Dennis Itumbi, the communication and digital strategist and spokesperson for the Huster Nation allied to the Deputy President William Ruto’s office has mourned his friend and fellow journalist Robin Njogu.
“Over the years, like a catterpillar to a butterfly…. I metarmophosised from an admirer, to a mentee.From a collegue, to a News Subject for him. Finally, I became a source, official and informal”, he wrote in an early morning Twitter thread.
Here is the rest of it:
Last Night, I lost a Friend.
RN. That is his name for purposes of this Goodbye Tweet.
A Tribute Thread
When I was in School, I approached him and he told me,
“The only way to tell the TRUTH is to be a journalist”
I wanted to be a Lawyer at the time, it was the age of dreams. You could even dream to be Cinderella.
My friend was working for Capital FM
The Radio Station that had a News Jingle, that commanded attention.
He was Tall and his Presence was so calmly authoritative that even Cops Saluted him confusing him for a Senior Officer sent in from Nairobi.
The Venue of our first meeting, was The Embu Law Courts.
Maina Kamanda had been arrested in Meru and was being arraigned in Embu on Treason Charges.
The Courts were Sorrounded by armed Police. I had sneaked from home Five KM away, to see the news for myself, it was all over TV.
I wanted the Livestream, with my eyes as the Camera.
RN, looked powerful. I approached him.
We did not introduce ourselves.
We had the same problem, different intentions. We needed to get into the courts. One of us to cover the story, the other to feed his curiosity.
The Cops mistook him and were saluting him.
I tried to assure him, ” do not worry I will be a lawyer and next time we meet, I will get you in..”
“..Sir,” Two cops posed & saluted
The two we observed took over the role of manning the gate
” You lied Sir,” I accused him, you are a cop.
He smiled, as he opened his bag.
He handed me the Branded Capital Fm Microphone.
So forget about being a lawyer for today, you are the Journalist and I am a Policeman.
No time for my young mind to process. We walked confidently towards the gate
It was literally swang open, complete with more salutes!
He patted my back as he explained, ” I am with him, kijana ako kazi, kama sisi wote,”
In a few minutes we were in the packed courtroom.
He got me a front row seat and camly reminded me, ” Your job as a journalist is over, now watch the lawyers”
Many years later, as I worked for ThePeopleKenya we met again on the beat and I reminded him the story.
We bonded over tea.
We bonded in Seminars
We bonded on the beat
We bonded in shared views.
We bonded in disagreements.
We forgot to learn the Saxaphone.
Over the years, like a catterpillar to a butterfly….
I metarmophosised from an admirer, to a mentee. From a collegue, to a News Subject for him.
Finally, I became a source, official and informal.
He however remained the more organized guy, the Editor & of course the better dressed guy in the room.
Calm, calculative and lethal with his execution. Always, the smartest in the room.
Explains why he easily transitioned to RadioCitizenFM in a senior position.
I write your tribute on the Qwerty keyboard, but in your lifetime you stitched your hearty threads of mentorship and reason, deep inside my body.
Go well buddy.
I will miss You.
Finally, To Caro and the Children, like I said in person, I am willingly indebted, my hand, with the little it holds, is stretched your way.
God comfort You, Dad, did not leave home, Scripture assures us, he went Home.
RN, safiri salama, tutaonana baadaye….