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Rita Tinina: Life History, Career, Education & Death

Rita Tinina, who died at 46, was a highly esteemed Kenyan journalist with a wealth of experience spanning over a decade

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Ntanina Yiapan, popularly known as Rita Tinina, was a highly esteemed Kenyan journalist with a wealth of experience spanning over a decade. Her professionalism and distinctive voice made her a household name on television, endearing her to many Kenyans.  The tragic news of her sudden passing on Sunday, 17th March 2024, sent shockwaves throughout Kenya, prompting an outpouring of grief from numerous journalists on social media platforms.


Rita graduated from the University of Nairobi with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication and Media Studies, laying the foundation for her successful career in journalism.


Beginning her career as an anchor at the Nation Media Group, Rita later transitioned to the Standard Group in 2021. During her time there, she continued her work as an English news anchor at KTN and also served as a senior reporter.

In 2023, she returned to NTV as a senior reporter and editor, showcasing her versatility and dedication to her craft. Rita’s noteworthy contributions include her role as the Output Producer on Broadcast Platforms at the Nation Media Group.


At 46 years old, Rita Tinina was a proud Maasai woman and a devoted mother to her eight-year-old daughter, Mia Malaik. While little is known about her family, one detail that remains is the name of her older sister, Helen Silau Njaga.


The sudden passing of Rita Tinina shocked many, particularly her colleagues at NTV who were surprised when she failed to arrive for her scheduled shift. It was later discovered that Rita had peacefully had dinner and retired to bed the night before but did not wake up the following day. An autopsy revealed that she died of severe pneumonia. Rita, who lived with her daughter and a 36-year-old house help, had been battling epilepsy.

The legacy of Rita Tinina as a respected journalist and dedicated mother will forever be cherished by those who had the privilege of knowing her. Her profound impact on the journalism industry and her warmth towards those around her leaves a lasting imprint on the hearts of many.

Rita’s resilience and passion for storytelling will continue to inspire others as we honour and remember her contributions to the field.

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Steve Wambugu is a journalist based in Nairobi.
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