Centre of excellence in honour of late Walibora
For many authors, public speaking is not their cup of tea. But for the renown and celebrated scholar and author Prof Ken Walibora, both the written and spoken word came easily to him.
“Ken could speak eloquently in Kiswahili and English as well as write fluently in both languages,” says Dr Joy Mueni a colleague at Riara University, where he was working.
Walibora has been a celebrated scholar here in Kenya and globally too. After an illustrious career in the media, he joined Riara University as a Senior Lecturer in the School of International Relations and Diplomacy where he has been teaching for the three years.
At the time of his death, Walibora was planning for his classes for the May-August semester at the university, which he was to do online.
Besides teaching, he had just established a Global Languages Study Centre (GLASC) at Riara University.
The centre, which was his brainchild, had a vision of being a centre of excellence in language training and it had set its eyes both on global languages, as well as local ones.
It was due to take in its first trainees in May this year had Covid-19 not happened.
Con the minister
Many of his colleagues at Riara University have described him as a jovial, kind and humble gentleman that they will all miss. Apparently, he was informally teaching many of them Kiswahili.
The institution has committed to actualise the Global Languages Study Centre in honour of Prof Walibora and has invited well-wishers to partner in that endeavour.
Walibora was also at the helm of coordinating a national Reverse Spelling Bee for university students to entrench good language skills in the era of WhatsApp type of messages.
In mourning Prof Walibora, the founders of Riara University (Daniel and Eddah Gachukia) described him as an irreplaceable asset for the university.
In addition, Riara University Vice Chancellor Prof Robert Gateru described him as an astute teacher and scholar who had published widely during his tenure at the university.
He said Walibora had spoken in diverse conferences and seminars across the world including in Iraq, where he was inspired to write a fascinating article in the Taifa Leo, celebrating his return from Iraq.
He further stated that Mwalimu Ken, as the university community has fondly been referring to him, was deeply loved by his students who always flocked his office not only for issues regarding their courses, but also for mentorship, guidance, and even for chitchat.
Ken was clearly a dearly loved man at Riara University, who happen to have been his last employer. May he Rest In Peace. - Dr Joy Mueni is the head of Riara University Communication and Multimedia Department.