'Magazine Has Lost A Son'

President Koroma sympathizes with the
Fadika family Tuesday, August 8
Moseray Fadika was a keynote speaker at yet another event Friday, Aug. 5, when he felt ill and was rushed to an emergency room. 

The man would die later that evening at the Royal London Hospital, in Whitechapel, east London. The cause of death is still unknown. 

Fadika’s sudden loss has sent shockwaves through Sierra Leoneans online, across the small West African country and around the world.

Frost Illustrated, a weekly newspaper in Fort Wayne, Indiana, described the popular  businessman-philanthropist turned politician as one of the wealthiest men in Sierra Leone, who built his fortune in extractive industries.

Sierra Leone is rich in mineral resources. Diamonds, gold, bauxite, rutile and iron ore are known to exist in large quantities.

Fadika never made Forbes Africa’s wealthiest lists, and no one knows just how much he was really worth. But by some estimates, he could have been Sierra Leone’s own Aliko Dangote, the richest man in Africa with a net worth of &15.8 billion.

Gibril Santigie Moseray aka “Super” Fadika was planning to run for the presidency of Sierra Leone in 2018 on the ticket of the All Peoples Congress, Frost Illustrated said.  The paper also added:
His passing comes as plans with an international investor who bought Sierra Leone mining assets have collapsed, leaving many bondholders holding worthless paper, according to a report in Bloomberg news.

Thousands of Sierra Leoneans could also lose their jobs, it is feared.

Mr. Fadika was the point person in Sierra Leone for the multinational corporation African Minerals owned by the Romanian businessman Frank Timis, which controlled one of West Africa’s largest iron ore concessions.

Sierra Leoneans online recall that Fadika’s story started long before he went into partnership with Timis.

Fadika’s firm, the Sierra Leone Diamond Company (SLDC), founded by Lansana (Moseray’s brother) and a few others was owned by the Fadika brothers and some alagbas (head honchos), recalled a man from Bo, Sierra Leone’s second largest city.

“They had their southern headquarters on the [Bo] highway,” he said. “They rented the late Gobio Lamin and Pa. Garnem properties. It was exploration rights, which later transformed to mining rights. The company ceased to exist after all of its shares was bought by Timis.”

Once Timis bought SLDC he changed the name to African Minerals, another man chimed in.

Legend has it that Moseray first met Timis onboard a flight to Sierra Leone

“Happenstance,” mused poet, raconteur, and analytical chemist Ahmed Koroma, who grew up with Moseray in 
Magazine Cut, a heavily-populated community near Susan's bay and Mabela Point in Freetown. “He became a rich guy by being a major player in the business of iron ore,” Koroma said. 

Mining for iron ore recommenced at Sierra Leone's Marampa mine February 2010 after 35 years. The Tonkolili region hosts the biggest iron ore deposit in Africa and the third largest in the world, exploited by African Minerals, in the hills around Bumbuna, Mabonto and Bendugu. 

Legend also has it that old tensions between Lansana and Moseray caused a huge rift.

“It was really ugly and remained so for a long time,” said a commentator who wishes to remain unnamed. “Lansana was the pioneer who opened doors, first with Reggie Glover under the NPRC.“

The NPRC or National Provisional Ruling Council deposed ex president Joseph Saidu Momoh of the All People’s Congress (APC) political party in 1992.  

The young army captains who seized power blamed the APC’s 23-year rule for 'nepotism, tribalism, and gross mismanagement, collapse of [the] economy, education, health, and transport and communication systems.'

“This regime has brought permanent poverty and a deplorable life for most Sierra Leoneans,” an NPRC spokesman said in a 1992 radio address.

Captain Reginald Glover, who later became lieutenant colonel, reportedly “brought Moseray along while he was down on his luck,” the source said, adding, “Usu Boie, took over from where Glover left off and the rest is history. Lansana was elbowed out of the company for reasons that are still unknown.”

Usu Boie Kamara is a politician and mining engineer. He has served as Sierra Leone Minister of Trade and Industry and is a former director of the Sierra Leone National Diamond Mining Company.

