The Sierra Leone Newspaper Vendors Association has bestowed the crown of Journalist of the Year on the Managing Editor of For Di People Newspaper, Paul Kamara, during their Newspaper Awards Night held at the Government Wharf Navy compound last Saturday December 10th 2005.
The occasion was the editor’s first public appearance after the squashing of his conviction and sentence by the appeal court on Tuesday November 27th, thus his subsequent release.
Other journalists and media houses were also awarded certificates of merit for their contribution towards the development of journalism in the country.
The scene was like a fanfare when the FDP Managing Editor breezed into the Naval compound accompanied by his staff, shouts of Paul "Mandela" Kamara resonated as many go-merry ladies and gents trooped forward to catch a glimpse of the outspoken journalist and human rights activist.
"Paul Kamara is home!” they shouted as they followed the car.
As he disembarked from his Camry car, the editor was swallowed up by a large group of admirers and sympathizers who ushered him to the VIP hall.
I was walking around to see whether one could find a colleague when Daddy Saj’s super song “The sorriest part” blared from the burning speakers thereby carrying my mind away.
The lyric and rhythm were irresistible as I did some breath taking movement of my body. At the rear end of the compound, I saw my own editor, Moses A. Kargbo and the Awareness Times editor, Sayoh Kamara both doing their’s easily as Kargbo was rocking merrily with his eye catching calypso whilst Sayoh was at his best with his enviable hip-hop style.
The speakers were still blasting the sound when the Master of the Ceremony, Ismail Koroma of Radio UNAMSIL temporarily interrupted the show to announce the award winners.
Dr. Sylvia Blyden of the Awareness Times was awarded newspaper proprietress of the year, Spectator-fastest growing newspaper, Exclusive highest selling newspaper, SLAJ President IB Kargbo Columnist of the year and Salamatu Turay of Salone Times-Female journalist of the year.
In his statement, Paul Kamara admonished the youth to be conscious. "I greet you all in the name of Jah. You are the future. Be steadfast and be honest to yourselves. Share love and be kind to each other. Jah bless you all”.
Paul Kamara thanked the News Vendors Association for recognizing the good work of journalists in the country. He said without news vendors, journalist would not be able to disseminate the news.
Kamara called on all to love one another as it is only this that will make us move forward as a people.
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.