Salone News

Sierra Leone Journalist Bags Top UK Award

By  | 10 October 2006 at 23:20 | 725 views

Sierra Leonean journalist Sheka Tarawalie popularly known as Shekito, is one of the recent recipients of a top award presented by Queen Elizabeth II’s daughter, Princess Anne, officially known as The Princess Royal.

Shekito was one of a few people that received
an award for outstanding and excellent work
as an Adviser at the Citizens Advice Bureau from
Princess Anne in front of some 900 delegates from
around the world and the UK at the Citizens Advice
Bureau’s annual general conference in York recently.

The achievement has attracted media focus on the
Sierra leonean journalist in the UK and the story is
carried in different papers there.

Shekito, one of Sierra Leone’s brightest journalists, holds an honours degree in English from Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone. Until a few years ago, he was the editor and proprietor of the new defunct Torchlight newspaper in Freetown. A very critical and incisive writer, he was detained several times by the NPRC military junta and jailed by the SLPP-dominated parliament of Sierra Leone in 1996.

During the AFRC regime of Johnny Paul Koroma, he was one of the few journalists that courageously wrote against a miltary invasion of the country by the Nigerian-led West African military force (ECOMOG).

His life was threatened several times when the Kabbah government was restored to power and he had to go into exile after life became intolerable for him in the country.

Meanwhile, in Freetown, the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) has recently voted in a new executive. The new Vice President is Standard Times newspaper publisher Philip Neville and the post of Financial Secretary went to one of Sierra Leone’s prominent female journalists, Mariama Coker. She made a name for herself as a war correspondent for a couple of newspapers during the country’s terrible civil war.

The new Public Affairs Secretary is Edward Marrah and the Assistant Secretary General is Mustapha Sesay while the position of Organizing Secretary went to Unisa Bangura.

SLAJ president Ibrahim Ben Kargbo and Secretary General Ibrahim Karim Sei had earlier been declared unopposed.

The election officials were Samuel John (Chief Election Officer), Thomas Kargbo and Aiah Senesie(Election Commissioners).

Photo: Shekito, second from left, with
Princess Anne,third from left. The other man is the
Bank Manager of the Royal Bank of Scotland, and the
girl with the award is Shekito’s Assistant)