April 13, 2003, 17-year-old camera operator, Visual Editor, and producer of Islamic show ‘’talk to the Umah’’ Mohamed Salieu Bah was Born in Brookfields, Old Railway line, Freetown. He attended the National Islamic Primary School (NIPS), where he sat at the National Primary School Examination (NPSE). He later enrolled at the Voice of Islam Junior Secondary School, where he sat to the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE). He is currently attending the St Edwards Secondary School, and in SSS three.
Like many young people, Mohamed Salieu Bah experiences a lot of difficulties and challenges growing up, at a very tender age, with little or no opportunities around him, He realized that he needed to do something extra to be able to support himself while attending school.
YouTube, has in many ways helped young people around the world learn skills job and either get employed or create a job, despite the internet problem in our country, Mohamed Salieu Bah will spear sometime during the night using his broken phone to learn to edit and how to operate the camera, after several months of learning online, he requested to be enrolled at the Africa young voices Media Empire where he will be opportune to do some practice of what he has leaned online. The institution, strongly believing in empowering young people, gave the opportunity for him to be coming to the office during weekends to learn, and sometimes, he was opportune to use a camera and computer. At AYV, the chief editor of AYV newspaper, Mr. Aruna Turay requested that Mahamed support him take over the production of the ‘’talk to the Umah’’ show with both camera and editing, Mr. Aruna Turay was impressed by his performance and suggested to other producers to give more opportunities for young Mohamed to be more confidence and do more. His commitment, passion, and love for media got the attention of the CEO, Amb Anthony Navo Jr. the CEO requested that young Mohamed Salieu Bah is giving a per time job while attending school. At age 17, Mohamed headed the media team at AYV for the biggest ever gathering at the Siaka Stevens Stadium during the coming of Mufti Ishmael Menk, shortly after being awarded “Staff of The Year” at the Company’s end of year Staff Assessment Awards by no less a personality but the CEO himself, Ambassador Navo Jnr.
At Salone Messenger, we had an exclusive interview with Mohamed Salieu Bah to share his amazing journey.
Where did you learn editing, camera operating, and producing?
“Like many people, they paid huge amounts of money to learn these things. But for me, I learned from YouTube. Fortunately, I had a boss at that time that was into editing, his name is Ibrahim John Kamara popularly called “Honey Vision”. So whenever he’s editing videos, I would seat near him and watch him edit. So whenever I got leisure time, I would seat with a computer and learn from what I had watched him do and also what I have learned from YouTube. I learned all by myself – like no one held my hands to teach me where and where to go. It’s all about perseverance. I persevered to learn.”
You are currently employed at AYV, What would you say enabled you to get employed?
“Before I got employed full-time, I worked there for two years just to learn. During that period, I didn’t have the opportunity to lay hands on any equipment. Sometimes, I sneaked to where the equipment is, just to feel how it like.”
Who/What inspired you to embark on this journey?
“Firstly, I love what am doing. Secondly, I came from a poor family. Knowing fully well that somehow I would be responsible to put food on the table keeps me moving. My family looks up to me. This is what is inspiring me.”
Are you still going to school and working at AYV at the same time? If YES, how do you balance work and school?
“Yes. I’m still going to school. In terms of balancing between work and school, I normally go to school at 8:00 am and off at 2:30 pm. After school, I go for work, and off from work at 8:30 pm or 9:30 pm. On weekends, I work full-time. When I am having exams, I am giving a leave off duty to study and prepare for my exams. That’s how I balance work and school.
At AYV, where you work? Who is your greatest inspiration, and why?
“I worked in the production department. My greatest inspiration at work is Ibrahim John Kamara (Honey Vision). Why? Because both of us are just the same age, and we shared a similar pattern. We both went through a lot of ups and downs. So. Yeah.”
What will be your message to younger people of your age?
“My message to young people out there is, anyone can be like me. You just need to put effort and be persevering. Also, you have to know what you want to do in life, if you don’t know what you want, you’ll work and work till people start to use you for their own benefit. But if you know what you want, you’ll lure success. You’ll even be like me, or even bigger than that. I want to say thank you Salone Messenger for giving me the platform to tell my story, and I hope this inspires young people out there.”