Honoring the Legacy of Mutegi Njau: A Pillar of Kenyan Journalism

By Joe Aura,

In a career that began in 1979 and spanned decades, Mutegi Njau emerged as one of Kenya’s most respected and influential journalists. Known for his keen attention to detail and mastery of the trade, Mutegi’s journey in media blossomed during the era of Kenya’s founding president, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, and continued to shine brightly through the subsequent decades of President Moi’s regime and beyond. His insightful contributions to the media, particularly through his popular morning show “Cheche” on Royal Media Services, left an indelible mark on the industry. (

Former co-host David Makali shared his sentiments on social media, saying, “Devastated by the passing on of senior colleague, co-host, and panelist Mutegi Njau. May your toil on this earth be rewarded and your memory last forever among those you mentored and gifted, or who savoured your goodness.”

Key Contributions and Impact

Mutegi was more than just a journalist; he was a mentor to many, shaping the careers of countless journalists who followed in his footsteps. His family fondly described him as the cornerstone of their home and a cherished figure within the community. His presence as a resident analyst on Citizen TV’s ‘Cheche’ power breakfast show made him a household name, where his commentary was both respected and anticipated. His career was marked by several significant contributions:

  1. Mentorship and Training: Mutegi’s mentorship influenced many journalists, helping to shape Kenya’s media landscape. His rigorous training and guidance left a lasting legacy on the standards of journalism in Kenya. Head of Deputy Presidential Communication Service Njeri Rugene, in mourning his loss, reflected on his profound impact: “Mutegi Njau made an indelible mark in Kenya’s journalism. He trained many of us. He has left a rich legacy. It is time to rest. Rest in Peace Senior.”
  2. Insightful Reporting: As highlighted in the video featuring his discussion on World Press Freedom Day , Mutegi consistently advocated for press freedom and ethical journalism. ( – World Press Freedom Day With Journalist Mutegi Njau)
  3. Memorable Interviews and Coverage: His recount of memorable moments with President Moi showcased his deep understanding and nuanced reporting of Kenyan politics and history. This ability to capture the essence of significant political figures and events was unparalleled. ( – J.K Live Citizen, Veteran Journalist Recount Memorable moments with Moi (part 1) with the great story teller Yususf Wachira, Force to be reckoned with – Lee Njiru and Mutegi Njau a great Journalist.)
  4. Tackling Tough Issues: In various discussions, including those on media and hate speech , Mutegi did not shy away from challenging topics, emphasizing the role of media in fostering national unity and accountability.

( – The Agenda with Mutegi Njau – The Judiciary Open Wounds – He speaks om media and hate speech on Media Focus On Africa.)

A Tribute to His Legacy

As Kenya witnesses a rise in protests and journalists facing increased risks on the field, Mutegi’s legacy becomes even more poignant. His commitment to truth and ethical reporting provides a guiding light for today’s journalists. The recent mishandling of journalists during protests underscores the importance of Mutegi’s principles—diligence, integrity, and bravery in reporting.

Current journalists and students of journalism can draw vital lessons from Mutegi’s career, especially in the wake of covering protests. His ability to maintain composure, seek truth, and report with accuracy amidst turmoil is a testament to his professional prowess. Upcoming journalists can learn the importance of mentorship, ethical standards, and the crucial role of media in democratic societies.

Rest in peace, Mutegi Njau. Your legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of those you touched and in the fabric of Kenyan journalism.

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