Showing posts from May, 2013

Sierra Leone | An American in Freetown: Remaking a Sierra Leonean Icon


Sierra Leone | Archive Postcards


Sierra Leone | A Memorial Day Tribute to Military Service

"In war, there are no unwounded soldiers." -Jose Narosky

Since 1971, the last Monday in May has been observed as a day of remembrance in America. This week, in the run up to Memorial Day, Monday, May 27, hundreds of events will be held across the country to honor fallen men and women of the armed services and remember veterans. On Sewa News Stream, we’re joined by New Jersey resident Osman Kabba in tribute to the national observance.

Sewa News Stream: What inspired you to join the United States military?

Osman Kabba: Like most immigrants, I came to the United States with big dreams. I had planned to go to college and return home to contribute in development efforts. Well, that was easier said than done. You hear often that the United States is a land of opportunity…you have to seek them.

I wanted to go to college but could not afford tuition. I was in between jobs because I did not have any skills. So I found myself having to balance my needs against my future aspirations. Th…

Sierra Leone | Unseen Heroes


Sierra Leone | Running for Later Life

What are you up to this weekend?

For Glennis and Modupe, an intrepid husband and wife based in southwest London, they’ll be running for  life.

Two keen athletes, the couple have held a torch for sports since their schooldays in Sierra Leone. But until recently other pursuits were on the front burner.

Glennis is a doctor or GP (general practitioner as they’re known in the United Kingdom) and Modupe is a management consultant, specializing in delivery of major infrastructure projects.  They have also spent a lot of time raising a family.

Although the three children were chips of the old block, the sport parent’s investment was mainly providing transport to and from school events. Now the children are all grown up, the couple have found themselves with a bit more time on their hands, especially at weekends and in the evenings.

So about four years ago they took up jogging in their neighborhood London park, which was very popular with runners and cyclists.  As Glennis and Modupe got their…

Sierra Leone | One Life, A Glorious Cycle

One of Africa's greatest hits is a tribute to all mothers. "Sweet Mother" by Prince Nico is a 1976 song, with an infectious dance beat that is guaranteed to rock any party in black Africa. Like millions of Sierra Leonean mothers,  Gloria Allen's story is filled with not only references to representations of the highs and lows of  her time, but to a glorious cycle of song through different stages of life. Read and be inspired!

Sewa News Stream: What are some of your favorite moments in Sierra Leone?

Gloria Allen: Born in Freetown, I am the second of 7 children. Our parents, Abigail and Joshua Allen loved and disciplined us. In the process they created a strong, well defined family with values that helped to solidify our foundation. The Bible passage, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it,” was a constant reminder to us about their responsibility.  The sayings, ‘life is a cycle,’ [and] we come fresh to the different s…

Sierra Leone | A Fiber Optic Future

Ishmael Bull has a dream to start a graphic design shop in Sierra Leone. We first chatted with him in the fall of 2012 about his job as head of the media and communication section at Africell SL and an entrepreneur of a startup built on a fiber optic future.

Sewa News: What's new in the telecommunications space in Sierra Leone?

Ish Bull: Communication is moving to a very vibrant stage with the new fiber optic installation. Before the fiber optic cable, Sierra Leone’s internet service had only been through satellite and penetration and was as low as 0.8 percent. With fiber optic, that can increase up to 20 percent penetration in just the first year.

Also afriRadio (owned by Africell’s Holding Group Lintel Ltd.) launched this year and as a non-commercial community radio station, the most important of its causes would be embarking on awareness campaigns that will take on topics affecting the core of Sierra Leone’s society. We have a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with twenty-five …

Sierra Leone | A Successful Educator

Odette Awada, the first proprietress of a private school in southern Sierra Leone,  died Saturday, March 26, 2016, at the Connaught Hospital in Freetown. In 1976, she founded the Awada School in Bo. 
Below is a May 2013 Sewa Newsfeaturing Mrs. Awada after her presentation as a Member of the Order of the Rokel at the National Awards and Honors held on April 27, Sierra Leone's Independence Day. 

Sierra Leone's annual National Awards and Honors on Independence Day recognized the achievements and service of extraordinary people and organizations. More than 60 candidates were selected at Commander of the Order of Republic level, and Grand Commander/Officer/Commander/Officer and Member of the Order of the Rokel.

Award winners came from the  health sector, industry and economy, science and technology, law and order, sports, and music. One of the honors for successful work in education went to Mrs. Odette Awada.

Odette Awada (nee Allen) started teaching in the capital, Freetown, fift…

Sierra Leone | Safe to Speak

It's more than 40 years since Sourie Turay spent a gap year working on  Sierra Leonean civic education with Talabi Aisie Lucan. Fresh out of Bo School in 1972, twenty-year old Turay had an enviable position being part of  Lucan's working group in a trailblazing Social Studies Curriculum Unit. Lucan—as a grand, 90-year-old national treasure, rates her storied publication “Civics of Sierra Leone” among her success stories.

Social studies teachers used her book to teach citizenship to a generation of  Sierra Leoneans. But what it means to be Sierra Leonean--civics isn't just dry theory stuck on the pages of dusty books. It comes alive in individual and collective experiences of, and, attitudes to society, citizenship, politics, laws and government.

A British worker for twenty-five years, Turay, did a stint at the Prudential Assurance Company,  served as an aviation insurance and contract specialist at Lucas Industries, and risk and insurance manager at Medway Council before …

Sierra Leone | When Science, the Environment, Politics and Journalism Meet

Shek Gibril Sesay was born in Magburaka, Tonkolili District—the educational center of Sierra Leone's Northern Province. An agricultural scientist with 20 years of experience teaching and practicing science in educational institutions around the globe, he's also a contributor on one of the oldest electronic mailing lists focused on discussing Sierra Leonean issues. In Shek's Earth Day message, he hinted at how much things environmental, political and journalistic interact.

We in the professions labeled "Workshop under nature" are very much appreciative of Earth day. On the other hand when investigative journalism [and] an unsuspecting documentary hero, with a view to uncovering timbergate, turns out to be ... aimed at settling scores due to contract reallocation, a keen observer has to speak out.
In case you're wondering what Shek is talking about there, as part of its Africa Investigates series, Al Jazeera broadcast "Sierra Leone: Timber!" in Nov. …