By Chris Maina
CNN Business presenter Richard Quest revealed on his twitter handle that he was not to interview the Kenyan President.
Here is the story.
Quest was to interview Nigeria’s Â business mogul and Africa’s wealthiest man Aliko Dangote. Quest delayed and as he got in the building, he found when Dangote had left. An exasperated journalist, Quest became desperate to find another high profile guest to interview, any top journalist knows what it means to lose a chance to sit down a real newsmaker.
On the other side, Kenya badly needed to get its man in a major Western news. This was to convince sceptics in Kenya and restive investors in the western world that Kenya was still good for doing business.
The interview offer was first sold to South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma who declined as he was a penalist. That’s when the idea of interview President Uhuru came.
KTN reporter Jeff Koinange who had remained in Kenya was quickly drafted into the Kenyan PR machine which had camped in DC. With his CNN connections to Quest, a former workmate, Jeff convinced Quest to interview Uhuru.
It is instructive to note that Quest who apparently had personal reservations about any positive outcome for Africa from the meeting – even calling it ‘hot air’ – only made ‘two tweets’ after meeting the Kenyan leader.
See Quest’s twitter activity. Notice he initially indicated he would interview Aliko Dangote, then the ‘oh dear’ frustration when he realised Dangote had snubbed him and finally the two or so tweets about his interview with President Uhuru.
— Richard Quest (@richardquest) August 4, 2014
— Richard Quest (@richardquest) August 5, 2014
I have checked CNN’s website and the interview is yet to be uploaded, one day later!
Chris Maina is a law student at Georgetown University, Washington DC.