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Influential Biographies:
 Egerton Maximilliano Fashole Luke: The Doctor who Doesn't Take Money

Egerton Maximilliano Fashole Luke, eldest son of Sir Emile and Lady Sarah, born on 30th May 1930, passed away on 24th September 2010 in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

During school-days, he was renowned for riding everywhere at top-speed on a bicycle without brakes. In youth was a keen sportsman, particularly enjoying football; being nick-named "winter goalie", for donning a turtle-neck to play.

Challenged by his mother, Egerton entered medical school in 1952. The first Sierra Leonean admitted to the Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh, by examination in 1963, he returned home shortly afterwards, joining the government medical-service. His first major assignment was up-grading the Eastern Province to a specialist station. Responsibilities included re-organising and up-grading all district primary healthcare-clinics and supporting services; setting-up new under-fives clinics; staff-training; and importantly, liaising with chiefs. Similar work continued when transferred to the Southern Province.

Egerton relished the challenge of front-line, hands-on consultant-teaching when transferred on promotion to the main-referral Connaught Hospital, Freetown. Eschewing private-practice he treated all earning the reputation of "that doctor who doesn't take money".

Presidency of the West African College of Physicians (WACP), 1999-2000, climaxed his medical career. His goals (fulfilled within his lifetime) were, commencement of reciprocity-negotiations with Edinburgh (his Alma Mater); engagement in harmonization-discussions with sub-regional Francophone physicians' associations towards full WACP membership; computerization of WACP affairs; establishment of a prize in psychiatry.

Popular, humorous, well-respected, passionate about life, he was always principled. Supported by wife Elizabeth, their three sons and daughter, Egerton made medicine his service and calling.

Specialty: Internal Medicine
MB Durham 1957,
MRCP Edin 1963,
DTM&H,
FRCP Edin 1982
FWCP,
FCP SA
(Courtesy,
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh)

Joseph Christian Adewole John - Regentonian

John Adewole was a Sierra Leonean actor, musician and performer known to his close friends and family as ‘Wole’.  His most recent dramatic incarnation was as the African genie on the Sky Aladdin Broadband adverts.

He was born Joseph Christian Adewole John in 1948 in pre-independence Sierra Leone where he was educated at the prestigious Sierra Leone Grammar School and came to Britain in the late 1960s where he studied Theatre Arts at Dartington College. 


For the son of a middle class West African family where sons were expected to become lawyers, doctors, accountants or academics, this display of interest in the arts was in itself an act of rebellion against the prevailing status quo.  

He didn’t stop there, going on to have a long-term affair in his twenties with his former economics teacher from the Sierra Leone Grammar School. This caused a huge scandal at the time as his teacher, Bianca Benjamin, was not only at least a decade older than he was, she was also British and white.

Bianca, who passed away last year, also happened to be my mother.

Their relationship really took off in North London in the 1970s. Wole was effectively a stepfather to me and my twin brothers for 5 years. He bought me a copy of War and Peace for my 13th birthday and introduced me in my early teens to the works of André Gide and Jean Paul Sartre. He encouraged me to discover poetry and to read it aloud.  He and Bianca were also very active in Sierra Leonean post-independence political life, and both eventually became disullisoned with the prevailing Sierra Leone APC (All People’s Congress Party) government led by Dr Siaka Stevens.

In 1971, alongside other Sierra Leonean students, they took over the Sierra Leone High Commission in London (the same building at 33 Portland Place recently used for The King’s Speech) for 48 hours.  I was with Wole when he bought the toy pistol in Muswell Hill, North London that was used to hold up the High Commission security guards. Wole, my mother and at least 5 other Sierra Leoneans went on trial at the Old Bailey and were successfully defended by Sir Dingle Foot QC and Desmond Da Silva (then a thrusting and extremely handsome young barrister).  

Their counterparts in Freetown were however not so lucky and twelve of them were hanged for treason. Famously called ‘The trial of Mohammed Forna and the 11 others’, Forna’s daughter Aminatta, would go on to become the renowned mixed race Sierra Leonean author of ‘The Devil Who Danced on the Water’.

Sadly, Wole and Bianca’s relationship did not survive the Old Bailey trial and they spilt up. 

Wole went on to specialise in acting and theatre development appearing  throughout the 80s and 90s in productions at the National Theatre, The Lyceum Edinburgh, The Almeida, The Belgrade, Coventry, The Old Vic, Birmingham Rep and The Gate.

Film and television appearances included Ultimate Force, Ali G, Escape from Kampala and the BBC3 comedy series Little Miss Jocelyn.

He established himself as a formidable storyteller, spinning African and Caribbean fables and epics as artistic director of the Zuriya Theatre Company - a collective of storytellers who performed in schools, youth clubs and community centres throughout the UK.  He was a fine musician who was a master of the congas, kabassa and djembe. John Adewole died suddenly on Friday 18 February.  He leaves behind a wife with whom he had five children.

He is survivied by his two brothers, Olufemi John and Dan Joko John. 

His funeral took place in Croydon, South London, Friday 25th February.

—————

John Adewole Filmography and Biography includes:

The Omid Djalili Show (2007)  

Little Miss Jocelyn (2006)  

Ultimate Force (2002)  

Ali G Indahouse (2002)  

Deep Freeze (1999)

The Ebb-Tide (1998)  

Brothers and Sisters (1998)  

Welcome II the Terrordome (1995)  

After the War (1989)

KYTV (1989)

The Play on One (1988)

The Bill (1984)

(Written by Chantal Benjamin-Badgie)


Eric James: A Trail Blazer

The sad passing away of Eric Eccles James, driving force of `James International' Business Empire at the age of 64 certainly calls for eulogy.  Yet another warrior of the soil has gone down with the sunset but the dreams and passions that moved them still flow on, continuing to motivate those who pick up the mantle.  Hence the need to chronicle their lives, what they stood for, the vicissitudes of their earthly pathways.
 
Eric James was for many years a name that Sierra Leoneans equated with economic business.  James International was and still is a household trademark, a business empire that spans at least three generations beginning in the early forties with Eric's parents the late Horace Eccles James and Mama Princess James. 
In those formative years the family was involved principally in trade which took the matriarch Mama James, into the depths of Sierra Leone's hinterland.  The family business was fanning out and Mama Princess James established business outlets in Freetown, Koindu, Kissi Teng Chiefdom, Kailahun district, Yamandu, Sandoh chiefdom, Kono district and in Macenta in the Republic of Guinea among other places.
 
The family business saw the young Eric leaving the Sierra Leone Grammar School for Macenta to assist his mother.  This compelled him to continue his schooling in that French speaking town.  He became fluent in French.
What many younger Sierra Leoneans do not know was that Eric, the ace businessman that he was, had for almost two decades cut a fine niche as an international broadcaster. 
His rich, trained voice was booming out from the portals of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) from 1967, a time when it was still a novelty to see an African face at Bush House (the BBC's broadcasting house) or to find an African cradling the microphone in far reaching programmes like Eric's, Post Mark Africa.  Those were the days of Pete Myers who was presenting the BBC Morning Show which was the fore-runner of the current `Network Africa.' 
 
Eric's `Post Mark Africa' programme was already touching the hearts of millions in the emerging African countries that had won independence in often grueling ways from their colonial masters.  The new African was proud in postulating his/her Africaness.  The new identity that yelled out `I'm black, I'm proud' resonated from President Kwame Nkrumah's Pan Africanist Ghana to Sekou Toure's revolutionary Guinea to Abdel Nassers Egypt on to Emperor Haile Selassie's Ethiopia. 
It was the African Risorgimento (reawakening) that manifested itself in a complexity of ways throughout the continent.  It blended with the black emancipation movements in the United States with the evocative philosophies of Marcus Garvey, the spiritual emotive dream-force of Rev. Martin Luther King, the radicalist stridency of Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Toure).  Those fused with the struggle to free Southern Africa, including Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), and then Portuguese speaking Mozambique and Angola. 
 
In such a powerful movement of Africans and people of African origin, Eric James' `Post Mark Africa' was a chronicler of the age with the objectivity that the BBC is famed for. 
Eric's rich tenor voice sounded across the airwaves as his fluid quick wit and pulsating diction easily won millions of new listeners to the BBC throughout Africa.  Post Mark Africa's presentation of issues was middle-of-the-road in style - part serious part light hearted.  It grew in dimension and in listenership and in less than three years it was one of the BBC's most popular African programmes, attracting listeners from all corners of the continent.
But Eric had other and bigger ideas.  He had got feelers from West Germany's international radio; Radio Deutschewelle (Voice of Germany) that they were expanding their African Service.  Under its Director of the African Service, the ever-driving Dieter Brauer, Deutschewelle was wooing big talents to propel the vocal sounds coming from what was endearingly referred to as the Grand Old City of Cologne.  They had the resources and the sophisticated equipment to entice the big names.  They wanted Eric to do a breakfast show that would hit Africa with a bang.  Their terms were winnable.
 
Eric innovated his programme `The early birdies' and then the big one:  `Eric the Peril' show.  With repeated scoops in global personalities being interviewed in that morning programme, the Eric the peril show was a huge hit from its very inception in 1969.  At its height, Eric had earned a huge reputation as a radio host, a disc jockey extraordinaire and as a promoter.  He promoted one of America's first musical megastars, `Isaac Hayes,' in the early 1970's, on Hayes' tour of West Germany and other parts of Europe. 
 
Deutschewelle was rolling on.  It had top of the line personalities: Ruth Weiss, Nigeria's Peter Enahoro who was a journalist's own wordsmith, Sierra Leone's David John etc. 
Eric landed me the job of correspondent for the global programme `Window on the world', which required my reporting and commenting on the news breaking events in Sierra Leone. 
 
And they were pretty heady enough:  the 1970 assassination attempt on Siaka Stevens by Brigadier Bangura and co, their trial and eventual execution; the 1973 attempt on Prime Minister Christian Kamara-Taylor's life; the trials of Mohamed Forna, Ibrahim Taqi and others and their executions and a host of others in the 1970s.
There were other aspects of Eric James that people did not know.  Considering that he hardly ever drove a vehicle in his later business years, many would be astounded to learn that he was such a lover of fast cars that while in Europe he revelled in racing speed cars though from an amateurish perspective.  It couldn't have been otherwise, a professional racing car driver can hardly find time for extra involvement.
 
Eric met, courted and married the beautiful Helga, an indigene of Cologne.  She was also at Deutschewelle though she was more on the technical side.  We would sit in the twilight in Eric's flat at Grungurtelstrasse, working on concepts while Helga pieced out things on the electric typewriter.
 
