Radio & TV Presenter
Susan Grace is my name, a Radio Presenter and TV Host from Nairobi, Kenya. I’m born again and also a proud holder of a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from Daystar University. High school education - I graduated from Light Academy and for my primary education I attended a private school called Gateway Primary. Those that know me are very likely to describe me as loud/talkative, jovial, extroverted, confident, too social, easy to be around, full of life, definitely not shy, they will also tell you that when I get serious, I get really serious and I’m here to confirm that all that is true. I’m an only child of a single mum who, unfortunately, is late. My childhood wasn’t the typical childhood most kids have; I was raised by a very very strict grandmother who was all about good grades, chores being done and no play. I got in trouble for playing with other kids and those kids also got in trouble with my grandmother for playing with me so I ended up having no friends (you’ll never hear me talk about my childhood friends). I guess according to her all work and no play makes you a laser focused person. But I think I turned out okay.
I got my first media opportunity while I was still in Uni and that was to host a one-hour show on a gospel radio station in 2018. In the same year I also had the opportunity to be a guest co-host in one of the local television stations in Kenya. By the time I was graduating from university, I had had an opportunity to work both in radio and TV. I have, since then, continued to pursue my passion of being a presenter and have had amazing opportunities to see that through. Ironically, when I was in high school my mum asked me what I wanted to pursue and I told her I’d like to pursue Mathematics since I loved it so much and I remember she told me, “that’s interesting, but if you ask me, I think you’ll end up on tv hosting shows or being in commercials.” Unfortunately, she didn’t live long enough to see my dream unfold.
Apart from my career, I’m also passionate about mental health. Unfortunately, a lot of young people are battling depression and the older generation (our parents and grandparents) find it hard to wrap their heads around that fact because some have the notion that depression is only meant for a particular group of people. As black people we are raised to believe that depression is not for us because we are ‘strong’ and we have lost a lot of ‘strong’ people to depression who had a whole future ahead of them. I try to be vocal about my experience to inspire a soul or two.
What were the biggest initial hurdles and how did you overcome them?
One of the things I struggled with for a very long time was my self-esteem and believing in myself. I was very skinny back then and while on campus, some people told me that for me to actually make it to the media space I had to have a little more flesh and curvy. Regardless of how many times I heard “you have such an amazing voice” or “you’re so talented” from people, at the back of my mind I’d remind myself, “but I’m not curvy.” That really ate into my confidence and I kept thinking maybe I should have just chased the Mathematics dream. I do believe that maybe that’s why God sent a radio opportunity my way while I was still on campus to prove a point to me.
My mental health has also been one of the challenges I’ve battled. Depression takes a lot away from you; your joy, your happiness, your hope, your dreams and even your confidence. I’ve silently dealt with depression on my own and even contemplated and attempted suicide a couple of times but here’s what I’ve come to understand, “If God is not done with you, you can’t be done with yourself.” Whatever hurdle I’ve encountered, prayer has been my therapy and having support from close friends.
What books are you currently reading?
I’m one of those few people who aren’t readers. Quite frankly, I think I would do better watching a five-hour documentary than reading a book. But one book I can comfortably read without hesitation is The Bible.
What advice would you give to an upcoming youth or talents locally and internationally?
A ship, as heavy as it is, with tons of people can comfortably sail on water, but a hole leaking water into the ship can very quickly change the narrative and make it sink. My point? You can be on the right path, pursuing your dream and feeling fulfilled, but if you allow negative comments to get into your head, they are very likely to drown your dreams.
Finally, normalize clapping for yourself and normalize celebrating your wins. People will not always clap for us and more often than not, that discourages us a little so we have to be in a place where our own claps will keep us going.
Social Media Handles:
Facebook: Susan Grace
LinkedIn: Susan Grace