SPORTS legend and veteran journalist, Attilio Tagalile (71) was laid to rest at Sinza Cemetery in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
Many people have expressed their sorrow for his sudden demise and how they remember him and his contribution to the sports and media industry in Tanzania.
Among the people who mourned Tagalile’s death was the United States Ambassador to Tanzania, Donald Wright. He described him as a brilliant journalist and adept expert on Tanzania’s media landscape.
“Deeply saddened by passing of veteran journalist Attilio Tagalile. A brilliant journalist, adept expert of Tanzania’s media landscape and believer of freedom of expression. We have lost a friend.
Heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and media fraternity in Tanzania.” Apart from Ambassador Wright, some veteran journalists wrote on their social media pages messages to mourn the veteran’s death.
Issa Michuzi, via his Instagram account, described Tagalile as a teacher, a mentor who contributed to his growth as a writer.
“My journalism mentor and my role model. He is the one who convinced me to join the Daily News in the late 1980s, showing me the rudiments of the profession from early on.
Actually he forced me to write not only captions after taking pictures but the whole story! He encouraged me to be a one man army, look for stories and take pictures at the same time. And never accompany a reporter to any assignment. He taught me to becoming independent in all spheres of the job.” Michuzi wrote his message full of sorrow describing Tagalile as a brilliant writer who wrote a book on Tanzania journalism. He stated that journalism is inborn.
“The last time we met Attilio had just completed a book on TZ journalism and was on the verge of publishing it. He gave me a peek preview and was flattered to find my name in it…? Well, it is classic ATTILIO TAGALILE the hilt.
He is arguing, among numerous other issues in this noble profession, that education is, without doubt, the most important tool in one’s life. However, in his opinion, journalism is inborn.”
The sports fraternity were in a deep sorrow following the sudden demise of a sports legend, Attilio Tagalile who died last Friday in Dar es Salaam after a short illness.
With almost a half-century career in journalism, Tagalile died while serving the ‘Daily News’ as a sports columnist whose majority works insisted on establishment of sports academies as means to groom and develop talented players to the world-class status.
As a writer whose sports writing got inspirations from Zimbabwean Tommy Sithole (Daily News Sports Editor from early 70s to 1980) and Stephen Rweikiza ( Sports Editor from 1980 to 1990s), Tagalile, through his works as columnist, has been making a throwback to the glorious era of Tanzanian athletes and boxers and never ceased to mention athletes — Filbert Bayi, Zakaria Barie and boxers Titus Simba, Habib Kinyogoli, Michael Yomba Yomba, Rashid Matumla, Haji Ally as his writing career’s heroes.
He longed to see Tanzanian football overcome the dominion of the West African players by establishing sports academies that he said will help Tanzania groom quality players.
The late Tagalile was a journalist and Media Consultant. Before his retirement, he had worked as a journalist, locally, for the Tanzania News Agency (Shihata), which has since folded, The ‘Daily News’, The Citizen, The Daily Times and as Managing Editor for New Habari 2006 Ltd. publishers of The African, Rai, Mtanzania, Bingwa and Dimba. Internationally, he worked for the Swahili Service of Radio Deutsche Welle in Cologne, the Federal Republic of Germany and Radio Channel Africa, the external service of the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation, SABC at the Auckland Park, in Johannesburg, South Africa.
In April 1994, Tagalile was one of 21 Tanzanians who served as United Nations Observers of the first South Africa’s democratic elections that saw the election of Nelson Mandela as the first democratically elected President of South Africa. He is survived by a widow, two daughters and a son.