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Moce OB, thanks for the memories

Fiji Sports

Osea Bola, Fiji Sun sports editorOsea Bola, Fiji Sun sports editorTHE media fraternity didn’t just lose a learned journalist, Osea Bola, but a mentor who was passion driven.

Osea passed away this week and those that rubbed shoulders at SUNsport, writers and followers, are gutted at his untimely demise.

The veteran journalist was a cut of the old fabric, who knew his work by the word, and measured it with great insight and hit fore-ray.

For Osea, there was a story behind every sports team, management, players, and conversations, and he would hold it in his buffet of contents, analysis and opinion more, barely scratching the surface on what he was in the media business.

I had come to know OB, in 2011, after Ba football team’s tour to Canada.

At the time I was a freelancer for the Fiji Times, and towards the end of the tour, a journalist friend in Fiji coaxed me into joining the Fiji Sun.

All it took was an email to Osea, and we began an esteemed partnership that lasted over a decade.

And in this era of big, constant change on the sports media landscape, we called it out without fear, and as the age old adage ‘there is a story within a story’

Even at times, when my stories would make Fiji Football Association’s hackles rise, Osea would spell it out that we got the message out, ‘clear and we stand by it’.

I've looked up to him as the standard for fair, probing and thoughtful journalism, and I know countless others who feel the same way.

On a lighter side of him, and out of Saturday habits, the one call had me cracked up, while saying he was just checking if things were good on my end as he hadn’t heard anything from me in a week, he said he was at a phone kiosk.

But before I could start the rub, I said I was running errands and asked if he was doing good.

“AA, I’m buying a new phone”.

I said, say what? a new phone? OB laughs, I reminded him about being an old school, he said, ‘old school all right but a new one to with that’.

“Upgrade”. I said I want to grow up and be like you. He laughed “we growing with our words”.

That’s OB, right there.

I had made a habit of picking on his vintage phone, that I saw him using during our meet in 2017.

Osea showed that he had the strength of character and the journalistic nous to thrive in the job, and he did.

He was an excellent sports editor, caring and passionate for the organization he served, while warm and supportive to his team.

But what I think I was most impressed with was the gentle yet firm and intelligence in him and in his role.

I extended my heartfelt condolence to Osea’s families and the Fiji Sun, we are grieving at a loss of friend and mentor.

He will be missed.

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