Kanze Dena: From depressed and suicidal mother to happily married at 39

Kanze Dena is a force to reckon with. A woman whose rise from the bottom to the top deserves an ode from us. Kanze got married last year to a communications specialist called Nick Mararo.

Let’s take a walk down memory lane through Kanze Dena’s life. Kanze’s full name is Kellen Beatrice Kanze Dena. She was born in 1979 to a single mother called Jane Dena. Kanze has four sisters and one brother.

Kanze Dena
Kanze Dena with some of her family members

Kanze attended St Mathews Kianjokoma Boarding School in Embu, then joined Kyeni Girls High School, still in Embu County.

Kanze has spoken about suffering from low self-esteem. She worked as a waitress after she completed Form 4. She told Maisha Magic East’s “Stori Yangu” show: “Nilikuwa nachonga viasi vya chips, halafu sasa nikavuka counter kufanya kazi ya waiter.”

Kanze then got pregnant with her boyfriend’s baby but the man later dumped her.

Her mother enrolled her at a secretarial college, not knowing she was pregnant. Her mother only found out her daughter had been pregnant after she delivered a baby girl, Natasha, at Pumwani Maternity Hospital.

Kanze Dena

Her daughter passed on 3 months later, plunging Kanze into a mire of depression. She then unsuccessfully tried to commit suicide by suffocating herself with a polythene bag. After that, she decided to join NPC (Nairobi Pentecostal Church) as she tried to deal with the depression.

In an interview with a Hot 96’s “A story a Day”, she revealed that:

I went into some kind of depression. I felt unworthy for almost a year, I was battling self-esteem issues, seeing like God did want me to continue being Natasha’s mother. I was very hurt by the incident, after that, I came back to Nairobi and I was able to get admission to study Mass Commination.

Kanze Dena
Crying in a past interview

Kanze has stated before that joining college gave her the opportunity to go back to church where she jump-started her life again.

She was able to join the church worship team and got pregnant again. She then thought that she had miscarried. That would prove to be false as she, later on, found out that she was 7 months pregnant. At this time her mother was diagnosed with colon cancer, even slipping into a coma.

This second pregnancy was successful and she got a son she named Amani. She then tried to commit suicide a second time by slitting her wrist. Her mother inadvertently stopped her from fully executing the plan when she rushed Kanze’s crying infant to her.

Kanze Dena
With her son

Sadly her mother would not get the opportunity to see her grandson Amani become a man, as Jane died of colon cancer complications after his first birthday.

Afterward, she went to Citizen TV and became a news anchor and then news director at the Royal Media Services TV Station. She worked as a news anchor and news director for Citizen TV anchoring Citizen Nipashe and Citizen Wikendi.

Great friends Lulu Hassan and Kanze Dena
Great friends and colleagues, Lulu Hassan and Kanze Dena at the Citizen studios

In 2013, she attempted to commit suicide again at the Coast, wanting to jump into the ocean but she says God saved her.

Well the story gets better as Kanze made it through the tough times.

On June 5, 2018, Kanze Dena was appointed the Deputy State House spokesperson in far-reaching changes made in the Presidential Strategic Communication Unit.

Kanze Dena
In a file photo

In October, she was then elevated later to the job of State House Spokesperson and head of the Presidential Strategic and Communication Unit.

Kanze Dena
Kanze Dena

The mother of one has since overcome her depression and today she is proud of who she is. After a lot of soul searching and digging deep into God’s word, she has been able to gain strength.

Kanze Dena
The beautiful State House Spokesperson smiling

The cherry on the cake for the mother of one is that she tied the knot in last year getting married to Nick Mararo, at her rural home in Kwale County.

This woman surely epitomizes the old saying by Thomas A Edison:

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.

The one thing I miss so much is being in studio with Lulu – Kanze Dena

Kanze Dena, the State House Spokesperson has come out to confess that she misses being in studio with her best friend and former colleague Lulu Hassan.

