On the re-opening of SLPP Office … “We would never encourage violence” John Benjamin...

Sierra Leone News: TRIBUTE TO A MENTOR-SAMUEL JOHN

LATE SAMUEL JOHN

LATE SAMUEL JOHN

News of his death was a surprise visit. Death comes when one is least prepared and least expect; a testament I recorded upon receiving report of Samuel John’s death. I had barely dropped a telephone conversation with him forty-eight hours (Saturday 10th September, 2016) before his demise, as if we were bound to say goodbye to each other.
If journalism was ever a calling for me, Samuel John trumpeted it. My acquaintance with Mr. John (as I ever called him) spanned the period of six years following my appointment with the Awoko Newspaper sometimes in 2009. I could still savor the reception Mr. John accorded me when I first met him leaning on the banister at the veranda of Awoko newspaper’s office. He looked determined yet approachable. I could manage to scribble down the brief conversation that ensued when I got closer to him: “Good afternoon sir?” I greeted. Sounded resolute and decisive, he retorted: “how are you…young man?” …. Then he continued: “how can I help you?”
The aftermath of our less-than twenty minutes’ conversation, backed up with proofs of qualification, provided me the golden opportunity to ever experience the sweet taste of journalism. Later on during my sojourn at Awoko, Mr. John became a mentor.
When I assumed duty the following morning, my first assignment was to gather report of an event organized by some youth organization, who had extended invitation for Awoko’s coverage. Indeed, it was a “baptism of fire” for a young graduate in Mass Communication. When I brought the items back to the news room later in the day, it was a herculean task for Mr. John, on whom I had relied for sandwiching, to give the news the required effects, particularly those that had to do with Awoko newspaper’s editorial policy. Thankfully, despite his unusual interjections and melodrama, Mr. John was very, very good at providing worthy headlines for every manner of news. And he was very good to quickly figure that out.  All of “us” reporters blandished his expertise when we needed him for “Headline” service. As an individual, Mr. John was just that-an individual.
One thing for which I would fondly remember Mr. John was his ability to quickly identify “coasting stories” from “non-coasting stories.”  With that ability, he became a stone-wall to irrelevant news items that might have slipped their way into Awoko dailies for purportedly individual benefit. He was conscious and passionate about human interest stories, and he would literally slaughter whoever saw one and failed to report it.
In case I forget! One of the good qualities Mr. John should be remembered for was his respect for authority and his boss-Mr. Lewis. He had enormous but extremely huge respect for Mr. Lewis such that he would disagree if Mr. Lewis disagreed and agree if he agreed. He never had an open confrontation with his boss, and he would terrify a staff with Mr. Lewis’ decision(s) at every given opportunity. Those character traits of his could be worthy of emulation.
As I close this tribute, I hold the philosophy that God Almighty; during the day of judgement, would be in need of some “good” journalists to report proceedings. And I believe that Mr. John, having served the world’s noblest profession, would be one of those great (fallen) journalists God would nominate to serve that purpose. When we shall meet again, I shall graciously join Mr. John’s Awoko Newspaper to continue his good work eternally.
May his blissful soul rest in peace!!!!!!
Note: Pointdexter Sama worked under Mr John at Awoko. He is now a Media Officer at Sierra Rutile.
By Poindexter Sama
Friday September 30, 2016

Comments are closed.