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ASALJIE sympathy statement: Olu Gordon

ASALJIE sympathy statement: Olu Gordon

Members of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists in Exile (ASALJIE, Sydney, Australia) deeply regret the loss of one of the strongest pillars of Sierra Leonean journalism, Mr. Olu Gordon. We therefore hereby express our deepest condolences to the bereaved family of Olu, to relatives and friends and to Sierra Leonean journalists in every part of the world who might have, in one way or the other, come in contact with the brilliant and indefatigable gentleman. Well, no one has power over death; it “will come when it will comes”.

Olu or Richie, depending on your relationship with him,  carved a strong niche for himself in his writing career and can be counted as a man who believed that the pen is always mightier than the sword, who believed that a thousand words said on the rostrum was of far less potency as a few finely written words on a piece of paper. His brand of brilliant journalism can never be matched as he combined “serious” writing with wits, satire and, most of all, humour, to shape an otherwise turbulent and fraudulent journalism that has over-taken the profession in Sierra Leone.

Those who did not understand the nature of this talented gentleman’s style of writing would probably think some of his satirical writings were virulent and hurting, which is usually a hallmark of the literary profession, if done to correct certain ills of society. He was an upright gentleman who always thought that the common man was as important (or more important) than the bloke who has amassed wealth through corrupt means. He would rather starve and, indeed, he did starve than to sell his soul for pittance.

His witty, most times acidic, comments might obviously not have gone down well with certain colleagues, which might have probably contributed to the occasional bitter exchanges between him and them, but journalism in Sierra Leone has always carried that unacceptable black-spot where journalists have turned their pens against each other, through the machination of corrupt politicians and civil servants, instead of fighting the real enemy – corruption in high places, the bane of the Sierra Leone society. 

Members of ASALJIE feel that Sierra Leone has an interminable pool of talented writers and journalists but nothing/nobody will replace that uniqueness, that strength and that unforgettable penmanship of Olu Gordon. As one sympathizer said, “Bootlickers will rejoice, patriotic Sierra Leoneans will mourn.” May his soul rest in perfect peace.

Edison Yongai
Sonny Edmondson-Cole
Tony Bee. Conteh
Abubakar Kenewa Gamanga
Prince George-Coker

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