I would like to offer my sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family of Hilary Boniface Ng’weno —journalist, academic and historian extraordinaire — who passed away yesterday [Wednesday] at the age of 83
Hilary was born in Nairobi, where his father was a train driver and the family lived in railway quarters at Muthurwa. Hilary always considered himself a born-and-bred Nairobian and he never lived anywhere else but in his home city.
Hilary was an outstanding student and, after a stellar career at Mangu High School, he became the first Kenyan to join Harvard University in the US, where he studied nuclear physics.
After his return to Kenya and following Independence, Hilary became, at the tender age of 25, the first African editor-in-chief of the Nation newspaper. Subsequently, he established his own media companies, and over several decades he set an unequalled standard for responsible journalism.
Hilary’s work played a leading role in promoting press freedom in Kenya and thus helping to expand the country’s democratic space. His example and mentorship paved the way for dozens of young journalists who have followed in his footsteps to bring us the news we so value today. May he rest in peace.