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CNN’s Anthony Bourdain commits suicide at 61

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Anthony Bourdain, a gifted storyteller and writer who recently visited Kenya to shoot his popular  Parts Unknown Show, died Friday at 61.

CNN confirmed his cause death as suicide. Bourdain, who was also a celebrity chef, took CNN viewers around the world with the popular TV program.

“It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain,” the network said in a statement Friday morning. “His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller. His talents never ceased to amaze us and we will miss him very much. Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughter and family at this incredibly difficult time.”
Bourdain was in France working on an upcoming episode of his award-winning CNN series “Parts Unknown.” His close friend Eric Ripert, the French chef, found Bourdain unresponsive in his hotel room Friday morning.

Bourdain and his filming crew recently visited several Kenyan joints, including the RoadHouse Grill in Nairobi where they sampled nyama choma, Ugali and local beer, Tusker.

The  Grill, which is a popular nyama choma eatery, is owned by Robert Kingori who is a former Diasporian.

In his American travel and food show, Bourdain travels around the world exploring the culture and local food. The show primarily travels to lesser known places which most Americans may not have heard of.

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From his Twitter page, the chef seemed to have enjoyed Tusker while in Nairobi.

The show which premiered on April 14, 2013 will mostly showcase him sampling delicacies that sometimes make viewers squirm. The show has won 5 Grammy awards.

Boardain was in Kenya working on the latest episode of his CNN TV series “Parts Unknown”. Over the course of an hour-long lunch, he sampled some of the Nyama Mama modern takes on traditional Kenyan foods with W Kamau Bell, the San Francisco-based comedian with whom he is filming this episode of the show.

“Our dream has always been to take Nyama Mama to an international audience” says Ninaa Shanghavi, Director of The Good Earth Company that owns of Nyama Mama, who was on hand at the restaurant to make sure Bourdain got the best out of his experience. “As such we feel that out of all the upmarket eateries in Nairobi, ours is the one best positioned to show Chef Anthony a new and fresh take on Kenyan food”.

The day Anthony Bourdain visited Kenya. PHOTO/COURTESY

 

Bourdain, who devoured his portion of ugali fries and seemed happy to dive into a steaming plate of grilled tilapia, was just coming from a a whirlwind tour of the city in which he has sampled some of the country’s unsung delights. Not eager to divulge whether it was goat’s head soup or mutura (blood sausage) that most tickled his fancy, he nonetheless did confide to have drunk a fair amount of Tusker lager since landing in JKIA last week.

He was a master of his crafts — first in the kitchen and then in the media. Through his TV shows and books, he explored the human condition and helped audiences think differently about food, travel and themselves. He advocated for marginalized populations and campaigned for safer working conditions for restaurant staffs.
Along the way, he received practically every award the industry has to offer.
In 2013, Peabody Award judges honored Bourdain and “Parts Unknown” for “expanding our palates and horizons in equal measure.”
“He’s irreverent, honest, curious, never condescending, never obsequious,” the judges said. “People open up to him and, in doing so, often reveal more about their hometowns or homelands than a traditional reporter could hope to document.”
The Smithsonian once called him “the original rock star” of the culinary world, “the Elvis of bad boy chefs.”
In 1999 he wrote a New Yorker article, “Don’t Eat Before Reading This,” that became a best-selling book in 2000, “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly.”
The book set him on a path to international stardom.
First he hosted “A Cook’s Tour” on the Food Network, then moved to “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” on the Travel Channel. “No Reservations” was a breakout hit, earning two Emmy Awards and more than a dozen nominations.
In 2013 both Bourdain and CNN took a risk by bringing him to the news network still best known for breaking news and headlines. Bourdain quickly became one of the principal faces of the network and one of the linchpins of the prime time schedule.
Season eleven of “Parts Unknown” premiered on CNN last month.
While accepting the Peabody award in 2013, Bourdain described how he approached his work.
“We ask very simple questions: What makes you happy? What do you eat? What do you like to cook? And everywhere in the world we go and ask these very simple questions,” he said, “we tend to get some really astonishing answers.”
Bourdain’s death happened a few days after fashion designer Cate Spade hanged herself in an apparent suicide at her Manhattan apartment, New York . Spade was found hanged by a scarf she allegedly tied to a doorknob, an NYPD source said.
Suicide is a growing problem in the United States. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a survey Thursday showing suicide rates increased by 25% across the United States over nearly two decades ending in 2016. Twenty-five states experienced a rise in suicides by more than 30%, the government report finds.
How to get help: Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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VIDEO: Atwoli brags about his prowess in bedroom matters with his latest wife Mary Kilobi

