Showing posts from 2016

Freetown Sees A Spike in Violent Crimes During December

Robbers who broke into a house in Marjay Town in the west of Freetown strangled the 78-year-old owner and tied up the maid.

According to the Sierra Leone Telegraph, some suspects were arrested at Funkia Junction, a few miles south of Marjay, driving the stolen vehicle of Imran Rahman, who presided over Freetown Magistrate Court No. 1  during the Tejan-Kabbah administration.

"His murder has once again raised serious questions about the ability of the government, as well as the capacity of the police in maintaining law and order in the capital Freetown. How safe is Freetown tonight?" The Telegraph editorial asked.

Magistrate Rahman's killing comes just two days after retired military chief Lieutenant General S.O. Williams was shot dead by armed men at his home in the east of the capital.

According to Sierra Leone Telegraph, Barrister Rahman comes from the storied Rahman family in the Foulah Town community of eastern Freetown.

The majority of Marjay Town’s residents suppor…

Young Life in Freetown | Juggling Family, Friends, Life, and Work

Jobs and businesses sustain lives, bring in incomes, and provide independence for people in Freetown. But it’s not always easy balancing work and family and friends, as well as relaxation.

Samuel Swaray owns a building and contracts construction business, which he has been running for eight years—sometimes in places far from home. He said he doesn’t like it when he's away from his family, especially his mother who lives in Newton, but he has to support them, even if that means working hundreds of miles away in neighboring Liberia.

Sometimes when Mr. Swaray comes home for a break or for the holidays it breaks his heart when he doesn’t get along with his family. Mr. Swaray said he loves his job as well as his family and doesn’t want to choose.

"Life is unstable without a job, " said Mr. Swaray, who is pictured with one of his contracts. 

Abibatu Sesay resides at Calaba Town. Everyone calls her “Babie” for short. She owns a small store, and she loves her business. She also s…

Sierra Leone condemns killing of former military chief

The news broke early Thursday morning that Sierra Leone’s former chief of defense Samuel Omar Williams was fatally shot in his home in the eastern part of the capital, Freetown.

According to reports, the Sierra Leone Police is currently at the scene investigating the shooting.

The details surrounding the shooting still remain sketchy, Mamba TV said.

MambaTV has been talking to several people both in Sierra Leone and the diaspora regarding the shooting.

“The shooting raises several questions. And given Williams' background, his role in the country's recent history, the details surrounding his departure from the army, and the current political climate in the country, several theories have emerged about a possible motive behind his shooting death,” MambaTV said.

“As one caller to our studio puts it this morning, "Who's safe in a country where a former Chief of Defense Staff can be shot dead in his home?"

The government has condemned the killing.

In April, Awoko new…

Day in the Life: Sierra Leone's Minister of Social Welfare Sylvia O. Blyden

Hon. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden is a medical doctor, former journalist,  newspaper publisher, and the current Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children Affairs. She served as Special Executive Assistant to President Ernest Bai Koroma from 2013 to 2015. 

I spent my morning at my office at New England Ville handling various issues like speeding up payments long overdue (once again) to the hardworking women who sweep the streets of urban Freetown. I have assured the over 500 women that they will definitely get their stipends tomorrow.
Then I drove three hours up North to spend my afternoon in Makeni giving a goodwill message to women of Bombali as my ministry re-launches the Community Wellness Advocacy Groups (CAGS).

In my speech, I highlighted how CAGS compliments the free health care programme.

As over 100 traditional birth attendants (TBAs) from across Bombali listened, I used the chance to lament the manner in which the Northern Province, since colonial days, has been suffering fro…

Salone Artists | Fatu Gassama

Fatu Gassama is a greeting card designer, jeweler, and dressmaker.  Sewa News chatted with her on Facebook this weekend.

Fatu Gassama: I went to Holy Rosary Secondary School in Kenema, Sierra Leone from 1978 to 1982/83. I graduated from Fourah Bay College in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science Honors in Zoology. I lived with my parents and siblings in Brookfields. Madongo Town.
ld: I first came across a Christmas card designed by you more than twenty years ago.

FG: The card "Api Krismes!" was designed on a table tennis table overlooking a stream in Madongo Town, with sunshine and a tropical breeze blowing the palm trees.

ld:How long have you been doing graphic design?

FG:I won a library drawing competition when I was eight and got my picture in the local newspaper. So almost forty years.

ld:Do you remember who was running the competition and which paper published your work? What did you draw? Where did you get your inspiration?

FG:It was a local library in Dundee, Scotland. My Dad tau…

Fire razes Freetown’s Angola town


Young Life in Freetown: Pets, pets, pets!

Domestic pets are everywhere in Freetown and they add meaning to everyday life.

You hardly go past a street in the city, without seeing a pet. They seem to be in every home. Some keep pets because they feel the need of helping, others see an animal friend. Though few might find pleasure in actually raising a pet, there's no denying the joy of having one. It's like nothing is more beautiful than life with domestic pets in the Freetown municipality.

As Nancy Penyikie, 55, expressed, Mama Kat and Scratch are the best things that have happened to her in a long while. Some years back, she found a cat and its kitten huddled behind a coconut tree in her backyard. She decided to bring them into the house for shelter. Her sick husband didn't favor the idea much because he wasn't a cat lover, but the cat and her kitten needed a home. For months, she and her husband quarreled over the pets but she finally convinced him that they could be the ones the cats had been waiting for.


Young Life in Freetown | Austerity measures hit hard

Since the government announced they had to remove the fuel subsidy to improve revenue, prices have gone up.

Petrol, which was Leones 3,750 per liter, has now climbed to Le 6, 000 per liter.

No one could have imagined that five hundred Leones would suddenly be added to every bus, poda-poda, and Okada ride.

Before the price hike, Le 1, 000 was the basic fare from anywhere around the city of Freetown. Now, tickets sell for Le 1, 500.

But passengers, who get on the bus with thousand Leone notes, get no change back.

Bus drivers have stopped giving change.

The same goes with the bike riders and their passengers who don’t have the correct change. This has been really tough for people.

Young people are heartbroken.

Those who attend schools a long away from their homes are struggling to raise Le 40,000 every day just to be able to go to and come back from school.

Isata Denkeh, who stays at Waterloo and schools in Congress, says that since the fuel increase she has been spending Le 10,000 on far…

Dangerous migration isn't the only answer, Africans tell Celia Thompson

In November 2016, Ali Mbengu, a popular Gambian wrestler known as ‘Mille Franc’ (thousand franc), drowned in the Mediterranean in an attempt to reach Italy.

A month before, 19-year-old Fatim Jawara, goalkeeper of The Gambia's women's football team, also drowned triggering more questions around impulsive and unsafe migration.

According to Reuters, the country’s football federation said Jawara was on board a boat that ran into trouble while crossing from Libya to Europe, adding that many of the undocumented migrants who arrive in Italy are Gambians.

More than 4,200 migrants have died or gone missing in the Mediterranean in 2016.

“Since 2006, the crowds started using the beaches and fishing pirogues in Senegal to head to Canary Islands, and thousands started drowning," said  Aisha Dabo, member of the League of African Digital Activists for Democracy Africtivists, on migration routes.

"(First) the Senegal-Mauritania-Morocco-Ceuta and Meila route was used, then the Sahara rout…