VETERAN journalist, media personality and chef, Mondale Smith, on Monday, passed away at the Ministry of Health’s National Infectious Diseases Hospital at Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown, where he was being treated for COVID-19.
The 45-year-old was admitted to the medical institution experiencing severe symptoms of the deadly virus.
His media career began at the state-owned Guyana Broadcasting Authority in the early 1990s.
There, he produced as well as hosted several radio programmes.
He later joined the Evening News and then the Prime News newscast where he covered hard news and sports stories.
Smith was also employed as a journalist at Kaieteur News.
Apart from his work as a journalist, Smith was also the owner and chef at Chef Mondale’s Kitchen which specialises in catering authentic Guyanese cuisine.
The Guyana Press Association (GPA) along with the entire media fraternity expressed great sadness at Smith’s passing.
In a release, the GPA stated that his death “has shocked family, friends and his media colleagues.”
The GPA further acknowledged Smith’s invaluable contribution to local media, noting that he always went the extra mile to ensure that he could use his platform to educate and share information to the public.
“Throughout his media career, he never backed down from a challenge or a story, he was known for his many ‘stand-ups’ and for going after stories that showed the reality we lived in. All of this spoke of Mondale’s versatility and love for journalism; he was always eager to tackle an issue or go after a story. Even as Mondale had moved on to another career, he would share stories or highlighted issues that came to him,” the GPA release stated.
Gordon Moseley, Editor-in-Chief at News Source Guyana, and personal friend of Smith, in a Facebook post recalled fond memories of their over 20-year friendship.
He called him a “happy soul who loved life, food and culture, and always a good gyaff.”
“We also got a good laugh lots of times because at times people would see me in public and say wham Mondale and he would complain somebody would always call him Moseley. He said ‘all these people know is that we on tv or radio and like they does can’t tell who is who, look how u face fat and round and I slim, plus u bald and well I ain’t suh bald’, he would say and laugh,” Moseley’s post read.
Moseley further stated that Smith was a good broadcaster, good journalist and a very good and humble person, noting that he “lived the life he loved and loved the life he lived.”
Smith, earlier in May used his social media platform to plead with persons to be responsible and to take the necessary precautions to quell the spread of the virus.
“Dear people diagnosed as being Corona/COVID-19 positive, you are not being responsible when you decide to go out and party and hangout. You are supposed to be at home relaxing and healing/recovering. However, people who know your business got to be pointing you out because you don’t give a rat’s ass about the other people you decide to socialize with. We ain’t know you are and we shouldn’t have to find out after you put us at risk,” he said in the post.
He urged those who have tested positive to take responsibility, think about their neighbours and their safety and to stay indoors.