FIFA Council Member and former SLFA President Madam Isha Johansen landed in Freetown for a surprise birthday celebration of her dad, Mr. Mohamed Remilekun Tejan-Cole, who turns 90 years old on August 3rd, 2023.
Pa Tejan-Cole’s birthday celebration kicked off with the recitation of the Holy Quran in a ceremony held at the John James Complex on Bai Bureh Road in Eastern Freetown, in the presence of family members and friends in the Fourah Bay Community.
Feasting and tributes marked the climax of the celebration.
Born on August 3rd, 1933, Pa Tejan-Cole has had a remarkable life journey that has impacted the lives of several Sierra Leoneans throughout his existence. He has earned a reputable and impeccable personality in his public and private life.
It is therefore an incredible moment for him to celebrate his 90th birthday, especially in a country with one of the lowest life expantancies in the world.
For Isha Johansen, it’s a golden opportunity to see her father clocking 90 years of existence. While acknowledging the role his father played in his life, she said:
“If I become who I am today, he is the reason. He is behind my success stories. He taught me about humanity, love, and respect. Thank you for all you’ve done for me, Daddy.“
“I’m one of the luckiest daughters alive,” Isha added.
The global football administrator, Isha Johansen, laments on her dad’s track record and his esteem position in society —
“He’s excelled in his career as a professional banker. I remember seeing his signature on our currency. He is a great man. I am so proud to have him as my father.”
Isha also shares fond memories of upbringing and friendship she experienced with her dad.
Pa Tejan-Cole is known for his diverse roles he has played in society. He was a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sierra Leone, and also former Chairman & Managing Director of the first international private Bank in Sierra Leone, IBTI.
Serving as a professional banker and as a sports enthusiast, Mr. Tejan-Cole’s growth in the financial sector could be seen when his signature was on the Sierra Leone currency (10 Leones) as Deputy Bank Governor in 1980.
Pa Tejan-Cole’s passion for football could also be seen when he took over as Chairman of East End Lions Football Club. His leadership qualities contributed to the success stories of East End Lions. Pa Tejan-Cole’s name is gracefully etched in the books of Sierra Leone Football.
Yes, there’s definitely a pedigree to his daughter’s (Isha Johansen’s) prowess in becoming a global football administrator. Isha grew up in a footballing environment and has since developed a passion for the game. Her humanitarian stance gave birth to FC Johansen, a youth football club that established about 20 years out of a humanitarian venture to take displaced kids out of the streets.
Isha went on to go into football administration, becoming the President of the Sierra Leone Football Association, CAF Executive Committee Member, FIFA Council Member, and a FIFA Board Member.
By Ibrahim Sorious Samura