Tribute: Sorie Sudan Sesay– the passing of ‘ORSOH’

At exactly 4:50 pm on Sunday, 17th June 2018, I heard the sad news that Sorie Sudan Sesay commonly called the ‘SUDANESE’ had passed away after a short illness in a London hospital.

I was shocked when I heard the news from my colleague journalists during the funeral service of late Ibrahim Samura at the Christ Embassy Church, Lumley Beach Road in Freetown. I decided to call his younger brother, Abdul Sesay also popularly known as Rambo to confirm if the news is true. I took my cell phone and dialled Sudan’s number immediately. But unfortunately when the phone rang, I said to myself, thank God, Sudanese is still alive, not knowing the man is dead. His younger brother picked up the phone and he said big brother Bai-Bai, your man ORSOH is dead.  I am currently using his phone. But still I can’t believe, I told him, did you confirm to the doctor. He said big brother ORSOH, I have just called his wife Fatmata Sudan Sesay to come to the hospital immediately.

I can’t believe, I am writing this tribute with tears in my eyes and a great sadness in my heart for a wonderful and seasoned journalist who mentor several local journalists including John Baimba Sesay, Sheik Sesay, Alusine Nfa Turay and Mustapha Kamara to name a few. His passing is a great loss to me, Independent Observer family and I am sure to numerous others who have had the fortunate opportunity of sharing this great man’s knowledge and time.

Sorie Sudan Sesay has left this world for eternity, however, I believe his soul is with us, and for me, memory of him still lingers in my mind.

In his life, Sudanese, as he was known by his numerous comrades, admirers and friends, lived a life of piety, wisdom and knowledge. He was a great respecter of people, including the young and old. We loved Sudanese but the Almighty had his plans. Sorie Sudan Sesay answered the call to eternity on Sunday 17th June 2018 at a London hospital in the United Kingdom.

The late Sorie Sudan Sesay, a diplomat cum journalist who dedicated his life in representing the underprivileged through journalism and he plays his part in the field of diplomacy as Press Attaché at our Sierra Leone High Commission in the United Kingdom. Mr. Sorie Sudan Sesay played a vital role in his hey-days in uplifting the Sierra Leone Sports Writers Association known as SWASAL into higher height as well as strengthening its activities.

Sorie Sudan Sesay served in prominent leaderships. He was the former president of the Sports Writers Association of Sierra Leone (SWASAL), a member of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), former Editor of the Independent Observer newspaper, Proprietor of the Sierra Update Communications comprising Sierra Update Magazine and Sierra Update newspaper respectively. While serving in these various leadership positions, he has helped a lot of media practitioners to study journalism at the Mass Communications Department at Fourah Bay College (FBC) whilst others benefited one way or the other from travelling in and out of the country especially United Kingdom. Besides all of this, he has provided computers to Sports Writers Association of Sierra Leone (SWASAL) and other media houses.

I first met the late man several years ago where the then managing director of the Sierra Leone News Agency (SLENA) and Managing Editor of Eastern Post newspaper, the late Abdul Karim Jalloh and Ibrahim Tayibb Bah respectively asked me to practice journalism. Without any argument or comment, I stated journalism as a sports reporter at the Eastern Post while Sorie Sudan Sesay was practicing as sports journalist at the Concord Times newspaper. This is how I met the late man into the field of journalism which I am now enjoying through his encouragement and advice. He always regarded me as a brother.

Journalists can attest that the late man was one of the best sports journalists who was brought and trained by Jonathan Leigh, managing editor of the Independent Observer newspaper. He was always committed to his work and his great death will be seriously felt by his colleagues both at home and abroad.

During my days with him at the Independent Observer newspaper, he always ensured that we worked as a team. Without any hesitation, Sudan is one of the brains behind the success of the Independent Observer newspaper. During the absent of Jonathan Leigh who was out of the country by then, Editor Sorie Sudan Sesay, one day, told me, Bai-Bai, I think we should start with immediate effect to publish the paper daily because we are now popular in the market and I told him I am always ready to work with you my brother.

Sorie Sudan Sesay was one of the few journalists his colleagues admired a lot because of his dedication and hard work to the journalism profession. Jonathan Leigh always referred him as his younger brother and trained him to become one of the best sports journalists in the country and journalism in general.

I was shocked at news of his death even though he always felt sick but this is a man who always maintained routine medical check-ups both in Sierra Leone and England respectively. Indeed good things never last, as shown by the sudden death of brother Sorie Sudan Sesay. That is why the death of Sudan is not only a big loss to his family, SLAJ, SWASAL, Sierra Leone High Commission in the United Kingdom but also to the entire nation and beyond.

Brother Sorie Sudan Sesay, rest in peace and may Allah Almighty guide you in eternity. Insha Allah

on 20 June 2018