‘I can’t handle a 0-3-month-old baby after my daughter’s death’ – Kanze Dena

That admission will really make many of the fans of the two reminisce about the time the two had one of the best shows on Citizen TV.

Kanze Dena and Lulu Hassan in the past
Kanze Dena and Lulu Hassan in the past

During an interview with one of Kenya’s local radio stations, Kanze pointed out that she doesn’t see herself getting back in the media industry soon, but she misses being in studio with Citizen TV’s Lulu Hassan.

“Sitorudi tena yaani ndo nimemaliza na pia miaka nayo imeenda kwa hivyo lazima pia niangalie na mambo mengine. Lakini kile kitu kimoja mimi na miss na kutamani siku zote ni kuwa studio na Lulu Hassan, huwa natamani sana pengine siku moja huenda tukafanya kipindi, tukiwa vinyanya, hata saa zingine natamani usemaji ungekuwa wa watu wawili , aseme leo niseme keho ama tuseme zote kwa pamoja,” said Kanze Dena.

Kanze Dena and Lulu Hassan in the past
Kanze Dena and Lulu Hassan in the past

Kanze has been in the media industry for more than 15 years before she was handed the state job on June 5, 2018. She added,

“Nashukuru Mungu kwa miaka hiyo Kumi na tano ambayo nimekuletea habari. Na Zaidi ya Yote ningependa kushukuru watu ambao wamesimama na mimi tangu nilipoanza safari hii kule KBC. Kanze hangekuwa Kanze kama sio nyinyi. Ukiwa Mwaminifu kwa Mungu naye anakuwa mwaminifu kwako, na anakushika Mkono unatembeyea naye. Nimeona Uaminifu wa Mungu na kule ninakokwenda na jua ni mkono wake. Na siwezi kusahau Kukushukuru dada yangu Lulu , na najua Nipashe wikendi haingekuwa bila wewe, and I know God has a great plan for you,” an emotional Kanze stated.

Kanze Dena and Lulu Hassan in the past
Kanze Dena and Lulu Hassan in the past

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Watch as Kanze Dena sings and dances to Gloria Muliro’s song

Kanze Dena is one smart operator.

The State House Spokesperson is trying to humanise the office that she works for -that is the presidency. And not in the way that Alfred Mutua did (with long drawn boring speeches and press conferences) but with suave and charm.

Kanze Dena on Hope FM
Kanze Dena on Hope FM

Kanze has been regarded as a mentor and example of an admirable woman ever since she was on Citizen T.V. The mother of one who always admits she is a saved Christian was spotted dancing to Gloria Muliro’s song ‘Ndio Yako’.

She shared a video on her official Twitter page showing herself and the hosts on Hope FM singing and dancing to the song. In the video, one can see that Kanze was really enjoying the song and called it one of the best praise and worship songs.

Some of the comments to her dancing are below;

Princess Kudura Bisase 👑 When great people come together obviously great things happen

Elvis Muthoni The song that you were singing comes out clearly that the entire state house staffs are God fearing http://people.Giving the praise songs the first priority shows that your humble and God fearing…Bravo and keep the fire burning.

Francis Ikoha 🇰🇪 Very beautiful Kanze you’re a role model to the young ladies of this nation !!!

Gregory Kwabi™ @gloriamuliroke Pitia huku, we celebrate your music. #NdioYako

Shiro Replying to @KanzeDena @hopeonair @gloriamuliroke Awesome. Seem one of best moments since you took up job! It is always great to praise God in & for life’s journey…this far we thank Him.

Timothy Letting It’s good to be nourished spiritually

Filikita Jillo Great.. Kudos my friends. God is your strength even as you reach out to many souls.

Kanze’s job is public relations and she is doing a magnificent job. Public relations is the practice of deliberately managing the spread of information between an individual or an organization and the public. Public relations may include an organization or individual gaining exposure to their audiences using topics of public interest and news items that do not require direct payment.

