“Elvis is in the building…” Welcome Gbanabom!

Oct 192010

Gbanabom (Elvis) Hallowell was officially welcomed to the fold at SLBC as the new, permanent, Board-approved, presidentially-appointed Director General on October 1, 2010. After months of application forms, interviews, “politicking”, review committees and appointment processes, Gbanabom’s presence is a very welcome sign that things are moving forward in the transition from state-owned SLBS to the public broadcaster SLBC. Signs of progress can be few and far between but this giant step is hugely significant.

Gbanabom is a Sierra Leonean with many years experience in the media. He’s a writer, poet, musician, activist, lecturer and political commentator. He’s been around the block, as they say. He’s lead NGOs, social movements, activist organizations and human rights groups. He’s very well known throughout the country and comes from a long line of teachers and commentators.

Gbanabom started his educational career here in Sierra Leone, moved to the U.S. to pursue degrees and masters programs and now he’s a PhD candidate. He’s written at least two books that I know of… and so many newspaper columns I’ve lost count. He’s taught thousands of students and continues to give public lectures on leadership, development and the media in Sierra Leone. He’s politically astute. He’s genuine. He’s smart. And, he’s very well connected.

I should add that Gbanabom is my former boss at JHR-Journalists for Human Rights and I consider him to be a good friend. His new job won’t be easy… and there will be significant challenges. But I’m very pleased to be working alongside him once again.