Beautiful game marred by violence, Sports Writers Association of Sierra Leone issues statement

The Sports Writers Association of Sierra Leone issued a press statement late Sunday condemning the violent physical and hostile verbal assault suffered by two female reporters with the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC). The statement says Frances Barnard and Esther Marie Samura "were beaten" by close protection guards of the president of Sierra Leone.

In addition, a male sports journalist Alimamy Kamara was assaulted by the same bodyguards, who have been named as Sweet and Kposowa.

According to the Sports Writers Association of Sierra Leone, "this is the first time in the history of football in Sierra Leone to see security guards behave in such a violent and rude manner," the statement said.

The close protection officers are accused of barging into the commentary booth at the football stadium during Sunday's match between the national teams of Sierra Leone and neighboring Liberia.

"The commentary booth is exclusively for the media and this act w…

'Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might'

“He who works with his hands is a laborer.
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.”
― Saint Francis of Assisi

Time marches on. It doesn’t stop for you or me. I figure the way we try to hold back constant change is by marking the fruits of our labor.

My mother, Hannah Iyatunde Deen, seen left in both life stage photos,  will be buried Wednesday, September 4, under a kapok tree in a village cemetery. She was a hard-working 81-year-old woman.

During her lifetime, she served her family, communities, and the world, in any which way she could. In the beginning, she wanted to be a hospital social worker. A dream probably spurred on by the humanitarian crisis of the Second World War in colonial  Sierra Leone, and glass-eyed British missionaries at the Annie Walsh Memorial School of the 1950s. When my mother’s childhood dream job didn't work out, she got married and started a family.

For more than 40 year…

'Oh, the rain came down And the floods came up'

About a month ago, Freetown City Council's revenue team announced it was visiting properties in certain areas of the city to collect property rates. The team, made up of staff from the valuation, rates and finance departments, together with police and bailiffs, planned to visit the properties with a bank official to give residents the convenience of paying from the comfort of their homes and businesses.
"Freetonians, don’t forget to honor your financial responsibilities towards our city, as FCC cannot #Transform" the mayor urged.

'But then the rain came down. And the floods came up. The rain came down. And the floods came up. The rain came down. And the floods came up.'

Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, mayor of Freetown, described Thursday, August 15, as "a somber day for us at Council,"  as many of our residents were affected by flooding and four people lost their lives, she wrote on Facebook. 

Earlier that day, the mayor had visited Wellington, one of the worst-hit a…

Religious Pilgrimages are not the priority for Sierra Leone. It's Man-Made Disasters

In the second flash flooding to swamp Freetown, less than two years after a mudslide killed hundreds in Sierra Leone's capital, at least five people are dead.

Torrential rain overwhelmed the city's drainage system, creating waterways that churned down streets, according to eyewitness reports posted in real-time on social media.

"Report disasters as a result of today’s downpour to the FCC’s Disaster Response Team," Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr urged on her official Facebook page at 8:24 a.m. on Friday, August 2. 
In stark contrast, authorities at State House made no reference to the disaster in its post on Saturday, August 3, only saying the president and vice president "bid farewell to about 900 Sierra Leoneans performing this year’s Islamic pilgrimage to the Holy City of Mecca, Saudi Arabia."

In 2015, floods killed 10 people and left thousands homeless. Two years later, flooding and mudslides in Freetown killed nearly 500 people, reported Clarence Roy-Macaulay for…

Rain, Rain, Won't Go Away in Freetown

It's heartbreaking to see the photos and raw videos again of rushing water flowing like rivers in Freetown’s city streets. I feel terrified just watching hillside streams, fed by the heavy August rain, roaring down--past sturdy brick walls and the thin, defenseless homes of the poor. 

If only ordinary people knew just how much power they have to rein in this annual flooding that has killed hundreds over the past 10 years.  The poor are the same ones who will most enjoy the benefits of environmental relief.  

Seems to me, the nation's politicians and the wealthy don't feel the effects as much their poorer neighbors, and they don't have the power to change much. If it rained more on Friday, August 2, 2019, than it did in the month of July in 2016, the rains aren’t going away. 

Food and Money in Sierra Leone

Three years ago, none other than The Lancet published a study listing Sierra Leone among the West African countries that enjoy healthier diets than their counterparts in the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan or Canada.

The Lancet, which is among the world's best known general medical journals, surveyed dietary quality among men and women in 187 countries between1990 and 2010 and published their peer-reviewed results in March 2015.

Taken together, the consumption of sugary drinks, saturated fats, sodium, and processed meats in industrially advanced countries can't match the goodness of healthy foods eaten in Sierra Leone, such as fruit, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and fish, as well as foods containing fiber and omega-3s.

Hearts are bleeding now it has been confirmed that Sierra Leoneans not only eat healthily but also cook some of the best Jollof. No news there, either. Sierra Leone shut down the West Africa Jollof debate more than three years ago according to Sw…

Ponder My Thoughts with Andrew Keili | The Judiciary: "As It Was In The Beginning"

'Election petition verdict: 'The law is an ass,'I wrote an article in this column in 2013 with this title, in response to the verdict on the now famous Ansu Lansana case. I took this as a personal issue. I know the characters involved, I have seen what that decision has wrought and have experienced what happens to a constituency and the democratic process when some distant party subverts the will of the people without consulting them. I am certain therefore I can be excused for verging on the ad hominem as it is only by doing so that the effect can be made vivid to the reader.

I am a relation of all the major parties involved at the local level in constituency 5 in the Kailahun District. The SLPP candidate, Ansu Lansana, and the petitioner Sam May Macarthy are cousins with whom I am intimately acquainted. The lucky APC candidate, Regina Songa Marrah, who was foisted on our constituency is also a close relative. The constituents were stunned, and up to this day could not u…