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Journalist, African Affairs, CNN International, Sierra Leone
Isha Sesay is an English journalist of Sierra Leonean descent, and an anchor for CNN International and HLN. Based at the network’s world headquarters in Atlanta, she hosts the news programs CNN NewsCenter and BackStory. In addition to her work at CNN International, she is the permanent presenter of 360 Bulletin on Anderson Cooper 360°. She recently joined HLN as a co-anchor for Evening Express.
Sesay lived in Sierra Leone for most of her childhood. Sesay was born in the UK to Muslim parents from Sierra Leone in 1976 and is one of three children, having an older sister and a younger brother. Her mother is Dr Kadi Sesay, a former lecturer at Fourah Bay College, who entered Sierra Leonean politics in 1992 as an advisor to the government of Valentine Strasser. Her father, who worked as a legal advisor to the SLPMB (Sierra Leone Produce Marketing Board), died in 1988.
Sesay moved to Sierra Leone with her family when she was seven years old, where she studied at Fourah Bay College School in Freetown. At the age of 16 she returned to the UK, and after completing her A-levels was accepted into Trinity College, Cambridge, where she studied English. It was there that she decided to become a television presenter, having previously aspired to become an actress, and during her final year began writing to media groups seeking work.