Kanze Dena
Kanze Dena

A good statehous spokerson speaks for the president and can really help a presidents agenda. Kanze is doing a great job.

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Baraka tupu: News anchor Kanze Dena lands lucrative deal with the government

June has has kicked off well for Kanze Dena, who has just landed a job with the Kenyan government.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has made changes in the President’s Strategic Communications Unit , PSCU.

This Is How Kanze Dena Looked Before Fame And Money


President Kenyatta has appointed Kanze Dena as Deputy State House Spokesperson and Deputy Head, PSCU.

She will take leadership of the core communications teams, including digital, messaging, research, branding and press. With expansive newsroom leadership experience, Kanze has been tasked to focus on the President’s brand positioning, media relations and messaging with respect to the delivery the Big Four agenda.

Kanze is not the only woman has has landed a job with the government as Munira Mohamed has been appointed to the role of Deputy Head, PSCU and Head of the Presidential Library.


Uhuru believes the two women leaders will bring diversity, dynamism and infuse new energy in to the PSCU whilst improving overall media relations with external stakeholders.

Overall leadership for the Presidential Communications remains with Manoah Esipisu, the State House Spokesperson.

From us is congratulations Kanze Dena!

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Citizen TV’s Kanze Dena’s sister mourns late father in heartfelt message

Celebrated media personality Kanze Dena is mourning the death of her father. The Citizen TV presenter broke the sad news via her social media accounts and she wrote:


Also, read:

Pole Sana: Citizen TV News Anchor Kanze Dena Is Grieving The Death Of Her Loving Dad

Kanze Dena’s youngest sister Elsie Stephens is yet to come to terms with her father’s death.


Kanze Dena's late father
Kanze Dena’s late father

Many including Uhuru Kenyatta have condoled with Kanze Dena’s family and in his message, the president eulogized the late as a great man of this nation.


This Is How Kanze Dena Looked Before Fame And Money

Kanze Dena whose real name is Kellen Beatrice Kanze Dena is one of the most respected swahili anchors in Kenya today. She is one of the best news presenters of our time who complements Lulu Hassan.

She was born to Duruma parents, a community in Kwale county where she was brought up by a single mother after her father left when she was four years old.



Kanze Dena is both a first born and a fourth born since her mother got married with three other children and grew up both in Nairobi and Mombasa.

She was once a student at Kieni Girls High School and once suffered low-esteem because she was bow-legged and had protruding tummy and boobs at a tender age and she was looked down upon because of it.


After high school, she worked as a waitress and got pregnant in the process. After she delivered baby Natasha, she passed away three months later and this threw her into depression and contemplated committing suicide.

She found solace at Nairobi Baptist Church and joined Bible classes. She worked as an intern at KBC and later read bulletings after the KBC boss heard her voice and recommended she goes for a voice test after which she qualified.


Her beautiful nature is seen even in her today. She posted a picture on her instagram page reminding herself of the days back then when she was still in high school.

Here is what she posted and reactions from her fans:

Kenyan Celebrities Send Heartwarming Messages To Their Mothers On This Special Day

Mothers are special gifts from God. They are the pillars of our families and we are proud of them. Today, as we celebrate Mother’s Day worldwide, here are some of the heartwarming messages Kenyan celebrities have for their mothers and spouses.

To All MUMS Out There: Maina Kageni Shares a WARM Mother’s Day Message (AUDIO)

From Lilian Muli to Collins Injera, read through the sweet words

  1. Chipukeezy

“My mum, my friend the best thing that has ever happened to me. I love you and you are the best..uko na deni yangu ya 250/-. Happy Mother’s day”


2. Janet  Mbugua

“To my mother and my mother-in-law,

You are strength. You are fire. You are love.

Thank you, God bless you. God keep you.

