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Remembering journalist Tatafway Tumoe

7 September 2016 at 04:33 | 1305 views

By Lans Omar, Winnipeg, Canada.

"Lans, finally the eagle has landed." Those are the very last words he uttered to me in 2010 when the Maverick visited me in my hotel room in Freetown.

The whole of last week I was in tears, agony and pain while battling with myself on whether I should include Tatafway Mani Tumoe’s eulogy in my 40 Acres Canada weekly newsletter. Couple of times, Vivian almost caught me in tears but I hid it. At work, I’ll rush to the bathroom and weep silently by myself.

Tatafway has long been gone for like four years ago and why do I want to resurrect him?

It was a very difficult decision I took all by myself to put up that article. Even while pressing the "publish" button, I can feel the presence of the Maverick telling me "please Lans, let me rest in peace, please." I refused.

I dialled Tatafway’s number in Freetown, the number I always had for him, and the silence of that call sent a cold chill up my spine. No ring tone, no answer, no voicemail. For the very first time I came into a sudden realization that Tatafway is gone forever.

I closed my eyes, the mouse pointing on the "publish" button, said a little prayer and clicked the "publish" button.

Wow! I really did this? OMG!

Fifteen minute later, I received a call from a colleague in the US who preferred to be anonymous, asking what’s behind my publication about Tatafway Tumoe. I told him I miss him, and I’ll forever miss him. Later in the day, I got couple other calls about that article.

To say Tatafway Mani Tumoe is a fine writer is an understatement. Arguably, he was the greatest thinker in Sierra Leone journalism, believe it or not. Since his demise, the face of journalism in Sierra Leone will never be the same, never.

I was privileged to work with Tatafway Tumoe at Concord Times where I came to know who the Maverick was. A perfect gentleman, defiant, intelligent, creative and down to earth personality. We lived together briefly at our Olombo house residence and we also chilled in The Gambia.

Even as I’m writing this missive, I can feel the Maverick’s presence. I can actually hear his voice. I miss you ’Fway. I wish the sands of time will return to 1995 back in Freetown. I wish this never happened to you at only 48yrs.

Please continue to rest in peace, and I’m so sorry if that article I posted on 40 Acres hurts you, I’m just feeling you, I love you "Fway.

Cheers, pal.

Photo: The late Sierra Leonean newspaper journalist Tatafway Tumoe.

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