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COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli has for the first time spoken about his relationship with KTN news anchor Mary Kilobi after their marriage came to light a week ago.

Speaking during an interview at Citizen Tv with Jeff Koinange on JKL, Atwoli revealed that he met Kilobi 13 years ago when she was 21 and vowed to marry her.

“When I met her about 13 years ago, that’s in 2005 in Kampala and she was at that time with Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) and I was in the company of my second wife whom I have released to go and do politics and she has taken over.

“At that particular time we talked and she was still young at around 21 years old and I told her when you mature even if it takes 1000 years I will marry you. After her stay in Uganda she came back to Kenya, got a job with KTN.

“And because of the nature of work I do, you need somebody to assist you, you want somebody to rush and get you something and it must be a person you trust. She is my assistant, she is my lover, she is my wife and she got to take care of me. I’m a stupid lover,” said the COTU boss.

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Asked to comment about his wife Mary Kilobi, who was watching the show at home, Atwoli described the Kiswahili anchor as a nice lady who is taking good care of him.

“I tell her she is a nice lady, she is taking care of me, she is committed to our relationship and that’s all. But that does not mean I don’t respect my elder wife. She is a wonderful mama she has kept my family together and she is doing a commendable job,” added Francis Atwoli.

When asked about the age difference he responded, “There is no age limit between a man and a woman, everywhere in the world.’’

Atwoli is 36 years her senior.

“Na kazi unaweza? Bado unasoma katiba?” asked Jeff. Watch:

In a candid interview with the Nairobian, the pretty media personality revealed that they met while she was in Uganda where she was working as an intern with Uganda Broadcasting Corporation.

Atwoli was in the station for an interview and upon hearing of a Kenyan girl who was working there, he insisted on meeting her.

They exchanged numbers and in 2016 he won her heart.

‘’He proposed to me but I said no. But he insisted. He persistently stated that he was serious and would wait for even 1000 years for me to say ‘yes’ and marry him,’’ said Kilobi.

READ ALSO:   Anthony Bourdain goes on a Tusker drinking spree in Nairobi

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VIDEO: How to iron your shirt before meeting your girlfriend

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Will ‘Ugali man” receive State Commendation too?

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A man who made his way into newspaper front pages for carting away a gigantic piece of ugali on Thursday as Nairobi County enforcement officers brought down illegal structures in Kilimani may just be the next recipient of a presidential commendation, if history repeats itself.

The man who hangs out behind Equity Bank in Yaya Centre has become the darling of social media after his picture went viral while carrying the humongous ugali oblivious of onlookers.

What struck many as strange was the fact that while other people were busy either rescuing or looting valuables, all he cared for was the gigantic piece of ugali.

In 2017, Martin Kamotho waltzed his way into the limelight to become Kenya’s biggest celebrity just for munching a simple meal of githeri while queuing to cast his vote during the August 8 General Election.

Githeri man, seen here in a superimposed image behind US President Donald Trump. waltzed into fame after he was photographed chewing on his githeri while patiently waiting in a voting queue. PHOTO/PHILE

Popularly known as ‘Githeri man’, he later received a Head of State Commendation during the Jamhuri Day celebrations of December 12, 2017 because of the iconic photo that also turned him into an overnight trending topic on social media.

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