Popular presenter and broadcaster of Radio Democracy (F.M. 98.1) and one of Sierra Leone’s most prolific budding media doyens, Olabisi Olu-Garrick, has hit the international scene, bagging double Media Awards within the past four months. First, she won Sierra Leone’s most important media regulatory body, the Independent Media Commission’s (IMC) Media Award as the journalist “who in 2009 made the greatest impact on society in terms of consistency in disseminating relevant information and generating feedback on national issues.” The award ceremony took place last February in Freetown at the Bank of Sierra Leone complex in Kingtom. Just three days after receiving that award, she received a letter from UK based Charity organization – African Children and Youth Centre (ACYC,) signed by the Project Director, Mrs. Aminata Conteh, informing her that she was among the list of nominees for the recipient of Sierra Leone ‘Excellence Awards” in the Media category.
The Sierra Leone High Commission in the UK collaborated closely with ACYC in organizing the event, which was the second round of the annual ‘Sierra Leonean Excellence Award,’ designed to ‘recognize hard working Sierra Leoneans and supporters of Sierra Leone whose work has had positive impact on the national development of the country.’ The auspicious ceremony took place Sunday May 2nd 2010, at the Royal National Hotel, Russell Square, in London, with his Excellency, the Commissioner, Eddie Turay, in attendance.
Josephine Saidu, a Sierra Leonean radio journalists who was working in the UK as a presenter and producer of current affairs pertaining to Sierra Leone, and also winner of ‘Presenter of the Year 2009’ ACYC Excellence Award, made the presentation to Olabisi Garrick for ‘Presenter of the Year 2010.’
Special tribute was paid to potential sports award winner, the Late Issa Koroma aka Madam of F.C Johansen, whom destiny cruelly stole from this nation on 25th January this year. The 2008 Golden Boot award winner at Sweden’s Mittnorden Cup competition, died in a road accident while on his way to train at the tender age of seventeen.
According to the Project Director, “the aim of this years programme is to express their kind appreciation to all the wonderful people who have and are still working tirelessly to see the glory of our nation continue to shine through development and hope.” Other Sierra Leonean beneficiaries who received awards include, Adonis Aboud, a renowned child philanthropist in Sierra Leone, and All Works of Life (AWOL,) a home based organization that makes annual awards to eminent personalities and organizations of excellence that easily juxtaposes with ACYC’s aims and objectives.
Olabisi is a Sierra Leonean who has developed an insatiable appetite for radio journalism; she has criss- crossed the length and breath of the country, and interviewed many from the outlying rural communities to the inner recesses of State House.
Her interest in media was kindled by a prolific broadcaster Hannah Foullah, who was producer and presenter of a variety of programmes at F.M 98.1 during its budding stages in 1997 when it was established to act as a counterweight to the AFRC military junta radio propaganda.
Olabisi started as a trainee at 98.1FM thereby reporting on several issues and also presenting ‘Wetin De Be’ (What’s happening,) a popular evening programme; she has since rose to a Senior Producer status stringing the 7.30am ‘Good Morning Salone’ current affairs newsreel at F.M 98.1.
She is presently in her Final Honours II session in the Department of Mass Communication, Faculty of Arts, Fourah Bay College, and University of Sierra Leone.
Olabisi has expressed her sincere gratitude toThe British Council who provided her with a round trip ticket to London.
She also Acknowledges the assistance the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank and Rokel Commercial Bank among other well meaning Sierra Leoneans rendered her.