The late Fode Kande in white hat standing with family members
200 ATTEND TEARFUL MEMORIAL FOR LATE FODE KANDE IN FREETOWN
By Wilfred Kabs-Kanu, Editor
Friday January 21, 2005
With his body sealed in a white coffin and his wife and two daughters by its side, the late Journalist Fode Kande was given a final goodbye by friends, collegues and members of the public in a moving memorial service in Freetown today.
About 200 people jammed the Atlantic Room of the National Stadium Hostel to pay their final respects to a journalist whose impressive frame once bestrode the stadium complex, like a colossus, to provide thrilling sports reports for his PROGRESS newspaper, which was a hit among Sierra Leone’s once-teeming soccer fans.
Fode Kande, who was in exile in the U.S. died at his Bronx Apartment in New York, on Tuesday January 4 ,due to lung complications after he had undergone a kidney transplant two weeks before his demise. His body was accompanied home by his wife, Makuta , two daughters Tirankay and Bintou and another relative.
The Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Professor Septimus KaiKai chaired the muslim service. In his tribute, he said that he was Senior Prefect at the St.Edwards Secondary School at the time that Fode Kande was captain of the school soccer squad ( Fode also played for the school’s side in the then Western Area Football Association -WAFA- Old Edwardians ).The minister said that his respect for Kande increased when he chose Journalism to keep the world informed of the truth.
The Minister of Youth and Sports, Dr.Dennis Bright, recalled the tremenduous job Kande did for sports , while the President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists ( SLAJ), Mr. I.B.Kargbo, said that Fode Kande’s name will remain fresh in Sierra Leone’s history.
Mr.Kargbo recalled that Fode was born in Kabala but grew up partly in the Southern Province and the Western Area and considered himself simply as a Sierra Leonean. He also spoke about the legendary Progress Awards nights when the late journalist honoured Sierra Leoneans who excelled in their various fields of endeavour. Others who also paid tribute to the fallen media man included journalists and two members of the family .
The coffin remained sealed as is muslim tradition, which also stipulates that a person be buried within 24 hours of his death. It was not possible , however, to follow the latter because of the elaborate procedures involved in bringing the body home .
A muslim clerk said the final prayers and the crowd dispersed, some of them shedding tears for a true gentleman, who always had kind words for others.
Fode Kande will be buried in Kabala on Sunday.
COURTESY: We extend our thanks to a valuable Journalist ( who wants to remain anonymous) who sent the details of the memorial.Though he always wants to remain amomymous, we cannot provide such a timely news service to the public without commending his efforts.
Thanks too to Miss Ajara Rahman for e-mailing us the picture of the deceased.