Born and raised in Freetown, Sierra Leone to Mandingo parents, Usman Boie has a master’s degree in mining engineering and mineral production management from Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine in London. 

Kamara has been in recuperation in the United Kingdom since he fell ill before the Ebola outbreak in 2014.  
In this undated photograph,
Moseray Fadika is flanked by former Nigerian head of state Olusegun Obasanjo
 and a Commonwealth executive at a Commonwealth event in London

Moseray Fadika was also born to Mandingo parents in Sierra Leone in the 1960s. 

According to one obituary by a water engineer, who ran for local office in the east of Sierra Leone, Fadika attended the St. Edwards Secondary School in Freetown. He later spent a number of years in the state of Georgia, U.S.A., but decided to return to Sierra Leone at the end of the civil war in 2002.

“He became successful in the mining business, first helping to found the Sierra Diamond Company (SLDC) and later teaming with others like Frank Timis, to develop the African Minerals Company,” the obituary said.

“Moseray was affable and reputed to engage in philanthropic ventures, in addition to his business concerns. He had friends at the highest levels of Sierra Leone's political leadership, under both the Sierra Leone People’s Party and the succeeding All People’s Congress (APC) governments.

“However he is remembered by those who knew him best, to be a humble man, in spite of his business successes. That perhaps explains why he commanded significant following in his recent bid to contend for the Presidency of Sierra Leone, under the APC,” the obituary said.

Moseray would remember and refer to you by your childhood nickname, said Koroma, who also attended St. Edwards, a high school for boys run by the Catholic diocese. 

“He treated those he grew up with the same East End (Freetown) spirit we came to know and promote -- familiarity and camaraderie. Magazine has lost a true son," Koroma said.

“His mother, Aunty Tigida, and my mother were pals. They danced yakandi together. Moseray was, I believe, three years ahead of me at Edwards. But I visited their house at Magazine Cut and Jenkins Street junction frequently. 

"His younger brother, Kalilu was and still is my close friend. Like most of us growing up in East End, Moseray's life revolved around family, our [Muslim faith], Paddle [masked dance] and our [football] team, East End Lions," Koroma recalled fondly. 

A few years back, when Koroma decided to apply for an advertised analytical chemistry position at African Minerals, he says Moseray asked for his resume.

“I cautioned him and a mutual friend that I would like to get the job on merit and not because I know Moseray. That didn't stop him from picking up the phone to inform human resources at the company that I should at least get an interview,” Koroma said.

Koroma did get the interview but Ebola killed the dream.

Still, “Moseray was there to help push a fellow East Ender through because, what I heard he said, it was good to see a brother come back home since Sierra Leone needs us," Koroma said.  

Moseray was no saint, said sports entrepreneur Rodney Michael, who is partly based in London.  "Those of us in football, especially me, saw the other side of him. How his wealth and power was used to victimize others. But again none of us are saints and that is why I have forgiven him," Michael said. 

Frost International says this March, Timis’s African Minerals Ltd. collapsed, leaving behind a trail of recrimination and multimillion-dollar losses from China to London.

 According to a Standard Times newspaper article, Shandong Mining Company is refusing to release an agreed amount for operations to continue in the Tonkolili Iron Ore Mine.

The fallout threatens to derail Timis’s ambition of creating a $10 billion West African resource giant. It also raises questions about the role of U.K. market regulators, who have so far been silent on the matter, according to analysts, investors and former employees.

“There needs to be a deep investigation,” said Russell Fryer, founder of Greenwich, Connecticut-based Baobab Asset Management and an investor in the company. “African Minerals constricted the news flow to shareholders. In this case, no news was bad news. There are big questions over some of the board decisions.”

More than 160 small shareholders represented by law firm Wellers Law Group LLP are now considering ways to recoup losses. They claim a rescue proposal of about $875 million from Shandong that arguably would have kept African Minerals afloat wasn’t publicly disclosed. A spokesman for Timis Corp. denies there was a “formal approach” from Shandong.


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