- Amboka was born on January 10, 1953 at Magadi in Kajiado County where his father worked.
- He went to Magadi Primary, Narok Secondary and Friends School Kamusinga before joining the University of Nairobi School of Journalism where his career began.
- His death at Wanandege Clinic near his house in Nairobi’s Nyayo Estate came as a shock to his friends and relatives.
He hailed from Kakamega County and left behind two sons, Brian, 30, and Robert, 31.
By John Oywa
His trade mark goatee and moustache made him stand out among his peers. He was soft-spoken but a firm newsroom administrator whose leadership and mentorship skills made him a father figure.
To most of his friends, he was simply Savimbi, because of his well-kept beard that made him resemble the late Angolan freedom fighter Jonas Savimbi.
By the time he passed on in August last year, aged 58, Amboka Andere had left a rich legacy in the media industry. He had not only mentored many young writers and editors but also penned acres of stories, editorials and commentaries.
A multi-talented media guru, Amboka made a mark with solid contributions to the various media houses he worked for during his long career.
Most of those who worked with him remember him as a stickler for perfection.
He had a rare mastery of English and had no time for juniors who never beat their deadlines. A versatile writer and an avid reader, Amboka once worked for The Nation, Weekly Review, The Standard and Kenya Times, where he rose to become the editor-in-chief.
His former colleague at the Standard, veteran Sports editor Omulo Okoth, remembers him with nostalgia. “He inspired many of us. He taught us to think outside the box as journalists. He was a prolific writer and often reviewed TV and radio program for the paper,” says Omulo.
He adds: “Whenever he spotted a talent, he would quickly nurture it. He taught us how to write commentaries and features. Amboka was a great man.”
He says while working as a sub-editor at the Standard, Amboka was sometimes seconded to the Sports desk, like in 1987 when Kenya hosted the All Africa Games. “We did a great coverage for the event and Amboka was there to inspire us,” says Omulo.