Veteran journalist and celebrated news anchor, Ahmed Darwesh has passed on.
The feted newscaster, who has been an enduring face on Kenya Television Network’s (KTN) Swahili bulletin, passed away on Monday, December 14 2015.
Darwesh, who has worked at Kenya Television Network (KTN) for many years, was responsible for mentoring many of the top names in the Kenyan media industry.
Following the news of his sudden demise, the Kenyan media fraternity took to social media to celebrate a journalist who many described as kind and humble.
Citizen TV’s senior political reporter, Francis Gachuri, reminisced on his encounters with the seasoned journalist.
“When I was a very young reporter, I would meet him in functions and he never had ‘airs ‘ like many senior journalists of his days. Very calm, helpful and deliberate professional.
Gachuri also praised Darwesh for his adherence to his faith, a virtue that many who worked with him could attest to.
“I had utmost respect for him. He was very religious. He had a way of infusing his faith into his work. May the Lord grant Dharu eternal rest and comfort his family,” eulogized Gachuri.
Many interns who went through KTN’s doors were interviewed and mentored by Darwesh. One of his youngest mentees, Ian Wafula recalls his first meeting with him.
“So I walk into the interview room, fresh from school so much energy but the presence of veteran Ahmed Darwesh….one whom I had watched for years intimidates me. He believed in me. Today he is no more,” said Wafula
Daru, as his friends called him, motivated his workmates to be better though his own work ethic.
“His humility, humour, passion and hard work often motivated Hussein Mohammed and I to keep working hard and saw us do some of our best stories. The fourth estate bleeds today…a hero is gone but forever in our hearts,”
Saddique Shaban, who worked alongside Darwesh on KTN’s Swahili sports desk was overcome by emotion at the passing of his former workmate.
Maina Kageni also eulogized Daru on Twitter saying:
We loved you but God loved you more.
Rest In Peace Ahmed Dharwesh. pic.twitter.com/9XdAJdcbHN
— Maina Kageni (@ItsMainaKageni) December 14, 2015
“A sad day for the Journalism fraternity in Kenya. #RIP KTN’s Ahmed Darwesh. You impacted a generation,” said NTV’s Peter Mwangangi.
And Nation Digital’s Antony Makokha said, “Saddened by the sad news of the passing on of my friend and former colleague #AhmedDarwesh of KTN. May he rest in peace.”
Nation Media Group boss, Luinus Kaikai, praised Daruesh for his kindness, adding that he was a truly good person.
I mourn a gentle soul and an incredibly kind human Ahmed Dharwesh. A truly good person; a cameras natural and a newsroom dependable. RIP.
— Linus Kaikai (@LinusKaikai) December 14, 2015
Fellow KTN anchor, Linda Ogutu, recalled his signature TV greeting.
Ahmed Dharwesh… He used to say ' Wana kwetu wananiita Dharwesh' ……. Go well my friend….. May Allah grant your family strength.
— Lindah Oguttu – (Cheplemindet) (@lindahoguttu) December 14, 2015
After reminiscing in his interactions with the veteran newsman, The Trend host Larry Madowo said that it was a privilege to know Darwesh.
Here is what other members of the fourth estate said:
So so sad to learn of the demise of Ahmed Dharwesh, life is indeed a journey. May God grant his family grace during this difficult time. RIP
— Hon. Naisula Lesuuda (@Lesuuda) December 14, 2015
Praying tonight for the family and for the soul of Ahmed Darwesh.
— Wallace Kantai (@wgkantai) December 14, 2015
R.I.P #AhmedDharwesh the only time that I met you at KTN, you treated me with so much respect, I was humbled by your humility. Rest Baba
— antoneosoul (@antoneosoul) December 14, 2015
Ahmed Darwesh orientated me to the Swahili desk at KTN Kenya. Will remember his traditional brown suit. Sad to learn of his demise.
— twesh (@pinkytwash) December 14, 2015