Former CNN Anchor Isha Sesay Makes History as FIRST Female CEO of OkayMedia.
Former CNN anchor Isha Sesay has moved on to bigger and better things after her departure from the news giant. Sesay had been with CNN for 13 successful years in which she received a Gracie Award for Outstanding Anchor and shared in the team's Peabody for her coverage of the 2014 kidnapping of 276 Chibok, Nigeria schoolgirls by the terrorist group Boko Haram—Sesay left in 2018 and a year later published Beneath the Tamarind Tree, her account of the Chibok kidnapping story. As of 2019, 112 of the 276 schoolgirls remain unaccounted for. Sesay also founded the nonprofit W.E. (Women Everywhere) Can Lead to develop teenage girls in Africa to become leaders. Last summer, following the rape and murder of 5-year-old Kadijah Saccoh in Sierra Leone, she partnered with Idris Elba (a frequent W.E. Can Lead collaborator) and activist Asmaa James to launch The Survivors Solidarity Fund for sexual assault survivors in the country.
OkayMedia is media production company, similar to CNN, that is dedicated to “uplifting the artistic and progressive voice of global Black culture,” with a longer reach. OkayAfrica and Okayplayer (the latter founded by Questlove in 1999) are both branches of OkayMedia and, when Sesay takes her seat at the table, she'll be CEO of its new production arm, SPKN/WRD, which will look to tell stories through feature films, television, documentaries, podcasts and publishing. And she will serve on OkayMedia's board of directors, which includes chairman and Dataminr co-founder Sam Hendel and The Roots manager and Live Nation Urban president Shawn Gee..
Last month, OkayMedia launched the mental health and wellness initiative Passage: The Practice of Healing, which included an eight-track EP of guided meditations produced by MMYYKK and voiced by talent including Big K.R.I.T., Kwasi Kessie, Deja Joelle and Kenji Summers; a short film edited by Andrew Morrow (Beyonce's Black is King), an event series hosted by FotografiskaNYC, and a fireside chat with Grammy-nominated rapper Vic Mensa.
"This is an exciting company that has long done great work that I have admired," Sesay said in a statement. "I can't wait to bring to life all my ideas to expand our content offerings and ways to expose this fantastic brand to even more people in Africa and beyond." Sesay, who is of Sierra Leonean descent is the perfect pick for CEO of OkayMedia!