From the Editor’s Keyboard

In Memory of Sekou Dauda Bangura

26 April 2016 at 23:45 | 2928 views

Editor’s Note: This article was first published March 10, 2013.

By Dr. Peter Dumbuya, Freetown, Sierra Leone.

On Thursday February 28, 2013, I learned with deepest sadness of the death of our dear brother, friend, colleague, and classmate Sekou Dauda Bangura.

I got to know Dauda Bangura (photo) in Freetown in the mid-1970s through mutual friends, Madanie Kamara and Samuel John. I was a sixth form student at St. Edward’s Secondary School; he was a sixth form student at the Albert Academy. As school prefects, we had the privilege of visiting each other in our respective schools.

Our friendship continued at Fourah Bay College (FBC). At FBC, Dauda Bangura was a man of the people, so much so that most of our friends knew him only as “Maforki;” a Port Loko chiefdom the late Vice President Sorie Ibrahim Koroma popularized in various self-help projects. Even under the most challenging of conditions at FBC, Dauda Bangura was always cheerful; he could find a reason to smile, tell jokes, or play music so that by the end of the day, all of us felt good about ourselves. His dorm room in Solomon Caulker Hall was accessible to his friends and brothers from downtown. It was a place where we gathered after classes or meals to discuss a wide range of issues and politics of the day.

As students of African history and politics, Dauda Bangura and I spent countless hours on the phone discussing diaspora affairs, war and peace, and socio-economic development. I benefited immensely from his insights into presidential and parliamentary politics, including the November 2012 general elections in Sierra Leone. For many years, I worked with him on the Sierra Leonean Newsletter. Most recently, he edited a series of essays I submitted for online publication in Cocorioko, New Rising Sun, Patriotic Vanguard, and APC Times.

At the beginning of this year, I said to someone, rather jokingly, that members of the U.S. diaspora (at least the ones I know) did not make the list of cabinet ministers and their deputies in the government of H.E. President Ernest B. Koroma. I picked up the cell phone and called Dauda Bangura’s number to discuss this issue. Now I know why I did not get a response from him; Dauda never failed to return my phone calls.

I was shocked, to say the least, when a mutual friend of ours in Atlanta, Georgia, sent me a text message to say that Dauda Bangura had passed on. I thought it was a prank. After I had composed myself, I sent our friend this text: “My God, what happened?” He replied that Dauda was “sick and admitted” to hospital.

As we mourn the passing of Dauda Bangura, let’s also celebrate his life because he was an inspiration to all of us. He was smart, studious, collegial, and supremely intelligent. He was a good person to work with. He was always cheerful. Most importantly, Dauda Bangura was a devoted, loving, and kind husband and father.

May God Grant Him Eternal Peace!

May God Bless His Family: His Wife Kadi Bangura; His Children Sekou D. Bangura, Jr., Jameel Bangura, and Jameellah Bangura!

May God Bless Us All!

The author, Dr. Peter Dumbuya