Harun Momanyi is a Kenyan celebrity interviewer, lifestyle writer, universal Internet access advocate and brand communications strategist based in Nairobi.
In 2018, he was nominated for the Forbes Africa 30Under30 list and shortlisted for the BBC Komla Dumor Award.
Harun has undoubtedly outdone himself in the competitive media industry, having worked with A-list celebrities across Africa and the United States.
These include Ty Dolla $ign, Sauti Sol, Giannina Oteto, Yemi Alade, Samantha J, Sarah Hassan, K.O, Vanessa Mdee, L.A.X, Eddy Kenzo, Director Daps, Nyanda Thorbourne, Director Hannah Lux Davis, Nqobile Danseur, Justin Campos, Anne Kiguta, Terryanne Chebet, and many others.
He is currently a Global Schools Ambassador with the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network – Youth Initiative. This is a program that supports UNESCO’s Global Action Program on Education for Sustainable Development (GAP-ESD). Previously, he was an ambassador for the NUHA Foundation Global Blogging Prize. As a social media influencer and blogger, Harun has worked with reputable brands like Bentley, Carlson-Rezidor Hotel Group, Uber, Showmax, Viacom International Media Networks Africa and Kempinski Hotels.
His work has been published on Mpasho News, Destination Magazine, Kiss 100 FM online, Letshego Kenya, The Star newspaper, Ether Books UK, NUHA Foundation, Radio Jambo online, Classic FM online and other media outlets.
The widely acclaimed writer was first published on a blog by Storymoja Africa and the British Council in 2011, after successfully participating in the “Lydia’s Gift” countrywide contest. He emerged top 10 in Kenya. As they say, the rest is history. He created his WordPress blog in May 2012 and started off by blogging “everything inspiration”. Today, his blog is a fully fledged international edutainment platform, covering topics ranging from entrepreneurship, technology, pop culture, fashion, travel, careers to lifestyle.
Harun was a finalist in the 2013 edition of NUHA Foundation Global Blogging Prize, a finalist in the 2014 Pan-African Haller Prize for Development Journalism and a selected artist in the global Thomson Reuters-Nokia #Click4Change Competition 2014. During the same year, he was ranked top 17 worldwide in the UNESCO USA Center for Peace – World Genesis Foundation Essay writing competition. In 2015, he was an ambassador for the NUHA Foundation Global Blogging Prize.
In 2012, the futurism enthusiast collaborated with world renowned, Taiwan based Artificial Intelligence scientist Hooman Samani on a science fiction/fantasy novella. The eBook named “Colors” was widely praised, gaining the attention of Intel USA. Since his childhood, the writer has been an ardent Sci Fi fan and writer.
He is a big champion for Internet access, neutralization and technological advancement in Africa. He is a living example of how Internet can transform lives, as he moved on from being an aspiring journalist who would walk 18km to access the Internet to blog to being one of the most notable bloggers in Kenya. That was highlighted in his feature on a Safaricom Limited advertising campaign.
While working as an assistant editor at Destination Magazine in 2014, Harun helped edit cover interviews for top Hollywood actors, including Matthew McConaughey, Tom Arnold, Ben Kingsley, Malin Akerman and Robin Wright.
Some of his favorite interviewees include Hollywood Director Hannah Lux Davis and Susan Bennett, famous for being the voice of Apple’s Siri. Hannah has made award-winning music videos for the likes of Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande, Drake, Hailee Steinfield, Fifth Harmony, GRL, Tinashe, Lil Wayne, and many other artists.
The Media Council of Kenya – accredited journalist has covered red carpet celebrity appearances from fashion shows to film premieres. These include Fashion High Tea 2015, Kenya International Fashion Week 2015, Jumia Glamour Awards 2015, Kenya Fashion Awards 2015, Bingwa Music Awards 2015, Insurgent premiere 2015, Queen of Katwe Nairobi Premiere 2016, Batman Vs Superman 2016 premiere and many others. He has also graced several tech invents, including the 2015 Windows 10 launch in Nairobi, which was presided over by CEO Satya Nadella, the 2017 F8 Meet Up at Nairobi Garage in Nairobi, 2017 Oracle Digital Day at Villa Rosa Kempinski and the 2015 BBC open forum on the future of news at Aga Khan Graduate School of Journalism.
His interview with Daps, the director of many Migos music videos, including “T-Shirt”, “Deadz”, “Slippery”, “What The Price” and “Bad and Boujee” was credited on Wikipedia.
In 2013, he appeared on NTV Kenya’s Teen Republik to talk about teenage relationships.
As a writer, his main goal is to allow his readers to get to know their icons in a personified manner. He successfully depicts his subjects as normal human beings who have their own flaws and are leading a normal life just like his audience. Harun gives his readers a rare chance to get to know their celebrity muses through a different kind of lens. Through depicting celebrities as anybody else, he inspires young people not to concentrate too much on living other people’s lives but be their own stars in whatever they want to be. This way, he gives his audience practical success tips that they can employ to succeed in their careers.
Harun’s writing aptitude is felt in his work. He recreates the same experience or interaction with the celebrity in his narratives such that the reader is virtually part of the story when he is behind his or her Smartphone or laptop screen. He is a passionate champion for education as a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) and has participated in various United Nations activities geared towards the same. As an active UN volunteer, he has tackled various issues, including education and youth empowerment, the DNA of his blogging work. You can learn more about his involvement here.
His stellar writing career has seen him being featured on Kiss FM, Diaspora Messenger (USA), Samrack (USA), The Star Newspaper, Ghetto Radio, OMG Voice Africa, Mseto East Africa and other reputable platforms.
Leading African Internet TV service Showmax has profiled Harun, positioning him as an influential entertainment journalist on the continent.
He is the owner of Best Model Reviews Africa, a fashion modeling blog and founder of Where To Vacation Next, a travel review website. He is also a GQ Magazine Insider. Currently, he is working with a leading media house in Kenya as a Branded Content Strategist. Harun’s credits his mum Fridah as his greatest supporter. His longterm mentor has been Liza Mucheru-Wisner, a former reality TV star who was a top 3 finalist in season 10 of The Apprentice with Donald Trump.