Eric James was an innovator through and through.  He was at all times brimming with mind blowing ideas of how Africa and particularly his own country, Sierra Leone, should move on.  Like many, he was aghast that Sierra Leone, potentially one of the richest countries in terms of natural resources was still in the list of poorest nations.  His mother, Mama James, an ardent Christian who would fly to Israel on religious maters, believed the problem was religious.  That Sierra Leoneans had turned their backs to the Almighty Creator who placed all the bounties of the world in this territory to make it a paradise.  Hence the plummeting and the nose-dive.
 
Eric came home in the late 1980's to help make a difference.  His flair for innovation saw him, now as head of the James International company, flexing out into pre-financing, agricultural produce on a large scale, mining, haulage, penny-penny supermarkets, cash n carry shopping outlets, landed property import/export, distillery etc.
 
The Eric James innovative flair was manifesting itself.  At its height James International was a multimillion dollar outflexing business empire that could hold its own with many of its kind in the continent.  The railway went, so James International replaced the railway with some of the biggest haulage trucks that the nation had ever seen, plying the routes, transporting raw and finished goods every where. 
 
The other siblings particularly, Tunde and Keddy, all took part in what was intrinsically a family business.  Eric's son, Eki, was also learning the family business.  Mama James had knit a close friendship with numerous chiefs and elders in the provincial towns she did business with.  Many were the children who simply walked into the James household and stayed as family.
 
In one flow of his innovativeness Eric brought in one hundred (100) small scale vans that he made available to farmers mostly in the Eastern province.  They were to pay for those in cash or kind. 
 
The objective was that with mobility the farmers would be better able to subscribe to the produce buying programme that `James International' was pursuing.  James International was at the time distilling gin, mining for precious minerals and working on a ship building project, the ideas were overflowing.  It was a business empire that was Sierra Leonean and home grown - a Sierra Leonean success story.
 
The eleven year rebel war took a cruel toll on the business.  Much of the company's investment was in the provinces.  On many occasions, rebels ambushed James International trucks and trailers while farmers were brutalized by marauding gangs.  Many vehicles were commandeered; mining sites were roughly grabbed by the drugged rebel gangs.  It was a huge disappointment for the man who had put in so much, investing in his native land.  "Typical", he told me with a wry grin.  But you could see he was deeply hurt.
"It's as if nature took all the bad people and put them in one country!" he once told me after somebody he had trusted woefully let him down.  Eric had so many friends of various inclinations and his office saw a daily flow of press people, business people, politicians, sports people and the like. 
 
There were youths also who just wanted sponsorship for all sorts of ideas, some weird indeed.  Eric chatted, joked with them all and helped whom he could.  Before he had a terrible fall that partially affected his movements,  he had always been humorous with a quick wit.  He was not averse to an evening cigar or two with a glass of whisky.
 
"No more whisky?" I asked him one day after he had completed his daily session with his physiotherapist.  He gave me his infectious grin.
"Look, Ricky, I have to beat this thing.  I must beat it".
Well, fate took over in a South Central Regional hospital in Petal, Missisipi in the USA on 10th July, and Sierra Leone has lost a true patriot who lived and breathed, yearning and moving for his country to emerge from its slough of despond and become the beacon of light and progress that the good Lord meant it to be. 
(Tribute to Late Eric James: ADIEU ERIC `THE PERIL'
Wednesday, July 29, 2009 - Arika Awuta-Coker)

Jeillo Edwards: Good-humoured cast matriarch on television and BBC radio

Jeillo Edwards was an important figure in the history of black actors in Britain. She was the first woman of African descent to study drama at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and one of the first black actresses to be cast in a mainstream television drama series - Dixon of Dock Green.

Jeillo Edwards, actress: born Freetown, Sierra Leone 23 September 1942; married Edmund Clottey (two sons, one daughter); died London 2 July 2004.

Jeillo Edwards was an important figure in the history of black actors in Britain. She was the first woman of African descent to study drama at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and one of the first black actresses to be cast in a mainstream television drama series - Dixon of Dock Green.

She was not a star, but rather a foot-soldier in the battle to entertain, of over 40 years' standing. That she did not have the profile of Mona Hammond or Norman Beaton was in part owing to her African origins (limiting the number parts offered to her) and in part to an endearing shyness about her professional career.

As a young radio drama producer working for the BBC, I met Edwards for the first time in 1986. Preparing for my maiden production, I nervously ran through the cast list with a fellow producer. "Oh if you've got Jeillo in the play you'll be fine," he said. Edwards was short, pleasingly plump and gap-toothed - a Sierra Leonean Wife of Bath. Her voice was loud and imperious, her phrasing almost military in its precision. Her eyes were huge and beautiful. And my friend was right. Angry young men with bruised ambitions became cheery lads in her presence, brittle, glamorous and insecure actresses turned into the willing daughters you always wanted.

Any cast was transformed into a family with Edwards in its midst as the matriarch. She brought good timing, common sense, patience and delicious food to the drama studio. A fantastic cook, she would show up for the initial read-through with provisions of pepper sauce, chicken and akara (small doughnuts) - always on time, usually a little early. Her good-humour was the more remarkable because she uncomplainingly endured periods of bad health and for six years was on dialysis.

One of six children, Jeillo Edwards was born in Freetown in 1942. She came from a Krio family who valued education, hard work and English manners. Her father was employed by the mighty United Africa Company as a buyer of commodities - cocoa beans, cotton and palm kernels. Jeillo followed in her mother's footsteps and was sent to the Annie Walsh Memorial School, one of the oldest girls' schools in sub-Saharan Africa.

Her earliest memory of performance was as a child of four. Stepping in to replace a nervous cousin in a church fund-raising concert, she read word perfect from St Mark's Gospel, "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's . . ."

She came to England as a teenager in the late 1950s, staying first with her sister in Leeds then moving down to London to study drama at the Guildhall. Her parents were not happy with her acting ambitions. Treading the boards was not considered a respectable job in newly independent Sierra Leone, although her mother had been a skilled storyteller, and the capital, Freetown, had a considerable tradition of entertainment. It was in London in the early Seventies that Jeillo met and married Edmund Clottey, a telecommunications engineer from Ghana. Theirs was a long and happy marriage.

Jeillo Edwards Clottey was a realist but never a cynic. Being a black actor in Britain is hard. Arguably attitudes and story-lines have improved a great deal in the past 10 years, but in the 1970s and 1980s black actors faced a relentless grind of often fruitless auditions, accepting small walk-ons or badly written parts, where one's skin colour seemed to be the only point to one's existence.

Edwards knew the score but never got grumpy. She gave up on having an agent and took the line that, if they wanted her, she was free; and if they didn't - well, her life was full of other interesting things to do. She was a devoted wife, mother - of Victoria, Edmund Junior and Andrew, and to her nephew Alfred - and grandmother; she was an active school governor, a keen church-goer and, in her latter years, the highly acclaimed proprietor and chief chef of Auntie J's in Brixton, a favourite eating place for young actors in between auditions. She learnt to make wine and became so proficient she taught others.

She often found herself playing Caribbean women. One of the few outlets for playing African roles was the BBC African Service's annual drama season. Plays by writers as diverse as Wole Soyinka, Zakes Mda, Osman Nusairi, Bode Sowande and Ben Ateku were performed with what amounted to a small informal rep of African actors, including Willie Jonah, Yemi Ajibade, John Sorbah-Green. At the centre was Jeillo Edwards.

Outside the cosy confines of Bush House's N41 drama studio, Edwards accumulated a host of small and not-so-small roles in film and television. She appeared in drama series including The Bill and Casualty. She was memorable as the mother of the out-of-work dictator in Channel 4's In Exile (1998) and the freed slave Mary Prince in the 1992 BBC2 drama documentary A Skirt Through History (The Two Marys).

Her comic timing ensured her parts in a number of cult comedies including Black Books, Red Dwarf, Absolutely Fabulous, The League of Gentlemen and, recently, Little Britain. Her film credits embrace a number of low- profile British films including Memoirs of a Survivor (1981) with Julie Christie and Beautiful Thing (1996) with Meera Syal. Her most recent film role was as a hospital cleaner in Dirty Pretty Things (2002).

Her secret wish was to play a romantic lead, she said. She came close to it. In Yusuf Audu Joe's Another Life, a radio play about the hardship of being an actor in Nigeria, Edwards shocked and delighted with her portrayal of an unscrupulous and outrageously sexy sugar-mummy. On the commercial front she was a sweet old granny for the Royal Mail, while cinema-goers all over Britain gloried in her shapely body in 1990 when Pepe Jeans imaginatively chose her over the usual stick-thin models to promote their product.

(Fiona Ledger, Courtesy The Independent)


ARTHUR OSMAN FARQUHAR STUART: THE "PEOPLE'S DOCTOR", SIERRA LEONE

Among Sierra Leoneans and the wider West African community, Arthur Stuart was known as "the leading physician of his generation." The weekly magazine West Africa said that "in a country whose perverse politics no longer treats people as people, Dr Stuart was first and last the people's doctor." He came to England for his medical training, going back to work in the remote parts of his beloved country, and returned to England 10 years later to study at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. But he spent most of his life and career in Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown, where he cared for rich and poor alike. There he would probably have stayed if, a couple of years after his retirement in 1995, the political and violent unrest in Freetown had not forced him and his wife, Louie, to flee.

In February 1996, after a number of rigged elections, Sierra Leone finally had a free and fair one and the military leaders of a previous coup were thrown out to live on their stolen millions. But as people were at last beginning to appreciate the benefits of democracy, on 25 May 1997, they heard machine gun fire and the deep boom of grenades. The army was back with another coup, but one that was far more violent than before. Many who could fled the widespread looting, shooting, rape, and the amputation of hands or legs, but Arthur Stuart remained for several weeks until evacuated on 2 June in a pampam, a small wooden boat. Having transferred to an old Lebanese tramp steamer, he became the ship's doctor, treating women who fainted in the heat. Having arrived in Guinea, he flew to Stansted, and sought asylum in Manchester. 

Arthur later wrote of his ordeal: "What a relief to be free of the soldiers who would cut a pregnant woman's belly open to settle a bet whether she was carrying a baby boy or a baby girl, amputate arms so that the owners wouldn't be able to vote, burn down houses indiscriminately, put a gun into children's mouths and threaten to shoot if they were not given money and kill innocent bystanders with their indiscriminate shooting."

