Based on her experience, Soni Methu acknowledges that an important key to success is being at the right place at the right time.
Like many successful career women, Soni Methu had her little beginnings, making a name as an actress in low-key theatre and TV productions, including being cast as a rebellious teenager in the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation drama ‘Hila’ and co-hosting a talk show.
In July 2014, the purposeful maven has announced the new host of CNN International’s longest–running feature program, ‘Inside Africa’. A climb, she says is beyond her wildest dreams.
“I feel blessed, living beyond my wildest dreams in term of my career. I have always been surrounded by people who have told me that I am special. I believed them. That attitude helped me believe that I could be in this position, so I worked passionately persisted and hoped. “It is a testament of what dreaming and persistence can accomplish in a world full of possibilities.”
She is currently the only Kenyan presenter working for the American broadcasting giant.
The power lady spent her time growing up between Mombasa and Eldoret with her two elder brothers and younger sister. Like those of most children, her dreams changed many times; from wanting to practice law, singing, acting to teaching
Soni began her primary education at St Martin’s Nyahururu and had a brief stint in Uasin Gishu Primary in Eldoret, before proceeding to Mary Mount High School, Molo and eventually Studied Information Technology at Strathmore University, eventhough she wished to be a journalist.
Soni, whose new assignment began in August 2014, took over from Errol Barnett, following in the footsteps of Jeff Koinange and Zein Verjee who have been correspondents for the international news channel.
Her job will require her to travel across the continent to transport viewers of the award-winning program on an exploratory journey through Africa.
Soni Methu was formally East Africa correspondent for ENCA and E News Africa for two years prior to joining CNN International.
During this time, she covered stories of various bomb blasts in both Mombasa and Nairobi, and also the Westgate Mall terrorist attack. soni also reported for the Kenyan election coverage in Mombasa, where violence broke out in various towns. She broke a number of stories for ENCA, as well as covering various stories in Somalia, South Sudan, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania.
Prior to ENCA and E News Africa, Soni worked as a producer and editor for five years at Vivid Features, an international media production company in Kenya, where she produced news and documentaries for networks including CNN, National Geographic, Channel 4 and Super Sport, among others.
In her new role, Ms Methu will be seeking to tell the African story through her own lens for the global audience.
Through her challenges and victories, she acknowledges that her family and friends have been her greatest support
“My family and friends are very proud of me. My mum is my source of strength. She has taught me to walk with my head held high but with my feet firmly on the ground, no matter what. And if I fall, I can always rise again. My sister Faith is my anchor. She keeps me humble.”
For Soni, the journey wasn’t always rosy, like most successful people, she had her fair share of ups and downs, yet she faced every challenge with the attitude of a winner, believing that failures are usually part of any success story.
She longed to grow a career in radio, but then she was never successful in any audition. But that didn’t deter her in anyway, instead she went ahead to try TV and excelled.
“I was never called back for radio, but was always successful in TV. I was mostly in the right place at the right time and every contact and experience was a push or pull to the next level.”
There, she was introduced to Vivid Features, an international media company where she worked for five years. At Vivid she learnt the art of news writing and editing, working for top companies like CNN. An experience that would set her dream in motion and spin her career beyond her wildest imaginations.
By mere coincidence, Vivid was tasked with finding a reporter in Kenya for South africa’s eNCA.
“During the interview process, I volunteered to assist Robin Kriel, the bureau chief who was in Kenya to find new features. With some encouragement from Robin and my friends, I tried for a screen test and passed.
“I became the East African correspondent reporting on news for eNCA when senior CNN staff spotted me and tapped me for the new role at CNN.” She tells Daily Nation
Soni Methu found her space and took charge of it, today she is celebrated for taking the deliberate step that turned her life around. To the one and aspiring, she says“…Stay focused and knock on as many doors as you can. Give up only when you die.”
Be deliberate. Take the step!
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