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Sierra Leone News: A Tribute to Mr Samuel John

LATE SAMUEL JOHN

LATE SAMUEL JOHN

We fought, we laughed, and we took walks, shared moments and worked under one roof.
I came across Samuel John when I was a young boy, through my late father of blessed memory.
My Father was also a broadcast journalist at the SLBS by then, and a good friend of late Sam Metzger another veteran in print journalism, who was Managing Editor for the red sun paper “We Yone”, where the late Samuel John also worked.
Little did I know that later someday, one day I will be opportune to work with Samuel John (Juni, Juni).
It was in August, 2013, and seated in front of the Managing Editor of Awoko Publications for a job interview, when Mr Samuel John was called into the office to have a quick run on me, to test my depth in the noble profession of journalism.
At my early stage at Awoko, Mr John wanted me to cover the courts, but I explained the reason why I do not cover the courts, he was disappointed, and that was when we had our fight (not physical).
I concentrated on health issues and other human interest stories, and on my return will submit my story, and I made sure that I gave a well-balanced report, whether it was an event or an interview, because I knew If I didn’t, I will be grilled the next morning, during meeting, by Mr John.
As time progressed, my experience in the print media was growing, but still Mr John was not satisfied about my refusal to cover the courts.
However, I diligently continued with my work and made sure I contributed daily to the paper, and this was how Mr John slowly took his mind off, on insisting that I cover the courts.
One thing about the late man, he was very humorous and had no barrier, when it comes to socialising, he will say “Pikin way sabi wase ein han fine go eat wit big man”, meaning it does not matter, as long as respect is maintained for each other, we can be friends.
So that was how we started taking our walks once on a while during weekends, after work.
He was a great thinker, though sometimes shy to say what is white or black, reason being, he does not want to hurt no one. But there are times when he will come out of the closet and come down with a heavy hand.
Yes, many a time we disagree to agree, and after we would have moved to another subject, surprisingly he will move back to where we had left, to start another debate, and sometimes when I stand on my grounds, he gets very vexed with me, and I will hold my peace, “na me big wan.”
Along the way, another colleague revealed his nick name “Juni Juni” to me. He said anytime he is vexed call him Juni Juni, and all will be settled.
Mr John was not quarrelsome, rather he wanted everything to be 100% perfect, so he was sometimes misunderstood, but I usually tell him, it is impossible because we all come from different background and culture, let’s try to keep it above average.
Our last talk before his demise was on Thursday 8th September, when he informed me about a trip to South Africa to join the National under- 19 Cricket team, where he will have the opportunity to undergo a thorough medical scan, and also purchase enough medication to see him through for a long time, but unfortunately the trip did not happen.
I was totally shocked and down hearted, when I saw “RIP Mr John, u will be missed,” on the SLRU social group at about 1:30 am on Tuesday morning; I could not believe and I am still day dreaming.
Mr Samuel John, your day of toil has ended, we love you, but Master Jesus loves you best.
Goodbye, Goodbye sleep and take your rest.
By Ade Campbell
Friday September 16, 2016

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