by Sanpha Sesay & Christian Sesay : Cocorioko correspondents in Dallas, Texas  :

 On Saturday, August 14th, one of Sierra Leone’s most popular and funniest comedians of all time, Godfrey Manley-Spain alias “Lord Bongo” was laid to eternal rest at the Golden Gate funeral home where friends, relatives, community leaders and Sierra Leoneans of all stripes and color congregated to bid farewell and pay their last respect.

PASTOR KIAWU PREACHING THE FUNERAL SERMON

Notwithstanding the circumstances surrounding the comedian’s untimely death and the immediate spitefulness and animosity it garnered, the huge turnout during the funeral service demonstrated the apparent readiness to move on in the Dallas Fort worth community. This signifies that the healing process will enable all to put on a cloak of forgiveness when they turn to a new page in the community’s chapter.  Most people believe that, though the grief is not going to be an easy process to bear but they equally believe that Lord Bongo is departing for an eternal life, a life that is better than this world.

DONALD NAT-GEORGE ( DAN DOGO ) GIVING TRIBUTE TO LOND BONGO

A befitting tribute was paid by Donald Nat George (Dandogo), Bongo Johnson’s comedian nephew, for the sudden departure of his uncle. On behalf of the Professionals, he compassionately asked all to support the bereaved children and their guardian, Agnes During, during their difficult moments. He further claimed that the home going gathering for Bongo Johnson is a celebration of the significance attached to the two lives that lived with us.

In his tribute, he also enumerated the history of the Professionals; a comedian group which he said was formed at a period Sierra Leone was economically and socially at its knee. He highlighted some of the significant roles played by the group in bringing laughter to the nation as a way to alleviate its plight and give hope to those who have lost all hopes especially during the dark days of the NPRC regime.  The nation classified them to be celebrities at the time, a status and respect that he arguably enjoyed up to his death. 
“Dandogo” appealed to the community in the Dallas Fort-Worth area to come together again and bury all doubts and differences for the good of the children. He implored community leaders to set aside, as soon as possible, a day of prayers so that in his words, “there will never be any recurrence of this nature again”.  

NANNEETTE THOMAS PAYING TRIBUTE TO LORD BONGO

Nanette Thomas, President of the All People’s Congress in Dallas, whose purpose for humanity transcended all emotional judgment much to the admiration of many in the community spearheaded the effort in giving a befitting burial to “Lord Bongo“, at a time when some clearly pushed for an abandonment of the deceased by withholding financial contribution. Once again, Ms Thomas rose up as a true leader in the Dallas community to do what was morally right at the moment regardless of what others perceived.

In her tribute, Nanette Thomas, who many people called “the iron lady”, made a direct but heart rendering tribute to the late comedy super star. “The circumstances surrounding the deaths of Godfrey and his spouse, Claudia, should be left with God to judge”, she added. The APC Dallas chapter President, who was instrumental in ensuring that Lord Bongo is buried respectfully, rallied Sierra Leoneans all across the United States including the Sierra Leone Mission to the United Nations in New York and the Embassy in Washington to raise funds for the burial of late Godfrey Manley-Spain. 

She further noted that at the moment, Sierra Leoneans should explore with sensitivity and wisdom the complex situation faced by the bereaved children which according to her, “the severity of their problems is beyond dispute”.  

In his sermon, the officiating clergy, Pastor Solomon Kaiwu of the Ark of God International Church centered his sermon on “How to live well and die well”. He admonished the congregation that God does not want his people living long lives down here on this earth without doing the right things. He went on to say that there is a particular blessing that God can grant to us if we meet certain conditions under the covenant made with Jesus Christ.

Pastor Kaiwu also stressed in his typical style that if we want to live well we must live for Jesus.  He ascertained that, death is a necessary end, and that all forms of death is natural. “No one can disapprove what God has approved”, he concluded.

