Four years ago in August 2013, I met this wonderful woman Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden who is now Honourable Cabinet Minister responsible for empowering women. She was by then an Assistant to His Excellency the President and she had come to pay a visit in my remote chiefdom of Kissi Teng. She had been sent by President Koroma in his capacity as APC Chairman to deliver motorbikes to APC Local Councillors in Kissi chiefdoms of Kailahun.
She then spent that evening into the night dancing and chatting with us women of Kissi Teng. She was very much interested in our lives and she genuinely showed interest in what us rural women had as our dreams.
|Hon. Dr. Sylvia Blyden and Jeneba V. Kabba
I told her I wanted to be a famous female journalist and she said the sky was my limit as long as I put my mind to it. She inspired me and many other women so much that night.
Today, I am a female journalist of merit who is one of only 3 women elected into the 11-man executive of the Parliamentary Press Gallery here in Freetown. I am the trusted Financial Secretary of my peers.
I also now hold a Diploma in Media Studies & Journalism and I am continuing my studies.
Tomorrow, I leave for China to pursue a few weeks academic course for Journalists.
All of this is because on that fateful night in August 2013, Honourable Sylvia Blyden promised me that she will make my dreams come true. And she has kept to her word.
In September 2013, exactly one month after I met her, Hon. Dr. Blyden paid for me to travel all the way from Kissi Teng to Freetown. She enrolled me at IBSA College in Freetown and she totally financed my academic studies in Journalism whilst finding time to mentor me.
Who would have imagined back in 2013 that my life will be so transformed as it is now? This little girl from Kpandu Village, Kissi Teng Chiefdom is today a living proof evidence of how mentoring and supporting rural women is worthwhile and can bring out their talents.
I stopped by Hon. Minister Sylvia Blyden’s office to wish her well before I fly out of Sierra Leone tomorrow July 4th 2017 heading for China where I have been selected by the Chinese Government to undergo few weeks of studies in Journalism. Hon. Blyden graciously gave me audience and then took this photo with me which can be freely re-shared with this update.
May God continue to bless you Hon. Minister Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.