CUNY’s Kingsborough Community College (KCC) has another reason to celebrate famed alumnus JEFF KOINANGE: the CNN correspondent was awarded an Emmy last month for Outstanding Live Coverage of a Breaking News Story. He and celebrity journalist Anderson Cooper won the honor for “Starving in Plain Sight,” which highlighted the under-reported crisis of famine in Niger and appeared last August on “Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees.”
A native Kenyan, Koinange was a soccer star as well as valedictorian of his class (1989) at KCC before going on to earn a degree in broadcast journalism from New York University. Legend has it that long before Koinage was CNN’s chief African correspondent, he was a Pan Am World Airways flight attendant who entertained and informed passengers by reading the pre-flight announcements with a distinctive diction.
As he said in a 2006 interview with KCC, passengers “time and again would tell me I was wasting my time being a flight attendant and that I should go out and ‘make some real money’ with my voice. I guess I have to thank them for inspiring me to do what I’m doing now.”