|By John Baimba Sesay|
Ahmed Sahid Nasralla (alias De Monk) is the outgoing National Secretary General of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists; Secretary General of the charity All ‘Works’ of Life development association, and President of Development and Economic Journalists Association-Sierra Leone.
Nasralla is a professional Journalist and Sierra Leone’s foremost political cartoonist. He’s publisher of the famous satirical column called Ticha Lemp Lemp, which has now been registered as a newspaper with the Independent Media Commission and will soon hit the newsstands and online.
He is married to Margaret Yeama Nasralla (nee Kromah) with whom he has three children- Andre 12, Nefertiti 7 and Mikayla 2.
Ahmed Sahid Nasralla has consistently won the national cartoon and feature writing awards in Sierra Leone and has managed several newspapers, magazines and online publications. He has won a total of 11 national awards in various categories under the Independent Media Commission annual media awards.
As Secretary General of AWOL, Nasralla has served as the focal point in consistently and successfully organising the National Achievement Awards since 2005, which annually recognizes hardworking individuals and institutions that are making a difference in the lives of ordinary people and contributing towards national development. The aim is to build a new crop of role models to whom the next generation of young Sierra Leoneans can aspire to.
Nasralla is a founding member and first president of Development and Economic Journalists Association (DEJA) and is at an advanced stage of forming the Sierra Leone Cartoonists and Illustrators Association.
He continues to provide hands on mentorship to many young media colleagues and provides technical and moral support to junior journalists across the country in the practice of journalism.
During the Ebola outbreak in his country between 2014 and 2016, Nasralla served as Head of Field Reporting on Ebola: an experiment mentoring program by SLAJ which saw a senior journalist traveling with young inexperienced reporters, to regions that were declaring 42 days Ebola-free, and guiding them to report objectively. The pilot program was a huge success.
Mr. Ahmed Sahid Nasralla has worked extensively with NGOs, CSOs, MDAs and UN Agencies in developing and producing IEC Materials on a wide range of awareness raising campaigns and has facilitated several workshops to develop concepts for IEC materials and cartoon depictions.
Ahmed Sahid Nasralla was born in 1975 in Fadugu, Kabala, Koinadugu District, Northern Sierra Leone where he started his primary education at the District Education Committee School (DEC). When he was in Class 3 the family relocated to Magburaka, Tonkolili District, and he continued his primary schooling at the Tonkolili District Education Committee School (TDEC) where he sat to the Selective Entrance examination in Class 7.
The family further relocated to Freetown, where he started his secondary education at the St. Edward’s Secondary School at Kingtom, Freetown. He also attended the Ahmadiyya Muslim Secondary School at Kissy Dock Yard, Freetown where he sat to his O’levels and came out with Division 1. He did his Lower Six and Upper Six Forms at the Albert Academy (UMC) at Berry Street, Freetown, before he was admitted at Fourah Bay College (FBC), University of Sierra Leone, to study journalism.
Nasralla was among the first batch of graduates in 2005/2006 of the Mass Communication program at FBC with a BA (Hons) First Class, after securing his Certificate and Diploma (with Distinction) in the same field.
Ahmed Sahid Nasralla joined SLAJ in 2001 while working as a reporter at the For di People (FDP) newspaper. At FDP he rose through the ranks to become Acting Editor, and started his satirical column Ticha Lemp Lemp, before resigning while studying journalism at FBC.
After FDP, Nasralla started syndicating his Ticha Lemp Lemp column with various newspapers including Independent Observer, The Exclusive and Concord Times.
In 2007 Sierra Leone’s football icon Mohamed Kallon contracted Nasralla to set up and manage Kalleone Sports & Entertainment newspaper; the footballer’s platform to promote sports and the entertainment industry in his country.
In 2011 Nasralla was appointed as Communications Director of the newly established Africa Young Voices Media Empire (AYV) and later became Managing Director of the fast-growing media company.
In 2014, Nasralla resigned from AYV to start his own media and arts production company called De Monk Arts & Media Production.
Other key services
In 2010/2011, Ahmed Sahid Nasralla served as Public Relations Officer of the Golden Jubliee National Planning Committee charged with the responsibility of organising Sierra Leone’s 50th Independence Anniversary celebrations.
In 2016 Nasralla served as Communications Consultant for the World Bank Sierra Leone office on a short term contract.
Mr. Ahmed Sahid Nasralla has a charismatic personality; humble but firm. He is a good team player, dedicated, committed and result-oriented.
Mr. Ahmed Sahid Nasralla is a political human being, with Sierra Leone being his political party and the media serving as his constituency. He is running for the SLAJ’s Presidency to make the Association much greater, responsive and relevant to the needs and aspirations of all journalists and for the peace and development of our beloved country.
Vote Mr. Ahmed Nasralla who eventually will bridge the gap between the young and old in this beautiful profession.