By Prudence Minayo
Mark Masai is a seasoned ex-NTV Kenyan news anchor. He speaks fluent English with a tinge of British accent having been raised by a British foster parent. The journalist describes himself as a humble, down-to-earth, but fun guy.
What inspires him to go on everyday is knowing that there’s one thing that God wants him to do tomorrow to make life better. While he is now at a comfortable place in life, he had quite a start in life. The success he has today was not just handed to him on a silver plater.
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Here is his story as told by WoK.
The journalist birth name is Masai Abdullahi Kasim having been born in a Muslim family. He later legally changed his name to Mark because he was raised in a Christian family. He chose Mark since most of his friends would abbreviate his Muslim name to MAK.
Family and Background
Mark’s biological mother is a Muslim by the name Fatuma Abdullahi. Fatuma gave him up for adoption while he was still a baby. he was raised together with his foster brother by a British missionary woman named Mary Wright.
The NTV news anchor met his biological mother later in life. At first, it was hard reconciling with the fact that she gave him up but with time he came around. He even accepted her financial aid in paying for his last years in college, albeit hesitantly. So many unanswered questions about his life prompted him to confront his mother about the whereabouts of his biological father.
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The mum insisted the time wasn’t right but later told him she had given his contacts to his biological father. The dad contacted him while he was at work and he was lost for words. After all, what was he to say to a person he hadn’t met or known for the last 27 years of his life?
Upon his foster mother’s advice, he joined African Children’s Choir at a young age. This gave him a chance to tour the USA and experience a whole new world. Performing in front of thousands of people also gave him confidence. Skills that he would later need to become a good journalist. The choir also provided a bit of scholarship for him to pursue his education.
In 2001, while he was about 15 years old and still in high school, Mary Wright went back to the United Kingdom to take care of her ailing mother.
The dashing journalist married his long time girlfriend, Fiona Nduta in 2015. The two dated away from the prying eyes of the public and got married in an exclusive invite only ceremony held at Nairobi chapel, Ngong road officiated by pastor Gowi Odera. Fiona Nduta is a Daystar University alumni who works with a Christian Non profit organization. The NGO works with children who have physical disabilities.
For a long time, fans wondered when the two would have a baby but Masai responded that they were not in a hurry. Within a few months, the couple was blessed with a daughter named Nashipae which means happiness in Maasai.
In 2008, he got his first job as intern at Hope FM while still a student at Tangaza College in Karen. At the time, he was still using his Islam name. After completing his course, he was hired by Radio Africa before joining Nation Media Group as an NTV prime time news anchor.
He left NTV to join China Central Television (CCTV) Africa where he was able to take part in global scenes.
Later, he resigned from CCTV Africa and went back to NTV who welcomed him with open arms which he shared on his Twitter account:
“First day back at NTV and I feel welcomed by the @ntvKenya team. Thank you, @CCTVAfrica for your blessings in this new path. God-speed.”
Mark Masai was fired by NTV after 14 years working at the station. He took to social media to share the news of his departure from the station.
“NTV is a great team! These are different times. Was a great show. Time for short a commercial break. I’ll be back!” he announced.
He told Capital FM that this was not the end of his career:
“This is the reality of the media landscape around the world and unfortunately, I was at the losing end of this one.
“However, this is not the end of my career in the media, I will be back on other platforms. All I have to say is watch this space”