inked on her lips, takes a seat and catches up with girlfriends.
The lovely Kirigo then cues me in that she is ready to share details about her life. We book a spot, and voila – the story begins.
- Growing up, she played literally everything!
Kirigo Ng’arua grew up in Jerusalem, Harambee and South B areas of Nairobi. She is the first born in family of two children and her brother is a lawyer.
Recollecting her childhood and family status, Kirigo told: “I cannot say we came from a well-off family, but also cannot say we came from the poorest of all. We were comfortable, and it was a joy growing up.”
Just like every other kid, Kirigo loved to play.
“I did everything – I played ‘bladaa’, ‘bano’, ‘cha mama na cha baba’, and even Play Station. It was pretty much normal and a good one.”
- She is a Catholic University of Eastern Africa alumnus
In her primary and secondary education, Kirigo says she attended what she calls ‘normal’ schools in Nairobi.
For her higher education, she enrolled for a Journalism course (Radio Production) at Tangaza College which is a constituent college of Catholic University of Eastern Africa.
She is now undertaking her Master’s degree at the University of Nairobi.
- She cannot stand mediocrity
Kirigo says what pushes her on in life is the desire not to be mediocre.
“We are not meant to live mediocre lives, we are meant to be the stars – we are meant to shine,” she told.
Adding: “Who are you to play small, who are you not to shine bright? You are a child of God – you are meant to prosper! Life should never be lived doing basic things.”
Kirigo says she strives for perfection which is never easy to achieve.
- She never thought she will be a TV anchor
In however much Kirigo says she did not foresee herself being a celebrated anchor, she recollects seeing herself being in the media.
“Ever since I was in standard six, I knew I was going to be in the media. This came from one time when I watched CNN’s Christiana Amanpour reporting and saw how she was unbiased and got inspired to be a reporter too.”
Kirigo says her dream however metamorphosed into the fields of: branding, advertising and public relations, but maintains it remained in the media industry
But how did Kirigo get to TV?
“Mike Okinyi thought I had what it takes to be a female sports anchor. I did the screen test, but our boss, Farida Karoney thought differently. She gave me the opportunity to do what I am doing now. Since then, everyday has been a highlight on TV.”
- She has had her mohawk hair for 3 years
Kirigo’s trademark hairstyle – the mohawk has been her preferred look for the past 3 years.
She says it is something which makes her stand out.
“It is really something I love; it is different and unique. I have met a lot of people who say I wish I had the guts to do that – you can! This is hair, it’s going to grow.”
“I am not a rebel; I just enjoy doing things differently. I wouldn’t want to fall into the trap of what everyone does.”
Kirigo says the mohawk is just one of the many hairstyles she’s experimented with. She’s done blonde and dread locks before.
Kirigo, however, says her viewers never get to see her mohawk on TV since she knows how to place herself strategically not to reveal the hairstyle which many might say is not ‘news reader appropriate’.
- She cooks sweet meals when she is in bad moods
Kirigo says she cooks the best of meals when her mood’s compass is pointing south.
“My brother says I make my best meals when I am in a bad mood. When you upset me, I’ll get into the kitchen and cook an exceptional meal!”
She added: “I however enjoy cooking, and right now my fascination is baking.”
On her favourite meal, Kirigo said she doesn’t have a particular one since she eats the same meal every other day – brown rice, protein and vegetables.
- Kirigo detests colourful underwear worn under light leggings and tights for ladies
The easy TV anchor says her sense of style has no name, but prioritises decency.
“I don’t have a standard style of dressing. I wouldn’t want to be confined in a box – that’s why I have a mohawk and wear what I want to wear. But every attire I put on, should be one that my family approves of,” she said.
Kirigo Ng’arua has a word for those ladies who wear colourful innerwear under light tights, with tops which are not long enough to cover their bums.
“If you are wearing tights, please wear black underwear, not red or white – that’s the most important thing. I think it is important to cover your vitals.”
She further advised: “I know when you wear tights, you have your legs exposed; then have your upper body covered. You cannot show everything – it has to be in small details. If you give people everything, they see and eat and move on. You’ll keep wondering – oh my God no one hits on me…”
- She appreciates the value women bring to men
Kirigo acknowledges the worth women bring with them: “When a man is surrounded by a beautiful strong woman – a woman who knows herself, he blossoms and becomes who he is meant to be. She does not necessarily need to change him, but to make him the best version of himself.”
“I appreciate the men who have taken their time and effort of learning how to be in a relationship with women – without necessarily having to keep a side-chic. They are awesome!” she affirmed.
- She would forgive a first time cheating man
Unlike most women who will pack up their things and leave a cheating man to languish in loneliness, Kirigo says she would actually forgive a first time cheater.
“Why wouldn’t I forgive a first time cheater? We are human – we make mistakes. If we sit down, and it is something that can be resolved, why shouldn’t I? Don’t I expect to be forgiven if I do something like that?”
She adds: “Sometimes you have to put yourself in that position and ask yourself: If I was the one caught doing ABCDEFG, would I want to be forgiven?”
- She is discovering her role as a woman in home setting
Kirigo says she is still learning her role as a woman in a home setting, though she did not disclose if she is dating.
The news anchor says when she marries, she would cook for her husband and family.
But when it comes to washing clothes: “It’s 2015! There are washing machines, so we’d buy those. I could wash, but that’s not top of the list.”
Kirigo says the only thing she looks for in a man is a friend.
“Once you have a friend, the rest builds up from there. You can be able to tell them you are not being ambitious enough, you are not dreaming hard enough.”
According to Kirigo, a lot of complications originate from lack of friendships in relationships.