President William Ruto led Kenyans in mourning veteran sports journalist Sean Cardovillis who died Saturday at his house in Nairobi.
“Saddened by the passing on of a brilliant and outstanding sports broadcaster Sean Cardovillis. He was a cool, insightful, and gifted journalist who played an integral role on our radio stations,” President Ruto said.
“We will miss his clear and concise voice, passion, and upbeat personality. Our prayers are with his family and media fraternity at this painful time. Rest in Peace, Sean.”
During this year’s WRC Safari Rally Championship in Naivasha, Sean interviewed President Ruto, pressing the Head of State to comment on Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria’s controversial remarks regarding the media.
Elias Makori, Nation Media Group’s Lead Editor, Sports and Integration Projects, led colleagues in the media fraternity in mourning the veteran.
Having worked with Sean for over two decades, Mr Makori eulogized Sean “as an astute, committed and honest sports journalist, and an exceptionally talented, peerless broadcaster.”
Sean raised the bar in sports journalism and broadcasting, and has left an indelible mark in our profession, Mr Makori said.
“His contribution to Kenyan sports journalism was immense and the motorsport world, in particular, will miss his commitment to the sport, a commitment fellow sports journalists should strive to emulate,” Mr Makori said. “May God rest the soul of Sean – the Voice of Sport – in eternal peace.”
Capital FM Chairperson Mary-Anne Musangi sent her condolences to the family, describing Sean as an iconic voice in the Sports fraternity.
“I am devastated to learn of the passing of our Sports Presenter Sean Cardovillis who had an extraordinary talent in his work. We stand with the family during this difficult time,” she said.
“Forever in our hearts, Rest In Peace Sean Cardovillis,” Eric Njiru, the Vice President Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK) said.
Mourning him as a pioneer of sports journalism, veteran sports journalist Carol Radull said the death of Sean hit her hard.
“This is not a news story. This is the loss of a good friend; a professional sports journalist; a genuinely kind human being. This is hard to take. Rest in Peace Sean Cardovillis,” she said.
While Gabriel Oguda never met the journalist, he mourned him as one of the greatest radio journalists in the history of the profession. His piercing punchline ‘That’s the sport, I’m Sean Cardovillis’ will forever ring in the ears of sports lovers.
“Saturday Music & Sports won’t be the same again without him on the decks pulling in reports from across the grounds,” the popular blogger posted on X (formerly Twitter).
Long-serving broadcast journalist Alex Chamwada said he remembers Sean’s “voice from far during my university days. We have lost a legend in sports commentating. RIP Sean Cardovillis.”
Kileleshwa MCA Rober Alai said he listened to Sean Cardovillis and Eddy Kimani on Capital FM, praising him for his knack for sports journalism “more so motorsports.
Saturday, he mourned him as an active community leader, sports guru, brother, and friend.
“I have lost a pillar in Kileleshwa Ward. The Raphta Road community won’t be the same again. We built a strong network of community mobilisers in the affluent parts of Kileleshwa with you to get a better neighbourhood,” Alai said.
Former NTV journalist Kennedy Murithi and the co-proprietor of DeeDees Kitchen, an eatery in Nairobi, said Sean was one of the reasons the eatery existed.
He said he (Sean) ordered every day, and had ordered a meal on Friday, and the news of his client’s death devastated him.
“He supported us since day one when we cooked from the house. This has hit hard. My big brother, I’ll miss you. Rest easy Sean,” he said, adding that Sean narrated to him how the near-death experience with pneumonia changed him to become a fitness champion.
Until his death, Sean was working with Capital FM as a sports news presenter and premiered Saturday Music and Sports Show.
“Sean’s powerful commentary and infectious enthusiasm for sports made him a household name locally and internationally,” his employer said in a statement.
“At Capital FM, we pay tribute to the man who brought sports to life for millions of our listeners around the world.”
His last interview was with Kenya’s Olympic and world 1500 metres champion Faith Kipyegon which was to air Saturday at 3.30pm Saturday.
According to the police, his body was found on Saturday morning outside his residence along Rhapta Road in Westlands.
Sean’s body was found by a cleaner on the staircase of his house, media reports and police sources said.
He is remembered for his passion for motocross and his passion to shine the light on the talents in sports.
The Seychellois worked in Kenya, alternating between Nation Media Group and Capital FM, as well as in the Seychelles.
He started his broadcasting job at Capital FM in January 1997, working for nine years at the media house, and rising to the role of Sports Editor.
He pioneered radio sports shows, hosting legends and winners in their field, and analysing results, trends, and new talent.
In April 2006, he moved to the Seychelles where he was employed as a radio presenter for Paradise FM for six years.
He returned to Nairobi in May 2012, and was in February 2014 tapped by NMG where he worked as a sports journalist for six years until May 2020.
He took up his private podcast and sports journalism roles, before he went back to Capital FM in June this year.