NTV journalist Rita Tinina dies

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The late Rita Tinina.

Photo credit: Courtesy

What you need to know:

  • Until her death, Ms Tinina was the Output Producer, Broadcast Platforms at NMG.
  • Information CS Eliud Owalo described Ms Tinina’s contributions to journalism as invaluable. 

Celebrated Nation Television (NTV) journalist Rita Tinina has passed away in Nairobi.

Ms Tinina, 46, was expected on duty at the Nation Centre on Sunday but failed to report, prompting a wellness check at her Kileleshwa home where she was found dead.

"This morning, we received the sad news that our colleague Rita Tinina had passed away in her house," said Nation Media Group Editor-In-Chief Joe Ageyo.

"The information we have so far is that she was fine all of yesterday but unfortunately, was found unresponsive this morning."

Police said Ms Tinina is suspected to have passed on in her sleep.

"She was suffering from epilepsy and had a five-day-old severe fever, according to her health history as was given by her sister... No physical injuries found on the body," reads a police report on the death.

"The deceased... was found unconscious in her bed inside her bedroom in her house at Brooklyn Apartments."

Until her death, Ms Tinina was the Output Producer, Broadcast Platforms, at the Nation Media Group.

She leaves behind an eight-year-old daughter. The family has requested privacy at this difficult time.

"This is indeed a tragic development and I request us to be calm as we await more information," said Mr Ageyo

Ms Tinina rejoined NTV after serving as a senior reporter at Standard Group's KTN.

The long-serving senior journalist was known for her captivating news features, which time and again elicited national conversations.

She will be remembered for her in-depth coverage of the trial of six Kenyans at the International Criminal Court at The Hague for their alleged roles in the 2007-08 post-election violence that claimed more than 1,133 lives and displaced more than 650,000 people. 

Ms Tinina also brought to light the story of the Yaku community, which was dwindling in numbers, in Laikipia County. 

She had many other great stories to her name and was celebrated by Kenyans for her skillful scriptwriting and wordplay, which propelled her to greater heights as an editor.

President William Ruto and Opposition leader Raila Odinga were among national leaders who mourned Ms Tinina.

"My sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Rita Tinina - a pioneer and a trailblazer in TV journalism. Rest in peace, Rita," Dr Ruto tweeted on Monday.

Mr Odinga, on Sunday said: "Her passing leaves a void in the industry, yet her legacy of storytelling and integrity will endure," Mr Odinga said.

Information Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo described Ms Tinina’s contributions to journalism as invaluable. 

“She will be remembered for her dedication to truth, integrity, and the pursuit of excellence in reporting,” Mr Owalo said.

Ms Tinina's colleagues mourned her as a hardworking and reliable journalist.

"The news of Ms Tinina's passing in her apartment in Kileleshwa has left us all in shock and sorrow," said the Kenya Editors' Guild (KEG) president Zubeida Kananu.

Ms Kananu described Ms Tinina as a distinguished television journalist in Kenya, noting that the deceased showcased her talent and dedication in the journalism field for nearly two decades. 

"There are lessons that Rita taught us and that is what we should follow. This is a huge loss and we are struggling to come to terms with it. Condolences to family and friends," NMG Lead Editor, Broadcast News, Dann Mwangi said.

"Words fail me, I remember the kind of trust you had in me and in the work we did and it's still unbelievable how quickly good people go. I will never forget you T9,"  journalist Ken Mijungu said.

"The glass ceiling Rita Tinina broke is only admirable. The profession has lost a resourceful and a woman made of steel," said Ayub Abdikadir of Citizen TV.

Additional reporting by Daniel Ogetta