Eunice Kilonzo is a journalist and a nine time-award winning storyteller who has an extensive experience in communications in organisations and media management.

Her experience spans various sectors including health, science, technology, environment, financial services and development.

Kilonzo’s career journey in Media and Communications started way back in high school.

Then she was involved in writing and public speaking and she kept her love for paper and pen alive even when she joined the University of Nairobi to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, Communications and Literature.

At UoN, she honed her writing skills by writing for various campus newsletters and publications and earned a 3-month Communications internship at the Koinonia Media Center as a fresher!

Eunice Kilonzo. PHOTO/COURTESY

She later got another 7-month media internship at PATH, a global team of innovators who worked to accelerate equity in health provision.

At PATH, she was attached to the G-PANGE youth program in her second-year in campus, marking her entry into health communications, a field she is passionate about and is known for.

Her passion for writing opened yet another door in 2013 after she had done her final paper.

“I had an offer to join the Nation Media Group Media Lab program. Embracing humble beginnings with zeal and zest, I started as a cub reporter and advanced to become a health beat reporter, then Senior Health Journalist,” Kilonzo said.

She added, “By the time I left four years later, I was committed to putting great health stories from across the country and the world - on the front pages. I am proud that during my time, this was possible.”

Transitioning from newsroom

He craving to advance her health journalism career led her read endless research papers.

But when she called up scientists, she realised they were struggling to express themselves and she acted on the urge to support health researchers and scientists to tell their great stories.

Eunice Kilonzo. PHOTO/COURTESY

This led her to join the African Population and Health Center (APHC) in mid-2017 as a Communications Officer and worked with more than 250 PhD researchers across Africa and assisted them to amplify their work.

“My work involved reading a lot of science and medical research and then unpacking it into simple to understand content.”

While at APHC, Eunice Kilonzo did an Executive Certificate in Global Health Diplomacy at the Graduate Institute, Genève, which broadened her perspective on global health.

Three years on she diversified her skills by applying for a short-term consultancy at the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) where she was tasked with writing and producing social media content about coral reefs!

“If I was to become a multi-faceted storyteller, I had to do something different, and this was it. UNEP offered multicultural experiences, appreciation of multilateralism and of life below water,” she said.

Kilonzo added, “Afterwards, I got yet another chance to join Safaricom PLC as a Manager, Content Generation. This is where I currently work.”

Eunice Kilonzo. PHOTO/COURTESY

She shared how the following have shaped her illustrious career over the years;


I am here because of the mentorship and support by some of my seniors along my career journey. As a way of giving back, I am now mentoring ten young women on matters careers, jobs and personal branding. I am also a mentor at the Global Give Back Circle, a long-distance mentorship program in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation.


This, you must do. Invest in your relationships and be very intentional with who is in your circles. If a network does not serve or support you in the way, you would like, either amend it or leave it. But, do not be the sponge in your network; what value are you adding? Take stock as often as you can.

Career risks (Taking on new challenges/roles)

“Take risks! Curious to try out a new job in a new country? Yes, please do. You will learn. You will grow. Almost all my career moves have been risks. I always tell myself - go where the story leads you.

Be prudent, do your homework and research (through your networks etc.) and then make a move. One of my mentees is on her way to Amsterdam for a communications job. Is she scared? Yes. But is she qualified and going all the same!” So, feel the fear and do it anyway.

(Change) Getting out of your comfort zone

If it is comfortable (unless it’s a pair of shoes or pants), you are not growing. Re-invent yourself as much as possible. Beyond health journalism/communications, I think of myself as a multimedia storyteller. Next time, I may be Eunice, the global content strategist.

Continuous learning

The skills and experiences that got you here won’t take you there. Lookup for new courses, save up and sign up. As a communicator, being skilled in diverse disciplines offers you a helicopter view of interconnected issues. Also, on learning, it is okay not to know. There is no shame in that. We all don’t know everything.

Eunice Kilonzo. PHOTO/COURTESY

So, what’s the best work-related advice she has applied with tremendous results?

“Jaindi Kisero, a veteran writer and journalist, once told us during a Media Lab class while at Nation Media Group, ‘As a journalist, you must be capable of having the thoughts of an expert and the words of a gossip’ This helps me a lot when I struggle to tell complex stories. I pause and ask, ‘how would a gossip column tell this story?’”

Kilonzo shared what her current role as Manager, Content Generation at Safaricom PLC mean for her and other young women who look up to her and leadership lessons she has learnt.

“I love to tell stories, and this role accords me that opportunity and more. I get very excited when I get a chance to brainstorm potential stories and then think of creative ways to use multimedia content to serve that purpose. As a Manager, I have picked up three key leadership lessons to date: Teamwork, excellence and curiosity:

1. On teamwork, while I can shoot videos and photos and probably record podcasts, I am part of a team with people whose skills in these areas are much better than mine. Therefore, teamwork allows each individual to contribute in a way that complements all our shortcomings. Working as a team is really similar to how a system works. When all parts do their specialised work, then the benefit for the whole is much more significant than when, say, the eye tries to do what the ear is well-designed for.

2. Excellence is all about quality: it has to be outstanding and excellent. As communicators, we are judged not only for what we produce but also for how we produce it. This reality has taught me to pursue quality over quantity consistently. Check out a platform that I am very proud of - Safaricom Newsroom, which produces great multimedia content.

3. Finally, my role entails finding the story, telling it and getting it out there. Therefore, curiosity is such a critical skill to have. A leader, I believe, has to stay curious. The impulse to seek new information, experiences and explore novel possibilities is inherently human. I have discovered, when I am curious, I tend to view tough situations more creatively.

I always have a message to all my mentees, ‘There are no shortcuts in life. Society may trick you into thinking there are, but you have to put in the work. Do your very best. Be a team player, pursue excellence and stay curious’.

Eunice Kilonzo. PHOTO/COURTESY

Kilonzo also shared the two most important values she lives by - Service and commitment.

• Service: Pour yourself in all that you do. Serve as though you are serving God. I go all out in all that I do. Be it at work, my friendships, mentorship, marriage, family and to my country.

• Commitment: Always keep your word. If I say I will do something or deliver something, I ensure I see the end of it. When I put my mind to something, I stay committed till the end.

How do she describe herself and how do others perceive her?

“I describe myself as curious, a passionate storyteller and a problem-solver. I think my friends and family will more or less say the same thing too. There are almost no surprises about me.”

Is Eunice Kilonzo all work and no play or she takes time off to unplug?

“Yes, women need to unplug and recharge. And everyone needs to do so. This is where my ‘djembe’ story comes in. I play the drum. I have a very musical mind, and somehow, my mind thinks in beats and connections.”

There you have it, Eunice Kilonzo, the multitalented multimedia storyteller who plays the drums as she ponder over her next risky challenge.