Homeboyz Radio photo

The demise of Homeboyz Radio due to a hostiIe takeover and mismanagement led to the departure of key presenters, impacting urban radio culture, which was once uniquely inclusive and engaging.

When Homeboyz Radio began broadcasting in 2008, it was on 91.5. Alex Kosgey, the son of veteran politician Henry Kosgey, owned that frequency.

One day, Alex demanded his frequency back since he wanted to start Hits FM, which was a sister station to 1FM, so Homeboyz Radio had to vacate the frequency abruptly.

On January 26, 2012, Homeboyz Radio found a new home. 103.5. Troubles did not stop there, though.

After Alex took back his frequency, Myke Rabar, founder and CEO of Homeboyz Entertainment, learned that PQ had an unused frequency, 103.5, so they made a deal that Myke would pay Ksh. 250,000 per month for the frequency.

At first, everything was fine, but media dynamics changed due to social media, and revenues began dwindling the world over.

Therefore, Myke began defaulting on some payments. When he approached PQ to explain his situation, PQ encouraged him to carry on, as things would be better. Alas, Myke was entering PQ's trap.

Fast forward to 2020. PQ tells Mike that the debt had accumulated, and therefore he had to surrender the radio station to Radio Africa Group.

Mike didn't have enough time to mobilise funds to settle the debt. Given his experience and connections, friends believe Mike could have resolved the issue if he had received notice. Left without an option, Myke and the Rabar brothers surrendered the majority stake to PQ.

Following the hostile takeover, HBR relocated from Galana Plaza to Lion's Place, frustrating the presenters to the point of resignation or firing.

G Money was recalled after the Shaffie Weru breakfast show mess; Zj Heno had enough and left for Vybz Radio; Ginx was either fired or resigned; and Corine Onyango was fired after being frustrated for a long while.

Anyone who understands how big a brand HBR was knows how important those presenters were in building the brand.

People in the industry believe that they had to eliminate HBR because it posed a threat to Kiss FM and all other urban radio stations.

HBR's strategy was unique in that it appealed to both uptown and the ghetto through nicely curated radio shows and playlists, as well as monthly link-ups between radio presenters, DJs, and fans.

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