Wednesday, May 19, 2010
ISHA SESAY CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDANT FROM SIERRA LEONE
Isha Sesay is a British journalist of Sierra Leonean descent. She is best known in the UK as a former newsreader for Sky Sports News and ITN, and since 2005 has been an anchor for CNN International.
Sesay was born in the UK and is one of three children, having an older sister and a younger brother. Her mother is Dr Kadi Sesay, a former lecturer at Fourah Bay College, who entered Sierra Leonean politics in 1992 as an advisor to the government of Valentine Strasser. Her father, who worked as a legal advisor to the SLPMB (Sierra Leone Produce Marketing Board), died in 1988, having caught hepatitis while on a trip to India.
Sesay moved to Sierra Leone with her family when she was seven years old, where she studied at Fourah Bay College School in Freetown. At the age of 16 she returned to the UK, and after completing her A-levels was accepted into Trinity College, Cambridge, where she studied English. It was there that she decided to become a television presenter, having previously aspired to become an actress, and during her final year began writing to media groups seeking work.
After graduating, Sesay began her television career as a researcher for the BBC talk show Kilroy, initially as an unpaid volunteer but later 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 presenter 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 a presenter on Good Morning Sports Fans for Sky Sports News. 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. She later moved to ITN, where she anchored the ITV Morning News programme, and was also a newsreader on breakfast programme GMTV.
In November 2005, Sesay became a news anchor at CNN International, based at the network's global headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. 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 newly elected president Umaru Yar'Adua. Later that year, she was in South Africa to cover the launch of the Global Elders.
As of 2009, Sesay was both host and reporter for Inside Africa, a weekly programme dedicated to political, economic, social and cultural affairs in Africa, and anchor of daily news programme International Desk.
Isha also presents CNN's Backstory in the absence of regular host Michael Holmes