|Deceased: Musa Sandy|
The information about the death of Musa met me as a surprise. As he is my friend on Facebook, I saw snap information about the death of someone and it happened at a time I was having a brief rush through the newsfeed on my Facebook page. I thought at that time Musa himself was posting information about the death of someone. Since I was in a rush and could not concentrate much on the content of the message, I clicked like and wrote a message of condolence. Then came hours later when I received a message from my younger sister, Theresa, who is so close to Musa and the family, texting me on Whatsapp that Musa Sandy is dead. The message sent a shock wave through my spine and made me put aside what I was focusing on that day. I even told my sister about an unclear message I saw on my newsfeed on Facebook on Musa’s timeline and we further had sister-brother deliberations on the issue of death. At the end of our conversation, I then reflected on a young and healthy looking Musa I met one year ago with his mum in a burial ceremony in a hall around Brixton. Before the end of the burial ceremony, we came out together and later his mum joined us and we even had discussions on family issues. At the end of the discussions, he entered his car and drove home with his mum. As everyone is busy in Great Britain, we hardly meet and in total had actually seen him twice in London; the other was in our alumni association fundraising event around Waterloo Station, London.
The news of Musa’s death made me learn that amid the fact we all busy out of Sierra Leone there is the need for relatives and friends to be in touch with each other, as life is short and one never knows when a relative or friend will leave planet earth. It is observed that there is a high degree of association among relatives and friends in the home country or even when outside the home country in other developing nations compared to developed nations like Great Britain. The case study of such strong association was evident during my days in the Gambia. I realised that relatives and friends had more time for each other. As a former Chairman of Sierra Leone Nationals’ Union for Bundung, Serrekunda, The Gambia, we had monthly meetings, ensured ongoing visits in the homes of Sierra Leoneans, created avenues for solving conflicts and even went beyond visiting Sierra Leoneans in remote parts of the Gambia. We definitely need mutual concern and care for each other and that is all we need to make our world a better place. We need not allow the fluid nature of our world to influence negative behaviour or make us absorb the culture of neglecting each other. Psalm 133 says, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” Indeed, unity and mutual love and concern are all we need to break the York that is keeping us apart from each other. Yes, we may have domestic and external pressures around us but there is the need to squeeze in the time for each other.
I knew Musa in Government Secondary School, Kenema. We were in the boarding home and he was my junior and a classmate to my first cousin. As seniority and discipline are upheld in the school and boarding home, we were in different circles but united as a family based on the school. I later realised we hail from the same Chiefdom in Sierra Leone and even have a family lineage. He was meant to know me due to my popularity in the school and this was based on the formation of Poor Boys Association (an association meant to raise money for vulnerable colleagues), the humour and the fact that I was embracing everyone regardless of your background and even the bad boys in the school including me were my closest friends. After leaving Government Secondary School Kenema (Kay School or College of the East) for Christ the King College Bo, we lost from each other. As the saying goes that the world is a global village, I accidently saw him in the Gambia. The meet happened just outside the senior school where I was teaching in Banjul, the Gambia. He was in a taxi chartered by him and spotted me and told the driver to stop. He advanced towards me and gave me the “British hug”, as he was from London. I was surprised to see him after a long time. He called me PBA (that is poor boys association, a nickname colleagues call me sometimes when they see me). We chatted for a while and even told me he is looking for his uncle, Sidie Tarawally. I directed him to his uncle and before leaving he gave me £10 (ten pounds). Such warm reception made me learn one thing that “it is nice to be nice”. If I was bad with him in school, I would not have received such warm welcome and financial gesture from him. Musa is an exemplary human being and the kind of being worthy for planet earth. His charm, warmth and philanthropist attributes are great to emulate. I never saw him in trouble in school and he was receptive and respectful to everyone. He is a man that can meet you in trouble and stand by you and realised that when I was indirectly held by the neck after our alumni event by a friend. Musa intervened to rescue me out of the awful scenario. I saw him as someone who kept strictly to family traditions and never allowed borrowed culture to sway him totally.
