From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Sheka Tarawalie Vs Sylvia Blyden: Who Wins, Who Loses?
By THE SENATOR NEWSPAPER (editted by Prince Kamara)
Oct 13, 2009, 22:27

“The higher the monkey climbs, the more it exposes its backside.”
Freetown, THE SENATOR NEWSPAPER, October 13th 2009: The above parable can be likened to a man or woman who as he/she gains prominence or recognition over others, he/she becomes oblivious and blind to the extent that he confuses him/herself and mixes up personal/private issues with public/official ones and in the process, makes stupid mistakes that are his/her undoing leading to final self-destruction.

In the past week, the local press witnessed the unfolding of what is slowly but surely turning into a press pre-war warm up between Sheka Tarawalie’s The Torchlight newspaper and Dr. Sylvia Blyden’s Awareness Times newspaper.

In as much as we would not want this now simmering war of woods to escalate into a full blown press war, we take this opportunity to throw across some words of advice. When you listen you learn.

A person can learn ‘all the book’ in the whole world and still be an illiterate. A person can climb the highest peak and still be at the bottom. A person can be stinking rich but still live like a pauper.

Coming back to the business at hand, it was The Torchlight in this particular case that decided to ‘go to town’ with the ‘Dr. Sylvia Blyden Jeep Used In Armed Robbery’ story. And they did not spare a single trick in the book to drive home their point. We are made to understand that the paper’s owner Sheka Tarawalie even abused his office in his attempt to illegally obtain photographs of the men detained in connection with the armed robbery allegation.

Yesterday’s edition of The Torchlight carried at least three articles about Dr. Sylvia Blyden in different postures. Whilst one story attempted to be reporting facts, the others were meant to be satire. But satire, fact or not, we are not in the least impressed. It is our belief that a man/woman in lofty position cannot afford to attract negative attention – more-so when that man/woman walks the President’s corridors. This is because whenever that man/woman farts, the foul smell is bound to reach the President.

They also say that those who live in glass houses should never throw stones. It is not unreasonable therefore, to suggest that if Sheka Tarawalie by omission or commission does something that causes a stink at State House, he can be sure the President whom he serves will also catch the smell. Whether Mr. Tarawalie can afford this is entirely up to him.

It is said in Krio that: ‘Okro nor bah long pass im masta.’ Meaning: the Okra plant is never taller than it’s owner. This brings us to the posture of Dr. Sylvia Blyden who as publisher of Awareness Times is Master in her own right and proved it with her yesterday’s publication which featured a full photographic reproduction of Shekito’s Torchlight front page of the same day. Even before Shekito's newspaper hit the streets of Freetown, Sylvia Blyden's Awareness Times had published an exact replica of it!!! How Dr. Blyden achieved this, only God knows. But since Shekito had used unorthodox methods to acquire photos illegally, it could be just possible that…well,… who knows? Okro nor bah long pass im Master.

The reading public was yesterday genuinely surprised as they held the actual Torchlight newspaper; whilst they gawked at its exact replica on the front page of the Awareness Times. “It is like when an examination paper leaks,” a newspaper vendor cried.

Dozens of others just gaped and stared in unbelief at the Awareness Times newspaper for doing a first in the history of print journalism in Sierra Leone.

So now that the ball has rolled from Sheka Tarawalie to Dr. Blyden and back again, should we expect Mr. Tarawalie to kick for the jugular, or will he hold on to the ball until the whistle blows; or will he kick it anywhere except in the right direction; or just leave the pitch all together?

Because in this type of duel only the true and real Master can win. A Servant whose livelihood or existence depends on the pleasure of his Master cannot afford to take too many liberties; not if he wants to continue eating from his Master’ table. A Master has nothing to lose because he defines and determines his own destiny. But a Servant has everything to lose. When the Master is fed up with a Servant who causes a stink, the Master loses nothing by sending the Servant away because of the stink. In fact, the Master would be doing himself and others around him a favor by sending away a Servant who stinks.

So between the Master and the Servant, who stands to lose and who stands to gain? This brings us to the question: Between Sheka Tarawalie and Sylvia Blyden: Who wins, who loses?

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.