SLAJ @50:President Nasralla hopes for the better
By Ibrahim Tarawallie
President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists, SLAJ is optimistic that the association will be much better than it is now in the next fifty years.
“Our next 50 years should see us better than we are today both in terms of membership, welfare issues, professionalism, patriotism, and self-reliance. The kind of SLAJ we want to see should be the concern of every member of this noble Association,” Ahmed Sahid Nasralla said.
He was speaking at the Harry Yansaneh Memorial Hall in Freetown during the official launched of activities marking the 50th anniversary of the association.
He reckoned that the next decades are going to be challenging moments for the media landscape, especially with the emergence of social media and the determination to avoid the ‘path dependence syndrome’, and assured: “We will not continue with ‘business as usual’.”
He described the 50th anniversary celebration as significant because it is the year the association started the journey towards free and professional media, while assuring of the determination to position SLAJ to fit into the next generation.
“In a few months from now, precisely June 5th, we will officially be celebrating 50 years of existence. It would not be appropriate to say we have come of age, because that happened 29 years ago. But today we begin another journey to climb to the mountain top of professionalism and economic prosperity for the media in Sierra Leone,” the SLAJ president stated.
He paid glowing tributes to the founding fathers and mothers of the association, some of whom are still around, noting that they deserve a special place in the history book because they laid a foundation that generations that came after them found it easier to build upon.
According to him, SLAJ has been able to survive for 50 years and maintaining its independence and integrity throughout.
The SLAJ president stated that in a country where ugly politics has crept into all facets of society and organizations, the association has remained a very solid group that has enjoyed the trust and confidence of its members, as well as the public.
“As an executive, we have drawn up a calendar of events that will run for the whole year, because this is a once-in-a-lifetime event so we want to give it all the significance that it deserves. We are going to host events throughout the country. Our regional executives will also be having activities at their district level,” he said.
Officially launching the calendar of events, Minister of Information and Communication, Mohamed Rahman Swaray congratulated SLAJ for reaching such milestone and assured that government will continue to provide the much needed support to media.