From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

NEWS
FAWUNDU IS NO MORE? YOU MUST BE JOKING. A TRIBUTE
By Rodney Edmond Michael
Aug 18, 2010, 23:38

Alfred Fawundu was a Sierra Leonean first and foremost, an SLPP Presidential hopeful and Party Financier, an elder Statesman, a genuine and proud Ambassador of Sierra Leone, a son of Pujehun but an academic product from Bo City (well Bo School), a UNDP Representative to several African Countries (Ghana and Nigeria as Permanent Representative, Zimbabwe in some temporal Capacity), Chairman of the ACC Advisory Board and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee to help improve our Foreign Policy, an ardent Sports Fan (football in particular), a socialite, grass root man and a wonderful dancer that enjoyed life to the maximum with dignity and respect.


The above is a true description of The Late Alfred Fawundu, a man that has been linked with SLPP Leadership since Momoh declared Multi Party democracy in 1991, a Senior UNDP Diplomat and a patriotic Sierra Leonean like no other.


He was my friend and despite the age difference, a good friend for that matter. I first met Mr. Fawundu at an OBBA Dance a few years ago and within minutes it appeared I was his age group and we had been friends since school days. He was a wonderful personality with a great attitude of a very humble nature and boy did he know how to Party. He danced all night long and that earned him a secret admirer, my wife Jestina, who could not understand how a man in his fifties and with such a high profile, could dance so well with the most recent dance moves. She could not cope and was danced to the floor by this smallish frail looking Diplomat with an envious CV.


Alfred had a lot to offer to Sierra Leone and though he was a strong candidate to contest for the SLPP Party Leadership in 2007, he withdrew and supported Solo B in the interest of the Party and worked assiduously for The Solo B campaign but his humility was evident and made no enemies in his campaign. He was a true gentleman, always sincere and Diplomatic.


Many will like to tag Mr Fawundu and many will claim his association but if he was to be asked, he would want to be remembered as a Sierra Leonean first and foremost and this was reflective on his willingness and excitement to accept the challenges of his appointments as ACC Advisory Board Chair and when called upon to guide The Foreign Affairs Ministry improve their Foreign Policy. He never thought of SLPP, his only thinking was for Sierra Leone and this made his choice very easy and from all indications he excelled again in service to Nation.


Mr Fawundu commanded huge respect and despite his SLPP affiliation, The Nation’s President had no hesitation to appoint him to Committees. I remember when Abdul Tejan Cole was desperately seeking recommendations for the Chair of the ACC Advisory Board and I was asked if there was a candidate in the South-East to match others from the North-West. I laughed and with utmost confidence suggested that I will give them a name acceptable to all Political Parties, The President and The International Community and that he was the perfect Sierra Leonean way above any of the other candidate. Abdul called me in his search for the right man and when I described Fawundu, Abdul’s reply was I will research and a couple of days later His Excellency announced his name as the Chairman. He was unblemished as far as the research went and this to me was what made me a proud friend and a strong believer in Fawundu.


He called me to say thanks after he realized I had recommended him and invited me for a drink, an offer I now regret not taking up.

 

I am no Political analyst but I remember the last meeting I had with Mr Fawundu at The British High Commission in June and whilst waiting for our interviews, he was seeking VISA for his daughter, I joked with him as to when he would declare. He joked and said when the time is right but he was not going to make so much noise like others in the race to Lead SLPP but that he was quietly going around to present his credentials and if that was not good enough for the delegates then so be it. He was not power thirsty/hungry but just wanted to serve and help develop his country.

 

I wished him well and respected him more but I concluded then that even though he was the best candidate for SLPP and Sierra Leone, he was never going to win the race taking all things into consideration and in particular our misguided criteria of what makes a Good Leader.


Mr Fawundu was the ultimate Sierra Leonean and the real role model for our children. He was generous and I remember when the flood hit a village in Pujehun during Kabba’s reign, Fawundu came from his assignment in Ghana I believe, to donate substantially to the victims and his contribution was far greater than that of The Government. He was supportive to a number of Sierra Leoneans who he financed to set up small businesses and a perfect example is KAMA Printing Press in Bo. He helped these Sierra Leoneans establish and grow to comfortable lifestyle and requested nothing in return except their success.


He was an ardent Football Fan and followed other sports. I remember his regular advice to me during the last SLFA Election and was very quick to correct our campaign mistakes and emphasize our good policies. He once promised me that if we succeeded and we needed his help in restructuring the Association and develop a Project to improve our infrastructure, he would happily provide his service.

 

He quietly attended a lot of our International matches and believed we could develop a good National team if we prepared properly.


SLPP has lost a great and reliable friend, and so has all other organizations The Late Fawundu associated with, but Sierra Leone has lost a true son of the soil and one of our best Exports ever. He was a perfect example of Country First and a role model. He was the ultimate Patriot.


The least we can do now is to award him Post-Humously with the Highest National Honours for his service to our Country and portraying a very good image of our Country at the UNDP and everywhere he worked.

 

The family will be saddened by this irreplaceable loss but in an attempt to courage them let me refer to the title of this tribute; “Fawundu no more? You must be joking”. Alfred Fawundu created memories that will linger to those of us that met him and whilst he may be dead, he will still be with us for a long time.


I will probably miss the funeral due to my scheduled visit to the UK on Wednesday 18th August, so let me use this medium to sincerely wish the bereaved family of Alfred Fawundu, a great Sierra Leonean and my friend, our deepest and genuine sympathy. Your loss we share and it was a privilege to have met such a great man and my role model.


May His Soul Rest In Perfect Peace!



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