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Mohamed Juma Njuguna, the veteran football commentator, dies

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Mohamed Juma Njuguna, the veteran sports journalist and commentator who turned his raspy voice into an an addictive fixture on radio, is dead. Mohammed passed on today morning after a long illness at a Nairobi hospital.

Until his death, he was working as a content producer at Radio Citizen since in 2016. Mohamed Juma Njuguna, or MJN, joined Royal Media Services in 1999 from KBC where he served as a sports journalist.

With 40 years experience in media, Mohammed is among the pioneers of the English Premier League commentary in Kiswahili in Kenya, which has become popular among radio audiences and has been picked by others. Those who can’t access TV or understand the heavily English accented commentary delivered through SuperSport have found home in local Kiswahili commentary.

Always known by all his three names, Mohamed Juma Njuguna was awarded a Head of State Commendation by retired President Mwai Kibaki on March 10, 2010 for his illustrious career in media. Mohammed was a friend to many people with colleagues defining him as a cheer around the office due to his humour, according to a report on Citizen Digital.

His character saw him make friends in high places among them retired presidents Daniel arap Moi, Mwai Kibaki and current Head of State President Uhuru Kenyatta as well as opposition chief Raila Odinga.

His friends and fans also took to social media to condole with the family and described the deceased as a great colleague and mentor, with some fondly recalling his moments on radio:

[ READ: Fake friends – research shows most of the people you think are buddies are actually not ]

Eric Shimoli, former Daily Nation news editor and now media consultant: “AFC Leopards fans always accused him of favouring their arch rivals Gor during local commentaries. But they still respected and shared with him whenever he passed by Shao or Westy after a match.”

Tim Wanyonyi, former Saturday Nation Editor: He had a unique style of football commentary. During scrappy moments of the game, he would spice it with songs, stories and all sorts of entertainment. It was like he was a stage performer.”

Mohamed Juma Njuguna in a hearty moment with President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Ruth Nesoba, BBC: “I grew up listening to his football commentaries on radio! Such voices and mastery come along once in a generation in each sport. He was one of those. MHRIEP.”

Geoffrey Mosoku, Standard Group: “His voice will be remembered for a lifetime by those who switched on the TV to watch a derby and reduce the TV volume and switch on the radio to listen to him commentate with Double T on the same game. You came before some of us and have gone before us. Adios legend

Philip Etale‏, ODM Communications director and former KBC reporter: “My mentor, my friend, my teacher… I am lost for words. RIP Mohammed Juma Njuguna wa Idhaa.”

[ SEE: Did they just say that? Citizen TV reporters hilarious mistakes ]

Carol Radull, Radio Africa: “Our paths crossed on so many occasions. A friend. A mentor. Veteran Radio Presenter and football commentator Mohammed Juma Njuguna has died. Rest in peace my friend #TheScoreKE.”

Otuma Ongalo, UoN Press: “It is sad to announce the death of a radio broadcast legend and famous mpira wa kandanda broadcaster, Mohammed Juma Njuguna, Wa idha. I will cherish the few moments we shared. RIP.”

In an interview on Hot 96 fm Hot Drive with Patrick Igunza in October 2018, Juma narrated his short stint as a producer at BBC saying how he was then a ” young handsome man and very tantalizing” but now ” an old handsome man.”

[ NEXT: How to turn social media users into your ardent fans ]

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