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Sierra Leonean journalist Isha Sesay leaves CNN after 13 years

After 13 years of working with CNN, Sierra Leonean journalist Isha Isatu Sesay has left. At a time when stories from the continent are under-reported Isha wants to focus more on telling narratives from the continent.



Isha Isatu Sesay has left CNN after 13 years to focus on telling other important stories. Isha announced on her Twitter page, “It’s really happening, folks!! After more than a decade behind the desk with those three red letters… I HAVE LEFT CNN.”

Isha joined CNN with a one year contract and went on to be a top news anchor and correspondent, building her name and brand. She told WWS, “I’m ready to have a little bit more autonomy and to take the lead in my own life.” Isa joined CNN when she was 30 years old and has experienced all the big things of life while at CNN. She said, “I feel like I grew up working there. I showed up as a 30-year-old in 2005, with two suitcases and a one-year contract — I’ve managed to make that last 13 years! It’s been amazing, I’ve been married when I was there, divorced when I was there, it’s all happened.”

The journey ahead is however what she looks forward to. With a book on Chibok girls due to be released in May 2019, Isha hopes to focus on “a lot more coverage about Africa, a lot more work on the continent, and a lot more focus on young girls.”

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For Isha, the Western media’s coverage of Africa hasn’t been the best. “I want to put a focus on Africa in the way I wish all international media would cover Africa. Now it’s either underreported or not reported with the right nuance and context. I’m going to turn my attention to being one in this new army of people who are moving into this space, who are representing Africa in a new way,” she said. The attention of the media has been so much focused on Trump for Isha, “it’s not what I want to spend all my time doing.”

Isha, who is actively involved in the Sierra Leonean society, started a non-profit organisation W.E CAN LEAD, for nurturing girls. The vision of the organisation is to have every girl receive quality education. 600 girls are currently under Isha’s leadership programme. There is no doubt that Isha looks forward to exciting projects and more autonomy outside CNN.