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How I almost missed BBC job, MP Yusuf Hassan recounts his journalism career

By Martin Abusi February 12th, 2023 2 min read

Kamukunji Member of Parliament Yusuf Hassan has recounted the early days of his career as a journalist. Through a series of tweets, the MP, who is a trained journalist, narrated how he almost missed an opportunity to work with the BBC.

Interestingly, when he was hired by the BBC, Yusuf said he had not completed his high school studies.

“When I was recruited for the BBC through a competitive selection, leave alone having a degree, I had not even completed my high school!”

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Yusuf, who began his media career at Voice of Kenya, would later travel to London to take up the job.

‘I almost missed the BBC job. In those days, there was no fax, internet, or cellphone. They sent the offer to me by telex in May 1978, but I never received it. At the end of 78, I met the mailman at the BBC Monitoring Service in Karen, who told me there were piles of telexes for me,” the MP recalled.

“On this day in 1979, I arrived in Britain to begin my job as a broadcaster at the BBC World Service at Bush House in London. I had no idea this marked the start of a fantastic journey filled with opportunities and growth that would transform my life beyond my wildest dreams,” he said.

“From my role as a little-known broadcaster at VOK in Nairobi, I was allowed to become an international journalist at the world’s foremost global broadcaster, located in the bustling heart of one of the most exciting cities in the world,” he further recounted.

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Many of the lawmaker’s followers congratulated him on a tremendous career journey.

“Told you this many times years ago… 2013… you’re specially endowed, patriot. An amiable colleague 2013-17. May the stars align even more,” Kabando Wa Kabando commented.

“Amazing journey indeed. You are a role model to many, and we are proud of you at all times. I can’t wait to read your book one day,” Mohamud Amin wrote.

“What an amazing journey. A role model to many,” Farah Keinan said.

“Look at you, such a handsome young man. You’ve had an amazing career. Mashallah,” Ruhi Hamid commented.

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