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Swimmer, sprinter, mentor… 9 interesting facts about fallen journalist Catherine Kasavuli

The family, friends, and Kenya at large mourned when news broke that legendary television queen Catherine Kasavuli had succumbed on December 29, 2022, following a battle with cervical cancer.

Her death came in the wake of her family rallying Kenyans of goodwill to help them raise millions in funds to cater for her treatment; and sadly, later, for her hospital bills left behind and funeral arrangements.On January 12, 2023, at Friends Church located on Ngong Road, the Kasavuli family was joined by extended family, friends and fans of the late Catherine to eulogize her.

From the service, some interesting facts about Catherine emerged.

1. She was the fourth born among five children. Her siblings are the late George Kasavuli, Loyce Wishaminya, Pastor Abigael Shikanga and Elizabeth Kasavuli-Davies. During the funeral service, their mother, Mama Rachel Kasavuli, said that Catherine had been her favorite daughter even though her other girls were good too.

2. She attended Langata Road Primary School, Nairobi South Primary School where she excelled in the 100 meters sprint; and Ngara High School.

3. She enjoyed sewing as a young girl and is fondly remembered sewing her own polka dot swimming costume because she loved swimming.

4. Her love for reading the scripture created the opportunity for her to join the media industry. One day as she read the scripture at a Bible fellowship, a relative who worked at the then Voice of Kenya was so impressed by her eloquence, confidence, and intonation that he arranged for her to do a voice test. She passed and was absorbed into the media house. She became one of the youngest presenters at VoK.

5. She landed the opportunity to become an announcer at the 4th All Africa Games in Nairobi because she was multi-lingual having just completed a diploma in French at the Alliance Francaise.

6. She mentored Zain Verjee, Jeff Koinange, and Micheal Oyier- all household names. Zain and Jeff went on to work abroad for CNN.

7. She set up the Kasavuli Media Group in 2015 which mentored and trained upcoming and practicing news anchors who learnt from her experiences in the media industry spanning over 40 years.

8. She was awarded the Order of the Grand Warrior medal by the late former president Mwai Kibaki in 2008 for her contribution and outstanding service in the media industry.

9. A single mother, she gave birth to her son, Martin Agingu Kasavuli, on August 4, 1981, at 3 pm at the Pumwani Maternity Hospital and nicknamed him Tati (after daddy because of the heavy Luhya accent).

10. She often took Martin to work with her where he was looked after by her colleagues as she delivered the news. Twice, Martin almost ruined the news bulletin when he kept trying to go up to his mother to talk to her during live broadcasts. Single-handedly, she educated her son until he completed his higher education at the Keele University in the United Kingdom.

It was said that she embraced single motherhood and made sure to raise her son into an independent gentleman and ensured he lacked nothing.

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