Glowing tribute was paid to the late Standard Group sports writer Oscar Pilipili, who died last week, at a fundraiser towards his funeral on Tuesday evening at the Railway Club in Nairobi.
The well-attended fundraiser brought together professionals from different backgrounds including the sports fraternity, government officials, media, friends, relatives and well-wishers.
Sports Commissioner Gordon Oluoch, who graced the occasion, eulogised the late Pilipili, saying he was a hard-working and objective sports journalist who will be difficult to replace.
"I worked closely with Pilipili in many sports events, especially those involving Team Kenya at international arena. He was one journalist who would go out of his way to tell us the story behind the story," noted Oluoch.
Eliud Wambua, the Executive Officer of Kenya Teachers College Sports Association, who is also in charge of Talent Academy Programme in the Education Ministry, said Pilipili not only helped in popularising schools' games, but also contributed heavily in developing the National Youth Talent Academy (NYTA) charter.
Kimanzi Muthengi of Unicef Malawi noted that he still remembers Pilipili's kind heart from the numerous NYTA programmes they worked on together while traversing the country as he laid a foundation for the youth programme while still a Unicef director in Kenya.
Upper Hill Secondary School Principal Peter Orero termed Pilipili as the light that brought the good in sports at his school, which has been dominant in national football until this year.
Other tributes came from Kwanthanze Secondary Principal and Moses Mbuthia, who is the Secretary of the Nairobi Secondary School Sports Association.
"Pilipili managed to bring together individuals from different professions. He was appealing to all," Mbuthia said.
Sports Journalists Association of Kenya Chairman Chris Mbaisi noted that the gap Pilipili has left in the media and his family will be hard to fill.
Stakeholders represented were from the Football Kenya Federation, Athletics Kenya, Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association, Kenya Lawn Tennis Association, Kenya Badminton Association, Kenya Volleyball Federation, Sports Ministry and Sports Personality of the Year Award.
Others came from UNICEF, Cecafa, JD Tennis Academy Talanta FC, friends, neighbours and well-wishers.
Pilipili will be laid to rest on Saturday at his home in Khayega, Kakamega County.