Arthur Stuart was the first African to be posted to Sierra Leone's Hill Station Hospital and later became consultant physician and head of the department of internal medicine at the Connaught Hospital, Freetown. He left the government medical service in 1972 to found a much respected private practice. He was a foundation fellow of the West African College of Physicians. In 1984, he was made an officer of the Order of the Rokel of the Republic of Sierra Leone, the country's highest accolade.

He had a wry smile and a strong sense of humour and he could bridge social and cultural barriers with ease. He enjoyed house and beach parties, and clubs and dances, and had a huge preference for good whisky. He leaves Louie, and two children.

Arthur Osman Farquhar Stuart, former consultant physician Connaught Hospital, Freetown, Sierra Leone (b Freetown 1927; q Manchester 1953; OR, MRCP, DTM&H, FWACP), died on 13 March 2002 after a series of strokes.

[Hugh T Fay E Luke I B Amara.Courtesy BMJ Medical Journal]


THE GREAT DR. OLOH; GUMBAY AND MILO JAZZ KING OF SIERRA LEONE

Olufemi Cole, commonly known as Oloh, was born in the mountain village of Leicester near Freetown on the 20th of March 1944. Born of humble parents, Dr. Oloh never enjoyed the luxury of a secondary school education. 

 Due to the limited financial resources of his parents, he was forced to leave school at an early age to earn a living. He traipsed all over Freetown in search of those houses where musicians used to practice. It was clear that Oloh was looking for the opportunity to get into the music business. He was always fascinated by the maestro and guitarist, Dr. Dynamite (Masokoloko). His influence on Oloh was profound. At that point in his life, he was toying with the idea of becoming a priest. But his weak educational background hampered him and he quickly abandoned his ambition of becoming a priest.  Oloh then switched to music and discovered a niche in the market.  As they say, the rest is history.

 Dr Oloh discovered that he could still preach to people through his music. He organised his first group, comprising percussion instruments. He composed and performed songs, which were relevant to the community. Oloh rapidly became a household name. 

 At the early age of 10, he started making music with empty milk cans and bottles. His musical ingenuity and his unending desire to develop Sierra Leone’s rich cultural heritage, forced him into the full-blown music scene. Oloh‘s ambition was to blend the native Sierra Leonean music Caribbean and Latin American musical influences. That was the birth of his internationally famous ‘Milo Beat’. Although ‘Gumbay Beat’ had existed, Oloh saw the need to blend both sounds in his repertoire. Oloh began gaining dominance after he was invited to perform with the Creole music exponent and legend, Ebenezer Calendar. 

 Oloh was “awarded” a Doctorate Degree by a grateful Sierra Leonean community, which was greatly impressed with his dedication and contribution to local folk and popular music. Oloh continued to develop his musical genre, which ultimately became known as ‘Milo Jazz’. Getting people out of their seats on to the dance floor was an easy task for Oloh. His music was exciting and electrifying. There were no steps or moves to learn. It was simply a matter of responding to the beat. 

 That was the new circuit of ravers that Oloh animated and musically helped to de-colonise in the late Sixties and Seventies. Prior to that period, the Creoles of Freetown remained in contact with their Africana roots through ‘Gumbay Music’. That music evolved during sojourns of their ancestors in the West Indies, and they brought it back with them after surviving the long period of enslavement. 

 Sierra Leoneans did not only dance to the infectious beat of Milo Jazz, they also accompanied him in the singing as well. It was no longer just the music of a group of people afraid of losing their culture; it became the music of the entire nation seeking to be reunited by its culture. Oloh had many student musicians in his college and had the ability to supply an ensemble for several engagements at the same time. 

 In 1989, Oloh was awarded the OR (Order of Rokel) by the Government of Sierra Leone, during the Presidency of H.E. Joseph Saidu Momoh, for his musical excellence and contribution to the national development of music and culture. 

 Dr. Oloh had a large repertoire. Dr. Oloh and his Milo Jazz Band performed for the first time outside Sierra Leone in 1991, when he was invited by international music impresario Akie Deen to perform at the Sierra Showcase Event at the prestigious Empire Ballrooms in Leicester Square, London. In 1992 he travelled again to the United Kingdom on tour. In 1994 he performed with other Sierra Leonean musicians at a benefit concert for the late musical legend, S.E. Rogie. His last performance in London was in 1996 when he performed at the Centenary Celebration of one of Sierra Leone’s heroes, Bai Bureh. 

 Dr. Oloh continued his musical career until his death after a short illness in Freetown on the 13th of October 2007

(By Akie Deen. Courtesy Standard Times)


ANIRU CONTEH: AN ICON IN THE TREATMENT OF LASSA FEVER

IWHEN REBEL forces overran the town of Kenema in the Eastern Province of Sierra Leone, in February 1997 and then later in 1999, the government buildings were looted and burnt, and most of the government workers fled before them. One exception was the small outlying building beside Kenema Government Hospital. This is the Lassa fever isolation ward - the only such specialist ward in the world, presided over since 1991 by Dr Aniru Conteh. 

The notoriety of this killer disease ensured the ward's safety. The modesty of the building - its cement floors are easy to sluice down, wide windows allow fresh air to circulate; a small shelter has been built close by for the families of patients - belies the international significance of the work carried out by Conteh's team, who pursue their task in ever-present danger of the disease they treat. 

With the diamond mines of Tongo to the north attracting migrant workers from across Africa, and waves of rebels and refugees crossing and re-crossing the eastern border with Liberia, stability has eluded Kenema for much of the last decade. Moreover houses left derelict by the civil war in Sierra Leone have created ideal breeding ground for the multimammate rat, which spreads the disease in its urine. Food shortages have at times led people to trap the rats for food, leading to further outbreaks. 

Aniru Conteh spent most of his professional life combating Lassa fever. It required great courage, discipline and creativity to run such an isolation ward with severely tight resources amidst such instability. He showed countless medical staff both from abroad and in Sierra Leone what can be done in the face of hazards and obstacles, and how patients could be given the best possible chance, and how risks to their carers could be minimised. 

Lassa fever is similar to Ebola fever. Difficult to treat, with no reliable diagnostic test readily available, highly infectious and with no reliable therapy or vaccine in prospect, it starts with a high fever that within seven days can lead to massive haemorrhaging, convulsions and often death. It takes its name from a village in Nigeria where an outbreak of a mysterious fever in a mission hospital in 1969 led to the three mission nurses' becoming infected. Two died, but the third survived to be evacuated to America where the virus was isolated at Yale University. 

Following a new outbreak of Lassa fever in the Catholic Missionary Hospital in Panguma, Sierra Leone, in 1976, the American Joe McCormick, head of a team from the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, set up a research programme in Segbwema, Kenema and Panguma. It was in Segbwema in 1979 that Conteh joined the CDC team. 

Aniru Conteh was born up in Jawi Folu, a tiny village near Daru in south- east Sierra Leone. His father was a farmer and village chief. When Aniru was 16 his mother died and he ran away from the local school to Freetown to fend for the family. From school in Freetown he went on to study chemistry and biology at Fourah Bay Colleges in Freetown, taking a Durham University BSc, and initially became a teacher. In 1968, however, he enrolled as a medical student at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, qualifying in 1974, and working for four years at Ibadan Teaching Hospital. 

In 1979 he took up a post at the Nixon Methodist Hospital in Segbwema, becoming Medical Superintendent the following year, and with the outbreak of civil war in Sierra Leone in 1991 the Lassa team, still with Conteh as its director, moved to Kenema. 

Conteh was instrumental in 1996 in assisting Merlin, the London- based medical-relief organisation, to establish a programme in Sierra Leone, which included support for the Lassa isolation ward and Lassa fever control programme in the region. Throughout the 10 years of war and the period of reconciliation that has followed it he remained at his post treating thousands of cases and saving many lives. His skill in diagnosis and treatment was unparalleled, and resulted in a reduction in mortality of suspected Lassa fever cases to around 20 per cent. 

Three years ago Conteh came to Britain to present a paper on the management of Lassa fever to an international conference on the disease hosted by the Central Public Health Laboratory in Colindale. Last year he was again in London to mark Merlin's 10th anniversary and to receive the "Spirit of Merlin" award for his international contribution to the core mission of Merlin "to save lives and alleviate suffering". He was an icon to Merlin's 1,400 relief workers worldwide. 

Many of those who worked with him went on to become leaders in the field of public health and infectious-disease research. Dr Abdul Rahman Wurie, World Health Organisation Disease Prevention and Control Adviser in Sierra Leone, saw the possibility of building on the expertise of Conteh and his team to create a West African Regional Centre for the treatment, control, training, emergency preparedness and research into Lassa fever and, potentially, other haemorrhagic fevers - a project awaiting realisation. 

Despite the insecurity, the lack of resources and opportunities to work internationally, Aniru Conteh remained in Kenema ministering to those who needed his skills the most urgently. On 17 March, while treating a patient, he accidentally pricked himself with a needle and became infected. He died 18 days later. 

Aniru Sahib Sahib Conteh, physician: born Jawi Folu, Sierra Leone 6 August 1942; married (four sons, two daughters); died Kenema, Sierra Leone 4 April 2004.
 

(Courtesy, Independent, The (London), Apr 9, 2004, by Nicholas Mellor) 



MRS ESTHER LILY COKER: A TRAIL BLAZER
By Family Members

September 16, 1916 - February 18, 2007

The late Mrs. Esther Lily Coker passed away on February 18th 2007 in Freetown and will be buried on Thursday March 15th 2007. She was a woman of substance who blazed a unique shining path in the art of leadership that many current and future generations of Sierra Leonean women are going to be looking up to and striving to emulate. 

 Esther Lily Coker died at the ripe old age of 90 years. It was ninety years that were well lived on earth with examples well set.

Born in Grand Bassam, Ivory Coast on 16th September 1916, Esther Lily was the last of the six surviving children of Ishmael and Naomi de WINTON DURING. She entered the Annie Walsh Memorial School (AWMS) in 1929 after schooling from kindergarten to standard Primary at the Government Model School and the Cathedral Girls School where her elder sister Edna was a teacher.

She finished the AWMS as the only pupil in Lower VI and as the Head Girl of the school. She then went to Fourah Bay College where she did the Higher Teacher’s Course. On finishing she returned to teach at the AWMS.