The deceased, Musa Sandy, is mummy’s boy and observed strong and unwavering bond between them. Mums are great and never replaceable and it is all because they know the suffering they go through from conceiving us up to the point of delivery and to the point of maturity. Even with maturity, they will continue to monitor us and show unrelenting care and concern. This is what exactly Musa’s mum had been doing and this can be substantiated by her ongoing presence and support for Musa and his nucleus family in London. Very recently, as a showcase of appreciation, Musa organised a 70th birthday celebration for his mum, Musu Sandy, and this came as a surprise to her. He did not tell the mum about the birthday bash and only took her to the hall on the day of the event. Please watch the video coverage of the celebration for your digest.
A view of the video coverage will clearly tell you the excitement and appreciation of a great mother. The birthday celebration was done couple of months ago before his death and leaves us to ponder whether it was a goodbye. However, regardless of whatever we may perceive about the celebration, no amount of money, gifts and whatsoever will compensate our mums for their invaluable roles in our lives. Anyone in this world can throw trash on us and our mums will always be there to dust that trash from us and make us feel valued and give us hope that someone cares.
Musa was a member of our alumni association, which is Kenema Old Students Association (KOSA). This association has a Whatsapp group where we deliberate on school matters and in general socio-political matters. The information about his death triggered tributes from members of the group that were his classmates and a former senior in the school who took Musa as his personally assistant in the boarding home.
Momoh Turay (Alias bbc, Musa’s former classmate):
The late Musa was one of those guys we had at kay school that were warm in spirit, charming in his smiles ; never saw him frown at friends and in any gathering; never raised his voice to attract attention, intimidate or frighten; I can’t remember him engaging in any of the pranks some of us did in classroom, dormitories and outside school campus. Close associate always praise him for his generosity and kind heart. This was demonstrated by his sharing of meagre resources-garri, kpokie and others. Surely, Musa is one man that left his footprints in the sands of time. He may not have been the smartest, brightest, richest, most powerful but Musa (named after one of the most powerful prophets in Islam-English and biblical translation of Mose) left a legacy we all need to learn from due to his humility, determination, compassion, friendliness, kindness and above all the fear of God. May his soul rest in perfect peace!
Abubakarr Kamara (Alias Justice, former senior and someone who Musa was personal assistant to )
Losing a friend like Musa Sandy is hard to believe and is one of the most painful experiences one can endure in life......Everybody at some point has lost a friend, a brother, etc., and it is hard for us to accept that a person we shared moments with and trusted with so many things, is no longer in our life.....Shall I ask through our able Chairman of Kenema Old Students’ Association to observe in reminiscent in this forum till the end of this week....Therefore, no political postings nor any statement or text....but only text on our late brother’s death, Musa Sandy. Either the Best or Nothing!
Musa left this world with a wife (Mrs Kadie Sandy) and two children (Martin Sandy and Nyakeh Sandy). My sympathy goes to the mum, wife, children and the entire family. The death of Musa came as a shock to all of us and something difficult for us all to cope with. God giveth and taketh and only He has an explanation to such disheartening situation. The truth is Musa belongs to a biological, institutional, national, continental and global family, so it is a big loss to all the stratum of families that he is attached to. However, the reality is that the mother, wife, children and other members of the biological family are the ones that bear and live with the greatest brunt. For every Sierra Leonean that dies overseas, there is a negative effect on the net income from abroad, hence, the national income, and not to mention the contributions that the deceased had been making to the host nation and the global society. We need to be realistic about this and embrace and value ourselves and ensure that we maintain healthy and mutual relationships among ourselves. We are in this world like a candle in the wind that is meant to end at any time, so we need to watch each other’s back and build the mutual peaceful environment for each other. Death is our inevitable end and death we all going to face and it is uncertain as to when we might fall within the red zone of death. I have to end this piece by dedicating this Sunnah from the Quran to the Mother, wife, children and other relative to the late Musa Sandy, “Verily to Allah! Belongs what He took and to Him belongs what He gave, and everything with Him has an appointed time..” Then, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) ordered the relatives to be patient and hope for Allah’s Reward”. “May Allah magnify the reward of relatives, make better their solace and forgive the deceased. “ (Source: Fortress of the Muslim, Invocations from the Quran Sunnah, Deposition Number: 19641/2004).
Theresa Boima, United Kingdom
Abubakarr Kamara, United Kingdom
Momoh Turay, United Kingdom
Compiled By: Prince Foday, United Kingdom