Perhaps the most famous face on Kenya's television screens today, Jeff Mwaura Koinange is a subject of much intrigue and speculation. Much has been written about him but seldom do people get to hear of his complicated love life. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.
Happy moments, ( left to right)Shaila, Jamal, Jeff.
In 1986 during a Pan Am auditioning for flight attendants, Jeff met Shaila, a Kenyan lady of Asian decent. Thereby began an affair that was to culminate in marriage eight years later.
In 1988 Jeff Koinange married Sonya a flight instructor of Panamanian decent. This would be Jeff's first marriage, driven by the adventure and hedonistic experiences of youth. Whimsically, in his own words, he still recalls the "non stop sun, sea and s_x" in Monrovia which characterized that romantic joust. Unfortunately Sonya would be caught cheating with another man and in 1994 they separated. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.
Jeff during his tenure at CNN.
Jeff who was then rising up in the media profession would bring home his heartache to his old flame, Shaila.
Jeff and Shaila now got married in 1994 shortly before his international journalistic career took off. Variously Jeff would do stints with Reuters, ABC News, KTN and NBC News. But his most remarkable breakthrough would come when CNN was shopping for a Bureau Chief for its Lagos office. Jeff landed the job and would spend 5 years in troubled West Africa.
At this time his marriage was on the rocks and was only salvaged by a transfer to the Johannesburg office of CNN where he worked as Senior African Correspondent.
Just when it appeared like Jeff would have his marriage back on track, billionaire Swiss businesswoman, Marianne Briner Mattern brought up romantic, old e-mail communication between Jeff and herself. Whether it was blackmail or love turned sour her purpose of bringing to the limelight private, 'steamy' communication has never been clear. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.
Sun drenched beaches of Monrovia hold special significance to Jeff Koinange's love life. View pictures in App save up to 80% data. Otherwise the Briner scandal contributed to Jeff losing his job with CNN in 2007.
Of course he came back home to Shaila. And now after a difficult marriage of 9 years the two were ready to start a family. The family's only child, Jamal Mbiyu Koinange was born sometime in 2007.
Back home of course Jeff is a hotly sought after presenter grossing approximately two million shillings monthly in salary and emoluments. Recently Jeff Koinange revealed his net worth, conservatively, to be in the region of Shs.50 million.
Jeff comes from an affluent family and is joint heir to a good fortune, but pursues journalism as a passion. He is variously decorated including with a Head of State Commendation.
Next time you see that famous face adorning that magnanimous smile on your television screen uttering his byline: "My, Oh My!" remember there's a human being behind it who's had his share of tears as well as the good times.