He was very secretive, I never knew if he had a family - Swaleh Mdoe remembers Ken Walibora

I didn't want to make calls because it was late - Swaleh Mdoe

He was very secretive, I never knew if he had a family - Swaleh Mdoe remembers Prof. Ken Walibora

Citizen TV presenter Swaleh Mdoe on Wednesday shared a tribute to Professor Ken Walibora after his family confirmed his death.

Mdoe remembered Prof. Walibora as a colleague, fellow author and close personal friend.

The Swahili anchor, however, explained that reports on his death could not be confirmed easily because most people who knew him did not know much about his personal life.

"Today is a sad day for the Swahili news reporting community as well as for the community of Swahili authors. I remember starting Swahili news segment at NTV back in 1999 together with Ken Walibora, Ali Mtenzi, Lolani Kalu and others after I left BBC. He was among that founders group when we went on air for the first time in December 1999.

"Walibora was not only a lover of the Swahili language but also one of it's most passionate advocates. He exclusively spoke in perfect Swahili and you would never find him fumbling for the correct terms while speaking. I remember at one time during an award ceremony in Arusha, he was asked to present an award but the award introduction had been written in English. Before announcing the recipient, I remember he made an apology and declared that it would be the last time he'd speak in English," Mdoe narrated.

Death confirmation

Mdoe noted that he had been trying to get a private audience with the Prof. for a while but had not managed to do so due to Walibora's busy schedule.

"I received news of his possible death on Tuesday night at around midnight from a fellow Swahili journalist who saw me online and decided to ask if I had received any reports of Walibora's death. Since it was late, I did not want to call the Professor because I have his personal line so I decided to wait until morning and as we've seen, the reports were confirmed.

"It was not easy to confirm such a report because one thing you have to know about Walibora is that he was very secretive. I was a close friend to him and even I had never heard him talking of a brother or a sister or even that he was married with children. I remember that I last saw him last year when he gave me a signed copy of an English translation of his book 'Siku Njema'.

"He later called me and told me that he would like a few copies of my book on TV journalism for his students at Riara University where he was a lecturer and I reserved a signed copy for him but because of his busy schedule I never got a chance to give it to him," Mdoe related.

It has been established that the professor was knocked down by a car and rushed to Kenyatta National Hospital where he passed on.

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