By Danicius Kaihenneh Sengbeh (former SG/PUL)
In the hushed moments of November 25, 2023, a somber curtain will descend upon the vibrant tapestry of Liberian journalism as it bids farewell to a luminary, Mr. Terence Sahr Albert Sesay – former President of the Press Union of Liberia. Known affectionately as “Prezo” in the media and revered as “Our Pa” within his family circles, Sesay’s departure leaves an unfillable chasm in the realms of media, community, and family. His departure marks the end of an era in journalism—a somber realization that his remarkable pen will never again craft the stories that defined his professional life.
As we gather to bid farewell, the void left by his absence will be deeply felt by his beloved wife, cherished children (my pekin, Peter), colleagues within the media fraternity, church members, and numerous others whose lives he touched. The legacy of Terence, an introverted yet kindhearted and astute individual, will resonate within each of us who had the privilege of interacting with him.
The profound sorrow we experience goes beyond mere tears; it transcends to a deeper sorrow for those who witnessed Terrence’s valiant struggle in his final days. This once energetic man, tirelessly pursuing, writing, and editing countless breaking news stories, found himself arrested by excruciating pain and anguish. Yet, in his battle against illness and mortality, he displayed unwavering strength. Despite the devoted care of his family, his departure seemed an inevitability, illustrating the stubbornness of fate, indifferent to our emotional turmoil. Terence lived a life defined by resilience and determination—a story that should inspire countless individuals, including myself, his pekin and traditional nephew.
My first encounter with Terrence Sesay was as a young high school student, captivated by the allure of journalism. Over the years, I transitioned from budding interest to a steadfast commitment, eventually becoming an integral part of the same journalistic community—aligning myself with the Press Union of Liberia (PUL), following in his illustrious footsteps – to serve the Union. Our shared nationality, county of origin, and upbringing further cemented the similarities between us, creating a connection that transcended professional boundaries. And that is why he would tell his son, Peter, to get close to me as a brother.
Born on June 6, 1952, in Bondodu Village, Ruankolie Clan, Foya District, Lofa County, Terence commenced his educational journey at Tamba Taylor Public School in 1957, culminating in his high school graduation in 1972. His pursuit of academic excellence led him to Fourah Bay College in Freetown, Sierra Leone, where he attained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mass Communication in 1976, followed by a post-graduate Diploma in Education in 1977.
Terence Sesay’s journalistic odyssey commenced in 1981 at the Liberia News Agency, where he ascended from a senior reporter to the position of Assistant editor-in-chief by September 1988. Subsequently, his career trajectory soared as he held pivotal roles in various national and international media organizations, leaving an indelible mark in each capacity he undertook. Terrence would start his journalism at LINA, go to other places, and return later to end his journalism at LINA. Yes, that’s it!
His tenure as Editor-in-Chief at LINA spanned 34 years in total, defining an illustrious career that saw him serve as a correspondent for renowned agencies such as the German News Agency (DPA), Al Jazeera, and Agence France Presse (AFP), providing insightful coverage during Liberia’s turbulent times, notably the second civil war.
Terence’s contributions extended beyond journalism; his service as Press Secretary in the Office of Former Vice President Amb. Joseph N. Boakai (now President-elect) showcased his versatility and dedication to national service. Terrence passed on the eve of the November 14 presidential runoff election, which culminated into the election of his former boss as President. He would never be around to celebrate or write the story.
Throughout his career, Terence Sesay exemplified unwavering commitment, earning accolades such as the Environmental Journalist of the Year award from the Press Union of Liberia in 1998. His pursuit of professional growth saw him participate in numerous national and international media workshops and obtain multiple certifications.
Beyond his professional endeavors, Terence’s legacy transcends through his familial roles. His thirty-seven-year marriage to Mrs. Mabel Sesay blessed them with five children and several adopted children, fostering a loving environment that earned him the endearing title ‘Our Pa’ within the community. Additionally, his devotion to the church, serving as Head Elder before his passing, reflected his profound faith and commitment to spiritual values.
Terence Sesay’s impact on Liberia’s media landscape and his instrumental role in championing democratic ideals within the Press Union of Liberia will forever be etched in history. His unwavering dedication, unparalleled passion, and unparalleled professionalism set an exemplary standard for aspiring journalists.
As we bid farewell to this titan of journalism, on November 26, 2023, let his legacy serve as a guiding light, illuminating the path for future generations of journalists. Rest in peace, our revered Pa and Prezo. Your pekin, Kaihenneh, join everyone to bid you a heartfelt goodbye. Go rest, Our Pa. Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org/0777586531