Dear Members of the WIN Community,
This is a special edition of the WIN Digest to celebrate the life and work of Dr. Tikhala Chibwana, Head of Women in News Africa, whose passing we mourn with great sadness.
Our Mentor, Coach, Leader, Motivator, Champion, and Friend died in Lilongwe, Malawi, on Sunday after a short illness.
During his five-year tenure as head of WAN-IFRA Women in News Africa, ‘Dr. T’ as he was fondly referred to, inspired and motivated hundreds of journalists and dozens of media companies around the continent and beyond. Whether as trainer, coach, author or manager, Dr. T’s influence extended beyond the many stamps in his passport -from Blantyre to Beirut, Harare to Hong Kong, he had a natural ability to engage and connect with the many people he encountered. The miles traveled reflected Dr. Tikhala’s dedication to promoting the voices and leadership of women in the news media industry, alongside a spirit of adventure.
Dr. T was a deft and measured leader. A great motivator and encourager. His words of wisdom and intellect were always reverberating in people's minds long after conversations with him. He was a true champion and ally. He was a great friend to many, and respected by all.
Vincent Peyregne, CEO of WAN-IFRA, said: "The news of Tikhala's passing comes as a shock. I will keep the memory of a great man, of extreme kindness, listening to everyone.”
“I remember very precisely our first meeting in Paris. The memory of a straightforward man, calm but determined, sensitive to the good of all, has never left me during these years. For me, Tikhala has always embodied WAN-IFRA in Africa. This is a devastating loss, not only for me but for all our community. The Board of WAN-IFRA joins me in extending its deepest and most sincere condolences to his family," said Peyregne. Today, the WIN and WAN-IFRA communities mourn alongside the Chibwana family.
We do so, however, changed for the better having come into his sphere of influence. We are fortunate and grateful to have known him. Dr. T’s legacy will live on in our community and in the future generations of journalists who will carry forward his teachings and influence in the work they do.
Many condolences have been shared on social media. We have opened a memorial page where you can add your own message or memory. You may visit it here.
Here are snippets from a few and we have a collection below.
Churchill Otieno, President of the Kenyan Editors Guild said: “ In Dr. Tikhala's passing the movement in Africa has lost a true father. And he was the quintessential professional in the many sessions we shared. May his soul rest in peace.”
The CEO of the Kenyan Editors Guild, Rosalia Omungo offered her heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones. “He was a great mentor and champion for women inclusion in leadership. During the WIN training sessions, I always joked that he was the only man in the girls’ hostel. RIP Dr. T.”
Paula Fray, CEO of frayintermedia, said “Dr. Tikhala Chibwana was passionate about gender equality in the newsroom and worked tirelessly not only to share his extensive skills with women media leaders but also to promote effective policies in the newsroom.”
The African Editors Forum said: “TAEF dips it’s banner and extends heartfelt condolences to the family of Dr. Chibwana. We celebrate his life and rich legacy. May his soul rest in peace and eternal power.” His friends and colleagues at WIN are taking time to mourn his passing. We will then carry on the work. We will not let him down.
Executive Director, Media Development
& Women in News | WAN-IFRA