Betty Mutei Kyalo is a popular, ever-smiling, Kenyan news anchor, media personality, and entrepreneur. She was born on March 17, 1989, in Ongata Rongai estate in Kajiado County. The beauty grew up in Nairobi county in a humble background.
Her dad is a Kamba, her mother is a Luhya from Kwisero, Kakamega County, and is the second born in the family of four children; two sisters and an elder brother.
Betty studied at Olerai Primary School and Uhuru gardens primary school for her primary education and later joined Kangundo Girls High school for her secondary studies. The TV siren then graduated from Daystar University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication. Growing up, Betty in an interview once revealed that her family was not well off and their poverty was the driving force for her hard work and ambition.
We used to eat ugali, pumkin and strong tea when I was young, My mother can attest to that. In Rongai, life was soooo haaard. I hated poverty and said I will do everything that is right to improve myself and work hard so that I am not poor anymore. That is what I am doing right now I will never ever accept poverty. Right now I am on the right track.
Betty’s dreams of being a news anchor began when she was very young. She often idolized celebrated and retired TV anchor Catherine Kasavuli. The mother of one always felt she was destined to be on television and worked smart to build her future in media.
I originally wanted to be a nun because they looked so angelic and peaceful in church, but I guess television was more appealing. I wanted it so much, I would practice reading the news in front of the mirror and I would read it out loud.
After her studies at the university, she joined the Standard Media Group as an intern in the television department. Betty Kyalo kick-started her journalism career at KTN and her skills allowed her to be retained as an employee. Betty later began hosting a motor show dubbed Auto World, a segment that aired everything dealing with car safety tips, fueling, car servicing, and anything concerning vehicles.
She was later trained to report and read news and started anchoring the KTN prime time news on the weekends. Often times while gracing the TV screens Betty revealed that as much as she was gaining fame and recognition, many people were quick to pinpoint her chubbiness that once made her insecure. With time, she learned to embrace her natural curves and focused more on delivering news professionally and developed a thick skin.
In as much as she celebrated her natural self, while on-screen, she always hid a neck scar that she got from an accident when she was a teenager. Many fans always wondered why she wore long sleeves and pull necks while anchoring news and the bubbly personality narrated the events that led to the formation of her now faded scar.
While crossing the road from Railway Station to Gill House in Nairobi, on my way to meet up with a friend for lunch, I was hit by a Double M bus. I fell to the ground, and I was dragged under. I was a mess,” she says. “I fell on my left side and injured half myself badly. I broke my left elbow and jaw; I fractured my collar bone, and four ribs deflated my lungs, and half of my face was grazed.At first, I was worried and scared about my future, but I reached the point where I stopped worrying and left everything in God’s hands. I refused to wallow in self-pity and took control of my life. In December 2005, I started noticing small patches of skin returning to my face. I did not think much of it, but by March 2006, believe it or not, I had new skin. The only things I have now left from the accident are memories and the scars on my neck.
In 2018, after years of professionalism and great service to KTN, Betty quit working for the media house and sought greener pastures and decided to join the Kijabe street-based MediaMax, owned by K24 television. While at K24 she worked as a weekend news anchor and also ran a program dubbed Uplclose with Betty Kyalo and Weekend with Betty and boosted the ratings and viewership of the station.
She later quit working for K24 after two years citing that she felt the media firm was not protecting her brand despite raking in a huge amount of salary. The MediaMax owned station always did regular lay-offs to their staff and the media sensation wanted to feel valued and appreciated by her then-employer. She left MediaMax’s K24 after a demand that she takes a fifty percent pay cut amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The mother of one currently runs her YouTube Channel dubbed Betty Kyallo Lately where she shares the details of her personal life. Her fans never disappoint as the channel is growing at a remarkable rate.
I’ve built my brand with passion, commitment, love, and hard work, and when I feel I am not being appreciated enough, najitoa. It’s not always about money there is so much to look out for you want to be appreciated, supported, to be given clarity. You want to know no matter what, this organization loves me and takes care of my brand.
Networth and businesses
The topmost and influential media personalities in Kenya earn a lot of money and according to many online sources, Betty was one of the highest-paid news anchors in the country. From her lavish lifestyle, her salary as a news anchor ranged from Ksh 300,000-500,000 monthly. Betty is estimated to be worth Ksh40 million.
The former news anchor is also an entrepreneur who owns Flair by Betty, a spa located in Kilimani near Yaya Centre. The TV siren recently acquired a white 2019 Porsche Cayenne SUV and she now owns two cars together with her Mercedes Benz. The car goes for an estimated Ksh 7,128,233.
She is also set to launch a cosmetic line that consists of a range of skincare and make-up products under the name BK beauty which are the initials to her name.
