Mrs Sylvia Jolliminah Blyden has sadly passed away in Freetown – Sierra Leone loses an icon

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 23 June 2021:

The Edward Babatunde Blyden and S.A.J. Pratt Families regret to announce the sudden passing to eternity of MRS. SYLVIA EDITHA JOLLIMINAH BLYDEN, aged 76 years, yestrerday Tuesday 22nd June 2021, at the Choithrams Hospital in Freetown.

Mrs. Sylvia Jolliminah Blyden is survived by her children – Pastor Babsy Kaye, Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, Cheryl Omotunde Blyden, Athanasius and Elsa Babatunde Blyden, Theo Dansa Kamara, Lawrence Santigie Sesay, several grand-children, and numerous relatives and friends at home and abroad.

More details and funeral arrangements will be published later.

May the soul of MRS. SYLVIA JOLLIMINAH BLYDEN rest in perfect peace. Ameen.

Thousands of mourners from across Sierra Leone’s political divide – APC, SLPP, C4C, NGC, etc, are today mourning the sad loss of Mrs. Sylvia Jolliminah Blyden, who is no doubt an icon of post-independence Sierra Leone, as Michael J. Kanu of Awareness Times reports: 

Shock waves reverberated across Sierra Leone and also in Sierra Leone communities overseas yesterday June 22nd, 2021, when news broke of the death of someone considered to be a mother-figure to thousands in Sierra Leone.

Mrs. Sylvia Editha Jolliminah Blyden passed away most unexpectedly and suddenly at Choithram Hospital at age 76 years.

She had been briefly admitted two days before on Sunday. Her death immediately saw an outpouring of grief from all over the country with some of the country’s top leaders in politics, in religious and other circles, posting their condolences on social media.

Dr. Prince Alex Harding and Hon. Umaru Napoleon Koroma, the National Chairman and National Secretary General respectively of the governing Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) both posted public condolences in which they described the late woman as a true mother in Sierra Leone.

The National Chairman & Leader H.E. Former President Ernest Bai Koroma and the National Secretary General Alhaji Osman Foday Yansaneh of the main opposition All Peoples Congress (APC) also extended their condolences, with Yansaneh describing the late woman as a veteran female APC politician who was known to stand against injustice and oppression.

Honourable Alhaji Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella, the Leader of the National Grand Coalition (NGC) in Parliament also wrote a beautiful tribute to the late Mrs. Sylvia Jolliminah Blyden, in which he said the late woman never hesitated to share words of wisdom with him based on her vast experience in governance and politics.

One of the most beautiful condolences to the Blyden Family was personally written by the First Lady of the Republic H.E. Mrs. Fatima Maada Bio who described the late woman as a Mother figure who was now in Heaven. Mrs. Bio’s written words she posted directly on her Facebook page, received over 400 LIKES in less than one hour of her posting the message of condolences to the Blyden Family.

Alhaji Alpha Kanu, one of the country’s leading political orators and a Former Information Minister, also penned down a beautiful sympathy message to the Blyden Family. So also did the Government Spokesman and current Minister of Information Hon. Mohamed Rahman Swarray who wrote of what a warm motherly figure the late woman was.

The country’s Statistician General Professor Mallam O. Sankoh also took time off his schedule to write down beautiful condolences for the late woman whom he called “a Mother so dear”.

Several of the country’s leading religious leaders also posted public condolences and words of consolation to the sorrowing family.

Meanwhile, as at press time last night, thousands of posts of sympathy and condolences and soft tributes of a Mother figure were written by thousands of citizens who had been flooding social media to share their thoughts on the death of Mrs. S.E.J. Blyden.

There was a large outpouring of grief especially on the Facebook page of the second daughter of the late woman, Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden who is the popular 49-year old female journalist and politician.

The Mrs. Jolliminah Sylvia Blyden, who was 76 years of age, was a retired Civil Servant who rose to the rank of Senior Permanent Secretary at the Finance Ministry.

She was the second daughter of the first Attorney General of the Republic of Sierra Leone, late Hon. Professor S.A.J. Pratt. She was also the widow of late Mr. Edward Babatunde Blyden who is easily recognised as the country’s foremost Civil Society, Democracy and Human Rights activist in post-colonial Sierra Leone.


  1. My profuse sympathy to Dr Sylvia Blyden and family. RIP, Mama, Blyden. On behalf of my family at home and abroad.

  2. The Loss of an Icon!!! May she continue to sleep peacefully. May the Almighty God continue to comfort the rest of the family.

  3. My deepest condolences to the family for the loss of their loved one. Her accomplishments in public and family life wil never be duplicated but well noted and accepted by many. May Her Soul Rest In Eternal Peace.

  4. Gone but never forgotten, may her soul rest in perfect peace in the bosom of the lord Jesus Christ, Amen.

  5. To Dr Sylvia Blyden, and your entire famliy, I wish to extend my heartfelt condolences for the passing of your mother and mentor. May the soul of Mrs Joilliminah Blyden rest in peace.

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