President, deputy mourn Joe Kadhi, the 'godfather of print media'

KTN presenter Kathleen Openda with guests Mutahi Ngunyi, Joe Kadhi and Willy Mutunga at Nyayo House Studios in Nairobi in the 1990s. [File, Standard]

President Uhuru Kenyatta was among those who joined the media fraternity in mourning veteran journalist Joe Kadhi, describing him as a legendary media trainer who mentored many upcoming journalists.

“Joe Kadhi was a great Kenyan. He was a patriot who worked hard to ensure the public was well informed through objective reporting,” Uhuru said.

He was interred yesterday at Lang’ata Cemetery after passing on at a Nairobi hospital on Wednesday night.

Kadhi, who has been undergoing treatment for leukemia for almost six years, was sent off in line with the Muslim customs after a funeral service at South C mosque.

Uhuru hailed Kadhi as an exceptional editor who earned himself accolades and several media awards.

“His commitment to raising an independent media saw him empower journalists with skills that enabled them to strictly adhere to their calling and stick to their cardinal role on objective reporting irrespective of their social, political or religious orientation,” he said.

Deputy President William Ruto remembered Kadhi as a gifted, dedicated and enthusiastic journalist.

Prof Mohammed Bakari, a lecturer at University of Nairobi, paid tribute to Kadhi as a brilliant and courageous journalist. ‘‘We have lost a brilliant, courageous, disciplined and honest mentor who was a professional guardian, who was passionate about journalism,” said Bakari. 

Royal Media Service Editorial and Innovation Director Linus Kaikai said the media industry has lost a mentor.

“Sad day indeed; veteran journalist Joe Kadhi has passed on. We have lost a mentor, professional guardian, legendary trainer and a pioneer of the golden generation,’’ Kaikai stated. 

Teddy Otieno, one of his students, remembered Kadhi for his articulate mastery of objective reporting.

 ‘‘His mastery of the cardinal role of objective reporting and the nuts and bolts of journalism, will forever have a place in the history of media practice in Africa,” said Otieno.

Hailed by many as the “godfather of print media,” he had distinguished media career and taught journalism at the University of Nairobi and Addis Ababa University before joining United States International University- Africa (USIU), where he retired after a 20-year stint.

The Media Council of Kenya said Kadhi established himself as an exemplary editor and was part of the editorial team of the Media Observer Weekly magazine published by the Media Council of Kenya.

“His strong belief in journalistic ethics became synonymous with his journalism training speciality. He will be remembered as an ethical journalist who mastered the fundamental place of objective reporting,” it said.

He won a lifetime achievement award at the 2015 Media Council’s Annual Journalism Excellence Awards.