The BBC has appointed one of its most popular presenters in Africa as the head of its BBC Swahili language service. Solomon Mugera starts his new job today. He is now responsible for all BBC Swahili managerial and editorial direction, for its staff located in London, Burundi, DR Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, and for the service’s website, bbcswahili.com. Solomon takes over from Tido Mhando, who had been its Head since 1999.
Solomon says: “I am greatly honoured and privileged to be offered this role and truly excited to be rejoining BBC Swahili as its Head. I first worked with them for three years in the late Nineties but I never dreamed that one day I would return in this position. I realise I have big shoes to follow, those of Tido Mhando. He is a household name in East and Central Africa and rightly so. Tido is a hard-working man with an unbridled passion for broadcasting, Africa and life in general. It’s a tough job to follow.”
Solomon previously worked as a senior producer with BBC African Productions, which broadcasts programmes in English to Africa. He also presented its flagship interactive, radio and online programme Africa, Have Your Say. Kenyan-born Solomon first joined the BBC with the Swahili service in 1998 as a producer and presenter of its news and current affairs programmes. He helped create a youth programme called Vijana Leo (Today’s Youth) which had a mix of youth-related discussion and music.
Solomon also spent some time working with BBC News Online and BBC English for Africa programmes Focus on Africa and Network Africa. He helped pioneer the launch of live, interactive debate across the continent with the programme Africa, Have Your Say which began life as Africa Live! in 2002. It gives listeners across the continent and the world the opportunity to put across their views on a range of issues on BBC radio and online and is broadcast three times a week.
Before joining the BBC, Solomon worked for three years as a television journalist with the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation and for four years with the Kenya Television Network.
(Source: BBC World Service)