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Snappy 7: Zain Asher (CNN News Anchor)

Born and raised in London, Zain Ejiofor Asher is a British news anchor at CNN International and currently hosts CNN Marketplace Africa. She is the African face of the global news giant and was recently in Kenya for the CNN Awards.

She recently spoke to Buzz magazine about her life and career. Excerpts below:

1. Inspiration – When I think about journalists in societies that don’t have a free press. Their struggle motivates me to continue to shine a light on the truth and hold governments accountable.

2. Free time – I’m quite an adventurous person so I love travelling to remote parts of the world, exploring new cultures, visiting historical sites and immersing myself in the local cuisine. I usually get to travel somewhere new every one-to-two months, so I’m very fortunate.

3. Family background – My diverse background has definitely helped me relate to different types of people. My job as a journalist allows me to connect with, interview and interact with people from all walks of life. I have lived and worked in Mexico, France and Nigeria and I’m also fluent in French, Spanish and Igbo (my native Nigerian dialect).

The first time I moved abroad without my immediate family. I lived in Enugu for about two years and learned so much about my culture, my roots and I learned to speak Igbo. That experience still shapes me today.

4. Dream job – I started out as a receptionist in California and struggled to grow. I wanted to get promoted and it didn’t happen but through that experience I realised I was better suited to something else. Success is never in a straight line.

I’ve always been a go-getter and there was nothing else I really wanted to do. Journalism is very competitive and I was prepared to apply for a job at every news station in the country if I had to. Luckily, the first station I applied to, hired me!

5. Alternative career – Probably teaching. My mum runs a school in Nigeria.

6. Craziest experience – Hmm, I ate a heavy breakfast the morning of my TED Talk session and people who watched the video thought I was pregnant. I got lots of email from old friends asking when I was due. Haha!

7. Is there a Mr Right in your life? – Maybe.