Esther was an ardent Girl Guider. In 1930, whilst still at the AWMS she enrolled in the 1st Guide Branch (1st Freetown Company) and worked her way from tenderfoot to 1st Class Guide. In 1935, she became a ranger was subsequently appointed Lieutenant and helped form a new Guide Company at the Freetown Secondary School for Girls. She was one of 3 Girl Guides who represented the Sierra Leone Guide Guides Association at the Coronation of King George VI in Great Britain. 

In 1938 she got married to Frederick Godfrey COKER and went to live with her husband in Northern Nigeria till 1946 when the family returned to Freetown. By then Esther had four children. For a short while thereafter, Mrs. Esther COKER was a part-time teacher at the AWMS, teaching English and Geography. In 1947, she started voluntary work with the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) and was selected to train as National General Secretary. Her training course took her to Liberia, Ghana (Gold Coast), Nigeria and the UK. On completion she worked for five years with Ms. Estelle AMARON of the Canadian YWCA. Esther COKER then took over as the first National General Secretary of the Sierra Leone YWCA, a post she held for 7 years. The ‘Y’ as the YWCA was known, was struggling financially at this time and for the last 6 months, YWCA could not afford to pay her a salary but she never relented in offering her services.

In 1962, Mrs. Coker went to work with the CARE School feeding project for 8 months. She was later asked to help Rev. Warrity who was then Secretary General of The United Christian Council (UCC) [now known as the CCSL]. Mrs. Coker’s services were free and constituted part of the Anglican Church’s contribution to the UCC. She later succeeded Rev. Warrity as General Secretary of UCC with salary provided by the churches’ annual fees. This was minimal as not all churches kept their pledge however she diligently held the post for 4 years. 

As General Secretary of the UCC, she coordinated the programmes of 13 denominations but some Heads of Churches could barely tolerate a woman as head of the UCC. After a real struggle, she succeeded in convincing the UCC to accept the United Church Women’s organization (UCW) as the Women’s Wing of the UCC. Working with UCW, she was for several years one of the coordinators of the Easter Dawn Service held at 5:45a.m. every Easter Day in front of Battenburg Building. 

As Secretary General of UCC, she served on several committees of the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) She became the first elected woman Vice-President of the AACC, and served in that position for 2 terms (a total of 8 years). She served as Chairman of the Refugee Committee and the Finance Committee of the Organization.

She was a member of the Christian Peace Conference (CPC) in which capacity she interacted with members of the Coptic and Orthodox Churches. She inaugurated the UCC Refugee Service during the Biafra War and this Service worked with UNDP to care for refugees from Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa and Zimbabwe. She negotiated with schools in Freetown, in particular, to get them to accept refugee children into their pupil population. She also served the children of Sierra Leone especially on the Children’s Home Committee. 

In the 1960s and 70s she conducted Studio Morning Prayers over the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Service (SLBS). She also participated in the popular SLBS Radio Discussion Programme - Cabaslot en Kotoku. 

Counting on her popularity thus gained, in 1972, she contested but lost the Mountain Area Parliamentary seat, an experience she could only describe as worrying.

In 1979, she entered The Freetown City Council as representative for Freetown Central Ward 1. She served for a one term period of 3 years and was in charge of Markets and Social Services. This included Oversight of Cemeteries, School Recreational Facilities, Thanksgiving Services, Paupers’ Aid and Christmas Treats for the poor and school children. 

In the 1980s she further served her school (the AWMS) as Chairman of the Board of Governors.

From 1984-1986 she was one of 12 people appointed by Government to serve on the Freetown City Council’s Committee of Management under the Chairmanship of Alfred Akibo Betts. She helped to organize the Bicentenary Celebrations of the Freetown Municipality.

She was amongst the first set of ordained female Diocesan Lay Readers of the Anglican Church and served on several committees of the Church of the Holy Trinity, the Anglican Diocese of Sierra Leone and the Anglican Diocese of Freetown. 

In 1999 when rebels burnt down her house in Freetown, she went to the United States to stay with her children for a while. There, she joined the choir of Walnut United Methodist Church where she worshipped regularly.

She returned to Freetown after the country had somewhat settled and passed away peacefully at the ripe old age of 90 years on February 18th 2007 after having served her country well. Her legacy, especially of blazing a path that showed that women could successfully lead, is one of which current and future generations of Sierra Leone women will look up to and emulate. May she rest in peace.

(Courtesy of Awareness Times , Freetown)



BERTHAN MACAULAY QC: AN INTELLECTUAL AND ADVOCATE 

Berthan Macaulay, QC, was born on November 12, 1929. He died on September 27, 2006, aged 76. 

Born in Nigeria, Berthan Macaulay devoted himself to promoting the rule of law in Sierra Leone during the transition to independence. 

In 1951 he came to England where he read law and was called to the Bar at Gray’s Inn. His initial career in private practice included three years in Foote’s chambers. Returning to Sierra Leone with his family in 1957, he established the law firm Macaulay & Co, with headquarters in Freetown. He built the most extensive and up-to-date law library in the country. 

He took silk in 1963 at the age of 34, the first Sierra Leonean to do so. Later that year he was appointed Attorney General by Sir Milton Margai, the first Prime Minister. But in 1967 the Government was overthrown, and Macauley was arrested and sentenced to death along with 27 other key officials. 

Incarcerated, awaiting execution and denied access to his law books, Macaulay filed, argued and won several grounds of appeal before a special appellate court. He ultimately won the release of both himself and the others.

He was invited to relocate by a number of Commonwealth countries, and he eventually took up residence and later citizenship in Jamaica. There he remained active as a member of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. 

(Courtesy Times Online)



 BERTHAN MACAULAY QC: A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS


A video tribute (Courtesy You Tube)



MACAULAY REMEMBERED AS AN INTELLECTUAL AND ADVOCATE
 By Kerry Mckatty

Berthan Macaulay QC's funeral began with an Islamic prayer, followed by a Buddhist prayer then a Christian service of thanksgiving. This order, said his cousin Prince Taylor-Lewis in his remembrance, was reflective of Macaulay's beliefs and was done at the departed lawyer's request.

"He found meaning in each faith," Taylor-Lewis said, after relaying an engaging tale of young Macaulay's failed confirmation in the Anglican Church because no one faith could sufficiently convince him. 
The service itself, held yesterday at St Richard of Chichester Roman Catholic Church on Red Hills Road in Kingston, was solemn.

Pallbearers take the casket with the body of Berthan Macaulay QC from the St Richard of Chichester Roman Catholic Church on Red Hills Road in Kingston following a thanksgiving service for his life yesterday afternoon. Macaulay died on September 27. (Photo: Karl McLarty) 

There were no outbursts of weeping, but it seemed every person in attendance understood Macaulay's importance as a man and the value of his contributions to the legal profession and life in general. Every remembrance of Macaulay painted a picture of him as the consummate intellectual and advocate.

"He never resiled from taking different or even unpopular positions as long as he thought they were right," John Leiba, president of the Jamaican Bar Association, said in his tribute. 
"He was tensile in his advocacy and determination," Leiba continued.
But David Muirhead QC in his remembrance said Macaulay knew how to relax.

"He wasn't all work; he was famous for his dinner parties," Murihead said. Muirhead spoke, too, of Macaulay's "viper tongue", adding that the lawyer was a "fighter to the core".
Berthan Macaulay moved to Jamaica in 1974 from Sierra Leone, where he was that country's first native attorney-general.

"And so Sierra Leone's great loss became Jamaica's gain," Muirhead said, echoing Macaulay's cousin, Justice Abdulai Conteh. 
Muirhead's remembrance drew to a close with a question that friends and family members tried to answer in their tributes: "How, I ask, will we remember him?"

Macaulay, a well-respected attorney, tried several landmark cases before the local and international courts. He was 76 years old when he died and is survived by his wife, Margarette Macaulay and six children.

(Courtesy Jaimaca Sunday Observer staff reporter
Sunday, October 15, 2006)



TRIBUTE TO HONORABLE PC MADAM ELLA KOBLO GULAMA
 

Madam Ella Koblo Gulama was born on 26th January 1921 in Moyamba and was educated at the Harford School for girls from 1928 to 1938. She then attended the Women Teachers Training College at Wilberforce, Freetown from 1938 to 1941. After completing her studies she was appointed supervising Teacher for the Provinces, the first to attain this position.

Late PC Ella Koblo Gulama 

She was married to Paramount Chief Bai Koblo Pathbana II Marampa Masimera Chiefdom, in 1944. The union was blessed with seven children, two surviving, Obai and Soccoh and many other Kabia children

Madam Gulama was born in Moyamba Kaiyamba Chiefdom in Moyamba District. Her late grandfather Momoh Gulama and father Julius Gulama were Paramount Chiefs of Kaiyamba Chiefdom.

Paramount Chief Julius Gulama worked relentlessly to bring people of all ethnic groups together. He supported and worked for the establishment of the BO Government School and was one of the founding members of the SLPP. After his death in 1953, Madam Gulama succeeded him as Paramount Chief of Kaiyamba Chiefdom.

She soon followed in the foot steps of her father and entered national politics. In 1957, she became a Member of the Moyamba District Council and was also elected to the House of Representatives of Sierra Leone as Paramount Chief Member for Moyamba District. Thus becoming the first female member of that august body. She was re-elected to Parliament and appointed a Cabinet Minister in government of Sir Milton Margai, Sierra Leone’s first Primer Minister, thus becoming the first female minister in Sierra Leone and the sub-Saharan region.

In 1967 she regained her seat in the General Elections. However the elections were marred by controversy followed by a period of instability affecting the whole country, culminating in a series of military coups that finally ushered in a thirty year period of party rule under the APC. Earlier in this period, she spent two and half years at the Pademba Road prisons but was subsequently exonerated and released. She was also deposed as Paramount Chief during this period.

She remained in the service of her church, the United Methodist Church, and from 1985 to 19901 she was the Vice-President of its highest organ, the conference on Finance and Administration.

Throughout the span of her career, Madam Gulama maintained a high interest in educational development in Sierra Leone. In particularly, she worked hard to promote the education of girls and to improve the lot of women folks in this country. She was a member of the Board of Governors of her Alma Mater, Harford School for Girls in Moyamba. She was also member of the Sierra Leone government Scholarship Advisory Board and also a member of the Bursary Committee of Fourah Bay College.

She was President of the Federation of Women’s Organisations in Sierra Leone from 1960 to 1967, and President of the National Organization for Women (Sierra Leone) from 1985 to 1991.

