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Sierra Leone News: TRIBUTE: Late Editor Samuel John … I owe you gratitude

Samuel John

Samuel John

I owe gratitude to the fallen hero- Samuel John, as most people have described him.  Even though you’re gone but you’re special in my heart. I could not sleep when a senior colleague, Betty Milton of this award winning newspaper of which the late man contributed immensely to grab the enviable awards, told me that the Editor had passed away.
I was just about to attend a press conference organized by one of the SLPP flag bearer aspirants when I got the shocking message that I have not wanted to hear and this made me speechless in the press conference. A colleague from Njala University Radio, Jonathan Kurabu, sitting close to me asked, “Why so quiet not asking a question” and the response was “I have lost somebody who has been helping me grow in not only the journalism profession but to achieve a degree at the university.”
Mr. John was somebody that I have told to adopt me as a son in so many text messages that flooded his phone and he could not respond to any one of them but his action was great; as he was sending my lunch as a way to motivate me achieve my education.
I came to know Mr. John when I joined AWOKO after I met the Managing Editor in Pujehun to discuss my intention to be a reporter for AWOKO. Kelvin Lewis was in Pujehun to give a befitting funeral ceremony to another fallen hero  Anthony Deen alias D.J Base, who was working for Radio Wanje as a Station Manager in Pujehun.
I worked for AWOKO for a week and I stopped due to the academic work as I had to study for my first Semester Examination, but I didn’t tell him. As an Editor that cares for his staff, Mr. John emailed to say “I like the way you write. Why have you stopped reporting? The day I finished my exam, I dashed to one of the challenging internet cafes in Bo and looked at the incoming messages and I saw the message of the caring editor. I shook my head continually for about ten seconds and somebody sitting by me asked why I’m shaking my head. This never happened in my life since I started practicing journalism in 2002 – for an Editor to ask me, especially the editors I have worked for in the Print Media. For them to even call a reporter in the provinces to know about your health is a problem. But here was Mr. John who said “Aruna, I don’t know your number to call you that was what why I emailed you.” Dad, I am missing you, you are gone but not forgotten.
The reporters including the Managing Editor, we are missing you. I could recall when I went to the office in Freetown, when I saw Mr. John, he said “Oooo…  Aruna Kamara is back. I’m impressed. You were reporting but you stopped and later resumed with a renewed zeal to report for the paper. Continue with your good work.” And I responded, “I will continue with the good work” and he gave me a charming smile. What a lovely father, brother uncle and senior colleague we have lost. I could still remember the jokes he makes with the staff on that day I was in office, before my departure to the much trumpeted sweet Bo and the devastating message reached me via phone that the cold hands of death  have laid the unquestionable hands on my adopted father – God Knows why as he  gives and takes. No body questions but I am with the conviction that he has joined the heavenly choir and he is now with other fallen heroes like Christian Keilie, whom I worked with in Freetown at the Salone Times Newspaper.  We will surely meet you all in Heaven.  Amen.
By Aruna Kamara- Bo Correspondent
Friday September 23, 2016

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