In the vibrant tapestry of Kenya’s telecommunications history, one voice has echoed across the nation for more than two decades, becoming synonymous with an entire network.
“Samahani mteja wa nambari uliyoipiga hapatikani kwa sasa,” the familiar phrase that translates to “Sorry, the mobile subscriber cannot be reached,” has become a household mantra for Safaricom callers.’
Behind this ubiquitous message lies a fascinating tale of chance, talent, and unexpected opportunities, personified by the remarkable journey of Maggie Wazome.
Maggie, a young woman from Mombasa, had no inkling that her voice would become iconic when she first stepped into a recording booth.
At the time, she was working part-time at KBC, a role that introduced her to a producer named Crawford. It was during her tenure at KBC, contributing to the ‘Ugua Pole na Lucozade’ show hosted by the legendary Fred Obachi Machoka, that destiny came knocking in the form of an audition.
Unbeknownst to her, Maggie’s voice was exactly what a client was searching for. She read a few lines, including the famous Safaricom phrase, without comprehending their significance.
In a surprising turn of events, she emerged victorious among 16 contestants, securing a gig that would unknowingly change her life.
Initially driven by the prospect of making some pocket money, Maggie remained blissfully unaware of the client behind the voice recording.
It was only when a friend recognized her voice during a call that the pieces of the puzzle fell into place. Safaricom, the telecom giant, had chosen her voice for their unreachable caller notification.
Despite her initial lack of awareness, Maggie embraced her newfound fame. As her distinctive voice resonated through millions of mobile phones, she embarked on a journey she had never anticipated.
The once-unassuming part-time worker from Mombasa had become an integral part of Kenya’s telecommunications landscape.
In a remarkable twist of fate, Maggie eventually found herself employed at Safaricom.