Showing posts from November, 2016

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 f

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 sp

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, t

Young Life in Freetown | Calaba Town Has Switched On the Lights

Four years after former National Football League (NFL) safety Madieu Williams and members of the Maryland Sustainable Engineering group came together to provide solar-powered lighting for Calaba Town’s Abigail D. Butcher Primary School, which Williams founded in 2009, the solar program project got a megawatt jolt. Inyilla Conteh reports.  Calaba Town, or Kalba Tong as the community calls it, has been subject to power blackouts for years.  In, 2013, the small town was cut off for over 6 months, and most affected was the Mayenkineh area.  But those dark days of frequent blackouts are now a thing of the past. The town is on a new grid, controlled by the national electricity distribution supply authority, which originated from the old national power authority. Some of the community people and leaders said that constant power supply has enriched their lives.  Gone are the days when they had to pay a thousand Leones  (about 18 cents in the U.S. dollar) just to get

Alhaji Yunisa Alim Sesay aka Awoko dies

Former Western Area Football Association chairman, Yunisa Alim "Awoko" Sesay, passed away in Freetown Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016, according to a post on his Facebook page. The owner and chairman of premier league side Anti-Drugs Strikers had been ailing for some time. A popular figure in Sierra Leone's capital city, the veteran football administrator also served as  commissioner of the Sierra Leone Government Assets Commission and was a onetime g overnment auctioneer. Alhaji Sesay was regarded as one of Sierra Leone's finest football administrators. As former secretary general of East End Lions Football club, one of the most popular clubs in Sierra Leone, Awoko was the longest serving football secretary general in the history of Sierra Leone, wrote Chernor Ojukwu Sesay, information attaché at the Sierra Leone Embassy to Brussels and the European Union. "Awoko resigned from the post after 21 years of dedicated service to E.E. Lions and founded the Anti Dr

Reporting from Freetown | November 18, 2016

This is a newsletter about young people in Freetown. Some of the things that affect them are mostly political, environmental, levels of education, parenting, athletics, fashion, music, recreation, relationships, and economics. The picture below portrays a disaster that occurred on 17 November 2016. There was heavy rainfall the whole of yesterday, which led to flooding at the Bomeh Akram community.  Bomeh is located just after Ferry Junction in the east end of Freetown. It's named “bomeh” because it was a site set aside for dumping waste from homes, offices, and business centers.  Yesterday’s flooding destroyed many houses and property, and residents lost their livelihood. A lot of them have got no place to go.   One of the reasons for the disaster is the community is used as a dumpsite. The dirt was out of control but people didn't stop disposing of refuse and sewage. Officials responsible for amending the situation did nothing. So when the rain kept coming, th