Salone News

Sierra Leone: Soccer Maestro Invests

19 November 2006 at 23:09 | 2393 views

By Abu B. Shaw, Vanguard London Bureau Chief

The print and electronic media in Sierra Leone and other sectors have got a new progressive partner in the person of Mohamed Kallon(photo), one of the most outstanding professional footballers from Sierra Leone. His investment has contributed immensely to the resurgence of the country’s ailing economy.

Captain of the national football team, the Leone Stars, striker Kallon who displays his soccer skills in France with first division club, A.S Monaco, has provided diverse job opportunities for hundreds of his compatriots in recent times. Kallon’s latest conquest is in the journalism industry. The establishment of a new radio station and two newspapers has raised the journalism bar higher in the country thus making the millionaire soccer star an instant icon within the media.

KALLEONE FM 105.7 is the name of his FM radio station. It is an acronym of the footballer’s surname and the last name of his country. The FM station is based at Hill Station in Freetown, the capital city. Sierra Leoneans are reportedly very delighted with the FM radio and the audience is soaring day in day out thanks to the quality news items being broadcast daily to the nation.

Speaking to the Patriotic Vanguard from Freetown on Saturday, November 18 2006, the General Manager of Kallon’s media consortium, Mr. Abdul Rahman Swarray, disclosed that KALLEONE FM 105.7 radio was officially opened by Sierra Leone’s Tourism minister, Mr. Okere Adams on 7th July, this year.

Swarray, an experienced newspaper and radio journalist, said the two newspapers named KALLEONE Sports and Entertainment Newspapers, mainly cover sporting and entertainment events and at times current affairs. They hit the news stands three times a week. Mr. Kallon’s newspapers are the first to come out with sixteen pages in war-torn Sierra Leone for over eight years. The newspapers have colour mast heads.

“Mohamed Kallon is planning to bring in colour printing machines very soon to produce quality newspapers as well as magazines for his media consortium and other customers in Sierra Leone,” Swarray said, adding: “I was appointed General Manager to oversee and monitor both the radio station and the newspapers.”

Mr. Swarray, who recently graduated BA Honours in Mass Communications from Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, disclosed that Kallon is also currently constructing a sophisticated football academy at Adonkia, near Goderich in Freetown to help train future Leone Stars and professional footballers.

On Kallon’s football team in Sierra Leone, F.C KALLON, Swarray said this club will be representing the country at this year’s African Champions League after winning the football league in Sierra Leone. F.C KALLON is one of Mohamed Kallon’s first investments in Sierra Leone and it has been a success ever since.

Other investments bearing fruits in the country include his OLD SCHOOL NIGHT CLUB at Hill Station. Also situated at Hill Station, Mr. Kallon’s night club is the best and most modern edifice around the city.

In the musical industry, millionaire Kallon has opened a new studio called KALLBOX Studio in Freetown where Sierra Leonean artists like Emmerson Bockarie of Borbor Bele fame and K-Man etc. are recording their songs at a much cheaper costs.

It is also confirmed by Mr. Swarray that the construction of Kallon’s Five Star Hotel along Lumley Beach in Freetown has finally being allowed to be completed. There was controversy surrounding this massive building for some time now. It was claimed by the ruling SLPP government that the edifice will be demolished because it was built on government land. “The swimming pool will be on the second floor of the hotel,” Mr. Swarray disclosed proudly.

One anonymous employee who works at one of Kallon’s investments said: “If we can get 10 more selfless Mohamed Kallons in the country, Sierra Leone will be a better place for many.”

Mohamed Kallon has been a success story since. He became the youngest player to score in a competition. He has played for Old Edwardians FC in Freetown. Then in Lebanon, in Italy for Inter Milan, in Saudi Arabia and now in France with Monaco.