Now that I am slowly recovering from the initial shock of this news as no one had mentioned that Abraham Kai Sellu had been ill, I feel I should send this message of condolence to not just the Kai Sellu family but to all of us Academicians. Indeed the music called 'Abraham Kai Sellu' is truly ended, but its melody will for all times linger" - adapted from 'Ode to a Nightingale' by Keats. My heart goes out to the Kai Sellu family. My mind goes back to those early days when we were new at the Albert Academy and will never forget the congenial welcome he gave us as the second group of girls coming into Lower Six - the original set was his own class mates - including Dr. Tuzeline Young, Cecelia John, and others.
How can we, my female class mates and I forget his infectious laughter at our grey skirts in various styles and the corresponding 'skirto lappos' of the boys - as Mr Bailor had prohibited any student from wearing tight trousers and of course tight skirts. His efforts at explaining the 'out of bound areas' of the school compound, his encouragement that one could 'double' the cornmeal or bulgur lunch mammy Pillar and sissy Makala prepared put us at ease but also adding if you were privileged to be invited by Mrs Bailor to have lunch at 'the house', to always consider oneself lucky, honored and to be gracious about such an invite.
The school's 75th anniversary celebrations were to start in a few weeks and Abram encouraged us to take an interest in each event and to participate in any of them we could find it convenient to do. One of the events was with Kittie Fadlu Deen giving us a choral contribution called 'The Albert Academy' to practice by class, rehearse and then for the whole school to perform on October 4 that year. 'Abram' as we fondly called him was our Senior Prefect, he did his best to not only sing but also to be seen as he was the 'shortest' in our group of Lower and Upper Six students, how we laughed at his 'bumpletto'/platform to be tall and his efforts at singing in tune; but he paid us no mind as he called us a' bunch of giggling girls' for the first time among so many boys. Oh how we would pester him if we saw him in Brima Kamarake's company, he would only ask us to show him where the first prize was awarded 'for height' and who awarded it.
He had a great sense of humor. Always a gentleman, always debonair, a great Churchman, a strict disciplinarian, an outstanding scholar in his various disciplines and with the late Sylvanus Eardley Leigh made us who did not like Jasper Stembridge's The World - Geography' squirm and jolt at their knowledge of the subject. His accomplishments as a student and as a Principal were most admirable; he was groomed by no other but the greatest of Principals of our time - the one and only Mr. (Bra) Max and his beloved Ms. Ada (mammy Bailor), all of these make me realize that for all times, my school, the Albert Academy, will always be the best as she continues to produce more outstanding Sierra Leoneans in all spheres of life.
May Abraham rest in perfect peace as he joins the great cloud of witnesses from the Abert Academy above and may his darling wife, a true Southender and the family be comforted by God's eternal presence. True, Earth's loss is Heaven's great gain. Sleep on Abraham in perfect peace.
Abraham K. Sellu is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church assigned as the GBGM East Africa Coordinator and is based in Kampala, Uganda.
Abraham is responsible for supervising the general programs and GBGM personnel assigned to work in the East Africa Region. As a liaison with GBGM staff, Abraham works with agencies such as the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and many other non-governmental, ecumenical organizations.
Abraham and his family were refugees in Conakry, Guinea, West Africa for one and a half years, an experience that prepared him for mission service. "We learned first-hand how to live and survive as refugees. We had cause also to learn French. Little did we know then that we would become missionaries and that we would be assigned to the East Africa Great Lakes Region where our church has ministries in the two French-speaking countries of Rwanda and Burundi."
"God was preparing me to work with and for our United Methodist churches," he concludes. "What I went through as a refugee also makes me empathize with refugees I serve in East Africa."
Prior to his current position, Abraham served as coordinator of the Missioners of Hope program in Africa. He served on the GBGM Board of Directors, 1992-2000 and as Western District Lay Leader in Sierra Leone, 1992-2000. Before becoming the GBGM Regional Office Manager in 1999, he worked as principal at the Albert Academy, a United Methodist School in Freetown, Sierra Leone, from 1985-99. He also worked as a lecturer at the Milton Margai College of Education, 1978-85, and as a teacher at Albert Academy, 1969-78 .
A native of Giema-Dama in Sierra Leone, Abraham earned his BA from the University of Durham, FBC, Freetown; a diploma in Education from the University of Sierra Leona; and his MA in Geography as a Crusade Scholar from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. In addition, he has conducted postgraduate studies at the Teachers College at Columbia University, NY.
Abraham is married to Elmira I. Sellu, a GBGM Regional Missionary serving as the GBGM coordinator for leadership development for women in the East Africa Annual Conference. Abraham and Elmira have three children, Wuyatta Elvira and Elmira Hawa, both adults, and Abraham Kai, Jr., who is in his teens. The Sellus retain their membership in their home church of King Memorial United Methodist Church in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
Excerpt from the United Methodist Church Global Ministries website.