She dazzles us with her winning smile and on-screen sincerity as an anchor and reporter for WMC-TV 5, but there’s much more to her than meets the eye. A New York native with family ties to the South, she ditched her accent and got busy making her mark on the Bluff City. We haven’t been the same since! We are proud to welcome today’s FACE of Memphis, Kontji Anthony.
How and when did you make your way to Memphis?
I moved to Memphis in 2005 to work for WMC-TV 5.
Did you know early on that journalism was your passion?
I hosted my high school TV show, and that is when I got the bug.
Do you have a favorite story from your coverage of Memphis?
I did a story about a little girl with a lung problem who fled with her mom to Memphis during a hurricane. The family had lost everything in the storm and could not go back home because of an air pollution problem there. They were stranded in Memphis with no family and no resources. After my story, the Mid-South really stepped up. One person allowed them to stay in an apartment, nurses offered their services so the mother could work, people donated furniture and much more — all within hours of the report. I was truly moved by the positive change the media can bring about.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love meeting new people. Also, in covering politics, it is exciting to witness the democratic process in action, knowing that some countries do not have the power to self-rule.
If you could use your visible job as a news person to change one thing about Memphis, what would it be?
It would be to bridge differences between people. I meet so many people from every walk of life on a regular basis. As I go along, I see so many commonalities across the board. I think we all share the need to feel a sense of belonging. I would encourage people to consider stepping outside of their comfort zones now and again to meet someone new.
What advice would you give to aspiring journalists?
Most people in newsrooms wear many hats. It is important to diversify your skills. Most reporters also are videographers. Show producers are required to post to the web. When working to break into the business, try to assess how you can fit into as many job categories as your interests allow.
How do you unwind and de-stress?
When I want to escape, I love to read a good book, travel somewhere I’ve never been before or spend time with loved ones. I’m also a huge movie buff.
Do you have a favorite vacation destination?
I love visiting my dad’s native island, Nevis. It’s remote, relaxing and always a comfort when I return.
Where do you take family and friends when they visit?
The Peabody ducks are fun for visitors to see, along with the beautiful waterfront, Graceland, Stax and the National Civil Rights Museum also top the list. For good local food, Blue Plate is a breakfast must, Gus’s Fried Chicken for lunch, brunch at the Beauty Shop is delicious, and Huey’s and Restaurant Iris are other top stops.
What spring/summer event(s) in Memphis are you most looking forward to?
Memphis in May, of course!
Do you have any hidden talents?
I sing karaoke, though some might not call that a talent.
Is there a beauty product you could not live without?
Mascara! The eyes are the windows to the soul.
What must-have fashion item is in your closet or on your mind for the season?
I always like to have neutral-colored, open-toe flats. I stow them in my car in case I want to take a load off.
What are three lighthearted things that you can’t live without?
I can’t live without my sweet dogs, my handy iPhone and I always try to carry a smile — the universal language of kindness.
Thank you to Christen Jones Photography for capturing this captivating Memphian on camera for today’s post! And thank you, Kontji, for being a shining star!