By Prudence Minayo
Lulu Khadija Hassan is a celebrated Swahili news anchor and film producer. She hosts citizen TV’s “Nipashe Wikendi” alongside Rashid Abdalla. The weekend bulletin hosts Bi. Msafari every Saturday as she gives marriage advice. The news anchor is an inspiration and role model to many young ladies that want to be like her. Despite being famous and Rich, she is still very humble. She once said,
“I don’t see being a news anchor as a big deal. Fame does not get into my head. Anybody at home can send me to the shop, and I would go without feeling I am too much of a celebrity for that.”
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Lulu Hassan is an accomplished, fluent and eloquent journalist and below are facts about her life:
She celebrates her birthday on the 24th of April with her year of birth being under wraps.
Lulu attended high school at Agha Khan Academy, Mombasa. Then proceeded to Salrene Travel Operations College to train as a cabin crew, hostess, human resource manager and ticket officer.
After landing a Radio job she went back to school to pursue communications and journalism.
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Many think Lulu is of Somali descent but this is not the case. Her late mother was born of a Kenyan Kikuyu and Seychellois while her dad also has Seychellois roots. She is also the first born in a family of 3 girls.
Mariam Abu, her mother died in 2007 leaving her siblings and real estate business in her care. She ran the business while taking care of her sisters. To this day, it is a source of grief that her mum died without seeing her read news on national television. On one occasion while on air, she thought of her mother and felt so sad;
“ It was my first day as an anchor, and I got flustered on air when I thought about my mother.i felt so sad. There I was as an anchor but mum wasn’t alive to see me – all along, she had wished to see me reading the news on national television,” Lulu says.
The beautiful anchor is married to Rashid Abdalla and they have 3 wonderful children: a young girl and two boys – Jibran and Irfan. Rashid and Lulu met back in 2007, the year her mother died, at Radio Salaam. Rashid provided a shoulder for Lulu to lean on every time she felt sad about her mother’s demise. The first thing Rashid loved about his wife was her sweet voice even before seeing her face. After seeing her face, the deal was sealed, the voice came with an angelic face.
Two weeks after meeting, the couple got engaged. Rashid had no money for dowry. At the time his salary was Kes5,000. He only submitted a Quran and prayer mat for dowry and the parents accepted.
The couple got married in a ritzy affair in Mombasa. It was like the whole village or town
showed up for the village. Friends, colleagues, acquaintances and even strangers came to share this happy occasion. Since her mother was dead and could not give her away as customary demands, her friends stepped in for the task.
Despite living together for years, the couple consummated their union in 2013 after their
marriage. Rashid revealed he even has the white sheet to prove it.
Rashid shared this photo on Facebook in 2014 with these sweet words:
“She will always be the love of my life. She is the reason am whom i am today. Her self-esteem has made me realize the meaning of true love. She is my best friend. Love you so much and as a human being maybe if by any chance i wronged you in anyway since the very first time i saw you then am sorry my love. May God bless.”
The Swahili journalist began her journalism career at Radio Salaam, Mombasa. Interestingly enough, she read English and not Swahili news back then and her English is as fluent as her Swahili. While still working at the radio station, a KTN camera man told her of a crisis they were having at the station. Two of their Swahili news anchors were on maternity leave and they hadn’t found a replacement. Lulu jumped on the chance, went for the interview, passed the screen test and joined KTN.
Later, she left to join Royal Media services on Citizen TV. She hosted Nipashe alongside Kanze Dena for a long time. The two developed a long-lasting friendship on and off TV. Later, Kanze left the station after being appointed spokesperson at the office of the President.
Following Kanze Dena’s move, citizen TV poached Rashid Abdalla from Nation Media Group.
The former NTV anchor was appointed ‘Nipashe Wikendi host alongside his wife, Lulu. They made history as the first couple in Kenya to present news together. Their chemistry in the newsroom is a hit among many fans of Citizen TV.
The challenge they face is being under scrutiny every single day. People want to see if they are happy today or probably had a fight and can’t stand each other. The other challenge that Lulu hopes they never have to encounter is of one of their children being sick at the time. Who will stay home and who’ll go to work?
In 2010, while still working at KTN, the media personality was involved in a grisly road accident. The accident affected her left leg for a very long time and she was very lucky to survive. A plate had to be installed on her leg to help with mobility. Below is her own
recollection of the accident and recovery journey on Instagram;
“ April 19 th 2010, I remember this day like it was yesterday…. I was going for an assignment in Kisumu, but on reaching Kapkatet, it all happened so fast…I found myself at the Siloam Hospital in Kericho. First aid was being administered. Next thing I knew, I was in the ambulance on my way to Nairobi for an emergency theatre at the Agakhan Hospital.
The next few months would be tough. If you had asked me then if I thought I would be able to walk or be on my feet again, I wouldn’t have imagined that was possible. But, Alhamdulillah!!!
It’s been seven years walking with a plate on my left femur…. On the 30th October 2017 I finally gathered the courage to walk into theatre for a surgery to remove it… I had been relying on this for the last 7 years since 2010….. 7 years that saw my walking style and body posture change ultimately thus affecting my back and work not forgetting the excruciating pain I would have to endure whenever I wanted to lie down………..” this is what part of the Instagram post read.
She went on to thank those who have supported her and expressed the wish to give the plate as donation to an elder.
The hard-working TV girl owns a production company alongside her husband called Philly films and has produced a number of their own films so far
1) “Aziza”which aired on Citizen at 7:30 p.m.
2) “Huba” which aired on Maisha Magic. The film won gold for Best General Entertainment
Promo Award at the Promax Award, South Africa. Lulu took to Instagram to express her
“Jiffy Pictures and Big_One entertainment is happy to announce that Huba just won gold for
Best General Entertainment at the Promax Awards in South Africa.”
3) “Maria” the film which airs on Citizen at 7:30 during weekdays is a current must watch
among many Kenyans.
Other films by Philly productions include:
Mchikicho wa Pwani
The news anchor’s estimated salary is 300, 000 Kenyan shillings minus allowances which may amount to 100,000 or more. Not forgetting the money from Philly productions. Her estimated wealth together with her husband is estimated at over kes10 million.
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Long live Lulu, my role model, seeing forward to see you.