By: Momoh Sekou Dudu
In the early morning hours of Tuesday, August 30, 2016, astute attorney and fearless journalist Mamadee Sulimanie Diakite took his last breath. That suddenly, a towering voice of reason on the Liberian media landscape was recalled to eternal rest. The pain the unexpected demise of this promising young man has inflicted on the psyche of his family, friends, and fans, is immeasurable.
Personally, I am inconsolable. As I write these words, I shed silent tears not only for my departed brother, but also for his young widow, Fatoumata Sira Diakite, for his beautiful children, Musa, Rokia, Aisha and Khadija, and for the country of Liberia and its people, who once again have been dispossessed of a gem just as it bloomed toward its fullest potential.
Fanta Mamadee Sulimanie Diakite was one of a kind. In everyday life, he was unassuming, gentle, laid-back, thoughtful. Behind the microphone, he added to these glowing qualities a knack for introspection, eloquence, perceptiveness, and a penchant to get to the bottom of pressing issues of national concern.
I met Mamadee in person for the only time on March 24, 2016 during my short visit to the motherland. That morning, at his PMD studios on Benson Street in Monrovia, he left on me a lasting positive impression. He was generous, welcoming, and engaging. But most of all, he was very well prepared. When we went live on air, I was blown away by his in-depth knowledge of the issues on the table, his ability to synthesize, his no-holds-barred determination to ask the tough questions, his unwillingness to settle for superficial answers.
And what a voice Mamadee projected! In my mind’s ear, I still vividly can hear him enunciate only as he could “This is the Prime Morning Drive; bringing sense to the discourse, replacing perceptions with facts; The motherland will never fall. Trust me, Liberia is getting better!”
Mamadee, you fought the good fight. You played your role gallantly. Now that you have exited the scene, it falls upon the shoulders of those of us you inspired with your words and positive actions, to pick up your mantle and run with it; to ensure, as you hoped and preached, that “The motherland will never fall.”
As I bid you goodbye my dear friend, I am reminded of the poignant words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow as contained in his classic poem, A Psalm of Life: “Dust thou art, to dust returnest was not spoken of the soul.” So my dear brother Diakite, may Allah Almighty forgive your earthly missteps and receive your soul into his eternal paradise.
To Mrs. Fatoumata Sira Diakite, and the little ones: Musa, Rokia, Aisha, and Khadija, I cannot even imagine the intensity and depth of the pain you feel at this very moment. As you grieve the loss of your irreplaceable husband and father, please remember that we are all praying for you, pulling for you, to find solace in the enviable legacy he has left behind.
Sleep on my brother, sleep in peace!