Famous journalist Fatou Camara came under vicious attack the past week, but this time not only from her usual critics but her admirers too.
The attacks were triggered by her decision to invite First Lady Fatoumata Bah-Barrow to her networking event on Boxing Day. This decision seemed odd to many given the fact that she was the one who hung Madam Barrow to the wolves to feast in the past months.
Many online news consumers gave Fatou the props she deserved for an investigative job she and her team did to unearth how D35m landed in the First Lady's foundation's account without passing through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs.
Her sidekicks, notably among them Awa Sisay, was on the other side with her “Kodoo Lay” Campaign thereby increasing the pressure on Madam Barrow.
Recently though, Fatou met with the First Lady and since then she toned down her rhetoric towards her. She suspended her investigation. She claimed the file was exhausted, and even deleted some negative Facebook posts about Madam Barrow.
It is rumoured that the Sierra Leonean First Lady, Fatima Jabbe Maada Bio facilitated their meeting.
Back to the networking event, she kept telling people that there will be a special guest “VIP” who she wouldn’t name prior to the event. Madam Barrow's attendance caught all attendees by surprise as some were the ones amplifying the “Kodoo Lay” campaign.
It was an awkward meeting for many, including popular political activist Pa Samba Jow. Perhaps Fatou’s plan was to endear the First Lady to the attendees and later invoice her for it.
After the event, people took to Facebook to show their disappointment and displeasure of her unexpected friendship with Madam Barrow. Not giving in to “trolls”, she came out fighting, defending herself. She posited that she will not be doing any fight for nobody and she can befriend whoever she likes.
Social media commentator, Saul Sarr told What’s On-Gambia: “She traded her credibility and integrity for money and access. It is now clear that all the noise was as a result of being denied access.”
He added: “Her argument that she’s a complete woman and doesn’t need anybody or approval is a lie. No man is an island; you need people, especially influential people to strive. Why do big companies pay celebrities to endorse their products? A few years ago, she didn’t invite Mrs. Barrow to her events because she was nobody. She has invited her now because of her position as First Lady. “
Awa Sisay’s dilemma
Whilst Fatou Camara was busy documenting how the D35 million landed and disappeared from the First Lady's foundation's account, Awa Sisay was on the other side with her “Kodoo Lay” campaign. Coincidence? You be the judge. As soon as Fatou suspended her investigation, Awa too pulled the plug on her campaign. This led many to believe that Fatou was actually pulling the strings from behind the scenes. Awa should have continued to dispel any such notion.
If she had new information which partly exonerated the First Lady, she should have communicated this to her fellow activists and the general public. This way she would keep her credibility intact.