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A deserving honour

Jan 9, 2012, 11:57 AM

Traditionally, influential newspapers and magazines around the world select at the end of every year a distinguished personality and honour him or her as the Personality of the Year.

To be named as the Personality of the Year by even our own The Gambia News and Report Weekly magazine is a big honour.

When the magazine honoured the late Deyda Hydara, the slain managing editor of The Point newspaper posthumously as the Man of the Year then in 2004, it said Hydara deserved the accolade because of his evident enormous contributions to the growth and development of journalism in The Gambia, and for paying the supreme sacrifice for the ideals of journalism.

Different newspapers and magazines have different criteria for their selections, but one thing is common to all of them, that is, it is to honour people who have left their footprints in the sands of time.

Indeed, such accolades are for men and women who refuse to be derailed by obstacles in their quest to make this world a better place for their fellow human beings.

For the past 19 years, The Gambia News and Report Weekly has been singling out for praise prominent Gambians who have made significant contributions to the nation.

The recipients of this prestigious award cut across all spheres of life, including politics, education, business, journalism, medicine, philanthropy, etc.

Some prominent Gambians, such as Dr Lenrie Peters, Mrs Harriet Ndow, Vice President Aja Dr. Isatou Njie-Saidy, Muhammed Jah, Dr Ebrima Samba, President Yahya Jammeh, among others, have also had their names inscribed in the magazine’s hall of fame.

The editor-publisher of The Gambia News and Report Weekly, Mr Swaebou Conateh, has just named another prominent Gambian as winner of the 2011 Personality of the Year award.

The lucky winner is Mrs Fatou Bom Bensouda, the newly appointed chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), who no doubt needs no introduction. Bensouda is today a household name not only in The Gambia, but throughout the world.

She has through her exemplary work become a new face for justice all over the world. Arguably, the high point of her career as yet is her unanimous appointment as the new chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

She has through diligence become somebody in society whose life is an inspiration to young and upcoming Gambians and Africans, in general; that if you back up your desires with energy and honesty, you will get to the mountaintop of your ambition.

If Gambians are still rejoicing at the appointment of Fatou Bensouda as the first Gambian and African to hold such a post, then it is only fitting that Fatou should be honoured for making Gambians and Africans proud, and also for raising the country’s flag to another level.

More awards, which reward excellence, are needed in The Gambia so as to spur people to give out their best.

All other professional bodies in The Gambia should follow suit by organizing yearly awards to honour their own.

“A few honest men are better than numbers.”
Oliver Cromwell