Celebrating Game Changers – Isha Sesay

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Over the past 6 weeks Nunnovation has been celebrating African women in New Media and the response has been amazing from both our readers and the women we are celebrating. This week we look at an international woman in new media who is a daughter of Africa, who has been making waves on global television for years now, she’s a Global beauty, philanthropist and articulate Isha Sesay.

It is not often you see a black female host her own show CNN , so when I saw Isha I wanted to hear what she was really about. I was quire impressed by her poise and eloquence, she is a true case of beauty and brains, she wants answers and from the way she conducts her interviews she is very well read too.

On a lighter note I have never met Isha but from most of the articles I read doing research for this article I have learnt that she is a very loving, caring, funny, fun and outgoing person, I mean the woman asked her now husband on a date, now this is what I call a woman with a plan.

She was Born in London in 1976 to parents from Sierra Leone, Sesay returned with them at the age of seven to their homeland. Reared in the Muslim faith for the best part of her childhood in the street of Africa.

Sesay studied at the private Fourah Bay College School in Freetown. At the age of 16, in 1992 she returned to the UK for further studies at  Trinity College, Cambridge, studying English. She decided to become a television journalist, having previously aspired to become an actress. During her final year, she began writing to media groups seeking work.

If Isha were to write a book about her journey to where she is now, one would see how hard working and dedicated she is, she worked her way to the top despite all the adversities she had to face along the way.

After graduating, Sesay began her television career as a researcher for the BBC talk show Kilroy, initially as an unpaid intern. She later was hired as a full-time paid employee. In 1998 she moved to Glasgow to work for BBC Scotland, and, after a period behind the camera, got her first job as a TV announcer on BBC Choice. She went on to present a variety of programmes for the BBC, CNN, and TWI, before joining Sky in March 2002.

At Sky, Sesay spent over three years as an anchor on Good Morning Sports Fans. She considers the high points of this period to be meeting former boxer Michael Watson, interviewing Ellen MacArthur, and travelling with members of the Arsenal football team following an exhibition match at Reebok Stadium in support of Nwankwo Kanu’s heart foundation.

In November 2005, Sesay became a news anchor and correspondent at CNN International, based at the network’s global headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia in the United States. She travelled to Nigeria in April 2007 to cover that country’s presidential election, where she conducted one-on-one interviews with both outgoing president Olusegun Obasanjo, and the late president Umaru Yar’Adua who was coming into office. Later that year, she was in South Africa to cover the launch of the Global Elders.

In 2009, Sesay became the host of the first edition of the weekday news program International Desk. In 2011, she swapped roles with Michael Holmes, and was assigned as the presenter of BackStory. On 16 April 2012, BackStory was changed to a weekend-only show. Sesay was assigned as the anchor of a new show, CNN NewsCenter.

I must commend CNN for covering the #BringBackOurGirls story and Isha being on the forefront of this story. She personally went to Nigeria and has been in touch with the locals in Nigeria, she has interviewed the angry citizens and the parents of the girls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram.

Isha is making the Sierra Leon citizens and Africans at large very proud. She is proof that women can hold their own in the male dominated news media industry. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for Isha.

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