By DERRICK OKUBASU
Kenyan-born news anchor Ali Velshi who was born in Nairobi in 1969 before his family moved to Canada in 1971 has worked diligently and climbed the corporate ladder to host his own show on MSNBC called Velshi & Ruhle, complete with an office on the esteemed NBC headquarters in New York.
The anchor, an Ismaili Muslim of Gujarati Indian descent, did not have a rosy childhood since changing continents when his father, Murad Velshi, and Mother, Mila, moved to Ontario, Canada in 1971.
He, however, grew through it, earning a degree in religious studies from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario in 1994. While at the institution, Velshi often made headlines for organising protests against Canada’s Reform Party’s leader, Preston Manning.
Velshi began his career in media in the ’90s by securing a job as a general assignment reporter at CFTO, a TV station in Toronto.
He later became an anchor at CablePulse 24 and its then sister station, CityTV, before making history in Canada by hosting the first prime time business news hour show, The Business News on Business News Network.
He made his debut in the US television industry in 2001 after joining the esteemed CNN media, where he anchored several shows on CNNfn, a now-defunct cable TV station.
The shows he anchored included Insights, Business Unusual, Street Sweep and Your Money.
The quality in his work later earned him a promotion to CNN main network where he hosted an early morning programme, Daybreak.
He served at CNN until 2013 when he moved to Al Jazeera, where he made history yet again, after being the first on-air personality to be hired for the new channel, Al Jazeera America.
He moved to MSNBC in 2016 where he anchors the Velshi & Ruhle alongside Stephanie Ruhle, as well as having his own news program MSNBC Live With Ali Velshi.
In 2017, there was an awkward moment on live TV, when a guest used his background, including being born in Kenya, to explain why he was better placed to understand why a senate candidate in the US would try to date underage girls.
The celebrated media personality also doubles up as a lecturer at Wharton School and a member of the Board of Trustees for National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.
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