Mentorship and Betrayal: A Summary Journey with Mary Kaingbanja- TUma Adama Gento- Kamara

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I first met Mary Kaingbanja in January 2018 at a friend’s wedding. Mary arrived to do the test makeup and eventually the wedding day makeup, even though she wasn’t the originally hired artist. I persuaded my friend to give Mary a chance, and she did a commendable job. During this encounter, Mary mentioned she was studying law at FBC and often saw me lecturing on Tax & Revenue Law. She expressed a desire for mentorship and asked for my contact information, which I willingly gave.

From that moment, I became both her mentor and makeup client. On July 22, 2021, at 20:10, Mary requested my assistance in paying her Law School fees. I obliged, and she successfully completed her Bar final exams.

Upon graduating from Law School, Mary joined Jabbi Associates as a pupil barrister. Believing in women and girl’s empowerment, I would take Mary to international conferences, fully funded by me, to provide her with valuable exposure. Our travels included Rwanda, South Africa, Algeria, and the United Kingdom, with all expenses and visas covered by me.

I let Mary into my personal space, having access to my home and all that I have. This was the level of magnanimity I accorded her. On December 12, 2022, I informed Mary about a supervisor position at the NRA’s Internal Affairs department and encouraged her to apply. She did and was hired in early 2023. Shortly after, I invited her to join my delegation for a trip to China to attend the Belt and Road Initiative forum, hosted by the President of China. There, she met world leaders such as President Putin, the President of China, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and the President of Brazil.

In December 2023, I was invited to the ECOSOC meeting at the United Nations headquarters in New York. Again, I included Mary in my delegation. Her US visa issuance was delayed, so I intervened, contacting staff at Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Foreign Affairs to expedite the process. Despite the delay, Mary eventually joined the rest of the delegation in New York for the ECOSOC meeting. Apparently, I later got to understand that whilst I was facilitating her travels, Mary was busy devising ways on how to stay in the US and never return to Sierra Leone again.

Upon arrival in the U.S, Mary’s attitude suddenly changed. On the first day of the meeting, she had the nerve to inform me that her primary aim for an official trip was to visit her uncle in the US. I sternly brought to her attention that this was an official trip with limited visa validity and suggested to her that she return later to the U.S with a visitor’s visa. Mary’s behavior towards me further deteriorated. In fact, she did not attend the main session for which the travel was slated, and on March 22, 2024, she abruptly left our accommodation at 4:00 a.m. and later got to know that she went to her uncle. Initially, we could not reach her. I am saying to myself; what if something happens to her? After failing to reach her, I reported her disappearance to the police to prevent any repercussions first as head of delegation and then for the Institution (NRA) under whose purview her visa had been issued.

Two days later, the police informed me that Mary was in Maryland. That evening, Mary left a derogatory audio message for me, threatening to go “extra” (destroy my image) for letting the Police know of her missing in the U.S. Mary remained in Marland abandoning myself and the delegation. On my return to Sierra Leone (still without Mary), I filed a complaint for insubordination according to the Authority’s Terms and Conditions of Service. Mary was queried by Human Resource Department and all she could do was to respond to an official query through a lawyer, an unnecessary move for an internal query. She maliciously and scandalously wrote defamatory statements about me, which she deliberately leaked on social media during my campaign for the Bar Association presidency.

I reported the leak to the NRA Board of Directors, citing violations of the Oath of Secrecy and the Data Protection Policy. The Board passed the issue over to the CID to investigate. During the inquiry, Mary rallied my opponents in the Bar presidency campaign citing all sorts of lies and malice, further distorting the truth.

As I end this short narration, let me make it clear that I’m responding to this because of my name and current positions (NRA Board Chair and Bar Association President). I realize I had to set the records straight primarily for publishers posing to have reached me which they never did. In conclusion I would say that all efforts to provide Mary with opportunities and mentorship went in vain. I was repaid with trolling, ungratefulness and betrayal, solely because she (Mary Kaigbanja) failed to achieve her personal goal of remaining in the US after our official trip.

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