AWOL’s National Achievement Awards Of Excellence

Attested by many, 29th December 2019 was a spectacular nite at the  state-of-the-art Bintumani Conference Centre at Aberdeen, West End of Freetown, as individuals from all walks of life, including holiday-makers from the diaspora, converged to witness what turned out to be a never to be forgotten Awards Ceremony that was organized or packaged by the most patriotic national social organization that has so far emerged in this country, the All Works of Life (AWOL) under its current dynamic and result-oriented Chairman, Ambassador Anthony Navo Jnr, who also happens to be the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Africa Young Voices (AYV) Media Empire.

In an atmosphere that was really very lively, one could hear the popping up of champagne, clattering of glass tumblers, wishes of belated Merry Christmas, a prosperous New Year and sounds of laughter coming from various angles out of shared jokes.

The sexy ways certain ladies were dressed in attires with very attractive contours were inevitably very eye catching, the smell of expensive perfume with sweet fragrance filled the air, all adding to the pomp and pageantry that characterized the auspicious event.

Jokes cracked by one of our local comedians, ‘Richie Obama’, made the nite a very interesting one, sending people laughing their sides out, not to talk of the tantalizing and melodious Salone musical tracks in the background and the thrilling cultural performances that inevitably provoked bodily movements.

Contributing to make it so special, unique and setting it apart from all other former awards ceremonies organized by AWOL was  the display of local products by indigenous entrepreneurs and vendors, which availed all the attendees the opportunity  to have a feel of these products and decide whether to go for them or not. And all what they displayed were truly breath-taking.

The highpoint of the event was when the Chairman of AWOL, Anthony Navo Jr, took the podium to deliver a very moving statement around the theme of the Awards Ceremony, which was, “Education is the Key to National Cohesion and Development”.

He first commended all for attending the program, further giving a synopsis of how AWOL started from a humble background in 2001 by a group of young Sierra Leoneans from various walks of life, saying some of them were returning from the Diaspora to contribute to the post-conflict recovery efforts and he was fortunate to be part of the team, leading efforts for the founding of AWOL.

He praised Ambassador Moseray Fadika of blessed memory for joining the team, underscoring how due to his leadership abilities and passion to contribute to society, the late Ambassador Fadika became the Chairman of AWOL.

“Ambassador Fadika was a man of vision. He led AWOL to its official launching in 2001 as a Community Based Organisation at the British Council Hall, Tower Hill, Freetown under the distinguished patronage of the late President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr. Alhaji Ahmed Tejan Kabbah,” he expressed gratitude, “especially for the support provided by the former President”.

He further stated that since 2002, AWOL has been presenting awards to a wide range of citizens and institutions, starting from the market women, farmers, young people to outstanding public and private sector institutions.

Ambassador Navo maintained that they have also bestowed posthumous awards to deserving Sierra Leoneans who have made exemplary contributions to nation building; for example, the late Medical Doctor, who died after being infected with Lassa Fever from one of the patients he was treating.

“The AWOL awards ceremony has remained an annual event and continues to grow every year, as a leading National Achievement Awards. Madam First Lady, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen; tonight is our 14th awards ceremony, and we consider this a milestone for not only AWOL, but for the Government and People of Sierra Leone,” he revealed, adding that they have always maintained that AWOL is owned by the People of Sierra Leone.

“We the membership running the organisation are just custodians. We have a duty to maintain transparency, accountability and integrity of this national awards scheme and ensure it continues to be relevant and fit for purpose,” he anchored.

He revealed that AWOL was founded on the principle of nationalism and patriotism, and the ideology of selflessness. “In line with these, AWOL periodically engages vulnerable communities in an effort to address social issues and complement Government’s effort in nation building,” he highlighted.

The AWOL Chairman stressed that it is important to note that AWOL is non-political, saying it is demonstrated by their long standing relationship with successive Governments.
He said they were there for former President Dr Alhaji Ahmed Tejan Kabbah and his Government to contribute to nation building.

