Tribute To Ambassador Jonathan Leigh

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By Sorie Fofana

“Friendships formed in life are broken in death. The love we share is unbreakable”.

Journalism has lost one of its illustrious and quintessential children. The sudden demise of the late Ambassador Jonathan Leigh was shell-shocking. His death is a great loss to the nation and to the Journalism profession. His demise is a greater loss to me personally, because, he was not only a friend but a personal confidante.

The late Jay Leigh was a very loyal friend. He was firm and faithful in his support for his friends.

The late Jonathan and I shared almost everything in common. We were inseparable. He once noted that one of the differences between him and I was that, he was swift in speaking out his mind, but I was not. I find that characterisation to be absolutely true.

The late Jonathan Leigh and I did a lot in common. We set up the Independent Observer newspaper in August 1997. The idea came from him. I provided the money for the first publication. When I was getting married in January 2006, Jonathan Leigh was my Best Man.

On several occasions, he travelled with me to my hometown of Manjoro. He was known by every member of my family including my mother. My children called him “Uncle Jonathan”.

When he was appointed as Sierra Leone’s Deputy Ambassador to Germany, he said that he felt more compensated than I, who encouraged him to support and even vote for the SLPP and its Presidential candidate Brig. (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio in both the 2012 and 2018 Presidential and Parliamentary elections.

I was on a private visit to the United Kingdom when news about the sudden death of Jay Leigh broke on 9th April, 2022. I felt devastated. He was an amazing and diligent Journalist. It is incredibly difficult for me to come to terms with his death. I saw him two days before I left for the UK on 25th March, 2022. He was admitted to the Choithram Memorial Hospital at Hill Station. Even when I was in the UK, I maintained regular communication with him. I last spoke to him two days before his death. But he spoke to me on the phone very briefly. From that moment, I knew that he was not feeling well. So I got worried. His last words to me on the phone were, “Wus tem you dae kam bak”. And I replied, “First week in May”. I had to return to Sierra Leone on 20th April to pay my last respects to my friend and brother.

I have lost one of my best friends. I have lost a very reliable, loyal and dependable friend. Life will never be the same again for me without Joe Leigh. He was quite jovial and generous. He loved his children, his friends and his family.

He once said to me that when he passed away he would like to be remembered as a Journalist and not as a Diplomat. Let us remember him for the good things he did and those he stood for in life.

Rest in Peace, Jay Leigh! May the Good Lord have mercy upon your departed soul! You will forever remain in our thoughts and prayers.

RIP, Jay Leigh!

Eid Ul Fitir Greetings

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The management and staff of Jaward el Zein of 4 A Regent Road, Freetown, Sierra Leone, extend wishes for good health, long life and prosperity to President Julius Maada Bio, Vice President Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, the Government and people of Sierra Leone as we celebrate the glorious Eid ul Fitir.

Eid Ul Fitir Greetings

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The management and staff of Khalil Shour of 4 Regent Road, Freetown, Sierra Leone, extend wishes for good health, long life and prosperity to President Julius Maada Bio, Vice President Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, the Government and people of Sierra Leone as we celebrate the glorious Eid ul Fitir.

Eid Ul Fitir Greetings

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The management and staff of Publix Pharmacy of 32 Siaka Stevens, Freetown, Sierra Leone, extend wishes for good health, long life and prosperity to President Julius Maada Bio, Vice President Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, the Government and people of Sierra Leone as we celebrate the glorious Eid ul Fitir.

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