In October 2015, she wedded a TV anchor Dennis Okari. The Ex couple first met at the KTN newsrooms where Betty Kyalo worked as an intern, and Dennis was a news reporter. Betty immediately noticed the tall, handsome man but Dennis Okari did not want to engage the young intern until Betty made the first move into their relationship and they started dating. The two finally decided to tie the knot but the process was difficult.
For unknown reasons, Dennis Okari refused to attend their traditional wedding ceremony and embarrassed and hurt Betty Kyalo by the altar, and their first attempt to hold the wedding ceremony failed. According to Betty Kyalo, a lot of Dennis Okari’s friends did not appreciate his actions and refused to maintain contact with him.
I needed to find out what time their entourage would arrive. But he did not pick up my call. I tired calling him again after an hour and once again it went unanswered. At 3pm, when we tried to call again, all their phones were off. By the time the sun was going down, it was obvious that I had been stood up on my traditional wedding.
She said in an interview.
Okari decided to make things right and the couple organized another wedding, which was this time successful. The couple had a beautifully themed wedding ceremony with celebrity guests, luxurious cars, and was aired on live television. Betty Kyalo and Dennis Okari’s wedding finished with a 15-day honeymoon tour around the world.
However, their union didn’t pan out as expected since their marriage only lasted for six months after which they divorced. The exact cause of their separation was unknown and each side had their own version of their story. Betty Kyalo claimed that her ex-husband was allegedly a serial womanizer and their irreconcilable differences marred with cheating allegations led to their divorce. The two are blessed with one amazing daughter, Ivanna Okari who is six years old. They are currently co-parenting.
The ever-smiling media celebrity was rumoured to have dated Mombasa governor Hassan Joho at one time after divorcing Dennis Okari although she has, in the past, neither confirmed nor denied the allegations.
Their separation was much criticized on social media with many netizens taking sides and blaming Betty for failing to keep her marriage. In 2019, betty moved on with a man who was identified as the ‘Somali Guy’ but the mother of one parted ways with the man after nearly one year of dating.
With her Somali lover, Betty rarely showed his face but always shared their cosy pictures with his face cropped out or hidden with an emoji. She disclosed in a recent interview that their relationship did not work out and she has since healed after their amicable breakup.
You know, sometimes things don’t work out with some people and its fine and okay. I don’t know why we have so much stigma when it comes to relationships and how you should act and you must stay forever. Sometimes things work out and sometimes they hit a rock and mnaachana vizuri.Things didn’t work out and you move on.
The celebrated news anchor is not new to controversy and criticism from online trolls and haters usually revolves around her much-publicized life.
In 2019, she shared her daughter’s sickness journey when she was hospitalized for one month in the ICU due to a rare autoimmune disease known as disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) that sank Ivanna into a deep coma and she was on life support for a month.
After Ivanna’s recovery, Betty took to Instagram and thanked everyone who contributed to the recovery of her daughter apart from her Ex-husband Dennis Okari. This prompted netizens to call Okari an absent and deadbeat father to his daughter. His close friend Ken Mijungu came to his defence on the claims and he said that Dennis Okari was wrongly being portrayed as a deadbeat dad by Betty. This led to a bitter exchange of words between Betty’s sister Mercy Kyalo and Ken but the problem has since been resolved.
Late last year, Betty Kyallo exposed her nanny for allegedly stealing from her despite her paying her KShs 18,000 per month, the house manager identified as Consolata Wawira defended herself from her employer’s allegations. Her former house-help revealed how the media personality is an absentee mum in her daughter’s life. Wawira denied the stealing allegations from Betty claiming she and the TV anchor’s daughter were always left without shopping in the house.
In 2018, Betty Kyalo also fell out with her close friend and business partner Susan Kaitanny over their partnership in a beauty spa known as Posh Palace. The Ex best friends were tangled in an ugly catfight over the control of the beauty parlour that turned embarrassing and personal prompting Kyallo to walk away and set up her own beauty spa that is known as Flair by Betty. The former KTN news anchor was also rumoured to have poached some of the Posh Palace’s employees and customers to her then-new establishment.
Achievements and contributions
Due to her popularity and large fan base, betty has used her platform to mentor many young women who aspire to be like her. She has also created employment opportunities for her staff at Flair by Betty and once revealed that when her Spa was shut down due to the Coronavirus fears in Kenya, she paid her staff with her own salary because she values them.
The mother of one is also a successful business mogul who has worked hard to build her brand as a journalist, influencer, and entrepreneur in Kenya. She has expanded her beauty business by relocating flair by Betty to a bigger location and is also set to launch her own cosmetic line soon.