Tribute to Modou Sanyang

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Modou, I first met you at the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court. You were working for “The Point” newspaper as a court reporter. I was also writing for the defunct “The Independent” newspaper as a court reporter.

You used to go to the court with Bakary Samateh, Sarata Jabbi and Momodou Kanteh. We would sit together while covering court cases.  At the end of the cases, we would compare our notes before leaving for our offices.

You and I had covered high profile cases, and you were doing wonders in writing court stories.  You had been hardworking, diligent and had sacrificed a great deal for “The Point” newspaper for nearly twenty years.

The dexterity you have in writing court stories is exceptional. When “The Independent” newspaper was shut down, you advised me to write for “The Point” newspaper.  You really welcomed me wholeheartedly and treated me as your own brother, and we became friends.

Time and again, we would meet at the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court covering cases.  We would together come to the office at the end of the day.  We would chat on the way.

We never argued neither did we quarrel.  You used to mind your business, and what did not belong to you, you would never go for it.  You were honest, pious and would always fight for your right.  You are fearless when it comes to speak the truth, and this is why I admire you.

I could remember when we used to sit together attending training workshops.  We always found such training useful and educative.  As a result, we really improved on our writing.

I once visited you at home after the naming ceremony of your daughter, Jainaba.  You and your wife, Fatou, received me warmly.  And I enjoyed your company.

I know Jainaba is now a big girl.  You once told me that she has started going to school, and that she is doing well.  You told me that you would make sure that she is well educated.

I was among the delegation from the office that came to your village, Jiikess, to sympathize with your family for the loss of your father.  We walked on foot from Bwiam to your village, and you were sorry about that.  Although you were in grief but you forced a smile at me the moment you saw me.

The journey from Bwiam to your village was long but it was worth it because you deserve it.  We were welcomed by your people.  We later prayed for your late father. You also stood by me when  I lost my mother.

I enjoyed joining you in editing court stories.  We used to take our time to go through all the stories to produce interesting pieces.  You were good at coming up with wonderful headlines.  They were really superb.  I always loved to work with you.  You trusted me more than anybody else at the office, and everyone knows that . We chatted briefly on the 8th January, 2018, after I arrived from the Janneh Commission.  I then went home.  When I came to the office the following day from the commission, Modou Jallow told me that you fell ill and you were admitted at the Serrekunda General Hospital. I wondered what went wrong because we chatted the previous day.

Then I visited you on the 12th January, 2018, at the hospital.  I found your elder brother, Ansumana Sanyang, and two other women standing near you.  Ansumana was fanning you while you were sleeping.

Later, you opened your eyes and said to me: “Mr Faye.”

“I wish you a speedy recovery,” I said to you.  Then you looked at me for some time and closed your eyes.  This was the last conversation we had.  Maybe your were saying goodbye to me and I did not understand.  I later left.

On the 19th January, 2018, I went to the office and I was later told that you were discharged.  I breathed a sigh of relief, hoping to visit you at home.

And the following day on Saturday in the morning I called you on your mobile phone but it was switched off.  I wanted to say hello to you because I thought that you had recovered.  Then in the afternoon , as I was coming home from visiting another friend, I got a telephone message that you had passed away.  Again, I had this time a telephone call that you had breathed your last as you were being driven to Foni for local treatment.

It was really devastating. I could feel tears coming to my eyes. “How can I lose such a friend?” I told myself.  I could not believe this at all.  I am left with a broken heart.  How dear you are to me!

Who will tell little Jainaba the sad news?  How is she going to receive it?

During your last days at the office, you confided in me and I advised you to set your mind at rest.  But it seemed it was too much for you to put up with.  Then you finally succumbed.

I will really miss you.  I will bear for your demise but I know it is not an easy task.

Modou, rest in perfect peace until you and I meet again.    

Author: Dawda Faye
Source: Picture: The late Modou Sanyang