Top Kenyan leaders on Friday, December 30, joined Kenyans in mourning the late veteran TV news anchor Catherine Kasavuli.
Kasavuli, 60, died on Thursday night at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) where she was receiving treatment for cervical cancer.
President William Ruto, in his condolence message to Kasavuli’s family, described the deceased as a “cheerful, articulate and intelligent news anchor who took to television with unprecedented flair”.
“Her pleasant smile, clear steady voice, and elegance made her a welcome presence and reassuring bearer of news to Kenyan living rooms for decades,” the Head of State said in a tweet.
“Countless Kenyans watched her with great admiration and many children grew to emulate her.”
It is with great sorrow that I join Kenyans in mourning the passing of Catherine Kasavuli who died Thursday night at 60, after a long brave fight with cancer.
Catherine was a cheerful, articulate and intelligent news anchor who took to television with unprecedented flair. pic.twitter.com/olNjWMiBQ8
— William Samoei Ruto, PhD (@WilliamsRuto) December 30, 2022
President Ruto said Kasavuli’s legacy lives on.
“Today, Kasavuli’s legacy endures, most notably in a distinctive crisp, fluent and articulate elocution we are all accustomed to in broadcast anchoring.
“Let us, therefore, celebrate the life of a talented pioneer who famously excelled in her profession, entrancing the nation with her talent and extraordinary poise. I pray that God comforts her family in this time of mourning and that her soul rests in eternal peace,” he added.
On his part, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said the late was consistent in her art and inspired and mentored many journalists.
“Having worked across major media houses in Kenya, she made remarkable contribution to the style and delivery of news and related content over years,” Gachagua said.
He added: “Her recent re-entry into KBC television gave the space a nostalgic feel for different audience segments. Due to her contribution to the growth of the industry, Catherine was inducted into the Lifetime Achievement Award in May 2022 during the Annual Journalism Excellence Awards (AJEA).
“I pass my greatest sympathies to her family, colleagues, and friends. May her Soul rest in Peace and perpetual light shine upon her forever.”
Rest well, Catherine
I have learnt of the passing on of award-winning broadcaster Catherine Kasavuli with sadness.
Catherine, a veteran newscaster, has been consistent in her art and has inspired and mentored many journalists. pic.twitter.com/Ju5fzs5CyF
— Rigathi Gachagua (@rigathi) December 30, 2022
Opposition leader Raila Odinga, in his glowing tribute, described Kasavuli as a trailblazer who inspired many women to pursue careers in the media.
“Following the loss of legendary broadcast journalist Catherine Kasavuli, Mama Ida and I extend our heartfelt condolences to her family, friends, and colleagues.
“She illuminated our screens as a trailblazer and many women joined the profession due to her captivating presence,” the Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya coalition leader said.
Following the loss of legendary broadcast journalist Catherine Kasavuli, Mama Ida and I extend our heartfelt condolences to her family, friends, and colleagues.
She illuminated our screens as a trailblazer and many women joined the profession due to her captivating presence. pic.twitter.com/wTujCTmeDI
— Raila Odinga (@RailaOdinga) December 30, 2022
Kasavuli was the first female news anchor in the country having started her career as a radio continuity announcer in 1980 at the Voice of Kenya, which was renamed Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) in 1989.
She is credited with breaking the glass ceiling for female TV journalists in the country.
Kasavuli returned to KBC in 2020 after a relaunch and hosted the Legend Edition
She previously worked on other television stations including Citizen Television and Kenya Television Network (KTN).