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Joe Ageyo: The late Rita Tinina was to make an on-air debut this week

Veteran broadcast journalist Rita Tinina was found dead at her Kileleshwa home on Sunday, March 17, 2024, after failing to answer phone calls from colleagues. The calls were made after she failed to report to work at Nation Media Group’s Nation Center where she worked for NTV Kenya as the Output Producer, Broadcast Platforms.

On Monday, March 18, 2024, Mr Joe Ageyo, the Editor in Chief at Nation Media, mourned Rita Tinina in a condolence message full of warm memories of a friend and colleague whom he described as a gentle giant as it revealed plans that Rita was set to debut on television again since joining NTV in October 2023.

“This week, Rita was supposed to finalize a special report which would have marked her on-air debut since rejoining NMG in October last year. She had also offered to help me put together a story I was working on,” revealed Mr Ageyo.

Also read: Media fraternity and politicians pay moving tribute to Rita Tinina

In his tribute message, he remembered how he and Rita met 23 years ago and made their mark in the television industry and how she left the greatest impact on him.

“She embodied simplicity, kindness, grace, humility to an extraordinary degree, impeccable organization, unimpeachable integrity and rock-solid reliability. Despite her impressive professional achievements and profile, Rita kept her feet firmly on the ground and her life free of drama,” said Mr Ageyo.

He went on, “She was my ‘partner in crime’ as we covered the historic Kenyan cases at The Hague. Like a sponge, her brain soaked in tonnes of information- including the legal rigmarole of an international trial. When she finally came in front of the camera, she was pure class- no uh, um, no bla bla bla. No stuttering and no hesitation.”

He revealed the nature of their friendship as a close one in which she called him by his rarely used name, Onditi, and in turn, he called her Masai with a deliberate heavy Luo accent- and they would both have a good laugh.

Also read: Otile Brown pays tribute to Brian Chira and Peetah Morgan

“So as we bid farewell to the earthly presence of this gentle soul, I chose to remember her, not for her thread in the tapestry of our lives, but as the vibrant hue that brought everything alight. Let us carry forward the legacy of her warmth and humanity, ensuring that her spirit continues to inspire us all. Rest in peace, Masai,” concluded Mr Ageyo.

Before her death, Ms Tinina worked as a senior reporter at Standard Group’s KTN before transitioning to working behind the screens as an editor. This week would have been her re-debut on Kenyan screens.