Sierra Leone Sports: Salone football stakeholders pay tribute to late Alhaji Unisa (Awoko) Alim Sesay

Alhaji Unisa (Awoko) Alim Sesay
Alhaji Unisa (Awoko) Alim Sesay

One of Sierra Leone renowned football administrators, Unisa Alim Sesay aka AWOKO, has passed away on Tuesday 22nd November 2016, after an extended battle with illness.
After his death, sports administrators, players, journalists and sports enthusiasts continue to pay tribute to the late man.
The veteran football administrator, Sesay, was the Chairman of the Steering Committee Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) before his death.
Atto Mensah, Ghanaian-born Sierra Leonean, who made his international debut in Leone Stars 2-0 victory over Nigeria’s Super Eagles in Freetown during 1988 Nations Cup qualifiers, said, “The news of the great Alhaji Sesay’s demise comes as a huge shock to many Sierra Leoneans.” The country’s social media platforms have been flooded with tributes for the man he describes as a “great administrator with a great personality”.
Presenter and commentator Abu Bakarr Kanu said, “It’s a huge shock for us in football. Alhaji will never be forgotten as he is part of the country’s soccer history.”
Deputy Minister of Sports, Al-Sankoh, has extended heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the late Alhaji Unisa Alim Sesay. He said, “The memories of the late icon will never die; a very friendly character; a true patriot and an iconic sports administrator.” Al-Sankoh also describes the late Awoko as a dedicated and passionate community activist.
Sorie Ibrahim, Head of Competition at the Sierra Leone Football Association, said, “I’ve known the late man for the past 23 years as a journalist and later encouraged him to join East End Lions as Public Relations Officer (PRO).” He said the late man made him want to become what he is today.
The scribe of the Football Association, Chris Kamara, said, “The late Alhaji Unisa Alim Sesay was a man I will forever be grateful to. He is an epitome of humour and fortitude.” Despite the troubles in football, he always advised me and told me what to do to keep the executive intact and in office.
Ibrahim continued, “He will tell you his mind. He had the tendency to always get people to share and support his own views in terms of football administration politicking. He was the main reason for me to work in SLFA. He personally convinced me to come and work for football. He gave me some responsibility in the Football Appeals Committee of WAFA in 2011 when he was Chairman.” He was a master of brains and lord of tactics in Sierra Leone football politics.
Sesay was a celebrated businessman and public servant and occupied a number of significant positions including, Chairman and member of the Board, the Chamber of Commerce, Assests Commission, Government Auction, SLFA, WAFA, Latern, Paddle and many more. He was indeed a force to be reckoned with.
Renowned journalist and Sierra Leone’s press attaché in Brussels, Chernor Ojuko Sesay, posted on his official Facebook page, “Awoko holds the enviable record as the longest serving football Secretary-General in the history of Sierra Leone.”
Ojuku reiterated that Awoko served East End Lions, one of the two biggest and most successful football clubs in Sierra Leone, for 21 years before resigning and later founded the Anti-Drugs Football Club. Ojuku maintained that for over 30 years, Awoko has been a key figure in the election of every Sierra Leone Football Association President, ranging from Benji Davies, Alhaji Saramadi Kabba, Justice Tolla-Thompson, Nahim Khadi and Isha Johansen.
Most football administrators in the regions said, they have lost a great man in the field of sports. Unisa Alim Sesay, aka AWOKO, will be missed by many.
By Bernard Turay
Thursday November 24, 2016