May 25th 2017

Media / Watchdog

KIMC's media management guru Michael Ambani passes on

His specialty was media management and advertising, but being a well-liked personality in KIMC he had helped and remained close to dozens of journalism students, and to his death maintained good relations with those who passed through his hands.

By Free Press Reporternewsdesk@kenyafreepress.comSaturday, 29 Oct 2016 14:22 EAT

The late Ambani in a relaxed mood. (Photo: Courtesy/Family)

One of Kenya's best media trainers has passed away. Mr Michael Kadima Ambani, a long-serving lecturer at the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication (KIMC), died on Wednesday October 26, after a long illness. He had been a lecturer in the department of Information Training for over two decades, nurturing thousands of media professionals in Kenya.

His specialty was media management, public relations and advertising, but being a well-liked personality throughout KIMC he had helped and remained close to dozens of journalism students there, and to his death maintained good relations  with many advertising, PR and journalism practitioners who passed through his hands. Staff were no less fond of him due to his amiable character.

Having joined the KIMC in the mid 1990s, Mr Ambani was part of the institution's staff cadre that saw the transition from a tight grip by the ministry on the institution to a relatively autonomous management, a change that brought with it not only increased student numbers but also a mix in staff employment regimes including part-time lecturers.

Many former students have  expressed shock at the teacher's death (in his late 40s) and reminisced about the times they had with him. Dave Jones Buchere, who is currently a senior communication officer at the Kenya Ports Authority, said of the deceased, "He was like a big brother and friend to his students but at the same time he emphasized on the need to maintain role distance even in our luxury endeavors". Reuben Gitahi, a well known media trainer who went through his hands and later served with him on the KIMC staff, recalled that he was "the best management lecturer at KIMC." Mr Gitahi says the late Ambani was instrumental in the development of Kenya's advertising industry as we know it today.

As new journalism colleges emerged in the early 2000s, Mr Ambani took part-time classes in such colleges as the government-owned Kenya College of Communication Technology and private institutions in the town centre, teaching courses in advertising, public relations, and management. Until his death, he was the principal of the East African School of Media Studies. He was also an author, contributing manuscripts to books on media training. In the volume 'Media culture and performance in Kenya', published by the Eastern Africa Media Institute, he wrote a chapter, Training in media in Kenya, jointly with Zeke Waweru.

Mr Ambani leaves behind a widow, Irene Muthoni, and four children (two daughters and two sons). His burial arrangements are ongoing, and his family is meeting at Garden Square, City Hall Way, at 3pm today Saturday to plan for his internment.

Former students and friends wishing to contact the family should call his brother, Steve Ambani, on telephone no 0722485279.

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