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Inside stories by the wazee: George Mbugguss ( Nation 8)


George Mbugguss
A great Kiswahili journalist

By FARAJ DUMILA
Coastweek - - The late Kenya newspaperman George Mbugguss was the arch-model of a polished Kiswahili journalistic personality.
His death has definitely robbed hundreds of up-coming Kiswahili journalists (and their readers as well) of a highly committed editor. He was a paragon of the media who contributed immensely in building up a good image of African journalism.  He was endowed with many journalistic talents, being a brilliant News Editor and a perceptive weekly columnist.
Wherever and whenever a Kiswahili newspaper - especially so 'Taifa Leo' - is read he will be fondly remembered: not only for his well-written articles but much more so for the professional planning and layout of his pages.
I always found George to be very helpful and co-operative with all his colleagues. His own peers - who included Omar Chambati, Bob Muthusi, Joe Kadhi, Maurice Sichalwe and Joe Khamis - also admired his editorial output and his obvious dedication and devotion to his career.
This writer was privileged to have worked with him when Nation newspapers established a weekly pull out within Taifa Leo, known as 'Jifunze na Uendelee' for newly literate readers.
This was a generous offer given by the late Michel Curtis to the Board of Adult Education, in co-operation of UNESCO and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (of which I was its representative to the editorial board).
He, along with Harry Sambo, for six good years continuously edited the pull out to the success and admiration of all concerned. I have known George since 196O and ever since we became family friends.
George Mbugguss was hard-working, punctual at his office, readily approachable and always receptive to good ideas on Kiswahili writing. He was a man of his word, reliable, and quick to fulfil his promise. He was an admirable conversationalist with a good sense of humour.
He was a resourceful newsman who could easily detect news values in any given item based on their oddity, immediacy, conflict, proximity, suspense, emotion and consequence. He had a sharp mind and considerable intellectual perception.
George was a good man: Kenya has irreparably lost a great journalist.
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