I can’t recall any one day that I entered into a public vehicle that did not have the radio turned on. The reality is that listening to the radio every morning has become part of Kenya’s culture. As we head towards work, we tune our ears to radio presenters who will either make us laugh, amaze us, or open our minds to things we hadn’t considered.
Over the years, Kenyans have grown accustomed to radio presenters who have stood the test of time. These presenters understand what we mean when we say Kibaki liked insulting us, but the economy was good, don’t you think? #pesa ilikaa kwa mfuko.
The only name that we can give to such presenters as ‘legends’ and Fareed Khimani is one of those legends. He has worked in the media since the early 2000s with popular stations such as XFM, Capital FM, Nation FM, and XFM.
We reached out to Fareed to learn more about his enterprise, NusuNusu Productions, and about his journey since rehab.
Fareed’s Comeback After Rehab
Whereas most people feel prompted to keep their skeletons in the closet, Fareed has been open about his struggles with substance abuse and depression. He has shared his story on several media platforms, such as Engage Talk, where he opened up about going to rehab in South Africa only to come back to find that his wife had left him along with the children. Today, Fareed cites being clean from alcohol as one of his biggest successes. “The ability to bounce back after that turmoil has taught me the value of gratitude even in the darkest moments,” he says.
Fareed’s 1st tv job was Big Brother Africa. After some time, he took his first starring role in a tv series on Studio 53. He has lived in three continents, one of them being America, where he at some point worked as a bartender in Atlanta, U.S.A. Fareed’s first day on the air in Kenya was reading the sports at Capital FM.
Fareed 2.0 & NusuNusu Productions
Fareed is a man who loves media, especially the fact that his profession involves making noise and pictures for a living. He is a radio host with a real passion for it, a television producer and creative director at NusuNusu Productions Limited.
Fareed owns a production house known as NusuNusu productions. For several years now, Fareed and his team at NusuNusu have worked for programs such as East Africa Sportsline, Mashariki Mix, Simba Super Soccer, , Coke Studio Africa, Smirnoff Battle of The Beats, as well as a multitude of television commercials and documentaries. The company has not only worked in East Africa but also across the globe.
Another accomplishment that most of Fareed’s fans do not know is that he owns a little eco-friendly footwear brand called Maasai Treads.
Fareed was around long before digital media and before the branding game. But he has managed to transition seamlessly into the digital space and now manages a production house. NusuNusu prioritizes creating opportunities for young creatives and media practitioners. “When we began NusuNusu productions we didn’t really have a growth period. Yet we had a lot of work straight off the bat,” he says. Fareed admits that it was crazy that a couple of 30 something creatives had such a fast start in the industry. But that’s what happened, and in a span of less than 7 years, NusuNusu has evolved into a well-established enterprise.
Fareed has recently become an advocate for mental health. This is an issue that Kenya’s Mental Health Taskforce urged the government to declare as a national emergency. A growing number of cases involving depression, substance abuse, and other mental issues have resulted in suicide. Yet this is not an issue that’s endemic to East Africa, but developed nations also grapple with it.
As one of Kenya’s most experienced radio presenters and media personalities, Fareed has become a voice for those with mental and addiction issues. Through his platform at Capital FM, and his online presence, he has become a voice for those struggling with mental health and addiction issues.
Fareed is on a different playing field altogether. “The one thing I love more than anything else is the new journey I am on. Fareed 2.0,” he says. NusuNusu has just been commissioned for 6-new lifestyle shows for a broadcaster. Fareed’s aspirations are that in one 1-2 years, the company would be a multi-faceted agency serving clients in several sectors in the creative space.
The company’s technical inventory and the talented team prove that the balls are in motion, and Kenya is set to enjoy more from this legendary figure in the entertainment niche. Check out Fareed’s Instagram page to learn more.