Fourth estate is poorer without Shadrack Mitty, journalists mourn colleague

KTN News journalist Shadrack Mitty. [File]

Journalists at Standard Group, family, friends and education stakeholders have mourned the death of KTN News journalist Shadrack Mitty who breathed his last Wednesday morning after a short illness.

His colleagues fondly remembered their newsroom interactions with Mitty, describing him as an accomplished yet humble education reporter with an excellent work ethic.

Mitty died while receiving treatment at Kenya University Teaching Referral and Research Hospital (KUTRRH) where he had been rushed after his condition worsened. He had complained of severe pains in the body.

“We have tried to resuscitate him twice but the heart did not respond on the third attempt,” said a medic.

He had been taken to KUTRRH on Tuesday but he was sent back home after the hospital assessed him and advised his relatives to wait for a Thursday (today) appointment with a cardiologist.

The scribe started complaining of body pains about a month ago.

He was treated and put on medication and later resumed work. The condition recurred and he was admitted to a city hospital where he was diagnosed with a defective heart valve.

According to relatives, Mitty was scheduled for a review, awaiting a decision by a team of cardiologists who were to give the way forward on whether he should undergo collective heart surgery.

He leaves behind a wife and an eight-year-old daughter. 

Friends and colleagues described him as a dedicated, humble and polite person, saying he was a mentor who was always willing to lend a hand or share his vast knowledge.

Standard Group City Desk Editor Augustine Oduor described Mitty as a straightforward colleague who believed in doing the right thing.

Oduor, who worked with Mitty as education reporters for years, said the deceased pushed his limits on education reporting and was always willing to learn.

“He remained respectful, obedient, polite but firm, and worked to expand his grip on the education beat,” said Oduor 

“As his colleague, whenever he held a contrary view he stated it but he remained respectful. His ability to grasp education sector issues fast and executing them with lots of dedication and precision was admirable. Together we pushed education reporting to higher levels, with stories that led to policy shifts and prompted reforms in the sector. We have lost a dedicated team player. I am so heartbroken. I mourn Mitty,” he added.

His demise has been described as a big blow to the journalism fraternity.

“I am deeply saddened to learn about the passing of our colleague Shadrack Mitty. I have known Mitty as a very focused, composed and dedicated reporter with an unrivalled passion for education stories. We will surely miss Mitty! May the Almighty Lord give his family and friends strength during this difficult moment. RIP Mitty,” eulogised Kizito Namulanda, Managing Editor Broadcast.

Ken Mijungu, Deputy Editor KTN NEWS, said: “His dedication was unquestionable, professionalism unrivaled. A friendly team member whose contacts in the education sector made all the difference in our work. He was a good man, a perfect gentleman.”

Investigations Editor Francis Ontomwa remembered Mitty as an amiable soul and a gentle friend who was always ready to help whenever called upon.

“Every time we met, we shared laughter with Mwalimu. Mitty had a unique fondness for people. Just a few weeks ago, we mourned our dear friend Rita Tinina, and I recall jesting about how close they were in the newsroom. It is profoundly saddening to think that Mitty has now followed Tinina on a path where we will never meet again. My heartfelt condolences go out to the journalism fraternity. The fourth estate is poorer without Mitty,” said Ontomwa.

Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) Chief Executive David Njengere mourned Mitty as a talented reporter who always produced balanced, informative stories on education matters. 

“It’s with deep sorrow that we have learnt of the death of Shadrack Mitty of KTN News. Knec CEO, management and staff condole with Mitty’s family, and the media fraternity. May he RIP,” said Njengere.

Norman Kiogoria of the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development said: “I have lost a friend and one of the most dedicated professionals in the field of education reporting.”

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