2020-04-18

Celebration of Life and Transition for the Late Mr. Foday Mansaray

My dearest Foday Mansaray, Saturday April 18th, 2020, Florida, USA - There has been a lot of Tributes about Mr. Foday Mansaray all over the Sierra Leonean and the African Community as a whole. There are many more to come because of the way Mr. Foday Mansaray lived his life DEDICATING it to others and his knack to INSPIRE young minds.

I was one of those fortunate ones who entered your life as a 12 year old girl because I happened to be in the same class with your younger brother Mustapha. Mr. Foday Mansaray became an older brother to me and he never looked back, inspiring me to reach my potential. When I arrived in the United States Mr. Foday Mansaray jumped into action to make sure I continue my education here by buying my first computer for school work and making sure he got me involved in my love for writing by paying for me to get a Certificate in Journalism and Short Story Writing on the side, while pursuing my degree in Human Services and Psychology at the time.

Foday then introduced me to another beautiful Soul Sir Dauda Bangura (May His Soul Rest in Peace) who created a forum for me on the Sierra Leonean Newsletter to write about womenís issues in our community and brought me into the world of Advocacy during our Civil War in Sierra Leone. It was because of Foday that I took a leave of absence from my job at YWCA of Jersey City as a Social Worker to go and volunteer at Grafton Camp to go and collect information from refugees for UNHCR, from April to October, 2001. Hence I wasnít in the United States during the time of 911. I was in the camp working underground.(Late Foday Mansaray)

When I moved to Florida to continue my education at Nova Southwestern University, Foday told me that you canít escape from Advocacy work and he further said to me that he would try to make sure that he involves me in Projects at the United Nations underground by sending me briefings to proof read of just send me assignments to write and send it to him within two business days and he will say thatís why I invested in your Education since you were in Form One (8th Grade in American Education)

He was relentless and will not back down in his pursuit to change the lives of others and we all know as Sierra Leoneans how he fought to change the Political landscape in Sierra Leone in 2007. Thereís no denying that fact because I was working as Mr. Foday Mansaray underground Secretary that made me to know the deals quite well.

Mr. Foday Mansaray never reaped the benefits of that Political endeavor and was not bitter about it, but instead he decided to focus on Human Rights causes until his passing.

 The Private WhatsApp forum that Foday personally created has placed me in the hands of beautiful souls and I will promise to keep that Private forum going in honor of Mr. Foday Mansaray name because thereís a reason he personally created that forum six years ago to discuss how to combat the Ebola Pandemic in our beloved Sierra Leone, that was claiming the lives of Sierra Leoneans. After the Ebola Pandemic, Mr. Foday Mansaray refused to change the name of the forum in spite of the memberís protests. Responding, Mr. Foday Mansaray said we should never forget the people Sierra Leone lost in the Ebola Pandemic. Sadly on Friday April 17th, 2020, we lost him to a global Coronavirus Pandemic.

Mr. Foday Mansaray you were an inspiration to me and I am blessed that you became an inspiration to my son, by teaching him about Human Rights and for always taking the time to spend with him whenever we visit New Jersey.  My sonís last memory of Mr. Foday Mansaray was my sonís trip to the United Nations. Mr. Mansaray gave him a Private Tour of the General Assembly and he taking pride in the Sierra Leonean flag and he will always treasure the flag you gave him few months ago. My last conversation with Mr. Foday Mansaray was on April 3rd when He asked me to watch him live stream discussing ways to combat Covid -19 and I asked him after the broadcast if he whether he was doing ok or not. He said to me; get ready for another project because I am going to put you to work again.  

Lord God, You are now working as an Angel. Rest in Peace my Dearest Brother Foday. My son will miss his Uncle Foday.

The views expressed in this article are the authorís own and do not necessarily represent The New Rising Sunís editorial policy.

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Jariatu Sesay - Florida, USA