TRIBUTE: To the fond memories of Bondo Kassy Yayie


July 12, 2016 By Ahmed Sahid Nasralla (De Monk) 

Date: In the year 2004/2005

Location: Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, Mount Aureol

Subject: Students’ Union Elections Special

Report: Exclusive Interview with the Independent Candidate

Unlike student elections at Njala University College (NUC), which are always fraught with violence, the Fourah Bay College Students Union elections are set for thrills.

To strike a balance between the infamous Blackman and Whiteman camps an ‘independent’ candidate has emerged. ‘Independent’ in the sense that he is outside of these two established camps and does not have an organized structure to work with. In other words, he is going it alone.

Bondo Kassy Yayie, now popularly referred to as the Independent Candidate, is bound to upset the forthcoming students’ polls and his Vision 2025 for FBC students already causing a stir on campus. Our reporter, Kondo Bala, caught up with him while he was unleashing his vision at the Wisdom Tree on Campus yesterday:

Teacher Lemp Lemp (TLL): What’s your platform, Mr Yayie.

BONDO KASSY YAYIE (BKY): We don’t stand on platforms here, my friend; we stand on level ground. I preach camp-free, ethnic-free and region-free politics. I’m a nationalist.

TLL: Ok. What plans do you have to alleviate the problem of transportation facing students?

BKY: I’ll put an end to this your sardine-mode of transportation. I’ll buy two extra buses for students and bring down the fare to Le100 (One Hundred Leones) per student.

TLL: What will you do for students who use the ‘cannal’ daily?

BKY: I have already approached one of the most reliable construction companies in town, in consultation with the Engineering Department here on campus, to construct steps through the ‘cannal’ for all ‘cannalists’. This will encourage other students to use it. Beyond that I will pursue vigorously the construction of a cannal road that will be motorable.

TLL: Students are finding it difficult now to buy a plate of rice at the cafés due to the increase in prices of basic commodities. What will you do about this?

BKY: Don’t worry about food. I’ll not only slash down the price of a plate by half, but I’ll also encourage varieties of foods to be sold on campus at reasonable prices.

TLL: It’s hell for students and lecturers having to climb six flights of stairs everyday for lectures on the 7th & 8th floors of the Kennedy Building…?

BKY: I’ve always been advocating that the Kennedy Building should have a lift service. This is a golden opportunity for me to install that service. I am thinking also of doing same for the Beethoven Hostel. In addition I’ll refurbish the S.U. Building and provide mobile electricity. The Union must be seen to be working.

TLL: Mr Yayie, you really have great plans for students but where will the money to finance all your projects come from?

BKY: First of all, I am banking on heavily-subsidised students activities. I’ll slice from your SLG allowances and combined that with support from my administration and the college authority. Besides, if the Sierra Leone Airports Authority could provide Le12 million or more to refurbish a tennis court which only two people can make use of, I expect them to spend more for a whole student population.

TLL: The college administration is not happy with the way most students, especially females, dress on campus and we hear a dress code is on the way. Do you agree with the administration?

BKY: To some extent I agree. To another extent I disagree. I think students should dress anyway or manner they feel like. I believe in freedom of the individual. If you feel like walking naked around campus it’s up to you. Would you blame me if somebody pounces on you? No, you won’t.

TLL: Word’s around that you’re a lost-case womanizer. Any comment?

BKY: Firstly, I don’t smoke. Secondly, I don’t drink alcohol. Thirdly, I don’t chew kolanut. And fourthly, I date only one woman at a time.

TLL: Bondo Kassy Yayie. Is there any history behind your name?

BKY: My grandmother gave me the name. My grandma was the head of the Bondo Society. You all know what’s the Bondo. The Kassy means male head of the Bondo Society. Yayie is the family name. So, in other words I’m the male head of the Bondo.

 Note:  The remains of Bondo Kassy Yayie were laid to rest on Friday, 8 July, 2016 at the Circular Road Cemetery. He is survived by seven children.

A FBC alumnus, who was his campaign manager during the students’ union elections, described Bondo as ‘the best FBC President that never was’. SLAJ President, Kelvin Lewis, said Bondo Kassy lived his life as controversial as his ideas on issues.

Until his death Bondo Kassy Yayie was a senior teacher and the publisher of the African Pre-colonial Magazine.

Rest In Peace brother.