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Veteran news anchor Catherine Kasavuli.[Elvis Ogina,Standard]

Leaders across the country on Friday, December 30, paid tributes to veteran news anchor Catherine Kasavuli who died on Thursday night while receiving treatment at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) in Nairobi.

Kasavuli, who lost the battle to cervical cancer, has been mourned as a journalist who broke the glass ceiling in her field.

President William Ruto mourned Kasavuli as a cheerful, articulate and intelligent news anchor who took to television with unprecedented flair. 

Ruto said Kasavuli’s pleasant smile, clear steady voice, and elegance made her a welcome presence and reassuring bearer of news to Kenyan living rooms for decades.

“Countless Kenyans watched her with great admiration and many children grew to emulate her. Today, Kasavuli's legacy endures, most notably in a distinctively crisp, fluent and articulate elocution we are all accustomed to in broadcast anchoring,” Ruto said.

He added: 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.

 First Lady Rachael Ruto described Kasavuli as a woman of great distinction and accomplishment who demonstrated a strong work ethic, poise, and professionalism throughout her career.

 “Her diction and pronunciation were worth noting as lessons. Her contributions to the field of media and journalism have been invaluable, and she will always be remembered as a trailblazer and role model for generations to come,” Racheal said on her Twitter account. 

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta described Kasavuli, as a committed journalist who played a key role in the growth of the country’s media industry.

“Catherine Kasavuli became a household name because of her immense achievement as a broadcaster. Indeed she was a great role model and mentor to many women journalists in the country,” Uhuru said.

Uhuru said Kasavuli’s commitment and diligence in her work at the then Voice of Kenya (VOK) where she started her career, made her stand out as a talented newscaster.

“As an individual, I will forever cherish her noble contribution in making the media industry one of the most   dynamic and transformative sector of our economy,” he added.

 Azimio la Umoja One Kenya leader Raila Odinga described Kasavuli as a trailblazer who illuminated screens with her captivating presence. 

 “Following the loss of legendary broadcast journalist Catherine Kasavuli, Mama Ida and I extend our heartfelt condolences to her family, friends, and colleagues,” Odinga said.

Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi in his condolence message described Kasavuli as a person who bonded with generations of Kenyans and inspired many budding news persons in her time as a news anchor working for various stations.

 On his part, National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetengula said: [I am] saddened by the demise of the Legendary Journalist and Broadcaster Catherine Kasavuli who graced our TV screens in the 80s,90s and early 2000s.

 “My sincere condolences to her family, relatives and friends during this moment. May perpetual light shine upon her. Rest in peace Catherine.”

KANU Chairman Gideon Moi said Kasavuli was a reflection of analytical and professional journalism.

“Her loss is a big blow to not only the family, friends and the media fraternity but also to the entire country. We pray that God rests her soul in eternal peace and grant the family the fortitude and grace to bear this loss," Moi said.

Nark Kenya leader Martha Karua eulogized Kasavuli as a gentle and beautiful soul full of generosity and love.

 “My condolences to Martin and entire Kasavuli family on the passing of Catherine Kasavuli, a mum, daughter, sister, aunt and friend to many,” Karua said.

 Kasavuli’s former teacher at Ngara Girls High School Mary Abebe Ojiambo described her as a decent, hardworking and focused student.

 “She [Kasavuli] was among the first Form Six Class I taught at Ngara Girls High School, Nairobi, and considered her a decent, hardworking and focused student. May the Good Lord rest her soul in Heavenly Glory as we celebrate her great achievements and the good moments we shared. Amen,” said Ojiambo.

 Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru said: I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing on of Catherine Kasavuli. She graced our screens as a passionate & professional news anchor who mentored as many as she inspired.I join other Kenyans in condoling with her family and loved ones and celebrating her life & legacy.

 Samburu West MP Naisula Lesuda said: “Rest in Peace Catherine Kasavuli and sincere condolences to the family, friends and relatives.  I grew up admiring your prowess, beauty and skills when reading the news. Used to imitate and later followed the same career path. You were indeed a great trailblazer. Fare thee well.”

 Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Shariff Nassir said: “It is with great sorrow that I receive the news about the death of Catherine Kasavuli, a veteran news anchor at KBC that graced our screens with news in the early years of broadcasting in Kenya and came back with the legends edition in the same station.”

Royal Media Services Group Managing Director Wachira Waruru said Kasavuli will be remembered as an outstanding trailblazer in the broadcast media industry in Kenya.

“I have learned with pain and deep sorrow the passing on of veteran news presenter Catherine Kasavuli. For the last few months, I have followed in hope, prayer and encouragement as Catherine fought bravely, undergoing treatment through a lengthy admission to the hospital. I am deeply saddened that she lost the battle earlier today,” Waruru said. By David Njaaga, The Standard

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