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Remembering Mamadou Sogoba: Retired TV Engineer and Prolific Poet Passes Away at 73

Retired television engineer, Mamadou Sogoba bowed out with dignity on January 8, 2024 at the age of 73. Mamadou Sogoba was also known to be a very prolific poet. Never indifferent to what was happening around him, this great patriot whose competence and seriousness were praised by his colleagues, even during his lifetime, was proud of his Mali which he had in his soul.

Wednesday January 17, 3:28 p.m.! I was wrapping up the newspaper when I received a phone call from Alou Sogoba. After a few seconds of discussion, the disastrous news came out of his mouth, leaving me speechless: “your friend died on Monday January 8, 2024”.

“My friend ” !!!! , it is his big brother Mamadou Sogoba, a retired television engineer, faithful collaborator of the newspaper “Le Challenger” who always took pleasure in publishing his poems. Alou Sogoba hastened to add that the deceased had expressed the wish that we would be informed as soon as his last hour arrived!!!!!

While I recovered from my emotions, I offered my condolences to the Sogoba family. This announcement which darkened my afternoon, in addition to the stress linked to the pressure of closing, made me relive the memories of my last visit to the engineer-poet. It was Sunday October 29, 2023. I went to his apartment in the City of 80 housing units in Faladiè where he had imposed a simple life. He didn’t like to bother anyone.

As usual, we chatted and discussed at length. It was always a pleasure to listen to him. He told me about his family. He informed me that his wife, a Russian national, died of Covid 19. I offered her my condolences. He detailed to me with humor how he was put under observation at the Mali Hospital as well as some of his relatives. He told me how his family left Koutiala to end up in Niono. From his youthful memories, he has never forgotten this accident which he suffered in the company of a friend, near the Badialan district, not far from the rails. He spoke to me about the kindness of Cheick Oumar Doumbia who was minister of General Moussa Traoré. And also the great esteem he had for Mamadou Sinsy Coulibaly, former President of the National Employers’ Council of Mali.


That day, Mamadou Sogoba spoke to me a lot about spirituality, especially. He advised me to always think positive by taking examples from his own life. And then, suddenly, he announced to me: “I told my little brother Alou to call you the day I died. I want it to be you who announces my death…”. Words that had the effect of a cold shower on me. Then, Mamadou Sogoba took me to his bedroom, where he asked me to take the photo which will be used to illustrate the notice of his death. It was one of his youthful photos hanging on the front of his bed. And, this is the photo you see.

Subsequently, he selected three of his poems and gave them to me for publication. One focused on Ibrahim Ly, the wife of historian Madina Tall and the father of former Prime Minister Oumar Tatam Ly. Another spoke of the need for national cohesion. And the third “Moscow Madou”. He wanted me to republish this titled poem with a specific request.

Around dusk, he walked me towards the door. We said goodbye and he wished me a good trip, because the next day I had to go to Sikasso. So, I was far from imagining that this was going to be my last meeting with this brilliant mind who appreciated our work at its true value.

Mamadou Sogoba is one of the first television engineers in Mali trained in the former USSR. Poet, philosopher, writer, he nonetheless remained a living library. He was one of the most prolific poets and had creative maturity. He is the author of the text which thrills, as much as the national anthem of Mali, the patriotic fiber of every good-natured Malian citizen who does not take pleasure in listening to the poem on national television: “My destiny is my homeland” with the voice of the equally late Thierno Ahmed Thiam?

Mamadou Sogoba was a very friendly man whose constant smile which broke the ice was a kind invitation to friendship. This model executive was a patriot at heart who loved Mali. There are – unfortunately – many, far from the sounds and lights, executives of the caliber of Mamadou Sogoba who live and die in indifference without the slightest lack of recognition from the Malian authorities. It would not be too much to say that the Malian state is not grateful to its deserving sons of the nation because of the enormous services rendered. Sons of Mali like Mamadou Sogoba. Under other skies, the author of the patriotic poem: “My homeland Mali” would be admitted to the Pantheon of immortals. But, Mamadou Sogoba who deserved so much from the homeland did not even have the slightest medal by way of recognition. This is also Mali.

From my interview with him in 2016, I remembered this sentence: “the only thing that is not illusion is God”. Sleep in peace Moscow Madou!!!

Chiaka Doumbia

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2024-01-27 02:45:07
#engineerpoet #Mamadou #Sogoba #remained #silent #Tribute #shadowy #celebrity

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