“We were there for former President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma to contribute to nation building, and tonight we are also here with President Dr Julius Maada Bio’s government to continue with our efforts in nation building.  We are here to support the people of Sierra Leone and the government of the day, POLITICS ASIDE,” he registered.

“At AWOL, our political party is Sierra Leone.
Our colours are the GREEN, WHITE AND BLUE.
Our Motto is PUT SALONE FOS,” he stated, provoking a round of applause from the audience.

Another round of applause followed when the Chairman of AWOL cited that, “We run an awards scheme that does not have money value attached to it, but carries immense respect and goodwill because it is endorsed by the Government and People of Sierra Leone. We have structures and processes that are not only transparent and credible, but also highly participatory. They may not be perfect, but the fact that they exist and are working, gives credence and respect to our awards. We continue to look forward to your valuable suggestions on how we could build on our achievements,” he enjoined.

Highlighting some of the development interventions that AWOL has made; he mentioned how 15 years ago, AWOL donated an X-ray machine worth about USD80, 000 to the X-ray Department at Connaught Hospital in Freetown, supported people and communities affected by disasters, including providing humanitarian support to Fogbo village, in the Koya Rural District, where fire gutted about 48 houses and rendered more than 500 people homeless in 2010.

He also mentioned that AWOL was part of the fight against Ebola and donated food and relief items countrywide, that the organization was also part of the efforts to rescue and support victims of the mudslide and flooding in Freetown and donated the sum of Le100 million to the Government of Sierra Leone.

“AWOL is the pride of Sierra Leone and we are happy to have been able to contribute to the successful celebration of our country’s 50th Independence Anniversary and other national celebrations,” he said with pride.

“AWOL continues to provide scholarships to deserving pupils and students across the country,” he said, adding that they support Feeding programme for school children across the country on the Day of the African Child annually and how the organization is working on the completion of its Gondama school project, which will be named after their late godfather, Amb. Moseray Gibril Fadika.

He underscored that the consistency and successes they have achieved as an organization is as a result of their collective belief in the ideology of their organization and the support of their partners.

“Today, we have AWOL Chapters in the Diaspora promoting the good cause and contributing to development back home,” he intimated. He admonished those who will be recipients of the AWOL prestigious awards to serve as agents of change and to do more in 2020 as well as also encouraging those who were nominated, but could not make it, to take courage and step up in the New Year.

The AWOL Chairman promised that they will continue to complement Government’s national development interventions. He wished all the recipients and all present a Happy and Prosperous 2020.

On his part the Secretary General of AWOL and President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), Ahmed Sahid Nasrallah, congratulated Kadija Bangura, AYV TV, SLBC Radio and Sierra Eye Magazine for being proud recipients of the prestigious National Achievement Awards, 2019.

He said 2019 is rounding up with huge achievements for SLAJ, stating how apart from the advancement SLAJ is  making with the repeal of the criminal libel law, the year is ending with honours for journalists in institutions which many are proud of and celebrate.

On behalf of the Executive and entire membership of SLAJ he congratulated Musa Mewa Esq, Asmaa James and Amadu Lamrana Bah.

Receiving one of the prestigious awards from AWOL, the First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Madam Fatima Bio, thanked the organizers for appreciating her strides to raise awareness on combating sexual and domestic violence through her “Hands Off Our Girls” campaign.

She said education is the best gift to give a child, adding how they will not relent to broaden the space for the Girl Child so that they could be nurtured well to prepare them for the future. She dedicated the award to all those who are championing the liberation of women from SGBV.

Other speakers including the Minister of Tourism, Dr. Memunatu Pratt and Dr. Fatu Taqi of the 50/50 Women’s Movement delivered incisive statements during the occasion.
Various Awards were presented to personalities and institutions in different categories for outstanding performances towards national development and cohesion during 2019, amidst cheers and congratulations.

