Former Kiswahili news anchor, Ann Ngugi, had her life planned out with a well paying job until she got fired. The former KTN and K24 news anchor lost her job at Media Max while she was 5 months pregnant. Months later, she made headlines after she was accused alongside her husband of conning a Nigerian man.
She recently opened up on her roller coaster life to SDE.
How was it like getting pregnant at a tender age?
I was only 25 years when I learnt I was going to be a mother. It was not easy since I was not married. I was scared of the unknown. However, a few months later, I was looking forward to being a mother.
Was the pregnancy planned?
Nope. It just happened. I may not have planned for my baby girl, but God did. The Bible says that ‘before you were born, I knew you’ and that’s enough. My daughter has brought so much happiness into my life.
How was her birth?
It was really painful. I was in labour for more than 22 hours. I had an emergency epidural caesarean section. I was numb for most of her first months. I used to apply Vaseline on her head hoping it would stop from swelling. That’s when she was diagnosed with hydrocephalus (excessive accumulation of fluid in the brain).
This condition causes a baby’s head to swell abnormally and eventually results in stunted growth. I cried everyday, especially at night. I prayed to God to heal my daughter. He did it slowly and this has taught me a lot about humility and patience. I’ve loved my Angel since the first day I gave birth to her. I accepted that it’s only God who is the creator.
Was her father supportive?
It is complicated. Currently, he is supportive and pays for her education. We have agreed to give our baby, Angel, the best we can. We have both moved on with our lives, but the baby is part of our lives.
So, does he visit?
Angel and her dad rarely meet. The last time he saw her was when she turned four.
Did her condition affect you, given that you were in the limelight?
Angel’s condition or her physical appearance has never bothered me. I regard her as a normal person and only different in a special way. I have never had to hide her or give an excuse about her appearance. Sometimes people stare at her and this can be quite annoying.
What about her school?
Children who don’t understand her condition will stare and laugh. But I am happy my Angel is a strong girl. She fights for herself and doesn’t allow anyone to bully her. She loves music, which is her first passion.
Oh, so she can sing?
The highlight was when she performed at her school last year. During the prize-giving day, she got a standing ovation for a song she sang. She touched everyone. A few teachers and parents insisted that I should take her music seriously. I wrote a song for her and we are now recording it with Reuben Kigame.
We are also doing a mother and daughter collabo, which will be released soon. She is also learning how to play the guitar.
Two years ago you lost your job while pregnant. What happened?
I was sacked by Mediamax when I was five months pregnant with twins. I never imagined losing a job like that. I always thought that I was in control, but it happened. I have moved on from that. It was a learning experience.
Did that change your life?
My life changed a lot. I used to earn a good salary and could afford a good life. I have had to make adjustments in my life, but we are fine.
A few months later, you and your husband were accused of conning a Nigerian man. How true was this?
The case is still in court, three years later. I am not a gold merchant. I am a journalist and a communications practitioner. The truth will one day come out. I have been called names by people. A close friend accused me of being a criminal and warned people not to interact with me, claiming I would con them.
I have never stolen from anyone, yet I have missed job opportunities because of the case. A woman abused me at a public place and called me a con. I have learnt that a good name is better than silver and gold.
You are no longer on TV. Has that changed your of friends?
I lost people I thought were my friends. I even called former colleagues for to hook me up with jobs, but they ignored me. That was hard to believe. People change a lot, especially when you have nothing to give anymore.
What are you doing at the moment?
I am a correspondent for Africa News channel. I do a lot of features for them. I have also shot a pilot of a show that will be airing soon. I also teach and train young people on media. During the holidays, I work with African Film Televising Talent Centre to mentor young people with a passion for media. I also do translations – my Kiswahili is very good. The best job of all is that of being a mother.
What is your advice to mothers whose children have a similar condition like Angel’s?
Accept the situation and things will be clearer. Trust in God and remember that the best cheerleader of a child is the mother.