Until his passing, professor Ken Walibora was the Director of the Global and Language Studies (GLAS) Centre at Riara University. He also lectured at Riara University’s School of International Relations and Diplomacy.
On his last post on Facebook, he wrote: “I respect all people and look for the best in
others,” adding, it has been his privilege to “straddle the two worlds of academia
and broadcast journalism.”
A true illustration of how he viewed life and related to people.
Walibora became the fourth journalist to die in a spate of reckless driving. Less than
a month ago, a Nation Media Group editor died after he was run over by a speeding matatu in the city center.
Kenya Editors Guild President Churchill Otieno described Ken as a humble man with great dedication to promoting the Swahili language.
“A very sad day for the fraternity of journalists in Kenya. Ken was a fine editor, keen
academic and committed promoter of Kiswahili.
His true humility in greatness
inspired many in our newsrooms and in his broadcasts.
The matatu that killed him
has robbed journalism of a special talent.”
In a statement, Riara Vice-Chancellor said Prof. Robert Gateru, said Walibora will be remembered as a person full of life, who served with humility.
“Walibora showed great respect to all irrespective of status. He was dearly loved and greatly admired by both his students and his colleagues.
His teaching and research work has been outstanding. He has published widely while at Riara, having also spoken in countless conferences, workshops, and seminars across the world.
The Riara University community will greatly miss our dear Mwalimu and we commit to ensuring that the work he had started in the Global and Language Studies Centre and other initiatives will come to fruition.”
The author is famous for the Swahili novel, Siku Njema, which was published in 1996 and saw him become an instant household name in Kiswahili literature.
He was employed at the Nation Media Group as a Kiswahili news anchor after which he joined the University of Wisconsin, USA, as an assistant professor, African languages.
Later, in recognition of his contribution to the development of Kiswahili, The Aga Khan appointed him as the Nation Media Group Head of Kiswahili, a position he served until he joined Riara University’s School of Diplomacy.
Joining the rest of the nation, President Uhuru Kenyatta condoled with the family of the scholar, describing him the late Walibora as a polished broadcaster and prolific writer whose literary works will continue to inspire future generations.