Sean Cardovillis, a trailblazing sport journalist like no other

NTV sports reporter Sean Cardovillis takes a selfie with Sports CS Amina Mohammed and PS Kirimi Kaberia (right) during the second day of the 2019 WRC Safari Rally at Soysambu in Elementaita, Nakuru on July 6, 2019. Cardovillis died on September 9, 2023.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • President Ruto leads Kenyans in mourning celebrated sports journalist who suddenly died in Nairobi on Saturday

President William Ruto led Kenyans in mourning veteran sports journalist Sean Cardovillis who died yesterday at his house in Nairobi.

He was 50 years old.

“Saddened by the passing on of a brilliant and outstanding sports broadcaster Sean Cardovillis. He was a cool, insightful, and gifted journalist who played an integral role on our radio stations,” President Ruto said.

“We will miss his clear and concise voice, passion, and upbeat personality. Our prayers are with his family and media fraternity at this painful time. Rest in Peace, Sean."

Elias Makori, Nation Media Group's lead editor, Sports and Integration Projects, led colleagues in the media fraternity in mourning the veteran journalist.

Having worked with Sean for over two decades, Makori eulogised Sean “as an astute, committed and honest sports journalist, and an exceptionally talented, peerless broadcaster”.

“Sean raised the bar in sports journalism and broadcasting, and has left an indelible mark in our profession,” Makori said.

“His contribution to Kenyan sports journalism was immense and the motorsport world, in particular, will miss his commitment to the sport, a commitment fellow sports journalists should strive to emulate,” added Makori.

 “May God rest the soul of Sean - the Voice of Sport - in eternal peace."

"Forever in our hearts, Rest In Peace Sean Cardovillis," Eric Njiru, the Vice President Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK) said.

“He was a top notch journalist and commentator who played an important role in the return of the Safari Rally to the   World Rally Championships. His knowledge of rallying was second to none within the Kenyan broadcast fraternity,”said Peter Njenga, the WRC Safari Rally Media Director.

Former Safari Rally champion Baldev Chager, who knew Cardovillis from their student days at USIU, said: “We have lost a good hearted person, a voice of sports knowledge and a humble friend.”

“Sean was a motorsport journalist who brought in flavour and vibe including TV production, voice over, radio broadcast, running commentaries and generally being there for the sports. Sean gave the sport more than he received,” said Kenya Motor Sports Federation president Maina Muturi in a condolence message.

Muturi said the industry was devastated by Cardovillis’s passing on.

Until his death, Cardovillis was working with Capital FM as a sports news presenter and premiered Saturday Music and Sports Show.

“Sean’s powerful commentary and infectious enthusiasm for sports made him a household name locally and internationally,” Capital FM said in a statement.

“At Capital FM, we pay tribute to the man who brought sports to life for millions of our listeners around the world.”

His last interview was with Kenya’s Olympic and world 1,500 metres champion Faith Kipyegon which was to air Saturday at 3.30pm.

According to the police, Cardovillis body was found Saturday morning outside his residence along Rhapta road Road in Westlands.

He is remembered for his passion for motorsport and his passion to shine the light on the talents in the sport.
He was also very much at home reporting rugby, golf, football and just about any sports.

Cardovillis was also an accomplished athlete during his younger days making the Kenya team cycling team.
Only recently he posted on his Facebook page winning a Masters category race in the country to illustrate his passion for cycling.

Cardovillis worked in Kenya, alternating between Nation Media Group and Capital FM, as well as in the Seychelles.

He started his broadcasting job at Capital FM in January 1997, working for nine years at the media house, and rising to the position of Sports Editor.

He pioneered radio sports shows, hosting legends and winners in their field, and analysing results, trends, and new talent.

In April 2016, he moved to the Seychelles where he was employed as a radio presenter for Paradise FM for six years.

He returned to Nairobi in May 2012, and joined NMG two years later as sports reporter.

He left Nation in May 2020 and started a sports podcast before returning to Capital FM in June this year.