May God bless the memory of Godfrey Manley-Spain, forgive him and may eternal light shine upon him as he dwells in peace in the glory and kingdom of our Lord Almighty.
END

© 2010, COCORIOKO. All rights reserved. – Discuss this and other related articles on the Salone Forum

16 Responses to “Lord Bongo Johnson laid to rest in Dallas”

  1. Garrett August 17, 2010

    Bongo is buried now what?. What provision did he make for his kids?. None! I hope he ROT in HELL! He was dating two women but killed when the bread winner and wife of his kids asked him out of the house. He did not epitomized the characters he often and fondly played. These characters were resectful,prideful,contenful,hard-working,and would have never killed and commit suicide.
    I wonder what friends of the kids would think of them. I hope they have proper counselling for anger and frustration not to settle in them and may God not visit the sins of their disgraceful father upon them.
    How come pictures were not taken and showed of the congregants at the funeral parlor?.
    May Claudia soul rest in perfect peace. Even when she is not around she had made provision through SS for the kids. Sleep tight Sis!

    Reply
  2. alieu kamara August 18, 2010

    that true garrett

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  3. Alfred Koroma August 18, 2010

    I totally agree with Garrett. I will go a stage further in saying that I hope he gets his day in the Court of our Lord. He committed murder and took the easy way out by killing himself. Now he has left two children at the mercy of the world. I hope and pray they become stronger in life and as successful as they can be.

    I am sure they did not show the congregation because the funeral was not well attended. And so it should be. How could one be sympathetic to such a situation. Godfrey was a friend of mine, we grew up in the same Waterloo Street area. I sympathize with his family for their loss.

    Special sympathies to the family of Claudia and May her Soul Rest in Peace.

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  4. I hope bongo is in hell with all the other wife killers.

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  5. John Johnson August 19, 2010

    Godfrey, sleep on sleep on, till we meet again, may God have marcy upon you.

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  6. morlai turay August 20, 2010

    condemning Bongo is not the answer. Jesus said let the ne who has no sin threw the irst stone. guys all of you bashing you i asked this simple question; Are you sinfree or are you like Jesus? please let give these people their privacy they deserve and may their souls rest in perfect peace.

    Reply
  7. Bambay Lans Kamara August 20, 2010

    Amen!

    Reply
  8. Garrett August 20, 2010

    Mr Turay, Bongo’s act should and will be condemned. Your analogy of Jesus does not fit here. His act has made it a public affair not a private one. If some of you know how she was killed you would be ashamed to post anything about him. Someone had asked if I am related to her. My answer was NO. the way she was killed and mutilated should be an outrage in your community. No one deserve to die that way. My Dad used to work for JS mohamed in SL. My dad, Mr Putra knew Claudia’s dad(30years ago) at the Acqua club where we would rent claudia’s dad boat frequently. I have not seen or talk to them for over 30yrs. I did attend the funeral since I am based in Austin.
    I wish he were alive. I would have been one of the law enforcement official pushing steadfastly for his death.

    Reply
  9. “I wish he were alive. I would have been one of the law enforcement official pushing steadfastly for his death.”
    Then maybe you ought to thank him for saving you the trouble!

    And yes it also saved taxpayers thousands of hard earned dollars to go through the motion of a trial to arrive at an apparent guilty verdict ( Not a given by any means in a jury system in this country) not to speak of the uncomfortable lurid details that might have come to light that would have cast a negative shadow on BOTH.

    Garrett, i do not know you anymore than i knew both the victim and the perpetrator but i am drawn to the tragedy as most are due to the fact i hail from SaLone.
    I, as most have expressed, cannot wrap my mind around the act of taking another life AND taking one’s own life in the process. You and i know it does not even remotely define us as a people. Every other word or sentence that spews out of the mouth of a Sierra Leonean is laced with the word of God or Allah justifiably or not. We attribute everything to God even when it does not make any sense at all and i am willing to bet both Lord Bongo and Claudia were no different.

    Having read all the numerous reports and postings I as most people are left with more questions than a definitive answer why this tragedy occurred. No sane human being much less a Sierrra Leonean just wakes up one morning and decides to perpetrate a murder suicide after SEVENTEEEEEEENNNNN YEARS in a relationship with the full knowledge 2 kids will be orphaned. IT DOES NOT MAKE SENSE. It defies LOGIC. It even defies the imagination. No this is not an excuse or justification for Lord Bongo’s act. No movie producer could have come up with a script like this and be believable and yet it happened in real life.

