Kanyax: Rita Tinina, your dedication, wisdom and legacy live on

The late Rita Tinina with Catherine Wangeci.

Rita Tinina with Catherine Wangeci.

Photo credit: Pool

Twenty-one years ago at the Nation Media Group, I saw a young, quiet, humble and vibrant girl walk into the newsroom. As usual, she was elegant. That girl, I later came to learn, was Rita Tinina.

She had returned from filming her story and was heading to the editing suites to prepare her story for the day’s news bulletin.

I was new and scared, but Rita assured me "Wacha kuogopa, utazoea hii kazi" (Don't be scared, you'll get the hang of it) as she smiled away at her desk.

As I settled into the new environment in the office, Rita would always pass by my desk and say hello. I felt comfortable anytime she talked to me, and I knew that if I needed anything, she was the one I could ask.

As time passed, we got along so well in the office, and then, NTV's County Edition programme was launched. As they say, the rest is history.

Rita taught me to be bold at work. She always said to me, "Kanyax, tuko chonjo."

She made it easy for me when it came to work. She was kind-hearted. We traversed the country, and Rita, made her first appearance as a news anchor. She became the face of the programme, and many loved her powerful, authoritative voice as she anchored the bulletin.

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The late Rita Tinina. She took every new task with greater enthusiasm than the previous one.

Photo credit: Courtesy

When I heard that she was coming back to NMG, I sent her a text and told her, "Naskia corridors zinaongea ati unarudi?" (I hear that you are coming back?).

She responded in her signature witty tone, "Hizo corridors zimesema ukweli" (Those corridors are telling the truth).

When she rejoined NMG in October 2023, we sat on my desk, catching up. We talked about everything.

On that last Thursday at work, Rita was early for her shift, as always. We had a bit of chitchat, and she went to her desk. We would later catch up at the news gallery as we worked on the 9pm news bulletin.

Rita loved Samosas, but that day I told her, “Leo tutakula njugu” (Today we are having peanuts). She said she didn't want peanuts but took some anyway, and we continued with the bulletin.

As we finished, I referred to her as I always did, "Rirrah," (Implying an American accent), I confirmed that she would be off duty on Friday and Saturday as usual, and she replied, “Chonjo.”

That was the last time we spoke.

Rirrah, when I learned of your demise, my heart broke… I asked God, why would you take Rita, yet we had just started afresh? God comforted me by saying he takes the best to sit beside Him on His throne.

Rirrah, you may have left too soon, but your loving presence will endure in our hearts forever.

I will always cherish the moments we had. Your dedication, wisdom and legacy will live on.

Today, I write R.I.E.P, and it still is unbelievable. If I could turn back the clock, I would ask God to let you stay, but God had his way.


Catherine Wangeci is a producer at NTV