MASERU – The African Editors Forum (TAEF) secretary-general, Makan Kone, has died in Bamako, Mali. Kone passed on after a short illness in his hometown of Bamako, Mali on Monday afternoon. The media activist’s passing has devastated the media industry across the continent.
He was editor of the Nouvelle Liberation, Managing Director of Radio Rampart and former editor of Le Telegraphe. He was also former secretary-general of the Association of Press Editors of Mali and ex-chairperson of the Mali Press House.
Apart from media activism Kone, 46, was an industry hero who served the TAEF and the media industry with aplomb for many years. He was in the leadership collective of TAEF and has led programmes on media freedom and the safety of journalists.
Jovial Rantao, the chairperson of TAEF said in a statement “We are shocked and saddened that one of our own who gave up his life for media freedom and the safety of journalists has been taken from us. We mourn Makan and celebrate his rich legacy, both as journalist, editor and media activist. He worked tirelessly to ensure that the media was not silenced in Mali, West Africa and the rest of the continent.
Makan may have gone but he lives in every one of us. We shall, in his name and those of many others who have preceded him, continue with the struggle for media freedom, independence of the media and the safety of all journalists throughout Africa.”
TAEF has extended heartfelt condolences to Kone’s widow and his family, who have now lost three sons in seven months.
The Editors Forum of Lesotho also mourns the sudden passing of the TAEFF secretary-general, a practitioner who was passionate about media freedom and the growth of the media sector.
Chairperson, Teboho Khatebe Molefi, said “This is a great loss at a time the media in the African continent is fighting persecution, when voices advocating for media freedom are needed more than ever.”
“The African press has lost a voice that stood for integrity and transformation in journalism, Kone is one man that even here in Lesotho we looked up to and learned from as we take steps to transform our own media,” Molefi said.
Kone is survived by his widow Gogo and five children. In lines with Islamic rites, Kone will be buried in Bamako, Mali, on Tuesday.