    When all is said and done only the good Lord and Allah can make sense of it all. That is what we are left with and that is all we have.
    From your postings I know where you stand on the issue and i admire you for being totally unambiguous and steadfast in your support for Claudia and your castigation of Lord Bongo, justifiably so. However do not allow yourself to be consumed with hate for him. The greatest strength you can show is to say a prayer for his soul without being judgmental no matter how difficult it may be. Do it for Claudia , do it for the kids and more importantly do it for your soul. Nobody said it will be easy. Let the good Lord and Allah do the rest.
    Love you all and may both their souls rest in perfect peace while saving a thought for the loved ones left behind.

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  10. I really felt sorry for the poor innocent kids. RIP Claudia.

    Reply
  11. Bambay Lans Kamara August 21, 2010

    In one of my many conversations with a fellow Sierra Leonean, Sam, on the Bongo murder-suicide saga, this is what I had to say to him that I hope will be helpful here.

    “Sam to start with, let me thank you for your response. Let me emphasize once more, that I am saddened by the death of Ms. Claudia. However, as Lord Bongo is human, I am impelled to sympathize with him, knowing that his action emanates from irrational thinking. Nonetheless, as I am not God, I am not the one who condemns him as a sinner but God who made him.
    You do not owe me anything but you owe posterity an explanation. You have an ethical, moral and national obligation to change your community and the world for the better by involving in changing wrongs to right and lending a sincere helping hand when it is needed not to boost your self esteem but to do it because that is what is humanly rightful to do. That is what civilization is about. Now we all hope Lord Bongo hadn’t gone this route but it is too late.
    I am aware that this is a volatile issue therefore, I want to refrain from inflaming the hurt, extending fights, accepting fights, personalizing the issue or even arguing about the rightness or wrongness of the matter particularly, at this time when the wounds are raw. If anything, as a Sierra Leonean, a Christian, one who is educated, a Law abiding individual, and a rational human, I am bound by humanity and morality to sympathize with my fellow Sierra Leoneans’ misgivings, especially in an unfortunate situation as the death-suicide of Lord Bongo and his partner. What he did was egregious; does that mean I condone his action, no, but to sympathize with them is the rightful to do.
    This is why, my focus has been majorly on what has been established, that Sierra Leoneans perpetrate malevolence against other Sierra Leoneans, which I fervently believe must change because it is bringing reproach to our nation’s image and destroying the fabric we once know of Sierra Leoneans, at home and abroad, pen ultimately, restricting our economic and progressive potentials.
    I am a Realist and or a Pragmatist. I guess I should stop at that. The writing explains better.
    I would like to believe that some of us Sierra Leoneans have a problem with the value of the mind. But it is worthy to note that the mind can only be enriched when it is filled with valuable information and withholding information on subjects of significance in counter productive.
    Drawing me to believing that I might understand why your occupation has prevented you from divulging information here. Whatever such a career is, I am confident it requires of you to be ethical and to be fair and balance. This is why, had I been in your shoes, I would have abstained from this discuss to respect your obligation. But if you could discuss the issue, I see no reason that should prevent you from giving the Police report or sending it to the media for publication to help the public who are dying to know the truth, and to help those who wish to tune-out of the idea of engaging in relationships with Sierra Leoneans to know the truth before they tune-out.
    By and large, I am looking forward to having a beautiful woman, not a celebrity parse, but one I will cherish, whose life will be wonderful as I wish for all men to do, which is why I did not rush on the Janet Jackson issue until I have established the facts.
    Have a nice day my brother and I hope you will be consoled to prevent you from down. We are all hurt by the deaths therefore, we must use this time to morn not fight.
    I love you.”

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  12. Garrett August 21, 2010

    God , Allah, Budha has nothing to do with death. You pray to whatever you believe in to shield you from wicked thoughts that could lead you to murder.
    The number of years that they have been together is not a determining factor of the act. All I am saying NO HUMAN DESERVE TO BE KILLED THE WAY SHE WAS. I cannot pray for his soul because he committed suicide.
    He never saved me a trouble or any one. At least he would have had his long days in court.
    I WISH HE ROT IN HELL.I WISH HE ROT IN HELL.

