Farewell To Iconic Journalist Tom Kamara
By Jonathan C. Benson
The loss of our beloved boss, Tom Kamara, whom the New Democrat family bemoans clearly indicates that mankind has always lost the battle against the chilly hands of death, from time immemorial.
When comes, it snatches loved ones from their families, coworkers and friends.
This mysterious transformation is incomprehensible by human beings living on planet earth, making the social setting in some cultures to see death as an enemy to humans.
I keenly followed the writings of Tom Kamara since 1995 without yet setting my eyes on the man behind the pen, though always curious to see this heroic journalist.
I had all along perceived him as a man who chose to ignore personal interests by enduring mental and physical agonies just to ensure that social justice, peace and the reign of the rule of law without discrimination remained the order of the day.
It was on 3 April 2011 that Mr. Kamara invited me to join the New Democrat family as a graphic designer and seldom cartoonist, in response to recommendations from acquaintances in the employ of the entity.
But before joining the New Democrat family, some friends of mine who had interacted with Mr. Kamara warned me that he was a bad man. With this caution on my mind, I met Mr. Kamara who chatted with me like a man interacting with his son. He interviewed me so well with regards to my academic and professional know-how in consultation with other senior editorial staff members at the New Democrat, and based on his consideration for my employment, I was told to assume active duties as a graphic designer the following day.
For me, employment at New Democrat was an opportunity to explore deeper into the graphics industry of the print media, where the possibility was alive to meet and interact with journalists of stature to enhance my career experience.
‘Uncle Tom’ as we always referred to him within the New Democrat environment, has been a tremendous guidance and role model for not just us his employees, but also those determined individuals keen on becoming patriotic assets to society. He set enviable standards that demanded emulation, and despised the vile and unprincipled.
Flattery was devoid in praises from Tom Kamara, whose words of commendation were filled with challenges to measure up.
To you Uncle Tom, I say you lived as a refined journalist whose primary concentration was focused on gathering genuine ideal facts befitting to analyze for dissemination. You were a God sent messenger whose duty was to say the truth through the nip of the pen.
Uncle Tom is not dead, but only retired from active service to rest in a secret place prepared by God our Maker and Creator of the Universe.
Journalist Tom Kamara Stood Courageously For The TRUTH
By Victor Pratt
Time has elapsed and people gone-bye. The reality is that life has to go on in the context of its true meaning of fulfillment, achievement and a persistent pursuit of what is true. Life becomes more momentous and exceptionally vital when one is able to stand-up for the “TRUTH”.
Few months ago, I met Mr. Tom Kamara in the corridors of my job seeking,
It was when for the first time I realized that there are people with extremely and unimaginably dogmatic principles. Interestingly, after few weeks working at the New Democrat, I also recognized his unbending and uncompromising passion for the TRUTH. Then after few weeks of my close interaction with Mr. Kamara, I soberly noticed he was an intellectual. He engaged me on two separate occasions on critical national issues and when I declared my stance, he sometimes laughed and in a short while, he would zoom in on those issues setting me on a path to think about such things in their actual perspectives.
Sometimes, as his way of tapping people’s intelligence, he tried to solicit views on a particular headline; he put it to his staff regardless of age and position. He always created a stage for the exchange of views. He never let wrong grammar pass without being called to check. One important thing I noticed about him, he did not entertain any form of discussion whenever he was between his seat and his computer.
Oh! Just in six weeks I lost him. Can’t believe he’s gone, still looking around… I can’t see him but I see the flings of what he stood for dashed in the open and I hear a voice clinging, the fight for social justice is eminent. Hold on and be steadfast, this is the institution I built. Even when he was alive, those were things he often told people around him.
Therefore the death of Mr. Kamara does not come as a surprise, because death as we all know is inevitable. But what is bothering and paining is the replacement of this character in a post-war and poverty stricken Liberia, where there are gross violations of people’s rights and a constant encroachment on the freedom of information.
Specifically the attainment of Social Justice has become a gigantic fight. As I write these words, my eyes are filled with tears not only for this fallen hero but this society that does not appreciate people with clearer specs and those who don’t bend on issues that affect society. He was an out-spoken figure, a realist and more interestingly, a fearless journalist.
Good-bye Mr. Kamara, I will go on missing you for the rest of my life. You are dead but your Dreams will live on, regardless of the hits and pits that come after us that admired you and decided to thread your path, I promise you.
Good-bye Uncle Tom Kamara
By Miss Rita Nurse & Fiance Amadou M. Keita
I pronounced this unpleasant word: Good-bye with tears and sorrow.
The man I admired greatly.
The man that stood for Justice at all times.
The man that advocated for his people and the nation at large.
Most importantly, he brought me out from childhood and I remember he cherished me, regarded me a lot.
Supported me in all of my possible and positive adventures.
I’ll be considered an ingrate, if I should allow this even (today’s date) passed and I don’t acknowledge such things that I remembered.
Memory Of Father’s Love
By Nindi Tarley-Dixon
It’s almost a week since one of my colleagues rang my phone at 4:00 AM Friday morning to tell me you’re gone.
The hurt is the same, like an open wound each time I walked into the building of the New Democrat, staring at your empty office.
You were one of the pioneers amongst media professionals. What the society doesn’t know is that you were a father, so affectionate but instilled discipline at all levels.
Uncle Tom, as he was affectionately called, treated every employee with respect, without discrimination. I remembered when he designed a performance chart to encourage hard work among reporters; a bonus was awarded any reporter that wrote the highest numbers of stories.
Uncle Tom was like a rock, strong, faithful, truthful and reliable that you could count on whenever in need; I am so grateful to have worked with him. I recalled the maximum protection he gave me after I wrote an article titled “On-line Prostitution” that prompted some girls who worked for Called In-bound to storm the offices of the New Democrat to attack me.
His fatherly virtues showed when Uncle Tom and 6-year- old Hannah and Mrs. Kamara played hide and seek, one of their favorite games, in the office. Each time they played, I could see the depth of father’s love shown in their daughter’s eyes.