Happy Mothers Day to you both and to all mothers out there ????❤,” Janet posted accompanied by this photo of her mother and mother-in-law

Janet Mbugua

3. Kathy Kiuna

“Help me wish a happy Mother’s Day to the most amazing mother. She’s done a great job. Mum nobody beats you. You are by far the best mama ever. Love you to the moon and back.”

Kathy Kiuna's mother

4. Khaligraph Jones

“I appreciate all mothers love them. Happy Mothers Day.”


5. Kalekye Mumo

“Happy Mothers Day to this amazing woman Mummy, Ruth Mumo aka Mama Kalekye aka RM aka Madam Sir… she was tough and no-nonsense but look at me now, it paid off…. and to all the mothers out there you are a blessing.”

Kalekye Mumo and her Mother

6. Dr Ofweneke

“For the times you pinched me without anyone noticing. Sending me to get you a remote control that is only 2 seconds away. For ensuring that we eat “chapatis” every Saturday and Sunday. For praying for us even when we have failed exams. For waking up even at 3 am just to receive dad yourself. For trusting that I could do what I do today making people laugh and being my first ever fan. MOMMY YOU ARE THE BEST!!! As a family we celebrate you. HAPPY MOTHERS DAY Mrs.Sande Oyolo.”

Dr. Ofweneke's mother
Dr. Ofweneke’s mother

7. Calvo Mistari

“She’s had my back since day one. Happy Mother’s Day Mum. Mungu azidi Na Baraka kwako ????????????’

Singer Calvo Mistari's mother

8. DK KwenyeBeat

“I never get worried, I never feel disappointed. I never feel ignored. I know you are here for me always! Lots of love on Mothers Day to my dearest mom!”

DK KwenyeBeat's Mother

9. Amani

“My mummy…today I celebrate this amazing woman of God, mother, wife, my mentor, my best friend ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ …Happy Mother’s Day ???????????? to all the mothers…be blessed.”

Singer Amani and her mother
Singer Amani and her mother

10. Betty Kyallo

“Happy Mother’s Day to all heroines out there.”

Betty Kyallo 94


12. Lilian Muli

Mummy, you are my best friend. I Love you more than ‘Love’. Happy Mother’s Day and to all you mummies out there, you rock!

Lillian Muli and her mother

13. Kanze Dena

“There is power when you spend time on your knees in prayer!..nothing, nothing but prayer can sail us through every situation we face in life. It is said the prayer of a mother availeth much! Today as we are celebrated in the world I urge us to continue spending time on our knees for our husbands, marriages, children, homes, ntercessor . work of our hands. Our religious leaders…Our nations! For a better tomorrow. NOTHING, NOTHING BUT PRAYER… HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL MUMS AND MUMS TO BE!”

Kanze Dena

14. Rev Lucy Natasha

“Happy Mothers to my biological mother, Pastor Wanjiru and to all present & future mothers.intercessor.Thank you for the wisdom you have invested in me and my siblings. I love & cherish you, mum. Live Long Mama Tasha.”

Pastor Wanjiru, Rev Lucy Natasha's mother

15. Andrew Amonde

“To a wonderful new mom. Happy Mother’s Day! I don’t say it nearly enough times but thank you for all you’ve done, thank you for my first son TJ and everything you still do. I love you to the moon and back.”

Andrew Amonde

16.Oliver Mathenge

“#HappyMothersDay to all responsible mothers out there who have held us down over the years even when we didn’t deserve it.”


17. Big Pin

“My mum has made it possible for me to be who I am..Her greatest skill was encouraging me to find my own person and own independence..#mothersday __❤️❤️❤️ #Madrespect#Madluv.”

Big Pin and his mother

18. Collins Injera

“You are a kind hearted, wonderful, dependable, strong woman who means so much to our family that you know, you have been an awesome wife and a brilliant mother we are lucky to have you. Happy Mothers Day, babe.”

Collins Injera and his wife