Translating is my way of life, says Gukena's Emily

Maina Kageni is the last person she expected would notice

In Summary

• She translates the news from English to Kikuyu for Gukena bulletins every morning

Gukena FM news reader
Gukena FM news reader
Image: Elizabeth Ngigi

Gukena FM newsreader Emily Kimani has won the heart of Maina Kageni not because she reads news but by her prowess to translating news from the English language to Kikuyu.

During Kasheshe segment on the breakfast show, Maina appreciated Emily's efforts.

"What Emily does is she translates the news from English to Kikuyu for the bulletins on Gukena every morning. That is a very hard task. Please know that you are appreciated this morning," he said.


Speaking to Word Is, Emily said translation has become her way of life.

"I do everything in translation, including my thinking. It is my task to release in my language that pure language that is under the spell of another, to liberate the language imprisoned in a work in my recreation of that work," she said.

However, the mother of one says when she started, it was not easy. "It's something I enjoy doing now because I have done it for many years."

She appreciates that someone has noticed her work, which she is proud of. "It caught me by surprise. I first received a text message from a security guard downstairs, saying Maina is praising me on radio, and many more text messages from friends followed."

"Maina Kageni is the last person I expected would notice what I do since we are on air at the same time and we only meet in the morning before 6 am," she said.

Emily Kimani, together with Karungo Wa Thang'wa, also translated the draft constitution in 2010. A task the two were assigned by an NGO through the current Makueni Governor Kibutha Kibwana.

"That is where my skills and ability were tested. It was a big publication as you would expect and we had a deadline of two weeks, but we did it in a day and night," she said.


Emily has been in media since 2004. Her message to young media personalities is to be patient.

"Patience is bitter but its fruit is sweet. God has perfect timing; never early, never late. It takes a little patience and it takes a lot of faith but it’s worth the wait," she said.