Catherine Kasavuli

In loving memory of...

Catherine Kasavuli

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"Let the memory of Catherine Kasavuli be with us forever "

  • 60 Years Old
  • Born on Thursday, February 22 1962 in Kenya
  • Passed away on Thursday, December 29 2022 in Nairobi

On 22nd February, 1962, Ezekiel Kasavuli Agingu and Rachel Inyangara Kasavuli, welcomed their fourth born child – a daughter - whom they named, Catherine. Together with her eldest sibling and only brother, the late George Kasavuli, her sisters, Loyce Wishaminya, Pastor Abigael Shikanga and Elizabeth Kasavuli-Davies, Catherine would grow up in the Nairobi West area for most of her young life. 

Described by her friends and those close to her as a bright, expressive and eloquent young girl, with a great sense of humour, Catherine briefly attended Langata Road Primary School, before settling at Nairobi South Primary School between 1969 and 1975 for the rest of her primary education. She excelled academically and in athletics especially, the 100 metres sprint. Catherine attended Ngara Girls High School in Nairobi for her secondary education between 1976 and 1979.

Her parents who were both career civil servants and devout Christians, ensured that Catherine had a strong spiritual formation at an early age. Catherine took part in swimming and sewing (where she sewed her own polka-dot swimming costume) as an active member of the Cadets for Christ youth programme at Good News Church, Nairobi West, where she also did her Bible Catechism laying a solid foundation for her journey of faith. 

It is in her love for reading Scripture, that Catherine would get the opportunity that would change her life, right after completing high school. One Sunday afternoon during their family Bible reading fellowship, a relative who worked at the then Voice of Kenya (VoK) was visiting. He was so impressed by Catherine’s eloquence, confidence and intonation, as she read from the Scriptures, that he quickly arranged for her to do a voice test at VoK. She passed the test and the rest as they say, is history. 

Catherine Kasavuli became one of the youngest presenters on the Voice of Kenya English Service presenting the youthful Beat Time show from 4:00 pm for 18 – 30 year-olds, with music from America and the UK. She was later moved to the Late Date, where her sultry voice punctuated R&B and Soul music between 10:00 pm and 11:00 pm. She would also host current affairs shows such one on traditional medicine with Dr. Mugo, laying the ground for her successful television and radio documentary voice-over career in the 1990s. 

While working at VoK, she attended the then prestigious Kenya Institute of Mass Communication (KIMC) between 1980 and 1984. She also successfully completed a diploma programme in French from the Alliance Française in Nairobi. Catherine would in 1987, become one of the multi-lingual announcers for the Fourth All Africa Games in Nairobi. 

In 1990, she was recruited by the Kenya Television Network (KTN) the first privately-owned TV station in Kenya becoming part of an elite group of broadcasters, that included Joseph Warungu, Raphael Tuju, Njoroge Mwaura and Isaiah Kabera all of whom became household names. In a male-dominated industry, Catherine held her own and excelled alongside her contemporaries such as Christine Nguku, Jennifer Okung’u and Kathleen Openda, setting the standard and opening the door for dozens of women in media including Zain Verjee whom she mentored. Catherine was also instrumental in mentoring other household names such Jeff Koinange and Michael Oyier, who both passed through her hands at KTN. 

After 17 years at KTN, Catherine joined Royal Media Services in 2007, assuming the dual roles of Group Corporate Affairs Manager and Senior News Anchor, which she performed with distinction, before leaving to set up the Kasavuli Media Group (KMG) in 2015. Through KMG she trained dozens of upcoming and practicing news anchors who had the privilege of gleaning from her decades-old experience and expertise. 

Catherine Kasavuli’s name is synonymous with broadcast television in Kenya. She was that friend, that aunty or that mother who for over three decades was in your living room every evening of almost every week delivering the major happenings of the day with her familiar and friendly smile. It is no surprise therefore, that she was awarded the Order of the Grand Warrior (OGW) medal by President Mwai Kibaki in 2008 in recognition of her outstanding service. 

Kenyans and indeed the media, were not ready to let Catherine go and so in 2021, she was recalled to KBC where she had began her career over 40 years earlier, to relaunch the station’s news offering, as the main anchor for the prime time Legends Edition news and current affairs show. She found this befitting for a station that had given her the opportunity to launch her career, but more so, she saw it as an opportunity to reconnect with audiences even as she mentored the next generation of media practitioners. She did this with dedication until she was admitted to the Kenyatta National Hospital for what was later diagnosed as cancer.

She passed away on the morning of Thursday 29th December, 2022 while receiving treatment at the age of 60 years. 

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Funeral/Memorial Programme

Uploaded: 16 January 2023Downloads: 16Size: 6406kb

Honors and Awards

Title Issuer Year
Order of the Grand Warrior President Mwai Kibaki 2008

References

No. Title Links
1 Catherine Kasavuli celebrating her 50th birthday party in Nairobi in 2012 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UW2bW7wGkBc
2 #TBT with Catherine Kasavuli - Churchill Live https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSkKpUwA7Gk
3 Strength of a Woman: Catherine Kasavuli https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8hUhaqJNak
4 The life and times of veteran media personality Catherine Kasavuli - KBC https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6ISV2eaG6M
5 Catherine Kasavuli & Betty Kyalo on KTN's Friday Briefing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGNAKmFiCUM
6 President Ruto leads Kenyan tributes to Catherine Kasavuli https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQb8Qoxw7oQ
7 Catherine Kasavuli's Profile - KBC Channel 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrPGCcy9Mrc
8 Catherine Kasavuli on her OGW presidential award https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9xL4a1OebY
9 New faces on KBC English bulletin #ThisIsKBC https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyA5Zz9YbmE
10 Prof Austin Bukenya's Tribute to Catherine Kasavuli https://nation.africa/kenya/life-and-style/weekend/why-kasavuli-wanted-to-attend-my-tennis-classes-4077970
11 Catherine Kasavuli's Church Service https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZmqtYaqkAo
12 Four Lessons from Kasavuli's life https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/evewoman/living/article/2001465179/four-lessons-from-kasavulis-life