By: Sheku Putka Kamara
Founded in 2014 in Sierra Leone, West Africa, Salone Messenger is an online platform that tells Human Interest stories, among others. A young man, Sallu Kamuskay deemed it fit to have a say on matters of societal interest. Since then, he has never stopped working. Backed by a team of other young, energetic and willing to learn Sierra Leoneans, Salone Messenger keeps going places.
My first encounter with Sallu was years back. I cannot recall the exact date, but I had just written one of my weekly articles for my Legendary Column. Sallu who never had a one on one with me sent me a message via WhatsApp. He was asking me to grant him permission to publish my article. Yes, that is how professional this young man has been and still is. Yes, I gave the approval. He also asked for my picture because he was going to upload that too. Wowed by that, I was left amused more so when almost all my articles are almost always plagiarized by a good sects… Now, I understand that there’d be some people that’d publish my works without telling me, but at least, my name and or my face will still make that publication. Anyway, let’s hold that narrative right there because that’s not the thrust of today’s piece, but to those that plagiarize, please stop. It’s academically unhealthy and the thievery is grave.
Back to Sallu and Salone Messenger – so this time, I sent him a few questions. I wanted to get a few details about what informed the establishment of his platform. To him, young people have a role to play in societal development. He may have believed that an idle mind could be prone to many obstacles. So, we have to make things happen. He shared some bitter experiences in so far as War, Injustice and Ebola may be concerned. A paradigm shift was needed, he assured. No wonder, the young man and Salone Messenger keep setting Journalistically Prudent Agendas.
Brave and passionate about growth and development, Sallu told me that one of his success stories has to do with the role his team played in telling Sierra Leonean stories during Ebola, narrating how he spent days and weeks in unsafe places just to ensure that the relevant stories are circulated nationally and internationally. Kamuskay also spoke about how he served as a Coordinator of a UN Peace Concert just after the 2018 General Elections in Sierra Leone. Those efforts yielded dividend as music played an important part in such actualization.
Sallu has helped to tell so many touching stories. And I’d say this just quickly… We need to up our games in so far as reading is concerned. Reading is a virtue and with comprehension, do not be amused to see thyself attain a virtuous position.
In my discussion with Sallu, we spoke about the challenges too. First, Sallu and team need a much bigger and well-to-do office space. This is key in making business better and bigger. Machinery is another challenge. Clearly, this is about management. All things matter and so coming to the aid of these young fellows will go a long way. Sallu and team love to tell people’s stories. So, travelling to the most deprived communities is also a team desire, but transportation costs and related challenges also always show up. By now, we should have learnt and understood that even where the team is in existence, more needs to be done in terms of institutional effectiveness and result actualization.
But with all those challenges, Sallu and team are just not relenting. To them, young people should believe in themselves and they should make a judicious usage of digital and online platforms. So and like I almost always say, let’s get things right and rewrite matters.
We all have roles to play. People like Sallu need the much needed support and encouragement. I am proud of what they do. Check them out!