From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Afsatu Kabba
In Sierra Leone, Afsatu Kabba Publicly Honoured Again …This time by her Muslim Compatriots
By Bampia Bundu
Apr 13, 2010, 17:28

The former Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Haja Afsatu Olayinka Kabba on 11th April 2010, lived up to the meaning of her middle name once again when she received another special public honor in recognition of her hard work and dedication in the pursuit and promotion of Islam in the country. ‘Olayinka’ is the name given to Freetown Creole/Aku children who are pre-destined to not only be great people but were pre-destined to continuously receive Honour in this world.

So it was that Haja Afsatu Olayinka Kabba’s Certificate presented in front of hundreds of distinguished Sierra Leonean Muslims, honoured her last weekend for “Diligent & Sincere Service in the Propagation of Islam”.

One of Salone’s oldest Islamic Chief Imams assures Haja Afsatu Kabba that she is honored by Muslims as he holds her hands to recite a special prayer for her at last weekend’s Special Muslim Awards Night.

The award was presented by International Link-United Kingdom in collaboration with Sierra Leone’s Voice of Islam Radio at their Annual Awards Night ceremony held at the prestigious Hill Valley Hotel in a plush section of Western Freetown. The theme of the ceremony was: A Campaign of Love; Let the Message Go Forth. The ceremony was jam-packed to overflowing and was attended by eminent personalities from all walks of life and from all over Sierra Leone.

Haja Afsatu Olayinka Kabba, according to her citation was awarded, amongst other reasons, as a sign of recognizance of her being one of the main bulwarks for the conception of, and the eventual establishment of the Voice of Islam Radio and also for her active support in promoting and strengthening Islam and Islamic institutions in the country. The Voice of Islam Radio itself was set up only about five (5) years ago but now has a tremendous nation-wide listenership to the extent that the Radio is now the primary outlet for Muslim messages to Muslim believers all over Sierra Leone.

Haja Afsatu Kabba seated at her table during the event

The Awards Ceremony were broadcasted live over the nationwide VOI radio and in a subsequent phone-in programme, callers from all over Sierra Leone were not sparing in their praises for Haja Afsatu Olayinka Kabba as a most deserving recipient of such an award.

Awards were also given to other deserving individuals including the Honorable Vice President, Chief Alhaji Samuel Sam-Sumana for his ongoing participation in the promotion of Islam, Alhaji Yaya Deen Kamara received the Life Time Achievement Award, Senior Imam Award went to Alhaji Osman Sesay, Islamic Personality of the Year (Female) was clinched by Haja Mariama Fadika whilst Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to Libya, Alhaji Abu Bakarr Jalloh received it for the Male category. A host of other awards were presented to deserving citizens in the country.

Haja Afsatu Kabba receives her award from Haja Mariama Fadika

Speaking in appreciation after receiving the award, Haja Afsatu Olayinka Kabba told the congregation that she felt extremely humbled and honoured for being singled out for such a prestigious award. She thanked Allah and the Ummah for this, and promised to continue doing the little she can to promote the work of Islam in the country.

She went on to say that by publicly recognizing her efforts at such a turbulent time in her political career, it goes to show that what she has been doing for the past 10 years in promoting Islam has not gone in vain as there are people who still recognize and appreciate her hard work and dedication to the faith and to humanity. She commended the Voice of Islam and International Link-UK for coming up with such a wonderful initiative and wished them and all Muslims a successful 2010 - 2011.

Haja Afsatu Kabba being congratulated by National Chief Imam Sheik Abubakar. In the background is Dr. Fadlu-Deen, a member of the Awards Committee.

Giving an overview of the ceremony, Sheik Abu Bakarr Fomba-Swarray noted that they decided to come up with a fund raising and awards night to show appreciation to the people who contributed immensely in the establishment and structuring of the Voice of Islam Radio, and also to encourage others to support the cause of Islam in the country. He pointed out that the Voice of Islam has contributed immensely in propagating of Islam in the country and that the radio has several educative programmes that are highly appreciated by the general public. He added that they are involved in several outreach programmes across the country to teach the word of Islam to all people.

Also speaking was the Minister of Employment and Social Security, Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray who commended the Voice of Islam and International Link-UK for coming up with such a ceremony to show respect and recognition for people who have contributed immensely in the promotion of Islam in the country. He stated further that the role of the VOI has and continues to be very important in educating the public about the values and practice of Islam. He added that the theme of the ceremony was timely and sends a very important message of love and affection to the public.

It should be recalled that Afsatu Kabba was similarly publicly honoured about a fortnight ago when she went to attend an End Maternal Mortality Campaign at the Princess Christian Memorial Hospital (PCMH) recently.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.