Sesay has been named co-founder and CEO of SPKN/WRD, OkayMedia’s new production arm to elevate voices across the Black diaspora.
Former CNN International anchor Isha Sesay has become the CEO of OkayMedia. At the multimedia organisation, which is dedicated to “uplifting the artistic and progressive voice of global Black culture,” she will oversee digital publications, including OkayAfrica and OkayPlayer.
Sesay has also been appointed to the OkayMedia board of directors, which includes Sam Hendel, co-founder of Dataminr, and Shawn Gee, president of Live Nation Urban and manager of The Roots.
Also, she has been named co-founder and CEO of OkayMedia’s new production arm, SPKN/WRD, which will “bring seldom-heard global voices and fresh perspectives to the forefront” across feature films, documentaries, TV, podcasting and publishing, the company announced.
Speaking about the appointment, Sam Hendel said: “Isha’s leadership throughout her career in shining a light on the most critical and underreported stories from across the globe – from the pandemic outbreak in Africa to her work as a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador combatting the ongoing violence against women and girls, perfectly aligns with our mission to tell stories that move a global culture forward, and we couldn’t be more excited to have her joining our company.”.
Sesay, a Briton of Sierra Leonean parentage, joined CNN in 2005 and departed the news network in 2018. At CNN, Sesay led the team that covered the 2014 kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls in northeastern Nigeria, for which she won a Gracie Award for her coverage of the story and was part of the team recognised with a Peabody Award for excellence in reporting.
Sesay added: “This is an exciting company that has long done great work that I have admired. I can’t wait to bring to life all my ideas to expand our content offerings and ways to expose this fantastic brand to even more people in Africa and beyond.”
Sesay is currently the founder and president of W.E. (Women Everywhere) Can Lead, a non-profit organisation working in her native country of Sierra Leone, to nurture and empower teenage girls to become Africa’s next generation of dynamic female leaders.