In 1992, Madam Gulama had a renaissance of her Political career, con­testing and winning re-election as Paramount Chief of Kaiyamba Chiefdom by a unanimous vote. She worked assiduously with the help of NGOs to bring agricultural and infrastructural development to her Chiefdom and district. The rebel war and its effects were devastating to Moyamba District and the country as a whole, resulting in complete set­back to development and progress. She was forced to leave Moyamba and seek refuge in Freetown.

On her return to Moyamba, madam Gulama again put all her efforts into the rehabilitation of her Chiefdom and District. She however suffered setbacks in relation to her health. She served in various capacities as director of the Sierra Leone Export Development and Investment Corporation (SLEDIC) from 1994 to 1996 and also a director of The Sierra Leone Commercial Bank Limited

She travelled widely representing our country in Africa, Europe, the United States and the Middle East. As early as 1957, she was invited by United States Government Department of States accompanied by her closed friend Mrs. Elizabeth Eula Hatib. She completed a four month tour, during which time she met with the then Vice-President Richard Nixon, and was also a guest at the NAACP convention in Cleveland, Ohio and at the Booker T. Washington Institute of Tuskegee, Alabama. She also visited the Lady Mayor in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1964. She led the Sierra Leone delegation to the World Fair in New York and introduced the Sierra Leone national Dance Troupe to an inter­national audience for the first time with the late John Arkar. She also participated in a number of UN-sponsored conferences on matters of rural community development and female education and progress.

She was the recipient of several awards including the MBE in 1959, the O.B.E in 1966 from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and the Order of the Rokel Award from the President of Sierra Leone, His Excellency Alhaji Dr. Ahmed Tejan Kabbah. 

She adored her family and friends and was a strong proponent of African traditional values.

(Courtesy of Awareness Times , Freetown)



         TRIBUTES TO BISHOP T. S. BANGURA
 

Bishop Thomas S. Bangura, the second indigenous person elected United Methodist episcopal leader of Sierra Leone, died Sept. 24.

Bangura, 81, began his ministry in the Evangelical United Brethren Church and served as bishop from 1979 to 1992. 

He died within one day of the anniversary of the Sept. 25, 2005, burial of his wife, Regina. The funeral service is scheduled for Oct. 8 at King Memorial United Methodist Church, Freetown, Sierra Leone.

According to Sam Bangura, his son, the bishop said during his final days that he "was confident that I will see God, whom I have served so well here on earth." Bangura described his father as "a man of deep faith," and in requesting that news of his father's death be communicated to the United Methodist Council of Bishops, he said, "May his soul rest in peace."

The Sierra Leone Annual Conference was established in 1973 under Bangura's leadership. The first indigenous bishop of the conference was Benjamin A. Carew who served until retiring in 1978. When Carew retired, Bangura was elected bishop in 1979 and the conference became a part of the West Africa Central Conference in 1981. It has been led by Bishop Joseph C. Humper since 1992. Humper is also indigenous to Sierra Leone.

Responding to his predecessor's death, Humper said "everybody knew Bishop Bangura to be a committed minister and church leader. He was well respected by the community." In recognition of the high regard in which Bangura was held, all the church leaders within the Council of Churches in Sierra Leone are planning to attend the funeral, Humper said.

?Bishop Bangura was a true servant of God. He was a friend of the poor and a man of great compassion,? said Bishop Janice Riggle Huie, president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops and leader of the church?s Houston Area. ?Through the office of the bishop he extended Christ?s care to everyone, especially those who were among the poor.?
Bangura pursued theological training locally at Fourah Bay College, the first college for higher education in West Africa. He came to the United States in 1950 and studied for a year at United Theological Seminary before returning to Sierra Leone. He was the pastor of churches in Moyamba, Yonibana and Magburka, and was superintendent of the Yonibana District.

The United Methodist Church in Sierra Leone today traces its history to 1855, when the Church of the United Brethren in Christ began mission work there. More recently, the country was plagued by a civil war that began in 1991, and a peace agreement between the government and rebels was signed in July 1999.

Bangura received a bachelor's degree in philosophy and education from the University of Akron and a master's degree in education from Columbia University between 1959 and 1963. He returned home to serve Price Memorial Church in Georgebrook and Baughman Memorial Church in Brookfields, and taught at the United Methodist Taiama Secondary School. In 1975, he became superintendent of the Western District and in 1977 was assigned to King Memorial Church.

The United Methodist Church in Sierra Leone has 94,000 members.

The Banguras had four children: Thomas Opa, Jeneba Koni, Philip Sam and Ansumana; and two grandchildren: Regina and Arthur Yaskey.

(Courtesy of United Methodist News Service)


          Bishop T.S. Bangura of the United Methodist Conference died on Sunday, September 24th 2006. The death occurred at 4:10am at the Blue Shield hospital.
Bishop Bangura was known for his strong, gentle leadership and for his gift of wisdom. This good man and strong Bishop was rich in faith. Bishop Bangura was warm and compassionate. He was a true servant of God. He believed that he did not come to be served but to serve and give his life to redeem many people. He was a friend of poor people whom he helped materially and spiritually. He 1oved and helped his Pastors. He believed that in life everybody does better when everybody does better.
His love for the Church was certainly one of the hallmarks of his life. He served his God well. He served the nation well. He had an enormous capacity for friendship. His was a giving spirit characterized by countless acts of generosity. He practiced forgiveness.
In his last Episcopal message to the 112th session of the Sierra Leone Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, he stated that; 
"No one is perfect. I wish to openly apologize to anyone that I have offended, and if on the other hand you offended me I would like to assure you of my forgiveness. May the God of peace be with us now and for ever more". 
He practiced what he preached.
Bishop Bangura received his primary education at Ronieta and Rotifunk respectively. He entered the Albert Academy in 1940 and received the school’s diploma in 1944. He taught briefly at Yonibana and entered Fourah Bay College Ministerial Department in 1946-48. He was ordained in 1951 and served as Pastor at Bradford, Moyamba, Roruks, and Yonibana. He was awarded a year’s scholarship at the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio in 1954. He returned home in 1955 and continued service at Yonibana and Magburaka up to 1958. He proceeded to the United States for further studies in 1959. He entered the University of Akron and graduated in 1963 with a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy. He gained admission at Columbia University in New York and received his MA degree in Educational Administration. He returned home and taught at the Taiama Secondary School when he was appointed Assistant Education Secretary to the United Christian Council (UCC) and was later appointed Education Secretary the following year, thereby becoming the first Sierra Leonean to hold that position. While at the UCC he served as Pastor at Price Memorial United Methodist Church and later at Bishop Baughman United Methodist Church. He served the United Christian Council for 12 years and retired to become Senior Pastor of King Memorial United Methodist Church and District Superintendent for the Western Area. He served for five years and was elected the second Bishop in Sierra Leone in 1979 - 1992, a position he held for thirteen years. During his tenure as Bishop, he built over 12 schools and many churches. In view of the outstanding service to the nation of Sierra Leone, he received the insignia award of CRC (Commander of the Order of Rokel). He served on many Boards of Governors of Secondary Schools and Teacher Colleges and was later appointed a member of the court of the University of Sierra Leone. He also joined the staff of the Theological Hall after his retirement in 1992.
He will also be remembered for his great sense of humour - his stories will be told and retold across the years. He was a National role model. He was married to Regina Bangura (nee Taylor) for over 50 years and the union was blessed with four children – Tom jr (Opa), Konie (Mrs. Jeneba Yaskey), Sam and Ansumana. He continues to live in the hearts and memories of his family, and a multitude of his friends and relatives. Let us rejoice in his life and his eternal victory.

(Courtesy of Awareness Times , Freetown)



           ALFRED AKIBO-BETTS: AN APPRECIATION

    By Lansana Gberie 16/8/2006 

Alfred Abraham Akibo-Betts, who died last month in London , was an extraordinary politician – probably the most patriotic and committed figure in Sierra Leone 's politics in the last twenty-seven years or so. Various commentators since his death have recalled – more in sadness than in anger – a few of unsavoury incidents in which Akibo (as everyone called him) got himself involved in his early (and extremely faltering) forays into politics. Everyone, however, agree that Akibo soon after transcended those misjudgments, found immense gravitas, and was so successful as a public figure (first by unearthing massive corruption in government, and then by providing by far the most competent and effective leadership of the Freetown municipality in living memory) that many rue his failure (for he made an attempt) to become President of this badly mismanaged Republic. 

I first met Akibo when he was Mayor of Freetown in 1993. In less than two years after becoming Mayor, Akibo had transformed the once shambolic City Hall (for many years a haven, like the crumbling City Hotel adjacent – famously Graham Greene's haunt – for prostitutes) into an elegant neo-Georgian edifice. It was an immensely delightful meeting: Akibo's sense of humour, his great ambition for his city, his deep concern (somewhat barely discernible among many in the capital then) for the war then ravaging parts of the country were striking. Months later, Akibo's City Council donated tens of millions of leones towards the government's – then the National Provisional Ruling Council, NPRC, junta – war effort. It was easy then to deride this gesture (wasn't the Mayor trying too hard to be in the good books of the junta? Surely the city itself badly needed those funds?), but one can now only be nostalgic about it: for the farthest that high-mindedness now go within City Hall is for the current Mayor to seek newspaper headlines by grumbling aloud about how paltry the sum is that the government allocates for the cleaning of the streets facing his own office. 

Akibo's tenure at City Hall was memorable for two things: he was able to make Freetown reasonably clean and clear major thoroughfares and streets of clogging market stalls; and he was able to make the city solvent. Both of these achievements, taken for granted while Akibo's tenure lasted, can now seem like outlandish dreams. The idea of the colourful, charismatic politician is not always reassuring; but Akibo was able to combine magnetism with great humility: a lover of the spotlight (he assiduously wooed the media), Akibo nevertheless was always self-deprecating. I don't remember him speaking out of turns: and this is remarkable for such an outspoken and articulate politician with such strong views. I think in the end he enraged the current government by his well-timed, occasional criticism of the paralysis which has passed for government for some years now. 

  During the gruesome rebel attacks on Freetown in January 1999, Akibo's property in downtown Freetown was destroyed, and he was nearly killed. The war left him a broken man; but till the end he maintained a high spirit and a strong belief that some form of national resurgence was still possible. When I went to Freetown a few months after the attacks, I visited Akibo in his offices – or what passed for an office: a little cramped building with a large desk and several chairs, the only one surviving in the compound – on Bathurst Street . He had painted a sign in front of the building reading “Sierracratic Commonsense Salvation…” There was a touch of self-parody, never mind pathos, about it all; about this great man of grandeur reduced to affecting a sense of high-purpose and resurgence in this shrunken, blighted little edifice with no money and no following.

