With a career spanning over a decade, Citizen TV’s Stephen Letoo has been a staple in the political scene due to his keen sense of matters regarding current affairs and governance.
In particular, the Citizen TV journalist has etched his mark at Royal Media Services (RMS) where he rose to fame especially when political campaigns were at a fever pitch.
Speaking to the Iko Nini podcast, Letoo went down memory lane and reminisced how a former classmate put in a good word to one of the bosses, which got him an opportunity to work at the giant media house.
Citizen TV reporter Stephen Letoo
Instagram He noted that his former classmate was a news director at the time and organized for him to do his internship at RMS, before completing his studies at the University of Nairobi (UoN).
A dream that he didn’t want to fade away, Letoo stood out from his peers through grit and determination.
“One of my classmates was a news director and he saw that I had a passion for journalism. He made plans for me to enroll at RMS. After four months, I perfected my craft.
I would utilise my opportunity by arriving early enough to handle morning tasks before other journalists arrived. They would look for someone to do the assignment and since others were not in the office, I would be the one selected,” he noted.
Due to his hard work, a few of the top bosses in the media industry noticed him and he became a sought-after journalist during his third year of studies at UoN.
“In 2013, I was poached by Kiss TV to cover the General Election. I gave it my best and managed to get noticed by my former employer. Three years later, Citizen TV poached me again from Kiss TV and I have worked there to date,” he noted.
He attributed his passion for journalism to his childhood days when people around his community would gather around their homestead to watch the news on a Great wall TV. His father at the time was the chief of the Maasai Community.
“My father was a chief, hence the whole community would come to our homestead to watch the news on the great wall TV. As a result, my father would call us names based on the anchors on TV. I always used to wonder why he was so engrossed with the news anchors to the point that I developed an interest.”
Due to numerous attacks and cattle rustling that was rampant in the area, his father transferred him to Greenlight Academy based in Kisii county.
After passing his KCPE, he joined Kabianga High School, Kericho County. At the time, he founded the journalism club in the school and began reading news in the assembly on Mondays and Fridays.
Unfortunately, his father passed away in 2008, at the time he was scheduled to sit his KCSE the following year, which led to opposition from some of the elders in his community who sought him to change his career course and pursue teaching.
The elders claimed that as the firstborn, Letoo was supposed to take care of his 12 siblings and was to choose a course that would allow him to return to go back home after university.
“In 2008, when I was about to do my KCSE in 2009, I lost my father which really affected me. Some of the elders of the community also told me that I couldn’t pursue journalism since I lacked a father and I had to care for my other 12 siblings,” Letoo stated while pointing out that he was close to yielding to the elders’ demands were it not for a split moment decision by an unexpected family friend.
“On the day of selections, we had a conversation with the chairman of the elders who convinced me to chase my dream and pursue journalism. I ended up enrolling at the University of Nairobi and here we are,” he stated.
Photo collage of newly launched Citizen TV Studio with presenters on Sunday, August 7, 2022.