Sierra Leone Media Mourns 2 prominent journalists and 1 media Guru as 2022 ends in great distress. This distress could see several media outlets bowing heads in honor but with pessimism for the on-coming year. However, the high-spirited will see the occurrence otherwise as a resolve for intensive spiritual engagement while the pragmatist might deem it the course of life to which death forms an integral part of the end activity of living.
2022 itself is a year that made history in Sierra Leone’s media with an infused changed perspective on media practice owing to the enforcement of the Independent Media Commission’s (IMC) Act of 2020. In addition, several moves including the Media Summit held in Freetown to lure media investors came into effect on directives from the Ministry of Information and Communication. While this was a great move in itself, the climate for media growth has been challenging for media owners who mathematics their running cost in conjunction with staff welfare and innovative media reach. Those who have wealth of experience and have tarried in the industry for a while with the hope to excel and enjoy their contributions to societies are now being called to eternal home rest in untimely life events.
The untimely end of life inadvertently began with Patricia Ganda, who suddenly past away a few weeks back. The news came as a shock within the media landscape and shook several heads in the newly formed and fine-tuned Sierra Leone Association of Broadcasters’ forum. Patricia Ganda’s death was followed by Esther Kargbo, a station manager, of Sierra Leone’s Broadcasting Corporations’ (SLBC) Kailahun Branch substation located in the east of Sierra Leone.
Esther Kargbo was hailed as the Eastern SLBC liberator, go-getter, perfectionist, and a fine-tuner of staff and edifices of SLBC Kenema before progressing to Kailahun City substation and Branch manager. She was a mixer among dignitaries within Kailahun district and was revered by many as a manager that engages her community both in journalism and in social life thus referencing her humane service to the people of the east.
Before Patricia Ganda’s demise on Friday, November 18 this year, she previously served as IMC commissioner and worked as Head of Radio at the Media one center owned by one of Sierra Leone’s controversially prolific Journalist and Media outlet owner, Phillip Neville. Sadly, Phillip Neville is also known to have just passed away today December 28 2022 at the Choitram Hospital at Wilberforce following a pedestrian versus Bike (Okada) accident at Kosso Town, during a popular masquerade celebration in the outskirt eastern town of Freetown.
Phillip Neville is the owner of Star Radio and TV and had operated in Freetown for several years with patches of substations across the country before 2018. The Media guru is known to be a fierce critic of former governments and the current SLPP lead government. He recently had regulatory battles with the IMC and on electricity connectivity issues with the relevant authority resulting in a partial closure of his media organization.
The then editor-in-chief of the Standard-Times Newspaper, was an interesting Cinematographer who held several media battles with colleagues on controversial issues with fearless approaches. Phillip is a bodily replica of the hymn line “All things bright and beautiful” for the Lord God had made them (him) so in his relation with subjects, friends, family members, and the government. He will be remembered for his media contribution to Sierra Leone even amongst those who find him once challenging.