This world is full of surprises; we live with them and of course we die with things slapping you in the face that are the least expected. Sometimes you begin to wonder what is it about this world that mankind can go the extra mile to harm or even kill his fellow man. Where for heaven sake are we going with all the vices we have lived on earth with? My own personal experience continues to teach me often that good people can hardly live long enough to share in the wretchedness of mother Earth for the simple reason that the world is fast being overcome by all the characteristics of evil in the real sense of the word.
This is where I come down to a man who over the years has made a notch in a profession that has earned him the admiration of all senior and junior journalists in this country. Starting from a quiet and an unassuming background in journalism, he rose to become one of the most admired Journalists in this country.
For those of my friends who know Late Samuel John of Awoko Newspaper, it can take you time to find a likable and conscientious gentleman who is always friendly and appeasing to all who come in contact with him. You want to see a man with a class? It is Samuel John. You want to do business with a man of integrity? Go closer to Samuel John. You want to practicalize journalism and come out as a fine product? Samuel John is of course the man to mix with. You can rate “Lord John” as I fondly call him with the likes of any of the very senior journalists in this country (a protégée of the Late Sam Metzger, an icon in the field of Journalism in Sierra Leone).
Here was a man shortly before his great call on Monday, 12/09/16(Ed – Ul – Adda Holiday) was on Saturday 10/09/16 at his work place putting all stories in order for publication in the Tuesday Edition, 13/09/16 of the Awoko Newspaper. The following day was Sunday, 11/09/16 a holy day of rest. That Sunday evening “Lord John” was head of the Awoko Staff to a Dinner where they had a jolly good time with friends and colleagues. The man was alive and kicking during the entire dinner up to the time of their departure, not a sign of illness was noticed by any one present. Then came the bomb the following Monday, “Mr. Samuel John is dead.” Can anyone beat this as a member of the dinner club who lived and rubbed shoulders with Mr. John that night?
This therefore begs the question, what happened to Mr. John? Was he sick after the dinner? The answer is `no’, according to those who were with him. And this is where I am tempted to go into a bit of Theology and the powers of the Supreme Being. Mr. Samuel John is a strict disciplinarian when it comes to dedication to work in the field of journalism; he cuts across all barriers in his social life as a good mixer. At his work place, just ask his protégées and they will tell you about the man that made them what they are. He is cool, unassuming, loveable and decent to live with. As friends, we chat and quite often he deliberately refuses to call my name, but uses such tags as “Foxity, Small Boy, Hanger-abouts, Wild Cat,” we share the fun with no animosity or ill feelings. The other day, a week before he died, I was walking along the street of Freetown, precisely Siaka Stevens Street, and there was Samuel John on the other side of the street shouting “hey you Foxity come here.” I immediately ran across the street towards him and we shared lots of fun to the amazement of some passer byes. This is the man that is no more, a man I am missing in life.
Now my conviction about the demise of Samuel John is that the Lord God sees him as such a good servant that HE has realized that Mr. Samuel John has no business living in a world full of greed, deprivation, injustice, oppression, avarice, death and destruction. He has been called home so soon by his Creator to a paradise, given his good works on earth. He is gone, living us sinners mourning his death, but truly, we should be jubilating over the call of a man whose life was well spent.
My brother John you left an indelible mark of friendship in my heart. Sleep well my brother till we meet again, my condolences to your family and work mates at Awoko, particularly your Managing Editor, Mr. Kelvin Lewis who is still living with a heavy heart over your departure.
`LORD JOHN’ – RIP
By Joseph Musa.
Thursday September 22, 2016