A 47-year-old coal seller, Zainabu Mansaray, last Friday at about 11:20, became a would-be landlady of the yet-to-be built Le350m house which was the grand prize for Celtel’s raffle draw.
Curiosity filled the scene at the Lumley beach when a Political Science student of Fourah Bay College (FBC), Jeffery Williams, clicked the mouse and after several mixing number 290124 appeared on the monitor.
After the number appeared the MC, Abu Bakarr Kanu, dialed the number of the winner. Subscribers, guests and other people at the draw jumped with joy as a woman’s voice was heard saying “hello”.
The MC asked her if she had the slightly feeling that she would have a house. Zainabu replied: “I am not even thinking of that, and if someone tells me that I will not believe.”
She was told that she was the proud winner of the house which had been raffled by Celtel.
Zainabu Mansaray then went speechless. When she regained her speech she only said: “I thank God for that. I am very happy.”
Zainabu, who stays in a three bedroom house at Pipe Line off Wilkinson Road in Freetown with her husband and three of their seven children, gave the phone to her daughter who was also happy for the winning.
An escort was later sent to collect Zainabu Mansaray and two of her children to Lumley beach where the draw was held.
Talking to the coal seller from the scene was quiet different from seeing the actual person. It was at this point that Zainabu really became aware of the prize she had won as she broke down in tears the moment she was informed about her would-be house.
Zainabu said, “today Celtel has changed my life I have never heard of such a money in my life not to talk about owning a house.”
Asked what she would do with the house, Zainabu disclosed that, “my husband who is a driver together with my children and brother-in-law will move into that house”.
Zainabu said though she hailed from Koya village she had been in Freetown most of her life so she would want the house to be built in Freetown.
In his opening remarks, Celtel’s managing director, Ted Sauti-Phiri, said that Friday marked “the end of a journey which started two months ago.”
The draw, he went on, “is a way to say thanks to our valued subscribers and also to give back to them what they truly deserve.
Before we reach this day, we have spent over Le120m on our weekly and monthly draws, and also we make five millionaires every week and this excludes the Le 350m house we have as our grand raffle.”