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Rita Tinina funeral: Media fraternity pays heartfelt tributes to fallen gentle giant

The funeral service of the late Rita Tinina Yiapan took place on Wednesday, March 27, 2024, at her family home in Noosupeni Farm Olokirikirai,  Narok County.

She passed away following a severe bout of pneumonia, leaving behind a daughter and her partner, fellow media colleague, Robert Nagila.

At the funeral service, several members of the media fraternity paid tribute to the late Rita Tinina, as many hailed her as a good person who never hesitated to lend a helping hand to anyone in need.

Nairobi News brings you the heartfelt tributes that were offered to the family of the late Tinina’s family below:

“Rita was at Standard Group for more than 10 years. She was a colleague and a very good person. I saw her the week before she passed on, and we were on the street, she waved and drove on. I say to Mia, because of who your mother was what she did, and who you are becoming as a young lady, the world will never forget you. And I know when the time comes, it will have a great impact. On behalf of Standard Group, I pass our condolences to the community, poleni sana,” said Ken Mijungu.

Nation Media Group’s Dann Mwangi said, “Rita came back 6 months ago and I worked closely with her. Rita was worth being an editor years ago but she was thinking of still being in the field and not behind the desk. So when she came to NMG as an editor, one significant thing I learnt from her was being content with who you are and what you are worth. She did not feel like she was being belittled, and did not fear consulting. She did not feel that it made her less of a journalist.”

From the Royal Media Services, Group Editorial Director Linus Kaikai said, “Once again, the family of Rita, the daughter of Rita, Mia, and the community- you have seen the impact of who Rita was. We all have very nice things to say about Rita and not because we will make up anything but because we state them as facts as they happened. She was a very good person.

I’m still waiting to hear from anyone who has ever had that opportunity to see Rita angry. I did not. She was a very structured human being in a way that I thought we’d still meet because in computer terms, I think, she worked in folders.

Her anger had its own folder that was set aside. Maybe Robert (Nagila, her partner) has seen a little bit of her anger. We offer our condolences. And here is the testament that she has given, and the church tells us this all the time, that in the book of Life, it is spoken of that in the last day for us humans, it is the day we bury that person, and we hope and look forward to the day we meet in heaven for the final day of judgement.

What will be said about Rita? To the family, once again, we offer our condolences. We thank the community that even at a time like this, there are good things being said about the deceased, it brings pride back to the community. Poleni to the family again.”

From Citizen TV, Stephen Letoo, Victoria Rubadiri, Nimrod Taabu and Mashirima Kapombe came to mourn, condole and send off Rita to her final resting place.

As Rita Tinina passed on while still a staff member at NTV, the entire Nation Media Group fraternity signed off on a condolence message that was read by the Group Editor in Chief, Joe Ageyo.

“Dear Mia Malaika, Robert Nagila and the Yiapan Family, we are saddened by the death of Rita Tinina. She was a valued member of our team in the newsroom. She was a dedicated employee, a kind-hearted individual who was willing to help; which made it enjoyable to work with her.

She will deeply be missed by all who knew her. Losing a loved one is always a traumatic experience and words cannot ease the pain of your loss but please, know that our thoughts and prayers are with you. On behalf of the entire staff of Nation Media Group, we wish to express our heartfelt condolences to your family during this period. May the Almighty God rest her soul in eternal peace.”

In his personal capacity, Mr Ageyo added, “I met her 23 years ago and we worked together for 15 years. Many things said about her are true. She was humble despite her success, she lent a helping hand, especially to upcoming journalists. She was someone you could depend on to meet deadlines ahead of time; and proceed to help others complete their work.

We loved Rita. We as NMG, have come here to send her off and to also prove that someone like Rita can work hard, gain prominence and not have pride. With all the praise given here, we should ask ourselves, when our time comes like this, what will people remember us for and what will they say?  She lived a drama-free life that was calm, respectable and had its own class. I offer my condolences to the family, I know she loved you all and she knew you loved her as well. I pray God continues strengthening and comforting you.”

Several staffers from Nation Media Group were also in attendance at the funeral. Other journalists present from other media houses included those from CGTN, BBC, KBC, TV47 and freelancers.