Kenyans Mourn 3 Veteran Journalists Who Died Hours Apart

Veteran Journalists
A photo collage of Journalists Collo Kwala (Left), Sean Cardavillis (Centre) and Kibwana Onguso (Right).
Philip Etale / Sally Bolo

On Saturday, September 9, Kenyans woke to the sad news that three legendary journalists had passed away overnight. 

The demise of Collince Kwala, Sean Cardavillis and Kibwana Onguso was circulated widely on social media as friends and colleagues expressed their heartfelt condolences.

Early Saturday morning, Kwala's close friends took to social media to announce that the legendary sports journalist and videographer had passed.

"Collo Kwala, Sean Cardavillis and Kibwana Onguso. Friends. Same industry. Gone on the same day, separated by hours. Sad. May their souls rest in peace,"  Philip Etated, Orange Democratic (ODM) Communications Director and former Citizen TV journalist, mourned.

Collo Kwala
A photo collage of Journalist Collins Kwala who passed on Friday, September 9, 2023.
Sally Bolo

Former Gor Mahia Football Club's Treasurer, Sally Bolo, particularly mourned Kwala as a journalist who loved his craft and was endeared to his friends.  Kwala owned and managed a video production company.

"In the wake of this tragic and untimely loss, our hearts are heavy with sorrow. Collo Kwala was a cherished friend who brought light and joy into our lives.

"The memories will forever remain in our hearts, a testament to the love and laughter we shared. Our deepest condolences go out to Collo's family, relatives and colleagues during this difficult time," Bolo tweeted on X. 

The former Gor Mahia Treasurer also prayed for strength for Kwala's family, noting that the journalist's death had caused immense pain to his acquaintances. 

"May you find strength and comfort in each other as you navigate this profound loss. Rest in peace, dear friend. You will be greatly missed," Bolo stated.

As the dust was beginning to settle on the death of Kwala, word started making rounds that veteran TV Producer Kibwana Onguso had also passed away. 

Onguso was the brains behind the 1990s Tausi programme aired on Kenya Broadcast Corporation (KBC).

Once again, Etale mourned the media professional he referred to as a mentor to many journalists currently ruling the airwaves.

"Legends who watched local drama Tausi in the 1990s will agree with me that it was one of the best-produced programmes on KBC TV then.

A photo collage of Capital FM journalist Sean Cardovilis taken on February 9, 2023.
A photo collage of Capital FM journalist Sean Cardovillis at the Magical Kenya Ladies Open at Vipingo Ridge taken on February 9, 2023.
Sean Cardovillis

"Script was written by the late Ashina Kibibi (Siti was her cast name) and diligently produced by Kibwana Onguso. Kibwana passed on today. Sad," Etale mourned.

Onguso's career sprouted at KBC as a scriptwriter in 1995, during which he also doubled as a TV show Producer for the national broadcaster. 

Less than a year later, he combined forces with a talented Writer, Ashina Kibibi, with whom he started producing the renowned Tausi drama programme. 

In a past interview with the Nation Newspaper, Onguso noted that they had never predicted that the show would captivate Kenyans as it did. 

"We thought about a theme song that would be evocative and Fundi Konde's classic, Tausi was it," Onguso stated. "The lyrics fit into the theme."

Onguso and his crew won several awards both for the station and at a personal level. He is remembered particularly for his great achievements at KBC. 

Barely one hour later, it was confirmed that legendary sports journalist Sean Cardavillis had passed on at his home along Raptah Road in Westlands, Nairobi.

Until his untimely demise, Cardavillis served as a sports commentator at Capital FM. The veteran journalist was actively tweeting and posting messages on Facebook hours before he was found dead.  

Cardavillis posted his last tweet Friday, September 8, at 1:15 pm, when he teased his recorded interview with World Record Holder Faith Kipyegon.

"Saddened by the passing 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 William Ruto eulogised. 

"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," he added. 

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