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'Nation' sports writer to be buried in Kangema

Monday September 2 2019

Veteran Daily Nation Sports Correspondent Richard Mwangi. PHOTO | COURTESY |

Veteran Daily Nation Sports Correspondent Richard Mwangi. PHOTO | COURTESY |  

CELLESTINE OLILO
By CELLESTINE OLILO
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Richard Wanjohi Mwangi, former Daily Nation cricket and boxing correspondent, former boxing referee, judge, award winning welterweight boxer, and lover of photography, will be buried on Tuesday at his ancestral home in Murang’a County, Githunguri Sub-location in Kangema.

Mwangi died last Tuesday morning in hospital after a year-long battle with pneumonia.

He is survived by his wife Grace Wanjiru, and four children- Kiarie Mwangi, Fridah Okello, Andrew Maina and Moses Gitau (DJ Tumz), who plan to honour their father’s death by upholding his truest values, and ensuring that his book, which was just about to get published, comes out.

The cortege is expected to leave the Kenyatta University mortuary at 8am on Tuesday for a funeral service at the family home in lyego location.

On Monday, his colleagues from the Nation Media Group visited the family home in Buruburu Phase Two where they reminisced on the full life of the cricket and boxing enthusiast, who touched the lives of many through his work and cheer.

By his colleagues, he will be remembered chiefly for his deep love for cricket and boxing, but also for his tremendous sense of humour, warmth and intelligence. When Richard was involved, you knew everything would be better. He was simply incomparable.

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Coincidentally, Richard was known to his sons and daughter, as “Richie”, just as he was known to his colleagues. His family knew him as a kind boxing enthusiast, cool, sheng-speaking dad and avid reader, who always had the right cardigan, a matching shoulder bag and the right thing to say. His long, entertaining stories which he loved to repeat complete with a hearty laugh, will be missed.

He lived 1000 years in the 67 calendar years we had with him because he attacked life, often grabbing it by the lapels, kissing it, and swinging it back onto the floor, just like he had done almost 40 years ago when he was still an active welterweight boxer.

At the age of 22, having grown up and schooled in Nairobi, Mwangi worked briefly at the income tax department before joining Standard Chattered bank, where he was attached until his retirement in 1994. Then began his brilliant journalism career that spanned 27 full years.

In 1981 at age 34, he planned to circumnavigate the world — instead, he ended up leading the Kenyan national boxing team in Benghazi, Libya in an international boxing tournament, and the next year in Manila, Philippines, as a judge.

Certificates of his achievements are hung proudly on his living room as proof of his wonderful exploits.

A wake was held for him at the Jericho social hall on Friday night where boxers and friends from the fraternity met and reminisced on the life of the dearly departed.

Of all the people he touched, his most proud achievement in life was marrying his wife Grace Wanjiru Mwangi, who supported him in all his glory during his heyday, and lovingly supported him physically during their last days together.

Monday marked 47 years of marriage between the two.

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