The 16th December had always been a day of celebration at home, it was our dearest Ma’s birthday, and 30 years ago today, Pa had successfully made it a double celebration, as The Point Newspaper was launched making the date even more momentous. We didn’t only have to enjoy mum’s special day, but also appreciated a new baby in the family. Yes that is what it was, Deyda’s Pride and Joy, we called it his treasure.
Deyda Hydara’s aims and objectives was to embolden young aspiring journalists, he lectured, inspired, inculcated core principles of ethical journalism, encouraged them to write, report, conduct interviews without fear or favours, impartial and independence, he truly became a great role model and enjoyed those teaching sessions for aspiring journalists. Those were his cardinal rules he lived by holding public officers, and even the executive to account. This he did through his columns Goodmorning Mr President, in his Editorial, The Bite and Horomsi (salt). He stood, fought and became a fierce voice for the voiceless and the oppressed. He was brave enough to put his life on the line for Freedom, Democracy and Justice in The Gambia, a fight he made in hope that his children would not have to do the same. Obviously with a huge risk but he thought it was worth taking at all costs.
Subsequently, our annual double celebration on this date was curtailed 17 years ago today, when dictator Jammeh carried out his threat, to teach journalists in The Gambia a lesson. Our tenacious and brave dad was found at the receiving end of a revolver, shot 3 times killing with him the hopes of many Gambians. Though killing him took a bit from all of us. It however failed in its main objective to silence him and what he stood for. He might have been silenced by the gun, but it miserablly failed in silencing what Deyda Hydara stood for, as many other Deyda Hydaras were born and they are as courageous and defiant as he was if not more.
It was horrendous, we were grief striken and it was an absolute nightmare. Waking up on the 17th of December, not have the faintest idea of how our lives would be impacted in so many different ways and in a manner we never ever could have envisaged.
Alhamdulilah Ala Kuli Hal, we were blessed with a strong network of extremely supportive family members, friends and colleagues of Deyda, who rallied behind us but gradually with every passing year, as hopes of ever getting justice were dashed away, that number too became slimmer.
Of course there remained the few that stood steadfast and dedicated to our cause, like The Media fraternity, along with and media watch dogs, International Human rights Organisations like Article 19 and Amnesty International Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), MLDI, International Penn, Reporters Without Borders, Agency France Press, WAJA, FAJ, NUJ, TAEF, Open Society Foundation and OSAIWA, GPU, FORROYA, CNN, Freedom Newpaper, Fatu Network, Gainako, Kibaro along with many others who supported us and those who stood with us in denouncing and fighting impunity against journalists killers. A lot of human rights defenders and journalists, Activists, Civil Society movements, both at home and in the diaspora. They all have contributed immensely in getting us here. We appreciate each and everyone of them but certain names need commendation, Uncles Pap Saine and DA Jawo, Fatou Jagne Senghore , Ndey Tapha Sosseh and the late Pa Nderry Mbai (may Allah SWT grant him Jaanatul Firdausi).
Pa Nderry had played a pivotal role in our quest for answers in my dad’s case. Most testimonies before the recently completed Truth commission were already too familiar with his Freedom Radio audience. with sheer dedication, he dug into my dad case rigorously at his own peril. Who would have thought he wouldn't witness this 17th anniversary or the past General Elections. May He reward him with highest Jaanatul Firdausi.
On your 30th anniversary, we would like to send our profound gratitude and prayers to Uncle Pap Saine, Baba Hydara, staffs, (past and present,) sponsors, advertisers, friends and families. It has been a crazy couple of years, with hardships and huge challenges, having struggled through a lot of hurdles but Alhamdulilah. You gave it all, your very best, with perseverance and steadfastness you kept Deyda’s pride and joy afloat. May you all be rewarded with goodness.
Congratulations and thanks to you all. Uncle Pap has made huge sacrifices for The Point Newspaper, great accomplishments and improvements in the last 17 years. He had kept a level head in all of this, when all we cared about was fighting impunity, he fought to keep The Point Newspaper open.
He did not only look after The Point but looked after all of us. He tried his best to ensure he stood as a father would, represented us if and when needed, in short as a dad would. For this we cannot with words express our heartfelt appreciation and pray that Allah would reward him with goodness here in Dunya and in the Ahira.
Happiest Birthday Aja Mariam Hydara.. Ma, we continue to be ever so grateful to have you as our mum. Mashallah. As said before keeping up with you always seems like a marathon.. I therefore pray to Ya Allah to grant you a long and healthy life, as I doubt that we can ever compare to the lengths you go to for humanity.
Yal naa laaa Yallah faye sahol tee samal laa sa njobot, moon nga sa njobot, moon nga njobot tee jambour, yal naa Yallah laff chaat bu aye,. Barkey Muhammad Rasuroullah SAW 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🎂🎂🎂🎉🎊🎉💖💖💖🎁🎁🎁💋💋💋💋
Innali laaahi waa inna ilaahi Raajoon
Surely we belong to Allah and to Him shall we return. May Allah forgive your shortcomings, reward your patriotism and selflessness and
grant you Deyda Hydara the Premium Firdausi 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