Celebrated CNN news anchor Richard Quest is in Kenya to cover a series of business stories and will also join 234 passengers flying the inaugural Kenya Airways direct flight from Nairobi to New York on October 28.
This will be the first time “Quest Means Business” will report live from Kenya.
“I’ve spoken at length to colleagues who have reported on all the twists and turns of the country’s economy…but this week, finally, I will have the chance to listen and learn for myself, on the ground, in the thick of the action,” said Richard Quest.
But, who exactly is 56-year-old Mr Quest?
Known best as the host of a CNN International program called “Quest Means Business”, this English-born television personality also presented such programs as CNN Marketplace Europe and CNN Business Traveler.
After earning a law degree from the University of Leeds, he began his journalistic career with the BBC. By the late 1980s, he had moved to New York City to work for the network’s international business news division.
In 2008, Quest was arrested for possession of crystal methamphetamine in New York City’s Central Park. He was found wandering around at 3:40 am with drugs in his pocket, a rope around his neck that was tied to his genitals, and a sex toy in his car boot.
At the trial, he was ordered by State Court Judge Anthony Ferrara to go into rehab and to undergo drug counseling for six months.
In 2014, Quest revealed that he was a homosexual. He is a Jewish and is not yet married.
He grew up in Liverpool and Leeds, England. In a 2014 television interview, he candidly discussed his years spent as a closeted homosexual.
He and Felicia Taylor both worked as journalists for CNN’s Business International program.
He has a good earning from his work and has an estimated net worth of $4 million (Ksh400 million).
When he flew Nairobi yesterday, this is what he wrote:
“Gliding into Nairobi’s airport early on Monday morning, the first thing I noticed was the light. Even over the terminal buildings, it was just gorgeous. I was back in Africa.
Almost immediately, my reasons for coming were further reinforced.
Yes, there were queues at immigration, but no more than one might find during a busy period at JFK or Heathrow. Perhaps it felt a little chaotic, with some confusion in arrivals about where exactly passengers should go and what was required of them. But overall it worked. The staff was excellent and determined to help. The building was modern, clean, attractive and made sense. The lines outside for taxis and Ubers were neat and orderly.
Of course, once I began my journey into the city by road, the cliche of traffic-clogged streets revealed itself to be true. At one point I was able to hop out of the car to stretch and remove my jacket, with no fear whatsoever that my driver would gain more than a few inches of ground on me.
As we reached the city centre, that cliche was overtaken by something else though: a sense that Nairobi’s citizens take pride in their home. The flowerbeds and neatly trimmed trees, the new roads, the signs, the general respect for other road users. There is something both gentle and genteel about it.
We spent the afternoon in Karura Forest. If you wanted something to underscore this sense of pride you would be hard pushed to find a more pristine example. Here is a park that rivals New York’s Central Park, London’s Hyde Park, or Sydney’s botanic gardens.
Of course I discovered Karura’s remarkable history, learned about its sometimes checkered, shady past, the land grabbers, and the ultimately successful campaign to save it for the people. But more than that, I saw a place that Kenyans have taken to their hearts. This is a place that is ring-fenced, literally and figuratively, for ordinary Nairobians to enjoy. We saw couples hand in hand, joggers, women walking alone. We also saw wildlife, different species of monkey, all kinds of birds, all around us. It was safe, spotlessly clean, peaceful and completely beautiful. All this, just minutes away from the city centre.
I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting this. Our guide told us that 37,000 people visited Karura last month. I can see why. I’m more than impressed.”
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