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Larry Madowo: I wanted to be a priest

 CNN International Correspondent Larry Madowo. [Larry Madowo, Facebook]

Celebrated TV personality Larry Madowo wanted to be a priest while growing up and even schooled at a Catholic seminary.

In a recent question and answer session, the CNN international correspondent spoke about his passion to serve and how he initially wanted to travel across the world as a missionary.

“I briefly trained to be a Catholic priest. My entire high school was spent at a Catholic seminary. We were often told that “many are called but few are chosen,” so I guess I’m among those who weren’t chosen.

“As a kid, I wanted to be a missionary because they got to travel the world … but mostly I wanted to be a priest because I thought I could help people. I still help people as a journalist, but in a different way,” he said.

Although his priesthood dream did not come to fruition, Larry went on to become one of the most decorated journalists in Kenya with stints at KTN, NTV, BBC and CNN where he worked in various capacities.

He recalled how instrumental his parents were in his journalism journey by constantly ensuring he was informed through radio and newspapers.

Although they are now deceased, the former KTN business news anchor is thankful for their guidance as they made him who he is today.

“My mother was a primary school teacher who taught me curiosity, generosity and respect. She made sure I read books and summarized them for her. She had the radio on so my sister and I could hear news from every corner of the world.

“My dad brought home newspapers every day, and I devoured them. Both my parents planted the journalism seed in me, even though they didn’t live long enough to see it germinate,” he said.

 Larry Madowo joined CNN in May 2021. [Larry Madowo, Facebook]

Asked whether working as a correspondent in Kenya is easier due to his networks, Larry said he often gets ideas from locals and getting sources is relatively easy although some sections of the population castigate him when he reports the negative side of the country and continent at large.

“Having spent a decade on Kenyan TV, most everyone will return my calls and people are often sending in ideas for what I should be covering.

“While some people are proud to see me on CNN, others expect me to be “patriotic” by only showing the positive side of Kenya and Africa,” he remarked.

Adding: “There are people who feel slighted when they see a fellow African covering something unflattering about the continent, and I’ve been called a traitor many times. But I see my job as telling the full unvarnished truth about the continent, not being Africa’s PR guy on the international stage.”

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