Mamadee Diakite, one of Liberia’s leading talk-show hosts, has died. The late Diakite, who passed away at 4 a.m. Tuesday, had reportedly succumbed to hypertension (or pressure as it is termed by ordinary Liberians). He died at the Seventh Day Adventist-owned S. D. Cooper Hospital on 12th Street in Sinkor, Monrovia. He was 42.
Diakite’s shocking demise followed the death of another young and brilliant media colleague, Mr. Lawrence Randall, a few weeks ago in the United States following a period of illness. Lawrence was the founder of the Liberia Media Center (LMC), which works in the areas of media development, access to information, transparency and accountability, and peacebuilding.
Before his death, Diakite was the general manager of the eight-month-old Prime Communications Network, including Prime FM 105.5. The station is owned by businessman Siaka A. Turay, who is the president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Aminata and Sons, Inc., which operates one of Liberia’s biggest gasoline retailing outlets.
Mr. Diakite, who was an Attorney-at-Law, was the lead presenter of the Prime Morning Drive, yet the leading program on Prime FM. Before he helped Mr. Turay open the station, Diakite became the leading voice behind the microphone of ‘The Truth Breakfast Show,” which is now hosted by two talented Liberian journalists.
It was on The Truth Breakfast Show, which is broadcast on Truth FM, that the deceased became very famous in the Liberian media landscape and among his media colleagues.
He is going to be fondly remembered for a famous, however, controversial statement he usually made whenever he was on the radio: “Our Motherland, Liberia, is getting better.”
His critics say he usually made the statement because he was a “regime collaborator;” and ordinary Liberians were still wallowing in abject poverty, while he sang and showered praises on the government.
Speaking to the Daily Observer, Kelvin Demey, Head of Radio at Prime FM, said the deceased will be missed for his “tolerance.”
“He was someone who was very tolerant with everyone; nothing easily moved him,” Demey said, with melancholy (sadness).
According to Demey, funeral rites will be said at the Newport Street Mosque on Wednesday, August 31, while interment follows at the Muslim burial plot in the Gaye Town Community, Old Road, at 2 p.m.
Mr. Alpha Diakite, a younger brother of the deceased, told this newspaper that a “tree,” which covered their entire family has “fallen.” Alpha added: “He was a good person; always willing to come to the aid of his family. We will miss him so dearly.”
He is survived by his wife, Fatumata S. Diakite and four children, the oldest being 12.