THE HISTORY AND ORIGINS OF THE COCORIOKO NEWSPAPER
The paper folded up after Kabs-Kanu graduated from FBC in 1975 with a B.A. degree in English , History and Sociology and a Diploma in Education . However, Kabs-Kanu revived in the U.S. at LEONENET-UMBC in 2002. He started with the DAILY NEWS-INQUIRER , before he decided to change the name to COCORIOKO.
The present mission of the newspaper is the rebranding of Sierra Leone . Kabs-Kanu is presently the CEO and Editor-In- Chief of the paper presently.
Cocorioko played a leading role in helping to effect regime change in Sierra Leone in 2007, through democratic Presidential and Legislative Elections that floored the inefficient and corrupt government of former President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah and ushered in the government of President Ernest Bai Koroma , that inherited monumental socio-economic and political problems but is working diligently to help change the face of the nation for the better.
The Cocorioko Publisher , KABS KANU, has an enviable record of winning big awards for excellent journalism . In 2005, the New York Chapter of the oldest political party in Sierra Leone, the Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ) gave him an award for outstanding journalism and community service. In 2008, Kabs Kanu won the prestigious NOSLINA Award for excellent community service as a journalist with COCORIOKO . NOSLINA is the National Organization of Sierra Leoneans in North America . It is composed of the country’s leading intellectuals –an umbrella organization for Sierra Leonean oorganizations in the U.S .and the NOSLINA Award is the Sierra Leonean equivalence of the OSCAR.
KABS KANU was one of the Sierra Leoneans honoured on the occasion of the 50th Independence Anniversary of the country in 2011 when he was recommended for and received the Jubilee Award for Journalism , specifically for providing Sierra Leoneans in the diaspora and back home with information about the country through the Cocorioko Newspaper .
In 2012, KABS KANU won another coveted honor–The HALL OF FAME AWARD -from the SAVE SIERRA LEONE FOUNDATION–Another very important organization in the United States–for outstanding Journalism and community service. He also won another award for the same purpose from the umbrella organization , the UNION OF SIERRA LEONEAN ORGANIZATIONS IN NORTH AMERICA.
In 2013, KABS KANU was again invited to mount the rostrum to receive another award–THE GEMS OF AFRICA Award –from the U.S-based organization, SPRINGS OF JOY.
The Assistant CEOs are Mr. Pavi Jalloh AND Dr. Bankole Gibson , Mr. Foday Mansaray. They assist the publisher and CEO, Rev. Kabs-Kanu in assignments assigned them by Kabs-Kanu. No member of the board finances the paper. Cocorioko is sacrificially produced by the Rev. Kabs-Kanu. Other members of the Cocorioko board are Mr. Jacob Sax-Conteh, the Assistant Editor ; the Freetown Bureau Chief Joseph Kamanda ; the Canadian Bureau Chief and Managing Director for the print magazine edition published in Canada, Wilfred Kanu jr; Our Features Editor is Mr. Kolleh Dumbuya , while Sanpha Sesay is our Texas Bureau Chief ; Financial Correspondent Mohamed Sowe and Technical Directors Ahmed Kamara and Muckson Sesay. The Financial Secretary of Cocorioko is Ms. Wilfreda Kabs-Kanu .
REV. LEEROY WILFRED KABS-KANU, ESQ
PUBLISHER AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF COCORIOKO AND AWARD-WINNING JOURNALIST
eft a colony of amputated and deformed citizens and destroyed the country’s infrastructure.
KABS KANU HOLDING THE NOSLINA AWARD IN 2008 which he won for outstanding Journalism .
