There is reason for telling stories and mine is a moving one. The AIPS awards is an event staged to reward journalists for their efforts the previous twelve months.
Performances of reporters, more so those ranked highly, should be source of delight to countries they represent. However, that certainly isn’t the reception I was accorded when I took part in the first edition of the awards.
I could remember making the cut for the top-ten best colour piece writers drawn from Africa before moving further to finish second best in the same category early this term.
My run-ins with troubles began last year. First they asked I dole out some tokens arguing the award-winning piece is ‘theirs’.
The truth is the piece was merely reproduced on a local paper to fetch their site some google adsense income but originally written by me for a different outfit. Long story short, I gave this local tabloid an undeserved international recognition. Next minute, my email account was hacked and the AIPS certificate framed up and I understand I’m being traded online.
Apparently, some hoodlums were dispatched at me. It turned out these thugs, some of whom are acquaintances, were sent by a certain figure I wouldn’t name at this point. As unbelievable or fairytale like as this might sound to the hearing, I was stripped off naked in a disgusting display of savagery and attacked from behind with hypnotisers . A momentary blindness overcame me as I battled to no avail.
The schemes of torture lasted for no more than three days. Women posed provocatively near my nakedness as I fell unconscious. There is also a huge possibility I might have been raped.
All of these, I believe, are captured on camera in desperate efforts at blackmail and possibly, human-trafficking. In my sub-conciousness, I noticed at least videos or rather I observed being fixed the camera over my face on various occasions.
Previously in 2015, I wasn’t in attendance when I won the Gambia Press Union best Sport Reporting prize. I understand friends who received the prize planted the certificate in various places and ran commentary with it
First Video: The first video, is footage of me framed up in a shabby room donning a white shirt with my Gambia Press Union award and certificate planted on it and my photograph attached on the wall.
Second Videos: The second footage was made in the night. Again I was attacked with hypnotizer as I struggled to free up myself and forced by my torturer to confess to taking a bribe of D1,000 with two black and blue-orange strips with arrow-like lines on the fringes from a certain Gambia international. This one existed in various forms along with pictures.
The Third Video: The third footage, I was made to forcefully implicate myself, in short, not to talk about certain individuals, who’re actually prominent but self-confessed human-traffickers, in my autobiography. In this video, I was kneeling down next to these individuals under the dose of hypnotization and confessing to being a wizard.
Fourth Video: The fourth footage is videos of about a dozen people running commentary on my Gambia Press Union certificate which some friends of mine received and clandestinely planted at various, some of them unspeakable places, without my knowledge.
If my memory serves me right, I could remember one of the attackers running a commentary framing me up as a captured thief.
The latest onslaughts are result of my participation in the AIPS Awards in which my attackers thought I won millions – a laughable imagination.
During one of the sessions, I was grilled whether I could recall what happened to me. Deliberately, I replied in the negative to see extent of damage they could inflict.
Photos were also taken of me positioned on a chair over a PC, while still under the dose of hypnotization as these attackers posed next to me in what I believe would be a later docile claim that they were “teaching Africa’s second best colour piece writer” in the event I come out with the story.
As I write my nudes, a source tells me, one of which in standing position, is being clandestinely trafficked locally and internationally.
The Fifth Video: I was planted in what appeared like an office by these attackers sitting over a PC next to an undressed woman while other girls gloated over me one by one on a desk.
The Sixth Video: This one too, I believe existed in various forms. I was paraded naked lying on a concrete floor sometimes in standing position as women shamelessly posed next to me in a provocative manner.
There are also existing audios of me being forced by these attackers to confess to taking bribe, talking about meeting a married woman at the Buffer Zone, masturbating and fighting four people after the count of ten seconds including harping about catching a man pants down with a married woman in an office.
My traffickers unfortunately prominent figures who’re prying on where they haven’t sown some of whom are in the media in some couple of sporting associations.
If any of these aforementioned footages including doctored sextapes surface, they’re not my making rather one of my attackers and blackmailers.
It’s in light of these circumstances, that I have opted to take a sabbatical from any AIPS awards, at least for now including this year’s.
By Sulayman Bah, an African multiple award-winning editor based in The Gambia