- Malaika Nnyanzi co-hosts KFM’s D’Mighty Breakfast Show with Brian Mulondo.
- She is also an actress, TV presenter and one of the busiest events emcees.
Malaika Nnyanzi greets you like a long lost friend. She relaxes into the conversation as if she is not running late for at least two other appointments. She takes a few minutes to confer with a colleague and then we get rolling.
As a fast-rising media personality, she has been interviewed a lot but tiresome as the questions could be, she brings freshness to each response. When she speaks, she is unpredictable, occasionally dropping bombshells on the conversation and taking the discussion in an unexpected direction from work to her mother’s cooking and her black childhood toy named Zawedde. When speaking for a living, this is an asset to keep audiences awake.
Multi-tasking for success
Nnyanzi co-hosts KFM Radio’s morning show, the D’Mighty Breakfast with Brian Mulondo. She is also an events emcee, TV presenter and actress. And that is just scratching the surface of all that she does.
“I am getting to know myself every day. I learn something new all the time. I like putting in the work. I am very passionate,” she explains.
One does not have to look too deep to find the source of her bubbling energy and passion, Nnyanzi will tell you matter-of-factly that she is motivated by the love of good things. And since good things cost money, she has no choice but to hustle.
“I learnt a long time ago that if I want nice things, I have to work for them,” she explains. The practice of working for the good things can be traced to her childhood when she had to put away small change in a piggy bank to pay for things her parents would not readily buy.
Sometimes, she had such a tidy sum of money saved that she was in position to lend to her parents; at an interest of course, she adds. “I was a business (kid). From when I was 10, I knew what interest was.”
Nnyanzi attributes her financial discipline to the fact that her parents, Esther Tendo and Nuwa Wamala Nnyanzi did not spoil the children.
The only daughter of Nuwa Wamala Nnyanzi, a celebrated artist, Nnyanzi speaks of her parents’ accomplishments with pride. “He (my father) is one man I respect highly because he used art that he was never taught to make ends meet. My mother is the best cook in the world and I do not just say that because she is my mother, even my cousins will tell you that,” she says. Formerly with the World Bank and now in private business, Nnyanzi’s mother runs two enterprises; a catering company and a printing business. “I got the business acumen from my mother; the strong woman, the don’t-sleep-at-night hard worker. Then the artsy side, I got from my dad,”
Running a tight schedule
And if the love of good things keeps her up at night, then it is great motivation to get up in the morning. Nnyanzi rises at 3.45am every day, to prepare and get to her Breakfast show at KFM.
“When I get up, I say a little prayer, check my social media and update myself a little bit, and then I shower and get dressed. While I am doing all that, I go through the show; if I had written a few notes, I go through them. I also listen to Hour of Power on KFM. The difference between my day and other people’s is that my day starts at 4am; I do not have a chance to go back home and get dressed so I am all dressed up at 5am and crossing the road in heels,” she explains.
At work, she presents the morning show and “has a few laughs”, with her co-host. “When the show is done, we have the show prep. I sneak in something to eat. Then I have a lot of meetings during the day,” she says. The meetings include; clients who want her to emcee at events; those who wish to use her social media influence and media interviews such as this one.
“I also go online a lot because I have to look for my next step. I check up on our artistes to see what they are up to, so I can be the first to give that information (on KFM). Sometimes, the earliest I get home is 10pm. I get home late because some of my engagements and mid-week shows run late,” she explains. Some of her engagements such as officiating at this year’s Uganda North America Association convention (UNAA) in Las Vegas US, involve extensive travel but she manages to get through the punishing schedule with energy to spare.
“I love everything I do. You know that stress where you are tired but smiling because you are happy at the end of the day? I would never trade this for anything.”
While she loves her work, she is not too pleased about the tabloid stories. But that is to be expected, she says. In spite of all the attention, negative and positive, she tries to stay down-to-earth.
“When someone walks up to me, my first thought is not that this is a fan. My first thought is, “Which school did I go with them? Which church did I see them at? I always feel that if you know me, then it is only fair for me to respond with the same kindness,” she explains.
When asked about her future plans, Nnyanzi replies that she is planning her funeral, then bursts out laughing. On a sober note, Nnyanzi cannot wait to make 35 years, so that she can retire or work like it is a hobby.
Though she prefers to keep us guessing about her age, Nnyanzi still has a long way to go before retirement. In the meantime, her career has taken off at an amazing speed.
“It shocks a lot of people and it shocks me most that I have risen this fast in the media industry because in the space of three years, I have done four TV shows, radio and emceed at some of the biggest events. I am also a brand ambassador for big brands. They always say, “Work hard so that you do not have to introduce yourself,” she adds. With her growing profile, Malaika Nnyanzi need not worry about introductions.
FAMILY AND BACKGROUND
Nnyanzi was born in Nairobi, Kenya where her parents lived in exile. She was only a few months old when the family returned to Uganda in the ‘90s. She went to Safari Kindergarten, Kampala Parents School, Gayaza High School, Makerere College and United States International University in Kenya where she studied International Business Administration.