Crystal, Minn. – Amidst tears, sorrows and tribulations, Liberians from all sectors yesterday converged at the Monrovia City Hall to celebrate the legacy of Mamadee Diakite, a one time favored radio broadcaster.
Their convergence showcase what many consider Diakite’s favorite word, “The motherland will never fall. Trust me, Liberia is getting better!” Indeed “Liberia is getting better!” Because under normal circumstance, his death would have been left with families and the Muslim community, but at the moment, unity must prevail.
The effect Mamadee’s death is having on the community and his country has never been the same for any deceased Liberian journalist. Despite tribal divide or political affiliations that continue to pervade the Liberian society and government, there have been kind words from all sectors to the bereaved family, friends and former co-workers.
In the event of death in a typical Liberian community, it is rare to see Muslims and Christians share the same podium due to religious beliefs, but Mamadee’s death is to the contrary.
Amongst dignitaries who attended yesterday’s memorial service was President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. The Liberian leader recounted to a sizable number of mourners that the falling media hero will be remembered as a professional journalist. “When the story of Mamadee is written in the history of Liberia, he will stand tall.”
According to President Sirleaf, responsibility requires knowledge, the courage to remain balanced/truthful and patriotic to one’s country, “Mamadee represents all of the above.” She affirmed.
Chronicling her sympathy to the nation, and the bereaved family, President Sirleaf mentioned that Liberians will remember how he carried the banner of professional journalism,” she spoke under 5 minutes.
Abel Blackie of the presidential press office said that death is inevitable, “You never know the importance of a well until it runs dry.” Blackie described Mamadee as a “A journalist without border.”
Up to press time it is not clear to this outlet how or who organized the memorial service, but FaceBook livestreams published by Khalil Adam Jomanday, Varlee Massalay and Edriss Bility, showed Cllr. Losone Bility as master of ceremony. Due to glitches in one of the livestream, all speakers were not audible. The stream from Khalil Jomanday had several fluctuations but an attempt on Edriss Bility’s stream was a bit perceptible, and the clearest was from Varlee Massalay.
One speaker at that time believed to have hailed from the district of Quadougboni, in Lofa County said, “The Mandingo story is a part of the Liberian story.” There were speakers upon speakers outlining interactions with the late Mamadee Diakite.
A song by Small Time International, a group of local Liberian folk singers who took with them three traditional drums to celebrate the falling journalist said, “Liberia is mourning the death of Mamadee.” In the song his wife was consoled not to cry, they indicated that death is imminent. “No more, no more Mamadee o…, so we say goodbye…,” their song continued.
A member of AME University said the late Mamadee did not fail to make his position known on any national issues whether right or wrong. “Mamadee fought to see a Liberia where one wouldn’t need a name change to sit at a table where the national cake will be divided.” The unknown speaker mentioned. Other classmates from the law school said Mamadee may not have been the one to live so long, but he is the one to have touched everyone’s life.
In a tribute to Mamadee, the Press Union of Liberia, PUL lauded the deceased journalist for providing a platform to those who disagreed with his views during his career. Other journalists at the memorial were encouraged to follow the legacy of their colleague.
A comment from Lamine Sidi Sackor of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, said the late Mamadee Diakite emulated all time Guinean popular journalist, Ali Badra Diakite who died nearly 20 years ago. “In 2016 his trainee has followed him.” Friends, relatives and sympathizers will have similar service in New York and Minnesota today. They are also expected to fundraise for the bereaved family.
Courtesy: Varlee Massalay