Few people have impacted the nation as the late Peter Waweru Mburu has. The veteran broadcaster, who was the voice behind the daily evening hit show Yaliyotendeka, was laid to rest Friday amid tears and many touching eulogies.
As hundreds gathered to send off the Radio Citizen boss at his Punda Mlia farm in Murang’a County, those who knew him best shared memories of the fearless journalist, shedding light on some of his unique attributes:
- He only fired people twice in 14 years
According to Fred Afune, Programmes Director at Royal Media Services, Waweru only ever agreed to fire a staff member on two occasions – and even then, his compassion would have him reconsider the choice.
“In the 14 years I worked with him, we only agreed to let go of a staff member twice…and even then after about an hour or so he would call me back and tell me, ‘Fred I have been thinking about this boy, and I think I’ll talk to him, hii ni mzigo yangu (he is my burden)’,” Afune recalled.
This, Afune said, shed light on the kind off boss he was – a compassionate forgiving one.
- He never went for a sick leave
Waweru Mburu has never gone for a sick off in the 17 years he has worked for Radio Citizen. He loved his job so much that he made sure he never missed a single recording – at least not because he was sick.
- He read newspaper obituaries regularly
Those who knew him used to say he joked that at times matatu touts thought he was a coffin thief because he read the obituaries whenever he had free time.
So, just why did he make a habit of reading obituaries?
Programmes Director Afune explained that Mburu regularly sent his condolences to bereaved families, and the obituaries informed him of who had lost a loved one.
- He dropped Education for journalism
Waweru had enrolled to study education at the University of Nairobi in 1995, but later dropped out opting to purse his childhood dream of studying journalism.
Earlier he had taught at Makuyu and Thaara Secondary Schools as an untrained teacher – shortly after finishing his A-levels at Emusire Secondary school in Emuhaya, Vihiga County.
Royal Media Services Chairman explained that this background gave him his “impeccable Kiswahili”.
- His meetings ran for hours
As a man who was paid to talk, that Mburu ran long meetings might come as no surprise. But his colleagues say that Mburu only spoke about company issues for 30 minutes, taking the rest of the 3 hours to advise his juniors.
But did they mind? Not at all, because he was as humorous as they come; his dead pan punch lines kept everyone glued.
“I used to attend meeting because Mburu was there. I would cancel everything just to go listen to him talk,” Papa Shirandula actress Wilbroda.
- He was a devoted family man
Married for 23 years, the one thing that Waweru loved more than his job was his family.
His colleagues say they can’t remember a meeting in which Waweru didn’t bring up his family in the conversation.
“You know mama Mburu was saying…” was a common conversation starter of the veteran broadcaster.
- He had plans of running for an elective seat
Waweru was very secretive, but those who were close to him attest that Waweru Mburu was tired of asking for people to change, and he would initiate the change himself by being on the frontline.
It is with this realisation that he planned to contest for an elective seat, but only those in his inner circle knew of this. Sources close to Mburu claim he had his sights on the Makuyu parliamentary seat.
It seems locals had hopes that the fearless broadcaster would run for the seat, as graffiti in the town read “Waweru Mburu for MP”.