Human Rights

Gambia: Deyda’s Spirit Shall Never Die

On this day in 2004, the late Deyda Hydara marshalled the entire Point newspaper family to the base on No. 2 Garba Jahumpa Road in Fajara.

It was the 13th anniversary of the founding of The Point newspaper and he made sure, unlike other days, that day was made special for all The Point staff.

And to prove that, he himself was dressed for the occasion.

Immaculately dressed in coat and bespectacled, the late Deyda himself was on the phone, mobilizing staff for the day.

Everything conspired according to plans and the entire Point family got together to savour their day.

But little did they knew the day was not going to pan out as they’d hoped and expected.

Deyda Hydara

With refreshing sea breeze coming from the direction of the Atlantic Ocean less than a kilometer away, the day itself could be characterized as one of those lovely days when the sun behaved like a newly-wed bride, feeling so shy to poke its head out of the clouds.

A warm day with sunny intervals, the temperature values remained largely agreeable.

But behind this veneer of loveliness around the day lurked evil men intent on separating father from children in such a brutal and macabre way.

As we here at JollofNews sorrowfully remember 16 December 2004, we’d also thought the day should not be all about fretting and deep mourning.

In fact, isn’t it said that it doesn’t matter how long someone had lived but what’s of the essence is how that life lived was lived.

Indeed a life well lived and well worth celebration, the life of Deyda Hydara has validated this point.

When our so-called warriors of today were scurrying and scampering away from Jammeh like a bubonic plague, the late Deyda made sure the disgraced former Gambian President conform and comport.

When telling truth to Jammeh was riskier than telling the Pharaoh he was not God as he falsely claimed, the late brave journalist was there to tell the arrogant Jammeh what people wanted to tell him but were cringing with trepidation.

Those turbulent political times of our history when prices for telling the truth had gone up to imprisonment, exile, assault, loss of employment and favours from the government and other costs.

But the late Deyda Hydara remained resolute in the frontline of truth.

He defended the truth and was ready to pay any price for it.

He lived as the man he was: a man of honor, patriot and a warrior.

The late doyen was also a father figure.

With a heart as big as the world, the doyen was accommodating, generous in both spirit and material, charming and fun to be around with.

He was always there for his staff.

Sorrowfully missed and affectionately remembered by his heartbroken former staff for the avuncular manner with which he treated everyone, the late brave journalist’s memory will forever be etched in the memories of the devastated members of his Point family.

But we are deriving solace from the fact that his spirit is still alive and shall live on for time we here couldn’t predict.

Rest easy, doyen!

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