I spent an hour with him, for most of the time drinking beer and chatting about old days and the great tribulations that the country had gone through. Akibo's memorable old aphorisms enlivened the discussion: the slightly inapt ambience made them sound like some old recordings from a remote, more blissful past. “Our altitude is our attitude,” he would say. I understood him to mean that Sierra Leone can aspire and reach any height once its citizens adopt the right attitude towards their nation. He spoke about his loss and personal suffering and humiliation with no bitterness, only sadness. 

I next met Akibo a few years later, in his house on Spur Road . He had been partially paralyzed by stroke, and was confined home – a modest house which now seem near-derelict – in pain, overwhelmed by memories of loss and abandonment. He spoke – in sadness as well as some bitterness – of his unrequited life-long sacrifice for the country. He had not made money in his long life in public office; he did not have money to be taken out of the country for treatment. The government, because Abiko was associated with the opposition All Peoples Congress (APC) and had been critical, did not care about him. 

The public that he had served so selflessly did not appear to care either. He pointed this out to me as a lesson: this is a nation that does not reward honesty and selflessness; this is a nation that punishes its distinguished citizens. It is the prime problem of Sierra Leone , he said. He was being philosophical: the words, spoken deliberately, were a searing commentary and a warning. I was very touched. With me at the time were my good friends Kingsley Lington, David Tam-Baryoh, Isaac Massaquoi and Mohamed Swaray. After our meeting with Akibo, we made frantic efforts to enlist the help of a few highly-placed government officials, pleading on behalf of Akibo. We hit a wall. We felt helpless. Akibo showed us mementos of glorious days: medals and awards he had received from other Mayors and dignitaries abroad, invitations, pictures with other Mayors, pictures showing Akibo holding the key to a US city, mementos of Akibo's work to twin Freetown with cities like Hull (in the UK) and many others. 

He had grand ideas and dreams for his historic city, thinking it comparable in grandeur, if not wealth, to any other historic city: Akibo towered above all the charming little junkies whose idea of themselves as statesmen is their presumed ability to attract external assistance. Sometime later, I was seated in a Sierra Leone National Airlines flight from Freetown (going to London ) when one of the air hostesses came over to me and told me somebody wanted to talk to me. I followed her to a corner where a man was crouched alone on a seat meant for two. It was Akibo. Some people of goodwill had volunteered to pay his way to London for medical treatment, after many months of suffering. We spoke for an hour or so. It was the last time we spoke. At Gatwick Airport, as I was walking to catch the bus to Heathrow – to take a flight to Canada – I heard a quick announcement on the PA system calling on the people who had come to pick up Akibo at the airport to meet him at a counter…

I'll end where I began. Akibo was an extraordinary man, both as a politician and as a human being. I am singularly unsuited to writing an encomium, but I find that with someone who sacrificed so much for his country, and who was so wretchedly abandoned in the end, I can even find pleasure in being oleaginous. Few, if any, Sierra Leonean politicians in recent memory can claim the moral high-ground, the depth of patriotism and selflessness which Akibo exhibited. None identified as clearly with the idea – all-too-inchoate – that Sierra Leone can rise to become a self-sufficient, proud and honourable member of the community of nations. Certainly none embodied this aspiration as completely as Akibo did.

He lived all his life in Sierra Leone , rising from humble background to becoming a much-admired national figure. He was one of the few public figures in whom one cannot detect, however one is desperate to look, any trace of that old, if understated, national disease: sectarian or ‘tribal' alliance or consciousness. I see Akibo (along with Hinga Norman, another selfless patriot who has been abandoned and humiliated by the country) as a sterling national hero whose loss will be missed for decades to come. 

(Courtesy Concord Times, Freetown)


       TRIBUTES TO SAMUEL K. SESAY
 

To have been a friend, supervisor and co-worker of Samuel was one of my greatest privileges. He was a man that could be trusted with details and  responsibility. He was hardly ruffled or distracted from his goals. I remember him as a loyal meticulous and sincere person. One of Samuel's few  faults was the inability to say no to the call of duty, whether it was from his work or his Church. 

Samuel was invited to the EFSL staff team during the pioneering days of the Evangelical Fellowship of Sierra Leone, when the only attraction for anyone to come on staff was either faith or insanity. He was a man of faith. Together we translated vision into concrete realities. Apart from his family, Samuel's lasting legacies will include the many thousands of lives in Sierra Leone  he helped improve in the last sixteen years, especially during the dismal chapter of the civil war. 

Samuel was key to the success of the following programs than many Sierra Leoneans will remember.
- The Emergency Relief Assistance in the Western Area to help people stabilize after the rebel invasion of Freetown
- Preventive health care program in the Western Area and Bo.
- Lead management and service delivery to Clay Factory Displaced Camp, home of some 8000 war displaced persons.
- Consultative workshops
- Capacity building programs for EFSL member bodies
- Farming program for 80 displaced farming families in Campbell Town
- Operation Christmas Child
- Shelter Construction at Waterloo for people who lost their homes during the war
- Bread of Life Micro-Enterprize Program that benefited some 3000 Western Are residents.

I can go on and on, but the fact remains that we have lost a great person. Samuel has died..... but he is not dead, because he lived for a purpose, and he died in the Lord.

His life like a star will shine forever.

Crispin R. Cole


SAM'S JOURNEY TO GLORY
 

I first met Samuel Sesay (fondly called SKS) in Lunsar in 1983. It was my first year of work at the Baptist Eye Clinic and SKS had come to the hospital from Njala, where he was a student and needed eye examination. An uncle of mine had referred him to me for accommodation overnight as he arrived in Lunsar in the evening. We got bonded to each other when I pleasantly discovered that SKS was a member and one of the leaders of the VCU, the Christian union at Njala, a sister fellowship of the BSU at Fourah Bay College where I had been president in the previous year. We meet again in Freetown in the late 80s. This time we were both associates of SLEFES and Sam and I served on the constitution committee for the establishment of that harm of SLEFES. 

When the EFSL secretariat was established in 1989, the then General Secretary, Brother Crispin Cole was looking for people who could serve in the secretariat. When he approached me, I did not feel called then to work for EFSL and recommended SKS instead. Sam had just had a short stint at the FSSG and the then Barclays Bank and was more than willing to join the EFSL team, one of the earliest on the staff team. He started as a volunteer on the church survey research project in 1990. Then he had a full time appointment as Administrative Assistant later that year. 

With the influx of refugees from Liberia and the subsequent outbreak of the war in Sierra Leone, EFSL felt the need to respond to the humanitarian crisis in the country. This is how Sam became the pioneer of our now thriving Relief and Development Department when he was appointed as the first Relief and Development Coordinator. With restructuring in 1999 Sam moved on to yet another pioneering role as Research, Planning and Programming Coordinator in 2000. In this role, he assisted all the departments and member organizations of the EFSL in proposal writing and project implementation. The latest role he played was Operations Manager; again, the first to hold that position; which in essence, was the nerve centre of all EFSL operations. He did not only have a strategic role in the overall administration of EFSL but had role in every single project implementation.

Over the period Sam had acquired a wealth of knowledge from evangelism to organizational development. He qualified as an OD Consultant, M. Sc in Rural Development only in the last six months. He was a seasoned facilitator, exceptionally dedicated and very submissive. He was very humble and self-less. Colleagues would remember him for his sternness and uncompromising posture. This may have been a nuance for some of us but no doubt this added value to our operations and aided in achieving organizational objectives. Sam spent is active life in the office on Circular Road and the church, Joy AG on Short Street. He would never say ‘no’ to any assignment; and even though he always had several subordinates, he would hardly pass on an assignment that was directly assigned him. I must have told Sam umpteenth time that he did not have to personally do this. He believed in his pen. 

I hold the view that a glowing tribute at a dear friend’s funeral should not be mere rhetoric to impress listeners, but rather to endeavour to recall those conversations which the departed must have heard from your lips. I had to dig out his personal file to recount our appraisal dialogues. The last two of these went something like this:

Appraiser’s comments: Sam is a pillar of EFSL. Knowledge and commitment to the organization is a great asset. You have done well over the years. Need to look for a significant achievement. That is to say, you are successful in what you are doing. But must now use all you have to go for something SIGNIFICANT.

Apraisee’s reaction: I have noted the comments and the areas that I need to improve on my lot and for the good of others. I shall do something about the areas where I have scored ‘C’. (BY the way, ‘C’ is where he met the essential requirements in the competency areas of assessment).

The following year and the very last appraisal read like this:

Appraiser’s comment: Commitment to organization exceptional. I hope new role as Operations Manager will pose fresh challenges and performance will match this.

Apraisee’s reaction: I agree with GS’ assessment of my performance and I have taken note of the areas where I need to make improvement such as grasping opportunities, initiative and effective leadership.

A new direction, we had agreed on was to sell Sam’s services to other organizations. Recently, he was given time off to try his hand at consultancy in partnership with Bro. Nelson Clemens and EDRA Consultancy. The feedback from these partners was excellent and very knowledgeable. In fact our first attempt was a proposal to an international NGO but which has not seen the light of day. 

Looking back at Sam’s life I cannot but think he did his best to follow in the steps of his Lord and Saviour; a life lived not just for self but more for others; a life of paradox; the way of the cross. He had the opportunity and everything to go for greener and greener pastures but always opted to serve the church moved by the example of Christ his master: 

He hungered but fed thousands

He was wearied but He is the rest of them that are weary

He was heavy with sleep, but he walked lightly over the sea

He prays but he hears prayers

He weeps but he causes tears to cease

He asks where Lazarus was laid for he was man; but he raises Lazarus for He was God.

He is sold, and for very cheap, for it is only thirty pieces of silver; but he redeems the world.

As a sheep he was led to the slaughter, but he is the shepherd of Israel and now of the whole world also.

As a Lamb he is silent, yet he is the word

He dies, but he gives life.

He descended so that he would ascend.

Sam’s journey in this world in so many ways was self-giving, indeed, the way of the Lord. Heaven is paved with Gold; the way to heaven is not an easy one. Sam has weathered the vicissitudes of this world and praise God he has now ascended into glory to be with the Lord. Adieu Sam, I definitely have a sure hope of meeting you again on the other side and this time eternally together with the angels and in the presence of God. Rest in Peace. 
 
