Jeff Koinange is a well-known Kenyan journalist. He currently hosts Jeff Koinange Live on KTN. Koinange has also served as a journalist in the United States. He has worked for a few U.S. broadcasters. He was born in Kenya but attended college in the United States, which may explain his accent. There are several interesting things about him. Here are 12 things to know about Jeff Koinange.
12 Lesser Known Facts About Jeff Koinange
Jeff Koinange is married to Shaila Koinange, a Kenyan of Asian origin. He prefers to keep his private life away from the public and very little is known about his wife. They have a young son, Jamal Mbiyu Koinange, who was born late in their marriage.
Jeff Koinange obtained an Associate’s degree from Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, New York. He was at the college between 1987 and 1989. He also attended New York University after winning a scholarship and he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcast journalism.
In 1984, Jeff and more than 30 other Kenyans were chosen to work as flight attendants. They were trained for eight weeks by PanAm Airlines, which is no longer in operation. He became a steward after the training. His baritone voice made him popular among passengers and on most occasions, they applauded after his announcements.
Inspiration for Media Career
Jeff Koinange had no idea he could join the media industry until he came across a media personality on one of the flights he was working on. The passenger challenged him to exploit his voice and make a career out if it.
American Broadcast Stations
After graduating from New York University, Jeff Koinange worked for both ABC and NBC. He worked at NBC in 1994 and at ABC between 1991 and 2001. He has also worked at Reuters between 1995 and 2001.
Career at KTN
In 1992, Kenya Television Network was launched. This was the country’s first independent TV channel. Jeff Koinange was one of the first anchors at the TV channel. He joined KTN in 1995 as a part-time news anchor. He was already working as a Reuters correspondent based in Nairobi at this time. The reception was mixed when he began to work at KTN. Some people were put off by his accent while others accepted him.
Reuters West Africa Bureau Chief
Jeff Koinange was appointed Reuters West Africa bureau chief in 1998. He was initially located in Ivory Coast but later relocated to Johannesburg.
Jeff Koinange gained global recognition after he joined CNN as an African correspondent. He joined CNN as a correspondent and West Africa bureau chief. Koinange brought West Africa to the world’s attention through his stories. He highlighted civil wars and corruption in the region. During his stint at CNN, Jeff covered the Darfur crisis, Sierra Leone and Liberia civil wars and Niger’s famine.
At CNN, Jeff partnered with Anderson Cooper to cover the famine in Niger. It was one of the most devastating famines in West Africa. Their series titled, ‘Starving in Plain Sight’ highlighted the people’s suffering and there was immediate response from across the globe. The Niger people were saved from a devastating situation through this series. The series won a TV Emmy and it is considered one of the highlights in his career.
Jeff Koinange’s story about a doctor in Bukavu, Eastern Congo who was helping hundreds of women who had been sexually assaulted is also considered one of the best moments of his career. A Congolese doctor was running a clinic, which catered for over 600 women both young and old after they were assaulted by uniformed men. His story evoked a strong response from the audience and the victims got the help they required.
Niger Delta Scandal
In 2007, while he was working at CNN, Jeff Koinange reported on the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND). During the report, he was in the presence of MEND guerrillas who had captured some Filipinos. This report raised a lot of controversy and there was outcry especially from the Nigerian government, which claimed that it was staged. CNN and Jeff Koinange denied the claim that they staged the report.
2007 was a controversial year for Jeff Koinange. Shortly after the Niger Delta report, Marianne Briner, a Swiss national claimed that she had an affair with him. This is believed to be one of the main reasons for his move from CNN.