A former presenter at the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) is making a mark in the United States (US) with the Voice of America (VOA).
VOA produces digital content for both TV and radio in 47 languages with its affiliates stations distributed around the world and is funded by the US government.
Esther Githui Ewart started her journalism career in KBC working alongside other top presenters including the late Badi Muhsin.
After a short stint at the government-owned TV station, Githui joined Voice of America’s Swahili Service.
Currently, she is the lead anchor and writer for VOA English to Africa, a programme that targets sub-Saharan Africa.
Screengrab of Journalist Esther Githui conducting an interview on VOA
“Esther is one of the lead editorial voices on Africa 54 and she serves as a lead anchor, writer, futures planner, live guest producer, and VOA NBS reporter,” VOA describes Githui through their website.
Her daily duties include covering political development in Africa and closely following the initiatives of Africans in the diaspora.
“She also served as the host of VOA’s Africa Journal, a weekly call-in television in the program and anchored Special Report Africa, a weekly lifestyle television magazine program sharing human interest stories of the African continent and the diaspora,” VOA described Githui’s roles.
The former KBC presenter was the first VOA reporter to interview the former US President Barrack Obama in 2004 when he was running for the Illinois Senate seat.
Two years earlier, she spoke with 43rd President George W. Bush at the White House in 2002.
She is also renowned for interviewing the late former President Daniel Arap Moi in 2001 at the height of the elections campaign to end KANU’s era.
In 2015 and 2018, she also interviewed President Uhuru Kenyatta twice both in 2015 and 2018.
In 2013, Githui covered breaking news on the Westgate militia attack and received lots of plaudits for her coverage.
Other than covering political leaders, Githui stands out as being one of the few journalists who interviewed the late Nobel Peace Laureate Wangari Maathai and late legendary U.S. boxing Champion Joe Frazier.
Kenyan-born US-based journalist, Esther Githui with Deputy President William Ruto during an interview on Friday, March 4, 2022
Other top leaders Githui has spoken to include US Assistant Secretaries of State for African Affairs serving under several US administrations, including Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield, Ambassador Johnnie Carson.
In her latest interview, Githui interviewed Deputy President William Ruto on Friday, March 4, asking him to elaborate on a number of issues affecting Kenyans.
The journalist hard-pressed DP Ruto to explain how he intends to solve some problems if elected the Head of State in the August 9 General Election. The interview was emotional as Githui told Ruto that her family has also been affected.
“Because you lost direction, Kenyans lost direction. This is the bigger binding issue. Look, I come from there, you know what it is here in America, people are gonna confront you and ask you the same kinds of questions. The economy of Kenya has gone so bad, people have lost their minds… What is wrong with the Kenyan fabric? It is not good at all. How are you going to address that?” Posed the journalist.
Responding to the journalist, the Deputy President acknowledged the problems noting that his administration would tackle the issues through his bottom-up economic model.
“It is true we have an issue, but it is not as bad as you make it look. It is not out of control,” Ruto defended.
“When it comes to the issue of the government failing to feed its population, it is because we dropped the ball along the way. The fact that we removed the agricultural subsidy as the government, the whole farming chain was affected,” he added.