KABS KANU WITH THE 50TH INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY AWARD HE ALSO WON FOR OUTSTANDING JOURNALISM
KABS KANU WITH THE HALL OF FAME AWARD , ANOTHER AWARD HE WON FOR OUTSTANDING JOURNALISM FROM SAVE SIERRA LEONE FOUNDATION IN 2012
MR. FODAY MANSARAY
ASSISTANT EXECUTIVE OFFICER
MR. PAVI JALLOH : ASSISTANT CEO
DR. BANKOLE GIBSON : ASSISTANT CEO
JACOB SAX-CONTEH : THE ASSISTANT EDITOR OF COCORIOKO
COCORIOKO has a very rich history . It was first published at Fourah Bay College , the University of Sierra Leone , in 1973 during the era of the first revolutionary students union government led by Boubaccar Njai-Bah . It was set up by Leeroy Wilfred Kabs Kanu, who was the Minister of Propaganda in the students government , to serve as the mouthpiece of the students union , then involved in a battle of wits and supremacy with the archaic college administration and the political powers downtown. With Kabs-Kanu , as Publisher , the Editor-In-Chief then was a Nigerian student , Ben Ikeakor. Other members of the editorial board then were student activists Florence Iscandri, Millicent Macauley, Mohamed Lamin, Anthony Brewah , Princetta Godwin, Joan Mundoma , Jaiah Kallon etc. The paper covered hard and entertainment news on campus as well as explaining the goals and aspirations of the revolutionary students council government . The main aim of the government was to effect changes in the welfare of students on campus. It was that government that set the stage for the student revolution in 1977 headed by Hindolo Trye . The massive students action against the lethargic political powers forced the government to make wholesale reforms in governance and a snap General Elections that brought intellectuals into the national government for the first time . The newspaper folded up in 1976 when the main publishers graduated from college.
COCORIOKO was revived in 2002 by Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu to serve as a vanguard for credible , accurate , authoritative and reliable news and analyses from Sierra Leone . Cocorioko , in just a few years after being revived , is today one of the Sierra Leone’s biggest and most widely read newspapers , with an emphasis on rebranding Sierra Leone, a nation suffering from an image hangover , occasioned by decades of misgovernment, misrule , rampant corruption and a devastating war that killled over 200,000 people , left a colony of amputated and deformed citizens and destroyed the country’s infrastructure.
THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY JOURNALISM AWARD WON BY KABS KANU IN 2011
KABS KANU IS HONORED AGAIN –THIS TIME WITH THE GEMS OF AFRICA AWARD -IN 2013 FROM U.S.-BASED ORGANIZATION, SPRINGS OF JOY. HE IS SEEN HERE WITH PROFESSOR MIKE DILO SESAY, HIS COUSIN
Our modus operandi is not only to supply readers interesting and reliable news and features but to help rebrand Sierra Leone, an exercise we consider very important if the post-war nation should make any headway in attracting foreign investors , donor and development partners and tourists ,which would help rebuild the shattered country. Sierra Leone is mired in desperate socio-economic and political challenges at the moment and masive foreign investment and donor support are direly needed to bring relief to our people , restore social services and rebuild the infrastructure destroyed by the war. We want to appeal to all patriotic Sierra Leone and devoted friends of Sierra Leone to throw in their lot to help rebrand and rebuild the country. The negative perceptions about Sierra Leone being peddled by unpatriotic citizens and foreign commentators are inimical to the socio-economic and political recovery of the country. If Sierra Leone must rise again and take her rightful place in the comity of progressive nations, we all have to, as a matter of patriotic duty, help to project a more favourable perception of the Country. There is no doubt that Sierra Leone is a very beautiful country, a tourist’s delight , and a veritable paradise laden with abundantly rich mineral, material and human resources. All the country needs are faithful development partners to help us harness these rich resources at our disposal and a government committed to the development of the country and alleviation of the suffering of the masses. Hopefully, as the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon , noticed when he visited Sierra Leone, the country is making tremendous progress and in the words of the UN Chief , Sierra leone provides optimism that there is hope for Africa.
The Publisher and CEO of the newspaper, Rev. Leeroy Wilfred Kabs -Kanu, is a man with a wide professional experience in life. He has studied English , History and Sociology , journalism, Law , Educational Psychology and Special Education . He started his journalism career as a student at Christ The King’s College ( CKC), an elitist secondary school in Bo, Sierra Leone, where he rose to become Editor of the CKC TIMES in the late 1960s. At FBC in the early to mid-1970s , apart from being Publisher of Cocorioko, he was also Editor of SPOTLIGHT after the founder , Reginald Pobee, graduated from college; He has taught in Sierra Leone , Liberia and the United States and was at one time Principal of the United Muslim Association Secondary School in Freetown, Sierra Leone and an Educational Psychology Lecturer at the World Bank -sponsored Ministry of Education/University of Liberia /Kakata Rural Teacher Training Institute In-Service Teachers Training Program. He was also a features editor of Sierra Leone’s most radical newspaper , THE TABLET (now defunct ) , published by Pios Foray and Hindolo Trye in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He also worked as the Monrovia-based sports correspondent of WE YONE newspaper in 1978-79. He has also served as the New Jersey Bureau Chief of the WEST AFRICAN JOURNAL , then published in the U.S. by Joe S. Kappia and the U.S. Bureau Chief of the also defunct EXPO TIMES newspaper. He is presently a diplomat, serving as Sierra Leone’s Minister Plenipotentiary to the United Nations in New York. At the UN, He is also Coordinator of C-10 ( The Committee of 10 African nations tasked with negotiating the UN Security Council Reforms on behalf Africa ) and also Coordinator of the Sierra Leone Government media in the U.S.
Dear Mr. Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu,
I read an article about investing in Sierra Leone: Chinese Billionaire impressed by President Koroma at OGI pledges $50 million to boost agriculture in Sierra Leone.
I am a research analyst at Reorient, a small brokerage in Hong Kong, and I would like to reach out to Mr. David Yu cited in your article- the Executive Director of Capital International Development Limited ( CIDL) and is holder of two Congress seats in China , and also founding family member of the China Exim Bank.
Would you be able to link me to him or his organization as I would like to introduce a Sierra Leone mineral project to CIDL.
Thank you so much! Have a great day. Steve +852-64336769
Dear Rev Kanu,
God place Cocorioko in my pathway and today I am finding out you are located in the USA and this really make my heart glad as I would like to come and update you on the information I have been e-mailing you. When is it a good time to come and speak with you.
I do thank you in advance for your reply back in this matter.
Best regards, Bishop William Leon Lockhart 321-948-0718 (Orlando Florida)
M.S.Bangura. Germany says:
Hon Kanu, Editorial members,
I am so impressed for your even distribution of news in the net the Cocorioko news net is one of the most comendable news that we all have to respect for its inofrmation most of us believe have a balance of report with fact that one can have no doubt for.
I thank you for having my yonger brother Sanpha Sesay as one of your reporter in the US for us in Germany there is no doubt that your news net is one of the most favourable news we all have interest to read in a daily bases. Now the only request we are making to you is for inclusion to your article publication even though enlish Langauge is now a second Language we are not afarmable with but yet still the ideas and interest is still in us so please help to publish our many articles for the information of the world and resident of the Federal Republic of Germany. An action that will show your representation in the countey.
This morning i sent you one article we are all expecting to read soon so please do help Regards
M.S.Bangura 2012 election coordinator central Europe.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR KEEPING ME INFORMED ABOUT RECENT OCCURANT OF EVENTS. WHEN MEN ARE NOT INFORMED THEY ARE DEFORMED. I EXTEND PROFOUND THANKS AND GRATITUDE TO ALHAJIE UMURO FOFANA FOR THE COURAGE HE PERSONALLY GIVE ME IN BECOMING ACCREDITED , PAID-UP MEMBER OF THE SIERRA LEONE ASSOCIATION OF JOURNALIST.THE FUTURE OF THIS COUNTRY LIES IN THE HAND OF PATRIOTIC PRESSMEN OF THIS NOBLE STATE. LET HANDLE THE NEWS WITH LOVE WE HAVE FOR THIS NATION- AND HER SISTER COUNTRY.IT IS A PLEASSURE FOR ME TO SEE AND READ ALL YOUR EPISTLES, SCRIPTS — I NEED YOUR SUPPORT AS I AM INVOLVE IN CUURENT PARTICIPATORY INVESTIGATIVE HUMAN RIGHTS JOURNALISM IN THE RURAL AREAS BOTH KOYA AND NONGOWA CHIEFDOM RESPECTIVELY CALL ME 0023278937021 YOUR IN THE FIELD MILSON