Ex-BBC Swahili news anchor lands new State House job

Yunus who became the first woman to present BBC Dira Ya Dunia exited after 14 years

BBC Swahili News Anchor Zuhura Yunus

Tanzanian President Samia Hassan Suluhu has appointed former British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Swahili news anchor Zuhura Yunus Abdallah as the new director of communications at State house.

In a statement to media houses, Zuhura Yunus was announced as the replacement for Jaffar Haniu, who is set top be deployed to another department. Until Yunus’s appointment Jaffar Haniu was the acting Director of Communications at State House.

“Rais wa Jamhuri ya Muunganowa Tanzania, Mhe. Samia Suluhu Hassan, amemteua Bi Zuhura Yunus Abdallah kuwa Mkurugenzi wa Mawasiliano ya Rais – Ikulu.

“Kabla ya Uteuzi huo, Bi Zuhura alikuwa Mtayarishaji wa vipindi na mtangazaji was Idha ya Kiswahili ya Shirika la Utangazaji la Uingereza (BBC). Bi Zuhura anachukua nafasi ya Bw. Jaffar Haniu amabaye atapangiwa kazi nyingine. Uteuzi huu umeanza tarehe 30 Januari, 2022,” reads the statement.

Yunus who became the first woman to present Dira Ya Dunia anchored her last bulletin on BBC on January 14, 2022. She had worked at the London-based media house for 14 years.

The seasoned media personality opted to call it quits at BBC, months after putting out her first book, a biography of Biubwa Amour Zahor - she was a female political activist from Zanzibar who took part in the 1964 revolution.

Zuhura joined BBC Swahili back in 2008 as a radio presenter and producer before moving to Swahili TV in 2014, making her the first woman to present Dira ya Dunia.

"Zuhura specifically asked me not to make a fuss of her decision to leave and Covid has prevented us from marking this in the office in the way that I would like to. She will still be employed by the BBC for a little while longer as she is officially on leave after today, but I am personally sad to see her go and I’m sure many of you will feel the same way," reads an internal Email to BBC staff.

During her stay at BBC, Zuhura was instrumental in the success of a number of TV and radio programs; among them coverage of the 2012 US election and Nelson Mandela’s burial.

She has also interviewed leaders like former Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and Edward Lowassa

In 2019, Zuhura Yunus again made history as the first woman from Tanzania to read news on BBC World News under their segment Focus on Africa TV, all while wearing a Hijab.

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