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How to Get Rich: Eugene Mbugua’s Journey from Humble Beginnings to TV Production Success

Despite financial struggles, Eugene Mbugua’s determination earned him a scholarship to University where he studied television production and launched into freelance writing then failure in business happened and this inculcated in him a real sense of humility.

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Eugene Mbugua
Eugene Mbugua

 Leaning back in a gazebo at his Karen home, Mbugua reflects on Dennis’s journey from poverty to publishing magnate, finding parallels in his own rise from adversity.

 Raised without a stable home, Mbugua’s education was a grace that led him to his first job as an extra on “Inspekta Mwala” after secondary school at Upper Hill school, Nairobi.

 “Starting as an extra was humbling,” he recalls of his Ksh 500 ( US$  3.88 )paycheck, soon upgrading to boom-swinger roles on shows like “Makutano Junction” and “Machachari”. Despite financial struggles, Mbugua’s determination earned him a scholarship to USIU, where he studied television production and launched into freelance writing for the “Saturday Nation.” 

His entrepreneurial spirit ignited alongside his studies; partnering with Dexter, he pioneered film workshops in local schools, capitalizing on his TV insights.

 “We signed up 30 students at Makini School,” Mbugua reminisces, using the earnings to fund a movie shop and later a game court near campus, raking in Ksh 6,000 ( US$ 46.51) daily. 

A stroll past a ‘To Let’ sign spurred his first TV venture, ‘Young Rich,’ produced on borrowed equipment and pitched to every station until K24 embraced it in 2013.

 “It changed my life,” Mbugua recalls of earning Ksh200,000 ( US$ 1,550.39)  per episode, swiftly scaling to a million monthly.

 Beyond ‘Young Rich,’ Mbugua’s production portfolio expanded with hits like “Foods of Kenya” and “Sol Family,” underscoring his knack for TV business over film due to its advertising revenue model.

 International deals soon followed, selling content to South Africa and India with eyes on France.

 However, Mbugua admits not every venture prospered, like his hospitality stint that cost Ksh 10 million ( U8S$ 77,417.36)

 “Failure taught me humility,” he reflects, citing lessons learned on swift, economical failures. 

The pandemic further tested Mbugua’s mettle, halting shows and slashing staff, prompting innovative responses like “Concert Nyumbani.”

 “Hope isn’t strategy in crisis,” he asserts, reflecting on his battle with COVID-19 and newfound home gym setup post-recovery. 

Nature-loving and adventurous,as this 32-year-old  looks to the future, he remains driven by Dennis’s entrepreneurial wisdom, navigating the unpredictable media landscape with resilience and vision.