Citizen TV Swahili anchor Swaleh Mdoe has put up one of his kidneys for sale to “sort some pressing financial problems”.
In an interview with Pulse, the showbiz magazine published in Standard on Fridays, Mdoe, affectionately known as Babu, says he is looking for a buyer for his kidney to deal with his financial issues.
“I would even be placing a newspaper advert if that is what it takes to get a worthy client,” he says. “I have decided to sell one of my kidneys after consulting my doctor on the matter.”
He said he has pressing financial issues that he wants to offset and “all I can think of right now is selling my kidney.”
It is not clear how big the financial problem is as he has kept his personal life and finances private. But to resort to selling his kidney points to a bigger thing: possibly mounting debt or a huge hospital bill of a family member.
Celebrity TV presenters like Mdoe are well paid and his fans will be wondering how he could decide to sell his organ instead of appealing for help from well-wishers or his employer. Swaleh is one of the long-serving and respected TV anchors in the country, who enthuses his audience with fables and riddles from his babu (grandfather).
The announcement will certainly put Royal Media Services, which owns Citizen TV, in the spotlight unless finer details are availed to show that it is a situation that it cannot provide assistance with.
He even shared his mobile number (0722733130), saying, “I need to do this urgently.”
Mdoe says he took this drastic decision to avoid burdening people with his financial problems through, for example, a fundraising campaign. “I don’t really want to bother people. I don’t,” he told Pulse. “I can live with one kidney.”
Swale Mdoe rose to fame as Kiswahili news anchor when working at KTN before moving to Citizen TV.