For the past few days, Kenyans have been left shocked and saddened after a financially-distressed photo of a former celebrated NTV Swahili reporter, Lolani Kalu emerged online.
Lolani Kalu’s life after unceremonious exit from NTV remained unknown until recently when one Twitter user, Ahmed Mohammed, posted a photo of Kalu in the company of Kaloleni chief inspector Siyat.
Few days ago I asked about the whereabouts of journalist Lolani Kalu. Today Chief Inspector Siyat of Kaloleni Station has found him. I have spoken to Lolani. He is going through hard times & seeking for your help. His number is 0720554930. Kindly send him what you can. Thanks. pic.twitter.com/gPKHoQJ3L6
— Ahmed Mohamed ((ASMALi)) (@Asmali77) September 29, 2020
It is the same photos of Lolani struggling to make a living that elicited mixed reactions online, with Kenyans joining hands to help the veteran Malimwengu host who was laid off by NTV in December 2017.
In an exclusive interview with one of the online publications, Lolani revealed that his life changed when 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.
The ex-NTV journalist also revealed that his father’s treatment, who eventually passed away in October 2019, also contributed to draining his finances.
He was left with his ageing mother and family, who he said was also not feeling well and has demanded his attention most of the times.
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. #K24ThisMorning @iamjeffmote @mungalambuvi pic.twitter.com/IThzzDx3ij
— K24 TV (@K24Tv) September 30, 2020
Lolani currently runs a community-based initiative in the village where he nurtures young talent in acting, scriptwriting and music.
He however communicated that his hands are currently tied due to lack of equipment to actualize his dream of bringing his flooding ideas back to his audience.
He pleaded with Kenyans to help him get a video camera and a computer which he said will help him in recording and editing videos.
“I would appreciate if I can get about Ksh250,000 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.
And just a day after his pleas went viral, the former reporter has confirmed that Kenyans of goodwill have helped raised over Ksh.200,000 so far towards his financial revival.
Speaking to K24 TV on phone from his Kaloleni home in Kilifi County on Wednesday, September 30, Lolani said he was grateful for receiving immense support from Kenyans.
“Honestly, I am overwhelmed by Kenyans’ support. I lack words to express my gratitude to the well-wishers from far and wide, who have sent whatever they had to my cell phone line via mobile money. Many contributed between Ksh50 and Ksh100. Collectively, they’ve so far sent me slightly over Ksh200,000, which I will use to buy a camera and sound equipment,” Lolani Kalu said at 1:25 pm Wednesday.
The veteran journalist who entertained Kenyans with his captivating shows such as Malimwengu na Lolani and Gumzo Mtaani found himself back to his home town in Kilifi after losing his job.