October 25, 2020

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Lolani Kalu: Where my financial problems began

Former NTV reporter Lolani Kalu says a general contractor he had hired to oversee the construction of his house in Njiru, Kasarani Constituency in Nairobi County stole his Ksh2 million, consequently, condemning him to financial stress.

Kalu, who on Tuesday, September 29, spoke to K24 Digital from his ancestral home in
Kaloleni Constituency in Kilifi County, stated that that misfortune, among
other reasons, including family demands, ate into his life savings.

The 55-year-old journalist also revealed that he used a significant
part of his finances on his father’s treatment. Kalu’s dad, however, passed
away in October 2019.

He says his mother, who is 90 years old, is also ailing,
and that his hands are tied — financially– given he exhausted most of his
savings on his father’s treatment, looking after his family and the
construction of his residential structure in Nairobi.

Lolani has urged Kenyans to help him raise Ksh250,000 so
that he can buy equipment to engage in freelance journalism.

“I would appreciate if I can get Ksh200,000 for a camera
and sound equipment and Ksh50,000 for a computer that would enable me to edit
the footage I would have shot,” said Lolani.

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The former NTV and KBC journalist said he will be
producing content that ranges from art and culture to daily news updates that
he can sell to legacy media outlets at a fee.

“I believe I would be able to comfortably look after my
family and foot my bills from the proceeds of content sales,” he said.

Lolani’s wife and four children (three sons and a
daughter) live in Eastleigh, Nairobi, he said. His eldest child completed
Islamic Studies in college recently, whereas the youngest is in lower primary.

“It has been such a struggle raising their [house] rent. I understand they are now in rent arrears, but I hope things will look up soon,” said Lolani Kalu.

Explaining how he ended up suffering financial stress, the
father-of-four said: “A general contractor, who was building my house in
Nairobi in 2017 escaped with my Ksh2 million. That was a huge chunk of my
personal savings. My attempts to trace him bore no fruit, and his cell phone
line was not going through. After unsuccessfully trying to recover my money
from him for years, I gave up.

“In late 2018, I left Nairobi for Kaloleni, Kilifi County
to look after my sick father. Armed with little money, I settled his hospital
bills. Unfortunately, he died in October 2019.

“With a wife, school-going children, mother and extended
family to look after, I couldn’t survive the financial hemorrhage. Now, my
mother is also ailing, and I am still the one to foot her medical bills. By now
you know that I was sacked from NTV in 2017, and without a regular income being
credited to my [bank] account, even paying for her medication is a struggle.”

The journalist, who was in formal employment for 32 years
before being laid off in 2017, said it is a “miracle” that his family has not
“snapped” yet.

“My financial problems have been major. Nonetheless, I
thank God that my family understands the situation I am in. For me to overcome
this financial burden, I am urging Kenyans to help me raise Ksh250,000,
which  I would use to buy a camera and
computer for production work. They can send whichever contribution to my cell
phone line 0720 554 930.”

Lolani says he would sell media content and use the
proceeds to give back to the community, where possible.

“I started building a cultural centre called Zamila in
Kaloleni. I would inject money into the project once I get back on my feet
financially,” he said.

Lolani says he has been relying on irregular teaching
contracts to eke a living.

“I coach students and pupils in Kilifi County in drama,
acting and script-writing. From such short contracts, I am able to feed my
family,” he said.

Lolani Kalu revealed he was first employed in 1985, when
he joined KBC, which was known as the Voice of Kenya (VOK) at the time.

He has produced content for television and radio,
including Malimwengu, Kaya Kayaya, among others.

“I believe in myself, I believe that the kind of stories
that I do or did were unique to me and had a large audience. If I get the chance
to do the stories again, I would be happy.

“And, before I forget, I have heard people alleging that I
wasted my money on alcohol; no, I am not a drunkard. My money got exhausted the
same way it can for any other Kenyan who has a lot of responsibilities loaded
on his or her shoulders,” said Lolani Kalu.

The post Lolani Kalu: Where my financial problems began appeared first on K24 TV.

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