 

      AIAH FODAY-KHABENJE

GENERAL SECRETARY, EFSL

 


SINCERE SADNESS
 
Greetings Fatmata and Children-
 With great sorrow do I send my heartfelt loss of our dear brother and Board Member Samuel.  I am sure that you are wondering why so soon, why so quick when so much seemed to be coming together for the family?  One day we will ask of Him this answer but for now you must carry on.  Samuel made a great impact on Sierra Leone.  He was faithful to our God and to the children and families of Sierra Leone. 

May God bless you and keep you my dear lady.  All of our children extend their greetings and remorse to you.

Sincerely,

Christopher and Debra Clark
Founders
Children of the Nations




 

WE HAVE LOST 
A BRAIN IN SIERRA LEONE

My Dear Sister and the Children.

I want to on behalf of my family extend our condolence to you and the Children for the loss of your husband. It came to me as a surprise this morning when I was going through my mails. Thank God for Brothers Crispin’s’ life and the use of the Sierra connection.

 We have indeed lost a brain in Sierra Leone, Someone who is hard working trustworthy and always willing to help. He was indeed a brother and one who loves the Lord an asset to EFSL, and the body of Christ in Sierra Leone. Farewell me brother, we will join you some day.

We share your thoughts Fatmata for this great loss and we will continue praying for you.

Sister Theresa Bagrey and Family.




SAMUEL KEWULAY SESAY- A Brother, Colleague and Neighbor

The Late Samuel K. Sesay ('SKS' as he was fondly called) was a dear brother 
in the Lord who was so committed and loyal to the cause of Christ and his 
Church that even when we had to work late hours in the EFSL Secretariat, he 
would not miss his church's (Joy Assembly of God) night evening programs 
(even if it meant attending the last few minutes).

As a colleague in the  EFSL Secretariat, Sam was the man who served every 
Departmental Head with wisdom and devotion. He was the brain and developer 
for numerous Project Proposals which brought funding to every Department. 
Yet he was very unassuming and never took glory for this role. He would 
often spend long hours in the office just to meet deadlines for Project 
submittal to donor agencies. His commitment and loyalty to EFSL saw no 
bounds. Even to the point of missing a meal just to get a particular project 
completed for that day.We often joked in the office about having to 'remind 
Sam of lunch time.' The EFSL has lost a very formidable pillar. Sam's shoes 
will be hard to fill.

My family and I had the privilege of living in the same house with Sam, his 
wife and three kids for six months as refugees in Karporo, Guinea during the 
1997 interregnum. I saw Sam as a loving husband, and father to his three 
kids. He sacrificed to ensure his wife and kids stayed protected and
comfortable in Guinea while he returned to serve in Sierra Leone during the 
tumultuous years.  In 1999, Sam and my family shared a two-storey building 
in the center of Freetown till 2002. He was known in the neighborhood as, 
"the quiet church man."

Fatty and the kids, we all mourn with you at a time like this. Sam lived his 
life for God, His Church and his family. Now that he has gone to his Eternal 
Resting Place,  may the God of Peace console us all and help you take care 
of the kids.

Tom, Betty and the girls.



TRIBUTE TO CELEBRATE SAMUEL SESAY
 

Samuel was a dear personal family friend and co-laborer for the Kingdom of God. My wife, Jeneba and our two daughters express our deep heartfelt loss to Samuel’s dear wife Fatmata Helen and their children. 

 We remember SKS as;

 The Family we enjoyed many blessed times with our wives, children, relatives and friends.

Church was central place to worship God and serve the community in which Samuel and others moved.

EFSL- the contributions that Samuel made to this body and beyond created a solid foundation for the services they offer to the nations.

Children Of The Nations -bringing Samuel to the national board gave the administrative and organizational balance on the leadership team with clarity for the staff and children.

 We mourn and weep with you.  May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ continue to be your source of strength, hope and comfort.  We will never forget the work and witness of Samuel.  We will remember his faithfulness, consistency, diligences, integrity, and perseverance in serving the Lord and people.

 May the memories of Samuel K. Sesay continue to inspire us love God, love another, and serve everyone.
 

Rev. Augustine E., Jeneba, Angela and Catherine Davies

Sierra Leoneans in Florida, USA.


           IT IS WELL
Snatched away by the sting of death, 
Away from us to answer a noble call 
M ourned by survivors having hope
U seless is a life spent without Christ.
E ternity is sure for SAM
L iving to die no more is he

K ewulay your middle name friends hardly knew

Served Christ with enthusiasm and zeal
Enter now into the rest prepared for you
Servant who was not ashamed to share the gospel of Christ
A n adept teacher whose class non would like to miss
Y ou are now in the welcoming hands of our savior. 
    Well done good and faithful servant.

Brother Musa Daniel Sesay (Seima)



TRIBUTES TO BARLIE S. KARGBO
 
Barlie Laid to Rest
 
 
TO MY DADDY

To my daddy, I love u now and forever! Thanks for being there for us. I miss you so much...but I am also filled with happiness. Happy that Jesus took you with him to the place you talked so much about..Heaven! I remeber your last words to me! And I will never forget the others! 

Love you now and forever!
 
 

          Your Daughter Raza
 
 
 
BARLIE S. KARGBO: A BROTHER AND A FRIEND

As member of the Christian family from Sierra Leone, West Africa, with my family, can testify to the fact that God has blessed our family so much, having such a rich history of serving and loving God. One of life's best has been taken away from all of us and so suddenly, so soon. Barlie was a great testimony and a true gentleman wherever he was. 
 

I know you are missing him very much, but he is in the place he spent his entire life preparing for and helping others prepare for. I can just see him entering heaven and God saying "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."  We mourn yet not as ones without hope. For we know that some day, one day, we will all be reunited with our dear one (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:51 - 57). Barlie S. Kargbo, a life truly worthy of celebration and perpetual memory! 

To all the family members, relatives and close friends, our very sincere condolences. Blessings, joy, peace of mind and much more.  Remember dear friends, that one day, and it won't be that long; we will have a fantastic reunion like we have never had before. We have so much to look forward to.  But this doesn't stop you from missing him now, and our prayers and condolences are with each of you.
 
 

Peace,

Reverend Johnathan P. Decker (Ph.D., DRH), and Family

Marion, Indiana


        DEATH STRIKES AGAIN : BARLIE KARGBO  IS GONE

        Monday April 17 , 2006

         Mr. Barlie S. Kargbo, a notable member of the Sierra Leone Christian Fellowship , died yesterday at the Mercy Hospital in Philadelphia, 
         Pennsylvania. Barlie Kargbo is related to the Editor of COCORIOKO  by marriage. His elder brother , Mr. Morlai Kposongo Kargbo , of 
         Rokulan, Bombali District, was married to the first cousin of the Editor , Kaday Sesay, who  is now dead. Barlie came to the U.S  in 1992 
         to pursue graduate studies  and was  brought  by the Rev. Billy K.Simbo  to Faith Community Church in New Jersey ( A church co-Pastored 
         by the Editor , Simbo and some other Sierra Leonean ministers in the early 1990s. There the Editor and Barlie met again for the first time since 
         1970 when they spent the long Rainy Season Vacation together  at Rokulan and Gbendembu. 

         Before his arrival in the U.S, Barlie Kargbo was Principal of a secondary school in the Northern Province. He received his first degree at 
         Njala University College and studied for a Masters ' degree in Rural Development in the U.S. His death is a big loss to friends, family and t
         he Sierra Leone Scripture Union and Christian fellowship. May his soul rest in peace. 

         By Rev Kabs Kanu
         Courtesy Cocorioko



 
 
 
 
 



 
LUCY VIOLET SYLVIA CAREW

Lucy Violet Sylvia Carew, nee Macaulay February 6th 1939 - February 23rd 2006 
aged 67 years.Her parents were the late Thomas B. O Macaulay fondly called Bob of SL Post Office and Marampa Mines, and Standard Bank, and Eva Philippa Sylvia 
Macaulay, Nee Fitzjohn of Harford School, FSSG and Marampa Mines.
She acquired her basic education at the Ebenezer Methodist Primary School and Freetown Secondary School for Girls. Her best subject was math.

She started her professional career in1957. She served humanity with compassion, as a nurse at the  Marampa Mines, and later at the Lahai Taylor Private Clinic. 
In 1961 Lucy fell in love and married the late Honourable Edward Carew, Member of Parliament for Moyamba district. He was at the time a teacher at Methodist Boys High School. Her love for human growth and development led her to obtain a Teacher’s Certificate.
Lucy touched hundreds of lives in the classrooms in Bo Town, Makeni, Moyamba, Pujenhun, Kenema, Port Loko and Tonkolili districts, complimenting her husband's tour of duty in the civil service. Lucy labored assiduously, supplementing her teaching with business ventures.

They finally
returned to Freetown where Mr Carew retired as Deputy Secretary Ministry of 
Health. Lucy continued shaping young lives in the classroom in Freetown; at the Buxton infant school followed by tenure at the Ebenezer Infant School and UMC Primary School, Brookfields. 

After forty-two years, their marriage was terminated with the passing of her husband in 2003. Upon retirement from active professional service, Lucy found a niche in community development and church ministry. As Chair of the Brookfields community development association, with the help of Plan International she spearheaded the construction of the two storey Bishop Baughman Memorial  United Methodist Church Primary School in Brookfields. 
Lucy was also a very committed Christian worker. 
She opened her home to the home cell that later was to become the Good News Assemblies of God Church, now located in Bass street Brookfields. She was also involved in the Living word of Faith Outreach Ministries International.
 Mr & Mrs Carew fled to Ghana during the military junta in SL. where her 
daughter, Emma and son live. Lucy answered her call to higher service in Ghana on February 23, 2006 after a brief illness.

Like tools in the hands of a craftsman, Lucy came to be used for a special mission. Her mission accomplished, the mastercraftsman has promoted her to take a rest in her mansion over the hill top. To God be the glory.

Miss Me, But Let Me Go
Author Unknown 
When I come to the end of the road, 
and the sun has set for me. 
I want no rites in a gloom-filled room. 
Why cry for a soul set free?
Miss me a little—but not too long, 
and not with your head bowed low. 
Remember the love that was once shared. 
Miss me, but let me go.
For this is a journey we all must take, and each must go alone. 
It’s all a part of the master’s plan, a step on the road to home. 
When you are lonely and sick of heart, go to the friends we know. 
Bear your sorrow in good deeds. Miss me, but let me go.

