June marks my 18th anniversary as a broadcast journalist in Sierra Leone.
I started my career as a volunteer journalist. I went through the ranks and today, I am Station Manager at Radio Democracy 98.1FM, one of Sierra Leone’s leading radio stations.
It has been a bittersweet journey but with faith, determination, and perseverance, I have been able to overcome many challenges.
Engaging politicians, especially during elections and post elections periods, has been particularly revealing and a wonderful experience in my career. The shift in analysis, thinking, and attitude between these periods has helped my professional growth.
Journalism in Sierra Leone is mainly a male-dominated profession, while there are women reporters and stringers, just a hand full of women ever make it to top leadership positions.
I want to count myself lucky to be amongst the few women journalists who have made it to the decision-making level to make editorial decisions.
I have personally maintained my independence and credibility, winning some of the most prestigious national awards and for which I am extremely proud.
It would not be possible for me to be where I am today without a strong support system. I have to thank all those who have supported me throughout my career, especially my family. When the going gets tough they keep le grounded. They make no judgments and they stand by me come what me.
I want to thank all those who have supported me throughout my career, especially my husband Ambrose James and kids Mukeh and Muvaah who when in difficult times of my career, will not judge me, but stand by me. Hannah Foullah thank you for providing me the opportunity and platform.
Mamadi Gobeh Kamara thank you for your constant mentorship, and to the many others who continue to inspire and support me behind the scene.
As I contemplate my future career path, I want to reaffirm my commitment that I will continue to uphold the ethics of my profession. I will be fearless, independent, continue to hold power to account and provide the platform for diverse views.
In the midst of many challenges, I will continue to rise. And if given the choice to do it all over again, you would still find me in the newsroom, telling the stories that need to be told.