Late President Nelson Mandela interacting with Jeff and his family in 2008


Celebrated journalist Jeff Koinange has met many who-is-who in his career and one of those celebrated moments is when he took his son to meet late South Africa President Nelson Mandela.

While he worked as Reuters Television reporter based in South Africa, he interacted with Mandela in a number of press briefings and events that they became acquittances.

Mandela kept asking Jeff to introduce his family to him and when his son Jamal Mbiyu was born in 2007, he honoured Mandela’s request.

In early 2008 Jeff took his son Mbiyu and his wife Shaila to meet Mandela, a meeting that the Citizen TV news anchor terms priceless.

That time Mbiyu was just eight months old and it was also the time Jeff was relocating to Kenya.

“In early 2008 Mbiyu was eight months old. I was relocating to Kenya so I decided to get in touch with Mandela and introduce my son to him” Jeff recounted.

When Mandela held Mbiyu in his hands, he exclaimed; “Oooh this is son of a chief”.

He says Mandela and Mbiyu gelled well that they took longer in Mandela’s office, about double the time they had been allocated.

Mbiyu smiled, hugged and touched Mandela’s face and head and was relaxed in his arms.

The late President met with Jeff in 1997 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso during the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) summit.

He recognised the name Koinange saying he was heard about it a lot in Kenya’s struggle for independence.

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