    Reply
  13. morlai turay August 21, 2010

    Mr Garrett i’m no condone with what Bongo did and i will never ever castigate him for i dont know why he did what this to him self a beloved partner for almost 2 decades and especially his kids. He has left stain on those kids that will never ever erased from them physically and psycologically. But as a nurse in massachusetts it might have been this guy was in some sort of medication that might lead him to this act. Please let remember there are three parties more hurt than the friends and Sierra Leone community. Leave the judging to God,” for he is the master that judge without an appeal. I dont know Bongo or claudia, i dont know any of their relatives here or down in Sierra Leone. I came to be a fan when i was a teen listen to the Professional at SLBS. My advice to all is America is a level ground if only we tried to help our self we might not be hopeless as Garrett said of Bongo Johnson. I do belive i am the bread winner even ifi marry a woman who earns more than i do. I will be working to bring the ham in the plate, if no job trust me i will apply to walmart as a cashier,help or janitor to feed my family. As the slogan goes “you know who dat na me” is not in America get off the bed and look for a job. Secondly i do blame our sisters who works 40+ hours to take care of their lazy men that are healthier and choosing jobs. My sister please smell it and say no before its too late dont start what you wont continue.
    Please am not saying lord bongo is lazy or an addict for i have no proof but if someone out there had one please bring it forward for the good of us all. Claudia family as well as Bongo family will always mourn thier loss as we will forget about it soon. So please let try be peace makers to help a brethem before it too late as it is with Bongo Johnson. let pray for their soul as it is with God now and he has to judge with no appeal. Their are conflicting statement about claudia too but that is not a rational for bongo to do that to the one he says he loves. I know it might been too difficult for people but it will be more difficult for the children. I hope a relative living off texas goes to court for custody. Now is the time for contunual for the kids for they are one that lost the most. Let dont hate each other for what they might think for only the good Lord knows why this tragedy happened in the first place. Now is the time to help prevent more murder sucides like this. God bless us all and again may their souls rest in perfect peace.

    Reply
  14. Garrett August 22, 2010

    Morlai Turay, Thank you. What I was waiting for is someone to condemned domestic violence. I finally get someone sensible to say this. Therefore, this is my last post. We do not have to know what happened lest we might want to judge which is against the teaching of Islam, Budha and Christianity. What was done is herrendous! Folks there is NO teaching that says because you date or marry a man or a woman it is for life.NO. Everyone has a choice to decide anytime thay see fit to leave a relationship whether peaceful or not. NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO END ANOTHER’S LIFE. We are in the capital of FREEDOM IN THE WORLD-USA
    Can you imagine his son dating someone whose parents her alive and when asked about his parents?. And lets say they end up marrying, can you imagine a disagreement and he wants to maintain his manhood by yelling at his wife who knew about his parents?. That would be the day their relationship would end because the woman would think what his dad did to his mother. These kids are stained for life. Whether we want to accept it or not There is a reason for hate. I cannot separate the sinner from the sin. NO religion condone murder and suicide-NONE.
    Mr Morlai Turay I was not trying to spite you, but once more thank you for using your critical thinking. whatever religion you follow I wish for good to bless you and your family. DOWN WITH DOMESTIC VIOLENCE! WALK AWAY! WHAT A DISGRACE TO THOSE INNOCENT KIDS.
    I rest my posting.

    Reply
    • Concern, (Liberian) September 30, 2010

      No one is condoning what happened but it has and we must now move on to the next phase. Forgiveness…….

      Reply
  15. Michael Coker September 7, 2010

    This is a tragic and sad incident. I dont understand how anyone can take another life and more so his own life. Having said that, we should now move on and ensure that the innocent kids are well cared for. I live in California and would like to contrbute to a welfare fund for the kids if there is such a fund. Lord Bongo was a coward for taking his own life because he was too scared to face the music. He should not have been given such a respectful funeral. I hope he goes to hell!

    Reply