5 Star Stories: Kontji’s Love Letter to Memphis

Published: Apr. 12, 2022 at 12:23 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Our 5 Star Stories typically focus on a single topic: celebrating a hidden gem or a source of pride in Memphis and the surrounding area. But for this one, we’re taking a different approach.

As our colleague Kontji Anthony winds down her time at Action News 5, we thought it only appropriate to celebrate her and what she loves about calling Memphis home!

Starting with her first day in Memphis, which happened to be in July.

“I will never forget how hot it was! It was sweltering the day I arrived in Memphis, TN in 2005,” Kontji recalled.

It’s hard to believe it was 17 years ago when Kontji arrived here not knowing a soul and expecting to stay only two years. But the New York native was in for a surprise when she fell in love with the Bluff City.

As Kontji detailed in her love letter to the city in celebration of its 200th anniversary.

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. One: looking over my shoulder and seeing Civil Rights legends. Two: walking across the Harahan Bridge. Driving through Memphis “traffic” -- the Memphis 101 crash course that made me fall in love with the Bluff City. Walking into BB Kings, any day ... every day ... and seeing the best band ever,” she recited.

Kontji’s pride in her adopted hometown runs deep and covers communities in times of celebration and triumph, always searching for solutions when problems persist and never forgetting what makes the Mid-South so special.

”The emotionally interactive exhibits at the Civil Rights Museum. Vanilla shakes at A. Schwab’s. Seeing the Beale Street tumblers. Looking at the Mississippi River,” she described.

And, her commitment on-air and outside the studio provided access to the best the Mid-South has to offer, reminding us all to appreciate the cultural treasures that surround us.

And there’s more on Kontji’s list of loves.

“The Wither’s Museum. Stax, you know, that Cadillac in Stax. The Peabody ducks, you know, right at 11 or 5 pm when they are walking through the lobby on that red carpet and they just jump into the water and paddle their little feet. The Caza Teatro Bilingual Theater Company, when they’re at the Evergreen Theater. Oh! Tea time at Chez Phillipe, duh,” she added.

And then, there’s Kontji’s love of the food you can only find here.

“My goodness. The baked chicken at the Four Way Grill just falls right off the bone, right off the bone. Gus’s Fried Chicken. The ribs at Blues City Cafe, that is how I found out how good ribs really can be ... so delicious,” she gushed. ”Riding the Main Street trolley, eating potato soup at Huey’s. Oh! And they have the best veggie burger at Huey’s.”

There are Mid-south places, events and seasons Kontji adores.

“Okay, the Ag Center -- not just the maze -- but, also taking pictures with the sunflowers. Black restaurant week, the Greek Festival, the Italian Festival, Memphis in May, Southern Heritage Classic,” she said.

No doubt Kontji loves the Bluff City, and the Bluff City returns that love. Just ask her “TV husband” and Action News 5 Evening Anchor Joe Birch.

”So, we’ve really been blessed here at Action News 5...as part of our team because she has these relationships with people across the board in the Memphis community. They love her,” said Joe. “We love her and we’re really going to miss her. Kontji I love you, I’ve treasured you, I thank you for your service here at Action News 5 and that love is never going anywhere.”

Another reason we’re proud to call the Mid-South home!

Always and forever, Kontji!

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