GONE: Media Chief Francis Mutazindwa! Will be buried in Fortportal on Tuesday
UNLIKE most advocates who started step one of their legal careers in law firms, I started my legal career as a legal editor in one media house.
I met a team of young men and women who were gifted, hard working and so passionate with their work. They had a common factor- very easy with life. Arguebly, you would think they are born of the same mum and Dad.
It’s that ease with which they did their day to day seemingly easy but rather hard assignments that propelled their drive to good results and on the other hand, that breed their excitement in publications leading to dramatic legal battles.
In search for an index that would give me a clear understanding of a journalist’s life, and how journalists get to be,I met a humble, soft spoken, tall slender gentleman.
His voice varied with the weight of the point he was bringing across. His tena was deep most times.
He often drove in, early. Doned on his sky blue jeans and a stripped shirt. With a green coat that he carefully placed behind his driver’s seat, as soon as he parked in his usual slot, in his signature Toyota land cruisers that would only vary in number plates from UAM to UAK, With black being his specific color choice, Mutazindwa Francis entered the news room and strolled slowly to his big table where we both shared a cubicle.
Our bond started to build slowly. He talked to me as his son and like a father he was so much concerned about my health and life. We shared so much about life and his life stories have shaped my life. A case in point one night about 9pm, while waiting for what was called the lead story, l played some old Kenyan song “Kasongo” off my laptop. He told me he loved that song so much that it reminded him of his uncle who was in love with a certain gal and whenever she was coming to visit him, the uncle always danced to that song.
I have been left now with that song’s memory. It will always remind me of Mutaz, wherever I listen to it.
Wherever we were through with work, he drove me upto my place of residence. Upon reaching home, he would send me a text. Confirming how he has reached well.
He took me through key features of journalism. But atmost, through the aspects of life as a young man.
He shared with me his stories as a young man who had just left University.
We laughed , we debated , we shared tea, chapatis, bread, food etc and all sorts of stories. Wherever I got a small outside deal, we shared the fruits and he often told me, ” Kati ogenda kukimansila?” meaning, have we got something to eat?
Even when he stepped out of the media house we kept in touch. We were so close that when his wife- Molly passed on, He instructed to align the estate.
At my graduation party, Francis appeared and gave me words of love, courage and inspiration.
Just this May, Francis was silent. I sent him a text, asking about him. He told me he was in hospital. I had planned to drive to Mbarara to see him. Only to see social media stories of “RIP.”
Mutazindwa Francis, a man in whose symbolic shadow, i know many young journalists walk. A friend whose shoulder was big enough to hold all of us. A father whose passion to his two children Isaac and Isabella whom I have talked to this morning, was un measured, has walked his walk, and played his part.
Rest In Peace my Friend in you I met a father figure.
Denis Nyombi is a lawyer working with Denis Nyombi & Co. Advocates (+256 754 592 447)