Remembering The Marverick - Tatafway Tumoe
By Lans Omar,
"Lans, finally the eagle has landed." - Those are the very last words he uttered to me in 2010 when the Maverick visited me in my hotel room in Freetown.
The whole of last week I was in tears, agony and pain while battling with myself if I should include Tatafway Mani Tumoe's eulogy in the 40 Acres Canada weekly newsletter. Couple of times, Vivian almost caught me in tears but I hid it; At work, I'll rush to the bathroom and wept silently by myself.
Tatafway (pictured) has long been gone for years and why do I want to resurrect him?
It was a very difficult decision I took all by myself to put up that article. Even while pressing the "publish" button, I can feel the presence of the Maverick telling me "please Lans, let me rest in peace, please." I refused.
I dialled Tatafway's number in Freetown, the number I always had for him, and the silence of that call sent a cold chill up my spine. No ring tone, no answer, no voicemail. For the very first time I came into a sudden realization that Tatafway is gone forever.
I closed my eyes, the mouse pointing on the "publish" button, said a little prayer and clicked the "publish" button.
Wow! I really did this? OMG!
Fifteen minute later, I received a call from a colleague in the US who prefered to be anonymous, asking what's behind my publication about Tatafway Tumoe. I told him I miss him, and I'll forever miss him. Later in the day, I got couple other calls about that article.
To say Tatafway Mani Tumoe was a fine writer is an understatement. Arguably, he was the greatest thinker in Sierra Leone journalism, believe it or not. Since his demise, the face of journalism in Sierra Leone will never be the same, never.
I was privileged to have worked with Tatafway Tumoe at Concord Times where I came to know who the Maverick was; A perfect gentleman, defiant, intelligent, creative and down to earth personality. We lived together briefly at our Olombo house residence at Thunder Hill in Freetown and we also chilled in The Gambia.
Even as I'm writing this missive, I can feel the Maverick's presence. I can actually hear his voice. I miss you 'Fway. I wish the sands of time will return to 1995 back in Freetown. I wish this never happened to you at only 48yrs.
Please continue to rest in peace, and I'm so sorry if that article I posted on 40 Acres hurts you, I'm just feeling you, I love you "Fway.