AWOL National Achievements Awards 2019 Winners

Category: Academic Institution of the Year 2019 (Tertiary)

Winner: Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM)

Category: Academic Institution of the Year 2019 (Secondary)

Winner: Providence International High School

Category: Academic Institution of the Year 2019 (Primary)

Winner: Gateway Preparatory Primary School

Category: Young Achiever of the Year 2018 (NPSE)

Winner: Esther Sia Menjor (Leone Preparatory Primary School)

Category: Young Achiever of the Year 2019 (NPSE)

Winner: Russel Affuah (The International School)

Category: Young Achiever of the Year 2018 (BECE)

Winner: Hooke Johan Harmonette D (Providence Int. Snr High School)

Category: Young Achiever of the Year 2018 (BECE)

Winner: Taqi Hafeez Othman (Sierra Leone Grammar School)

Category: Young Achiever of the Year 2018 (BECE)

Winner: Khadijatu Jalloh (Annie Walsh Memorial School)

Category: Young Achiever of the Year 2019 (BECE)

Winner: Manyeh Kaiwanday Nova (Sierra Leone Grammar School)

Category: Young Achiever of the Year 2019 (BECE)

Winner: Umu B. Koroma (Modern High School)

Category: Young Achiever of the Year 2018 (WASSE)

Winner: Saffia Kai (Hermann Gmeiner Int. Sch.)

Category: Young Achiever of the Year 2018 (WASSE)

Winner: Abdulai S. Turay (Dele-Peddle Int. High)

Category: Young Achiever of the Year 2019 (WASSE)

Winner: Aiah Gbakima (Sierra Leone Grammar Sch.) 

Category: Sport Personality of the year 2019

Winner: John Keister

Category: Ministry of the Year 2019

Winner: Ministry of Information and Communications

Category: Parastatal of the Year 2019

Winner: National Revenue Authority

Category: Parliamentarian of the Year 2019

Winner: Hon. Ibrahim ‘Tawa’ Conteh

Category: Media Practitioner of the Year 2019 (Female)

Winner: Kadija Bangura

Category: Media Practitioner of the Year 2019 (Male)

Winner: Amadu Lamrana Bah

Category: Print Media House of the Year 2019

Winner: Sierra Eye Magazine

Category: Radio Media House of the Year 2019

Winner: SLBC Radio

Category: Television Media House of the Year 2019

Winner: AYV TV

Category: Legal Practitioner of the Year 2019

Winner: Musa Mewa Esq.

Category: Medical Practitioner of the Year 2019

Winner: Dr. Aiah Lebbie

Category: Public Servant of the Year 2019

Winner: Francis Ben Kaifala

Category: Farmer of the Year 2019

Winner: Jam Jay Enterprise

Category: Petty Trader of the Year 2019

Winner: Abdulai Jalloh (Butcher, Kroo town Road)

Category: Artist of the Year 2019 (Fine Art)

Winner: King Dus Art

Category: Performing Artist of the Year 2019 (Comedy)

Winner: Desmond Benya

Category: Performing Artist of the Year 2019 (Movie)

Winner: Desmond Finnie

Category: Performing Artist of the Year 2019 (Music)

Winner: Benjamin Menelik George aka Drizilik

Category: Fire Officer of the Year 2019

Winner: Sahr I. Aruna (Sub Officer)

Category: Correctional Service Officer of the Year 2019

Winner: Rev. Mrs. Josephine R.M. Findlay

Category: Police Officer of the Year 2019

Winner: Mrs. Juliette Kumba Kondeh

Category: Military Officer of the Year 2019

Winner: Lt. Col. Roland Robin Gbondo

Category: Fashion Designer of the Year

Winner: Madam Wokie

Category: Banking Institution of the Year

Winner: Ecobank SL

Category: Indigenous Business of the Year

Winner: Gento Group

Category: CBO/CSO of the Year

Winner: CARL-SL

Category: Hospitality House of the Year

Winner: Lagoonda

Category: Humanitarian of the Year

Winner: Sick Pikin Project

Category: Tele-Communications Company of the Year

Winner: Africell SL

Special Recognition Award 2019 for Outstanding Contribution towards protecting our Gilrs through her Black Friday Movement

Winner: Asmaa James

Special Recognition Award 2019 for the ‘Hands Off Our Girls’ initiative

Winner: Her Excellency The First Lady Madam Fatima Maada Bio



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