Showing posts from March, 2017

Ponder My Thoughts | Sierra Leone's Failing Educational System

L ast week, Amnesty International West Africa suggested the bloodshed at recent student protests in Sierra Leone was caused by a  "heavy-handed response” by security forces. Students of Njala University reportedly started protesting against a lecturers' strike, which has left the college closed since October last year. Reports also said lecturers have been on strike due to non-payment of salaries by the government. Police said that the students did not obtain a permit for the protest and were burning tires and blocking roads. While Amnesty International has called for an investigation and accountability through fair trials, a social commentaor in Sierra Leone looks at the issues through the prism of a failing educational system. Andrew Keili writes the weekly column, Ponder My Thoughts   Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus ch

Ponder My Thoughts | Freetown: Much Too Free at 225

Freetown covers about 35 square miles and approximately 1.1 million people live within its land area.  There are huge challenges with the transport system, solid waste management and sewage management. Andrew Keili, author of Ponder My Thoughts Volume 1 , a collection of news analysis, opinion, and essays on the most talked-about topics in Sierra Leone, looks at what the city and the national government should do to ease the problems.  The city of Freetown celebrated her 225th birthday on Saturday March 11 amidst much pomp at pageantry outside the Law Courts Building. The City Authorities and the celebration committee had collaborated well to put up a good show.  Freetown Players did a good skit on the founding of the city, attributing the founding to Thomas Peters and his band of Nova Scotians who arrived in 1792. In various speeches by Mrs Cassandra Gerber (Matriarch of the Krio Descendants Union) representing the settlers/descendants, the Mayor and Vice President, the roles

Op/Ed Feedback: Amadu Massally & Patrick Muana

Archive photo of Amadu Massally (left) and Joe Opala at Bunce Island Mohamed Gibril Sesay’s op-ed ‘Freetown: The Story You Never Knew’ has gotten a lot of feedback from Sierra Leoneans online.   In this wrap-up,  Sewa New s brings you excerpted comments posted by Amadu Massally, who has travelled to sister communities in South Carolina, Jamaica, Trinidad, and Grenada; and Patrick Muana, who has taught rhetoric, literature, and Africana studies at colleges in Sierra Leone and in the United States. Amadu is currently working on a John Kizell documentary with Joseph Opala — the historian most famous for the "Gullah Connection," which recognized the historical links between the people of Sierra Leone and the Gullah people of the Low Country region of South Carolina and Georgia in the United States — and Kevin Lowther, author of The African-American Odyssey of John Kizell . According to Slavery and Remembrance, Kizell was born about 1760, and captured at the age of

Freetown: The Story You Never Knew

On March 11, Sierra Leone marked the 225th anniversary of the nation's capital.  The city's birthday story as the Province of Freedom has been told over and over again. What's not as widely known is the city in local folklore. In this powerful counter narrative that was first published in 2011, Mohamed Gibril Sesay, author, sociologist, and politician, presents the story you never knew.   Province of Freedom--The area was first settled in 1787 by 400 formerly enslaved blacks sent from London, England, under the auspices of the Committee for the Relief of the Black Poor, an organization set up by Jonah Hanway and the British abolitionist, Granville Sharp. These blacks were African Americans, Afro-Caribbeans, Africans, Southeast Asians, and blacks born in Britain. They established the 'Province of Freedom' and the settlement of Granville Town on land purchased from local Koya Temne sub chief King Tom and regent Naimbana. The British understood the purchase w

Women's Day celebrations around Sierra Leone

Kailahun is the capital of Kailahun District in the Eastern Province of Sierra Leone. Parts of Sierra Leone's Kailahun district abut Lofa County in Liberia and Guinea's Gueckedou prefecture. So women in all three countries in the region --Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone -- will meet in Kissi Teng, a town in Kailahun, Saturday, March 11, 2017, to celebrate  International Women's Day. A delegation from the Sierra Leone's Women's Forum (SLWF) led by SLWF President Maude Peacock will accompany Dr. Sylvia Blyden, Sierra Leone minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children Affairs, to Kissi Teng. "Kissi Teng chiefdom otherwise called ‘Kissi in the middle’ bulges into Guinea at Yenga on the stretches of the Makona River basin, and emerges at Beldu, a hamlet in Sierra Leone, and on the Liberian border near the Mendekorma customs in Liberia," says Michael Faya, a writer who is a native of the area. Female musician Lynda Samai a.k.a. Star Zee will per