Self-proclaimed hopeless romantic, Martin Kimathi, NTV’s Teen Republik host is a man on the move just don’t call him an entertainer. He talks to HILARY KIMUYU about his journey from radio to TV and beyond
Condolences on the passing of your mum
The reason as to why I’m focusing on all this is because my mum was my biggest fan. She would literally skive work just to come and support me. Also, I know she would love to see me do a great job but I’ll never be the same again. My friends and my colleagues have been with me, supporting and encouraging me. It has not been easy and it’s still not easy especially when I’m alone. I get flashbacks and memories of her but at the end of the day I have to be strong.
You’re a hot shot presenter, tell us a little bit about yourself?
Wagwan!! I’m an entertainment journalist. I prefer the title Entertainment journalist rather than Entertainer because I feel it’s a broader term. I like hanging out with my friends, partying responsibly and just doing fun stuff, anything that brings good vibes.
Take us through your entertainment journey and how you got to Teen Republik.
When I was in university I worked for One FM and used to do their online entertainment, but even then I had my eye on television. One day I saw an article on Daily Nation that the then presenters Anita Nderu and Antoneosoul had left and a friend of mine suggested I give it a shot. It wasn’t easy because I had to go through three auditions and eventually I got in but as a guest host for the first three months before I got the gig.
Do you see yourself anchoring the news?
For now that is not for me, but I’d totally love to host my own show.
You have a lot going on off the screen.
I own an entertainment company called Party People, which is a talent and marketing agency that manages artistes, hosts and entertainers. I also host events with my most recent being the Wizkid concert. That was a huge deal for me.
What have been the exciting moments since you got in the industry? And the low moments?
I absolutely love what I do. This is what I have wanted to do since I was young. I get to interview big names in the entertainment space from across the world. I also enjoy the free stuff (chuckles) and free entry to almost every event. My low moments would be when people used to comment about how I do my job especially when I was new. It used to agitate me but I rose above it. Honestly, I have never really had a bad period in my career, I love what I do!
Being in the public eye, how do you deal with negative comments?
I have no problem with constructive criticism, because it will contribute to my growth and make me a better person. I remember my boss once told me that haters will always be there, you may be loved by 99 per cent but there will be one per cent will still be hating. I think putting your mind in the game is key and also do not give the haters attention.
Are you dating?
Yes I am. It is a long distance relationship though.
Are you the romantic type or the calm type?
I am very romantic, I go all the way if I’m into my woman. I even buy pearls! I’m that guy.
How did you meet your girlfriend?
Funny enough we met at a concert, the Omarion concert. I was going for lunch and we bumped into each other again and we started talking.
Your greatest and most embarrassing moment as a presenter
Greatest moment would be when I interviewed Cynthia Morgan and she knew who I was and what I do. That was such an unexpected moment for me. Embarrassing moment, this is funny but it was when I was interviewing Trey Songz and in the middle of the interview I started interviewing him in Swahili.
Are you into sports?
I am a diehard Red Devil’s fan, team Man United. As for engaging on any sports, not really, I have always been an indoor guy.
What is your most outstanding character?
My friends call me “BoutitBoutit” that is because I’m always ready to strike and get moving when it comes to doing something big.I’m always moving forward and I think I’m really a down to earth kind of guy.
Has a lady ever hit on you?
Yes! I’m a Libra so... Ladies have approached me and at first it was a bit weird but with time I got used to it and started embracing the love and being open minded about it.
What advice would you give to someone who hopes to be a television host someday?
The truth is one must invest in themselves. You have to be willing to spend money on yourself and make use of all social media platforms such as YouTube. The big lie that people believe is that you require connections to make it. That is not true, you have to rise to the occasion. I, for instance, started from radio then somehow got to television but that is because I really wanted it. I also had made friends who were already in the entertainment industry and this was motivation enough.