Sierra Leone’s octogenarian political icon, Dr. John Karefa-Smart , died this evening at 8: 25 pm in Freetown . The Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the UN was immediately informed after one of the greatest sons of the land breathed his last .

Dr. Karefa-Smart was living in the U.S .until a few weeks ago when after previously becoming  gravely ill , he  was admitted at a hospice in Connecticut, from where he was taken to Freetown . He  was diagnosed with a medical condition that gave him only a single month to live and family members and President Ernest Bai Koroma honoured the late man’s wishes to enter his twilight hours in his motherland.


The Permanent Representative to the United Nations , Mr. Shekou Toure,   went to Connecticut with a delegation from the  Sierra Leone Mission to visit the the veteran politician at his sick bed at which time he was said to have become so rejuvenated by the visit that , though he had been very weak and silent, he developed some amazing strength and gave what the delegation described as a very enlightening and educative political discourse during which the old political warhorse narrated his long , colorful and often controversial political history. He became his old confident self and even joked that he and his wife will be attending Sierra Leone’s 50th Independence Anniversary celebrations in Freetown next April.

 John Karefa-Smart (center-left in photo) sat with his wife Rena Karefa-Smart (center-right) and two friends, Arthur Pulley (left) and Bernice Cosey Pulley (right).

Dr. Karefa-Smart was flown to Sierra Leone at the tail end of July , with President Koroma ensuring that he was given a special residential quarters and a  VIP treatment . He remained his optimistic self until he went to be with his ancestors this evening.

We will bring you full details of  funeral arrangements soon.

PHOTO :   Dr. Karefa-Smart

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8 Responses to “Dr. John Karefa-Smart has passed away”

  1. baimaro kamara USA August 27, 2010

    As a Sierra Leonean living in the diaspora the passing away of Dr John Kerefa Smart in his home soil of Sierra Leone despite of all the good life he has enjoyed overseas he decided to make a final return home should make us to always remember the old adage which says there is no place like home be it an urban city or a village there is no place you will be homesick of than your place of birth.Rest in perfect Dr Smart.

  2. Gilford Olaniyi John August 27, 2010

    O death! where is thy sting? Another guru of the soil has passed away. On behalf of my family and i, we extend our sincere sympathies to the bereaved family and we pray that light perpetual shine upon him.

    Happy to meet, sorry to part, hoping to meet again.

  3. Dr. Richard Caulker August 27, 2010

    May your soul rest in perfect peace in your land. My condolence to all family members at home and abroad mourning the loss.

  4. Benedict Jalloh August 27, 2010

    I wish join fellow Sierra Leoneans at home and abroad to mourn the death of our veteran politician Dr. John Kerefa Smart. His return to die in Sierra Leone is a clear massage to Sierra leoneans in the diaspora, that ” there is no place like Home, Home sweet Home” We should join hands as Sierra Leoneans whereever weare to build Mama Salon, sweet Salon.

    May his soul rest in perfect peace.

  5. Abu Bangura August 27, 2010

    The passing of dr. John Karefa Smart though expected after his long illness still leaves a big void. Though he never was able to lead his nation yet he served with distinction whenever he was called upon to do so. May his soul rest in peace. May Sierral Leone be blessed for giving him his wish of returning to his maker in his native land.

  6. Emmanuel & Catherine Kambo August 28, 2010

    Feel proud of Dr. Karefa-Smart´s legacy;for he deserved all our praises for what he stood for” Honesty and integrity”.
    We will remember him even when he is long gone and hope to emulate his patriotic values.We feel the loss dearly.!! KAMBO -GERMANY.

  7. James I. Koroma August 30, 2010

    It is sad to learn about the death of Dr. John karefa Smart. A man whose love of country and principled qualities patriotic Sierra Leoneans would always wish to emulate.Karefa Smart was a household name in Sierra Leone. His contribution to our nation building remains an everlasting chapter in the annals of our beloved country. I dove my hat to the A.P.C./ Government of Dr.Ernest Bai Koroma for according this champion of Sierra Leone politics his wish to die in Sierra Leone.
    May his soul rest in peace.

  8. Dr. John Karefa Smart is a Sierra Leone legend. He was a patriotic, loyal and dedicated servant of the Republic of Sierra Leone. He was and still is a role model to many Sierra Leoneans.

    May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace.

    Meanwhile, a word of caution to the writer of this article. The quoted statement: “Dr. Karefa-Smart was flown to Sierra Leone at the tail end of July, with President Koroma ensuring that he was given a special residential quarters and a VIP treatment”, could be regarded as being offensive.
    Please remember that Dr. John Karefa-Smart was neither poor nor destitute. The death of such a legend must not be used for political campaigns. We’re talking about the demise of a honourable man and one gets the impression the writer was deliberately trying to give credit to President Koroma. Sad indeed!