Former CNN 'Inside Africa' programme host Soni Methu.

Kenyan renown journalist Soni Methu passed on on April 11 after collapsing in a hotel in Diani where she was staying. The 35-year-old journalist was working for China Global Television Network (CGTN) for their Nairobi base.

The cause of her death is yet to be known but the family confirmed to a local website that she collapsed before passing on.

Methu came to the limelight five years ago when she became the first Kenyan journalist to host CNN’s show, Inside Africa. At the time she was only 30 years.

An alumnus of Strathmore University, where she obtained a Diploma in Information Technology, Soni began her career at Kenya Broadcast Corporation (KBC) starring in the drama ‘Hila’ and presenting the Taj Show talk show. Before joining CNN, she had worked as a correspondent for ENCA and E-News Africa for two years.

While working as East African correspondent for South African based ENCA, she covered stories of various bomb blasts in both Mombasa and Nairobi, as well as the Westgate Mall terrorist attack.  The former actress also covered the 2013 General Elections in Kenya.

Joining CNN ensured that her name will always be mentioned alongside other Kenyan journalists such as Jeff Koinange and Zain Verjee who crossed borders and made it to the global broadcaster.

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In 2015, she quit CNN after hosting Inside Africa for roughly a year and joined Chinese broadcaster CGTN. Soni said that CNN had changed the format of ‘Inside Africa’.

“It just happened that the show was moving more towards character-driven story telling as opposed to a host telling the story,” she said in a video posted on YouTube in November 2016.

There were also reports that the international broadcaster declined to offer her a new contract. Soni then opted for CGTN (then China Central Television, CCTV).

“There were various options presented to me but as opportunities would have it, I got an opportunity at CCTV Africa,” she had said in the YouTube video.

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Kevin Namunwa is a reporter with Business Today. He is interested in Business, Entertainment, and Sports. You can find him on email at [email protected]

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