SLAJ President Honors

By: Sheku Putka Kamra

A statement from Alhaji Manika Kamara, Secretary General of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) has said that President Ahmed Sahid Nasralla (Monk) has awarded compatriot (Rev.) David Buakei Vandy with the maiden SLAJ Presidential Award for his ‘exemplary conduct as a professional journalist’ spanning more than 17 years as Host/Producer of Voice of America’s (VOA) popular musical program, African Beat.

In a meeting with a cross-section of members of SLAJ Diaspora at BSK Cultural Center 3701 Branch Ave, Hillcrest, VA suite 1000 (Iverson Mall) in the United States of America on the evening of Friday 6 October 2023, the SLAJ President recalled the contribution of David to Broadcasting, and Theatre and Arts and Entertainment in Sierra Leone in the 1990s upwards, and cited his outstanding work at VOA.

“David Vandy was a household name in broadcasting, theatre, arts and entertainment in Sierra Leone before he travelled to live and work in the US. Since he joined the VOA about 17 years ago, he has had an extraordinary journalism career presenting Africa Beat and promoting African music to the world. He is a very good example of who we call a professional journalist, and he has been a true Ambassador of Sierra Leone,”President Nasralla said.

The SLAJ President also cited David’s contribution beyond journalism to supporting the Sierra Leonean community in the US. “Beyond journalism, I have heard good stories about David and the Sierra Leonean community here. Out of his busy schedules, he always makes time for his compatriots, including those visiting, and also supports our Embassy here to organize and bring Sierra Leoneans together. This award is also in recognition of the selfless and leadership role he is playing to unite his compatriots living and working in the US. You deserve this recognition, and I am truly happy that this is happening while you are at the peak of your career. I hope this award will further motivate you to continue the good work and may it inspire others to emulate your good example,” said Nasralla.

Receiving the award, David expressed shock and delight. “The SLAJ President summoned this meeting to discuss how we could organize ourselves into a SLAJ Diaspora group to bring us together as professionals, and to support SLAJ and media development back home; I never knew I was going to be awarded anything. This is a shock to me, and I must say a pleasant surprise. I have received many awards but this one coming from SLAJ is unique. This is special. This is huge. I don’t really know what to say right now,” said David. He assured the SLAJ President, his colleagues, and the Sierra Leone community that he would continue to be a professional and a pillar of support. This is the first award by the SLAJ President to a deserving Sierra Leonean.

About Rev. David Buakei Vandy (Rev.) David Buakei Vandy is an International Multimedia Journalist with the Voice of America in Washington, DC since 2006 to date. He is the Host/Producer of Voice of America’s musical program, African Beat. David Buakei Vandy is the Founder and Chairman of the VANDY CHRISTIAN NETWORK – VCN, an Online Christian Radio and Television. Adding to several Awards he has received for his service to the community, in 2022, he received the African Community Achievement Award in Hollywood, California, the African Community Service Award in Alexandria, VA, and in September 2022 Rev. David Buakei Vandy was honored by the President of the United States of America Joseph R. Biden with a Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award and The President’s Volunteer Service Awards Medal.



Copy right –Printed in the Expo Times  Week end Newspaper on Friday  13th October, 2023 (ExpoTimes News – Expo Media Group (