AS LIBERIA AND the media community bid farewell to the late Philip N. Wesseh, Former Managing Editor of the Inquirer Newspaper, we intently reflect on the timeless words of William Shakespeare in “As You Like It”. He wrote: “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts.”
IT IS AN understatement to note that Gina, as the late Wesseh was so affectionately nicknamed, was, indeed, one man who played his part very well while on earth and whose commitment to the journalism profession would continue to provide inspiration for the younger generation. He chose journalism, was passionate about it, and dedicated his whole life to it even to the very end.
A LOT OF PEOPLE will define his life and time in various ways based on how they encountered him. For The Analyst, he was an in-house motivator and inspiration to the establishment and the successful sojourn. The bond of friendship and working relationship that existed between him and our Publisher/Managing Editor Mr. Stanley Seakor who, like many other journalists, drank immensely from the fountain of “Gina’s professional experience and knowledge, was unwavering.
HIS DEPARTURE IS a colossal loss to the entire media industry. It marks the closure of an era and the beginning of uncertainty in this sector that is being challenged by the dearth of pacesetters to guide and guard the emergence of a new generation of young journalists who are eager to take the journalism profession to the next level.
INDEED, PHILIP WESSEH was a gentleman in the truest sense of the word; there was no dull moment when “Gina” was around. He was a great journalist who wrote about a subject with unrivalled passion and understanding. His legacy left behind would always inspire us and we will sorely miss him.
IT IS VERY important to state here that in a trade that is professionally stingy with praise, where praise is often derided as sycophancy and peer rivalry, although ultimately benign, is often eternal, the late Wesseh enjoyed a unanimous accolade from his peers, senior and junior associates as a man of honor and vision.
WITH WHAT OTHER special recognition and a farewell treat can ever be rendered to him, especially for a man who has climbed every peak in journalism, rising from a reporter to become the Managing Editor of The Inquirer, a man who has distinguished himself as a media turnaround manager bringing his pet project, The Inquirer, from a relatively unknown beginning to an enviable enterprise with a huge readership nationwide and followed by others online globally.
WE HAVE NOT seen in recent times a Liberian journalist whose death has commanded such broad attention across the country’s socio-political spectrum – from the government and its ruling party, the opposition parties, to the ordinary people. It shows the depth of public esteem this man was held in during his short but eventful life.
WE SEE HIS transition to the great beyond though sorrowful but a challenge to the media profession to emulate his deeds and the desire to see the sector as a vibrant institution, defending the rights of the people, telling the truth from all sides of the divide no matter what was at stake and ensuring a society truly built on the rule of law and the respect for individual liberty.
WE PUT HIS BEREAVED family in our thoughts and pray fervently that God strengthens them to bear this huge irreparable loss.
FAREWELL “GINA”, you fought fearlessly and succumbed gallantly to death but you lived a worthy life worthy of emulation. Farewell brother, until we see again.