Showing posts from December, 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 resid

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 lov

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 A

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 suf

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 we nt  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 l

Fire razes Freetown’s Angola town

No one knows for sure how the fire started. But by 10:00 o' clock Thursday, Freetown time, the inferno was raging in Angola town.   Thankfully, no one died and nobody was injured but hundreds of people lost everything in the blaze. The Angola town community, which was built up around the old and narrow Fort and Soldier streets left behind by the colonials, is gone. One woman, who sells at the market and had all her vegetables destroyed, said they saw fire coming from a neighbor’s house. She also said they couldn't put out the fire because crowded houses were so congested, with many of them made out of corrugated iron and zinc sheet shacks. The fire hose attached to the fire engines weren't able to put an end to the fire at all. Some of the residents have gone to friends and relatives, hoping to find refuge. Others are wandering around looking for a place to go. For Young Life in Freetown, I'm Inyilla Conteh reporting.