Jul 8, 2010, 1:48 PM
We mourn the passing of Lalo Samateh, a journalist colleague who devoted his entire lifetime to our noble profession - journalism. Throughout his journalistic career, he used his voice to foster journalism. Even after retirement, the old man couldn't resist the lure of the microphone. It is for this reason that he stayed on at the
If the true measure of a man's life is how he has impacted on the lives of others, then Lalo Samateh was truly a great man. Through his programmes, he influenced the lives of so many people for the better. By living an exemplary life, Samateh has shown that true greatness lies in not how long we live but how well.
The family of the late Samateh can therefore take pride and joy in the legacy that their man has left behind. It is Shakespeare who says that the evil that men do live after them but the good is often interred with their bones. But the lives of men like Samateh apparently negate Shakespeare in that it is their positive qualities that are remembered by those they have left behind.
For those of us in journalism, Samateh's death represents a huge loss that will take a while longer yet for us to get over. For sometime now, we have been losing some of our veterans - Modou Musa Secka, Baboucar Gaye, and now Lalo Samateh. We are prematurely being deprived of the benefit of their guidance. This is a sign that we have to learn as much as we can from our veterans while they are still around.
Samateh's life should also serve to inspire young journalists to give their unalloyed commitment to the profession, even though it is not a money-spinning profession. Unlike most professions in the world, nobody goes into journalism for the money. If you do, you'll be disappointed. It is a profession that feeds on passion, driven by the quest for social, political and economic progress.
Seen in this light, Lalo Samateh led a full and satisfied life, having helped in his own small way in shaping the destiny of this country. May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace.