31 December 2012

Gambia: Adieu! Modou Sanyang

News of the death of Alhagie Modou Sanyang, a veteran broadcaster of renown in this country, has shocked many people, especially we in the media fraternity. It is for this reason that this paper finds it fitting to pen this piece in respect of a fallen hero.

We mourn the passing of Alhagie Modou Sanyang, a journalist colleague who devoted his entire lifetime to our noble profession - journalism. Throughout his journalistic career, he used his voice to foster journalism. Even after retirement, the old man couldn't resist the lure of the microphone. It is for this reason that he stayed on at the GRTS, working as a broadcaster.

If the true measure of a man's life is how he has impacted on the lives of others, then Modou Sanyang was truly a great man. Throughout his career at GRTS, the late Sanyang influenced the lives of many people for the better. By living an exemplary life, Sanyang has shown that true greatness lies in not how long we live, but how well.

The family of the late Sanyang can, therefore, take pride and joy in the legacy that their man has left behind.

It was Shakespeare who said that "the evil that men do lives after them, but the good is often interred with their bones".

However, the lives of men like Modou Sanyang apparently negate Shakespeare's statement, in that it is their positive qualities that are remembered by those they have left behind.

For those of us in journalism, Sanyang's death represents a huge loss that will take a while longer yet for us to get over. Over the years, we have been losing some of our veterans - Deyda Hydara, Modou Musa Secka, Baboucar Gaye, Lalo Samateh, Alh.Musa Camara and now Modou Sanyang.

We are prematurely being deprived of the benefit of their guidance. This is a sign that we have to learn as much as we can from our veterans, while they are still around.

Sanyang's life should also serve to inspire young journalists to give their unalloyed commitment to the profession, even though it is not a money-spinning profession.

Unlike most professions in the world, nobody goes into journalism for the money. If you do, you'll be disappointed. It is a profession that feeds on passion, driven by the quest for social, political and economic progress.

Seen in this light, the late Modou Sanyang led a full and satisfied life, having helped in his own small way in shaping the destiny of this country.

May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace. Amen!

"Before you complain about life think of someone who died too early on this earth."

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