She is beautiful, talented and in a class all of her own. Men have admired her, women may have envied her, and colleagues respect her. Isha Sesay is an exclamation star on the Sierra Leonian landscape!
The CNN Anchor is a seeming fixture on the international landscape. Isha has interviewed President’s and Heads of States, given the updates in war-town countries [complete with close shaves with bomb blasts], stood in earthquake ravaged countries, and was a reporter on Obama’s campaign trail; an experience which she rates as one of the highest points in her career. Isha is presently the permanent presenter of 360 Bulletin on Anderson Cooper 360° in addition to her work at CNN International where she hosts the news programs CNN NewsCenter and BackStory.
Where did this high-flying lady get her super powers from? Isha was born in the UK although she lived in Sierra Leone, her homeland for most of her childhood. The 37-year old who was one of three children studied at Fourah Bay College School in Freetown. At the age of 16 she returned to the UK, where she completed her A-levels and was accepted into Trinity College, Cambridge, to study English. During this time, Isha who had previously aspired to become an actress, perhaps due to an altered world-view, decided to become a television presenter. She sought work from different media groups in the UK and got her first career break as a researcher for the BBC 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, where she also went on to become a Presenter. After leaving the BBC, Isha joined SKY Sports News and then went on to become a CNN international News anchor in 2005. quite a journey, yeah? Unpaid volunteer to CNN international anchor.
Touched by personal tragedy as a growing child when she lost her Father at the tender age of 12, Isha had to grow up quickly. In an interview with BellaNaija’s Gloria Edozien, Isha stated concerning her status quo after her Father’s passing. “My older sister is disabled and my younger brother is 5 years younger, so just a feeling of “I should look after him and be there for him. You just don’t want to make a big deal out of stuff”. And because of my sister, I am a defacto eldest child, so I think it really gave me that sense of growing up and trying to be responsible.”
As the only black female international anchor at the globally aware Cable News Network; [which I didn’t bother to illuminate on, because, come on, who doesn’t know of or about CNN? Huh?] Isha may feel the burden of bearing the responsibility that comes with the accolade. She accepts it, but doesn’t let it pressurize her. “It is a responsibility – one that I take seriously. She says. “I want to carry on hopefully in my small way showing people that they can reach for the stars and get there.” True talk!!!
Isha’s mantra for success: “Hard work, and absolute determination. I make a plan and I am like that’s where I am going and I am going to get there. You try and push here and there till you find a soft spot …it takes hard work and determination, plus as a lot of prayers. That’s always helpful…my mother spends nights praying.”
Nice one there, as my friend Henri likes to say. The golden lady of Africa recently got engaged too, in the early days of January 2013. We hope she soars in her marriage as she has soared in her career.
A good dose of inspiration, with beautiful pictures to boot is always a good way to start the week!!! Have a great week ahead, and don’t forget to work hard, be determined, and pray!!!