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'A SENEGALESE'S 21- YEAR DEDICATED SERVICE TO SIERRA LEONE'

By Ishmael Bayoh, Information Attaché, Sierra Leone Embassy, Dakar- Senegal

He participated in the welcome of three Presidents of Sierra Leone to Dakar. He had worked with three High Commissioners in Banjul and two Ambassadors in Dakar with six Heads of Chanceries from 2000 to 2020 respectively. This is Mr. Chiekh Ndiaye, (Alias Ton Ton Ndiaye) the Senegalese who had worked for the Government of Sierra Leone for 20 years as Consular Assistant to Protocol Officer for both the Sierra Leone High Commission in the Gambia and the Sierra Leone Embassy in Senegal.

When I assumed duty in October 2020, I was met by an energetic man at the Blaise Diange International Airport -Dakar to receive me. Bienvenue à Dakar M. Ismael Bayoh- 'welcome to Dakar Mr. Ishmael Bayoh,' he said. After our pleasantries and before you knew it, he had taken my luggage to the exit door of the airport. I have seen love and commitment to work from Mr. Ndiaye in all of the assignments he had undertaken. From protocol arrangements to attending to Sierra Leoneans on Consular issues, he has done dutifully.

Sharing his golden experiences with me, he said he started working for the Government of Sierra Leone in 2000 and at the end of the war in Sierra Leone, Sierra Leoneans fleeing the war were having a lot of problems across the country (Senegal) as well as in other neighbouring countries. "So it was necessary to quickly find an influential Senegalese authority to provide them aid and assistance during these very difficult times at the request of former President Alhaji Ahmad Tejan Kabba of blessed memory in agreement with President Abdulai Wade," he said.

The Sierra Leone High Commissioner then to the Gambia, H.E Alhaji Morikeh Fofana after a careful investigation had proposed the Honorable Member of Parliament Papa Ndiamé Séné, President of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the National Assembly from Senegal at the same time Director of Companies and International Consultant to be the Honorary Consul. "However, as I was his Assistant to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly, he immediately appointed me as Consular Assistant of the Honorary Consulate in charge of Administrative and Consular Affairs, in direct collaboration with the High Commission of Sierra Leone in Banjul- The Gambia," he narrated.

Mr. Ndiaye was in 2019 honored by His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio as Officer of the Order of the Rokel.

Commenting on that honour, he came short of breath and said: "I remain unable to find the exact words which could express all my joy, my happiness and my gratitude for the honor bestowed upon me by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone Dr. Julius Maada Bio. This means for me, my family a mark of gratitude towards me. I also take this opportunity to thank all the Authorities who have given me their support and have spared no effort for the completion of this award, in particular HE Ambassador Alhaji Brima Elvis Koroma who had taken the file in hand and did his own thing as soon as he took office. I also do not forget Mr. Henry Nyandemoh, the Head of Chancery who also spared no effort on the report he made on me and his introduction to the competent authorities in Freetown. But it would have been even more pleasant if I had received the award and decoration direct from the President of the Republic."

He said he would always have fond memories of working for the Government of Sierra Leone and the Sierra Leonean citizens whenever the need arose.

"My experience has been very huge and fruitful through the different authorities of Sierra Leone with whom I learnt a lot especially with those from the High Commission in Banjul who had assisted me a lot in my work."

Continuing on what he would miss after his service, he said "I will always think of the friendship I had with some staff. Again, I will be very satisfied with the good deeds I have done. I am even more than gratified with the good and sincere collaboration that I have always had with the Authorities of the High Commission in Banjul-The Gambia from 2000-2011. I thank them wholeheartedly and infinitely for always helping me, assisting and facilitating each of my missions from Dakar to Banjul."

With his long-standing career and experience, Mr. Cheikh Ndiaye said it was very gratifying and he felt positive to always help people or provide assistance at the right time... for the human person is the most precious of riches and that to serve humanity is the noblest in life, which in my opinion has given meaning to my life.


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