Tributes

I wish to thank you for forwarding me this Obituary. You may not be aware who Mrs Lucy Carew is to me and the entire Mankobo conteh family of 4 Lemon Lane.
Through you I wish to extend on behalf of the Mankobo Conteh family our condolence to the Carew and Macurley families for the lost of our dear Mother, Aunt, Sister and Friend .

May her soul rest in perfect peace

Mohamed Mankobo Conteh
4 Lemon Lane (Neighbour, Family Friend)
medconteh2005@yahoo.co.uk
 


CLIFFORD NELSON FYLE, Father of Sierra Leone National Anthem

An Appreciation: A Tribute by the Family

The distinguished linguist and author Clifford Nelson Fyle, well known for writing the lyrics to the Sierra Leone National Anthem, passed away on Wednesday, January 18, 2006. 

Clifford was born in Freetown on March 29, 1933. He attended Methodist Boys High School. Many would remember him as their English teacher in the mid-1950s. At the age of 20, Clifford obtained a Bachelor's degree in Languages, and also Mathematics from Fourah Bay College, then under the University of Durham. After accomplishing a Diploma in Education, he embarked on what would become a successful career as an educationist.

Some of you may know that he started his working life as a schoolteacher, but many of you may not know that as a young man he was also a politician, indeed the first Publicity Secretary and third in command, after Cyril Rogers-Wright and John Nelson-Williams, of the United Progressive Party (UPP), which later merged with the SLPP to form the Government of National Unity that led Sierra Leone to national independence in 1961.

Clifford quickly found out that there were many other ways in which he could serve his country other than by being a politician. Regretfully, as he usually said, he gave up politics, concentrated on education, and later became a storywriter.  He wrote the Bangurah-Cole stories which delighted thousands of readers of the Sierra Leone Daily Mail in the mid-1950s.

Clifford obtained a Master of Arts degree in Education in 1958 and a Bachelor's in English with honors in 1960, both at the University of Durham, England. As soon as he returned home in 1960, he entered the competition for the words of the Sierra Leone National Anthem and won the competition with his High We Exalt Thee? verses. He respectfully became the author of the Sierra Leone National Anthem.

In 1960, the Ministry of Education appointed Clifford as an Education Officer and School Inspector, the youngest School Inspector on record at that time. He was responsible for acquiring textbooks for a number of schools in Sierra Leone. In 1964, Clifford became a foundation staff member of Njala University College where he was admired and greatly respected by faculty and students of this newly opened University. He, however, was still determined to advance his knowledge in Linguistics and, in 1967, he completed a postgraduate work in Linguistics at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).

Back in Sierra Leone, Clifford became Senior Lecturer at Fourah Bay College where he attained his Professorship. He was head of the Department of English and Dean of the Faculty of Arts from 1977-78. 
At this point, Professor Clifford Fyle, the Master of Languages and English decided to have a change. He was offered the Secretaryship of the West African Linguistic Society, whose international Congress he had brilliantly organized at the Cape Sierra Hotel in Freetown in 1974. Instead, Professor Fyle chose the wider international sphere of UNESCO, where he accepted a job as Language Specialist in January 1978. Here, he ensured that all the 52 African countries were identified and described, and their respective languages used for educational and literacy teachings. In 1988, due to his exemplary work, he was appointed World Coordinator of Mother Tongue Languages and Vice President of Research.

Professor Fyle also made a strong imprint as a scholar in linguistics with the seminal Krio-English Dictionary, which he co-authored with Professor Eldred Jones. The London Times newspaper in 1980, was so impressed with the impact of his work that it referred to this Dictionary as "blazing a worldwide trail" in modern linguistic study and lexicography. 

The Marquis   Who in the World publication recognized Professor Fyle's significant achievement and had this to say about him: "Rising from lecturer (1964) to professor and faculty dean (1977) Fyle revolutionized the teaching of languages within the University of Sierra Leone. He scientifically established Sierra Leone's'  Lingua Franca, Krio, as a true Language. He also pioneered the establishment of the Department of Linguistics and Sierra Leone Languages. At UNESCO, he was responsible for the development of over 2000 Languages in 52 African countries and their use in communication and education. His remarkable success ensured his appointment (1988) as UNESCO's World Coordinator of Mother Tongue Languages, as well as Vice President of the International Association of research in Mother Tongue Education."

In 1993, Professor Fyle retired, returned to Sierra Leone, brimful of energy and threw himself into his heart's desire, that of producing school books in the major local languages of Sierra Leone: Mende, Temne, Limba and Krio.
Throughout his career, Professor Fyle produced and published 24 school textbooks and Readers which together have established the teaching of these languages in Sierra Leone. While he was in Sierra Leone, Professor Fyle started Lekon Publishing Company in 1995. In 2000, he established a similar company in Yonkers, New York as Lekon New Dimension Publishing. Through this company he published Sorie Conteh's book The Diamonds which has become very popular among African Studies Departments in most American Universities; and his last two novels, These Old Colonial Hills? and The Alpha?. One of his earlier novels, Blood Brothers, published by Longhorn Kenya Ltd, was nominated for the 1998 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

Apart from his outstanding work for his country, and his numerous awards and public recognition, Professor Fyle is most significantly remembered for three remarkable achievements. 

- The first is as author of the words of the Sierra Leone National Anthem; essentially, it is one of the few National Anthems, if not the only one in all black Africa, of which both the words and music were written by its national citizens. 

- Second, Professor Fyle wrote the grammar of the Krio Language and co-authored The Oxford Krio-English Dictionary, an outstanding feat which proved to all Sierra Leoneans that their everyday Krio was indeed a language in its own right, remarked the Guardian newspaper of Britain when it was published. The Krio Dictionary revolutionized the study of linguistics and Creole languages throughout the entire world, ˜blazing a worldwide trail as described by the prestigious British Newspaper, the London Times. 

- Third, Professor Fyle made history as the first Sierra Leonean to produce books for the teaching of Sierra Leone languages in schools; six books each for Mende, Themne, Limba and Krio representing the four national languages sanctioned by Government for use in education. This achievement was considered in-achievable at the time (1996-97) when these books were produced. 

To Professor Fyle, as President of the Sierra Leone Association for the Teaching of English in 1972, the then Minister of Education Augustine Sandy remarked: Clifford, if even you achieve nothing else in this life, at least you have made your own contribution to Sierra Leone." Eleven years later, in 1983, the distinguished British linguist Professor David Dalby expressed similar compliment to Professor Fyle. In 2005, Professor Fyle experienced a deserving source of pride. He was inducted into the prestigious Marquis, Who's Who in the World, and Who's  Who In America. Professor Fyle's biographical profile is chronicled on the Marquis 2005 listings.

It was Professor Fyle's desire to retire in his much-beloved homeland of Sierra Leone. Sadly, though, he did so very briefly. Alas, the rebel war literally forced him out of his country, and he moved, much against his will, to the United States where he was destined for his last days. 

Professor Fyle has left behind a wife Rose Nelson-Fyle, seven children, and siblings including: Edith Fyle-Cole, retired School Headmistress; Enid Fyle-Taylor, retired Accountant; Clifton B. Fyle, an International Banker; Professor Cecil Magbailey Fyle of Ohio State College (former Prof. at FBC); Hilton Fyle, former Broadcaster SLBS and Ethline Fyle, Secretary in Sierra Leone. Professor Fyle is credited for imposing strong academic structure and discipline to his siblings, other family members and students.

Sierra Leone has indeed lost a brilliant and dedicated son. 

Thank you Professor Clifford Nelson Fyle. May your soul rest in peace.
 

By: The Family
 



      . 
ABIOSEH NICOL, Sierra Leonean diplomat and writer

ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA

Year in Review 1994: obituary

ABIOSEH NICOL, Sierra Leonean diplomat and writer (b. Sept. 14, 1924, Freetown, Sierra Leone--d.. Sept. 20, 1994, Cambridge, England), enjoyed a varied career as a medical researcher, physician, academic, diplomat, and writer. After attending the University of London, where he studied medicine, Nicol earned a B.A. (1947) in natural science and doctorates in medicine and biochemistry from Christ's College, Cambridge. There he conducted research on the chemical structure of insulin in the human body and he wrote and lectured widely on medical and scientific topics. In 1957 Nicol became a fellow of Christ's College, the first black African to achieve this distinction. Nicol returned to Sierra Leone in 1958 as a senior pathologist, but in 1960 he was appointed principal of the Fourah Bay College in Freetown, a position he held for eight years. He began a distinguished diplomatic career in 1969, when he was appointed Sierra Leone's ambassador to the UN. In 1970 he became president of the UN Security Council, and he served (1972-82) as executive director of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research. From 1983 to 1987 he was president of the World Federation of UN Associations. Nicol, writing under the pen name Abioseh  Nicol, won the 1952 Margaret
Wrong Prize and Medal for Literature in Africa. His works include Two African Tales (1965) , and The Truly Married Woman, and Other Stories (1965). He edited Paths to Peace: The UN Security Council and Its Presidency (1981) and co-edited Creative Women in Changing  Societies: A Quest for Alternatives (1982). 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dr. Davidson Nicol was born Sept. 14, 1924 in Freetown, Sierra Leone in Bathurst Village. 
His full name was Davidson Sylvester Hector Willoughby Nicol. 
He was educated at  St. Cyprian School, Port Harcourt 1930 - 31, 
Government Model School 1932-35, 
Prince of Wales School 1935-42, 
Christ's College Cambridge 1943-52. 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Following is a list of his advanced schooling and accomplishments:

1. Ibadan University Medical College Nigeria 1952-54

2. Cambridge University Fellow and Supervisor 1954-58

3. Senior Pathologist Sierra Leone Medical Services 1958-60

4. Principal Fourah Bay College 1960-67

5. Chairman, West African Examinations Council 1964-68

6. Director Consolidated African Selection Trust Ltd., London

7. Vice Chancellor University of Sierra Leone 1966-68

8. President Sierra Leone National Red Cross Society 1963-65

9. Chairman Sierra Leone National Library Board 1963-65

10. Director Central Bank of Sierra Leone 1963-68

11. Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to U.N. 1969-71

12. United Nations Security Council 1970-71 (President 1970)

13. Chairman Special Committee on Decolonization 1970-71

14. Fellow (Hon.) Christ's College, Cambridge 1972

15. High Commissioner to U.K. & Ambassador to Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway 1971-72

16. Under Secretary-General U.N. & Executive Director UNITAR 1972-82

17. President, World Federation of U.N. Associations 1983-87

18. Professor of International Studies, University of South Carolina 1991-93

Dr. Nicol died Tuesday, September 20, 1994 in Cambridge, England

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