Former NTV reporter Lolani Kalu was lost for words after Kenyans came to his rescue, raising over Sh200,000 in 24 hours following his highly publicized public appeal for help.
The former ‘Malimwengu’ show presenter pulled at Kenyans’ heartstrings Tuesday after opening up about his plight since he was laid off in December 2017.
Lolani, 55, narrated that misfortune, family commitments, failed business among other reasons ate into his life savings.
“My struggles started when someone conned me around Ksh. 1.5 million. I was just about to build a house when he conned me.
“I did some job with a company, but again they did not pay me my dues. That, coupled with the fact that I had a sick dad to cater for really dented my pockets,” he said on Tuesday.
The revered storyteller said he lives in Kaloleni, Kilifi with his ailing 90-year-old mother, whom he was struggling to support. He said he has been banking on irregular teaching contracts to make a living.
“I coach students and pupils in Kilifi County in drama, acting and script-writing. From such short contracts, I am able to feed my family,” he said.
All Lolani Kalu asked for was Sh250,000 to buy equipment for his freelance journalism; “I would appreciate if I can get Sh200,000 for a camera and sound equipment and Sh50,000 for a computer that would enable me to edit the footage I would have shot,” he said.
Adding: “I believe I would be able to comfortably look after my family and foot my bills from the proceeds of content sales.”
And Kenyans heard his cry, leaving him overwhelmed a day later.
“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 Sh50 and Sh100. Collectively, they’ve so far sent me slightly over Sh200,000 which I will use to buy a camera and sound equipment,” Lolani Kalu said at around 1 pm Wednesday.
The journalist hopes to sell media content and use the proceeds to give back to the community, where possible.
“I started building a cultural centre called Zamila in Kaloleni. I would inject money into the project once I get back on my feet financially. I have written 46 art and culture scripts waiting to be shot together with over 120 poems many that were even narrated on the radio,” he said.
The father of four also addressed claims that he wasted his savings on booze.
“And, before I forget, I have heard people alleging that I wasted my money on alcohol; no, I am not a drunkard. My money got exhausted the same way it can for any other Kenyan who has a lot of responsibilities loaded on his or her shoulders,” said the former KBC journalist.
Lolani’s wife and four children (three sons and a daughter) live in Eastleigh, Nairobi. His eldest child completed Islamic Studies in college recently, whereas the youngest is in lower primary.