Showing posts from 2021

Reflections on 1961: The Year of Sierra Leone's Independence

On April 27, 1961, Milton Margai led Sierra Leone to flag independence from Great Britain and became the country's first Prime Minister. Sierra Leone retained its membership of the Commonwealth of Nations. In the archive photo, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, are pictured with  Milton Margai at one of the nationwide events held during their visit to Sierra Leone in 1961.  The Queen and her husband, Prince Philip, visited Sierra Leone on the royal yacht Britannia from November 25 to December 1, 1961. Absent from the ceremonies was the leader of the main opposition All People's Congress (APC), Siaka Stevens, along with Isaac Wallace-Johnson, another outspoken critic of the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) government. They were arrested and placed under house arrest in Freetown, along with sixteen others charged with disrupting the independence celebration.

Central govt. says forget good governance. Embattled Freetown mayor says no to harassment

Almost three years ago,  Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr announced on Facebook that she was back on her feet, buoyed by the support and good wishes from Freetonians, family, and friends. Standing shoulder to shoulder with her in the photo were Umaru Koroma, national secretary-general of the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) (left) and then Minister of Political and Public Affairs Foday Yumkella, brother of the 2018 National Grand Coalition presidential nominee, Kandeh Yumkella. The same week, Aki-Sawyerr had been assaulted outside SLPP's headquarters. Responding to the outrage after the attack, the national secretariat of the SLPP issued a statement condemning the assault and denied its party members were involved. "We shall never be a party to any ploy to derail the effective operations of the office of the Mayor of Freetown, or any other person of authority," the statement said.   Almost three years to the day, the mayor was reportedly shaken after a mugging by knife-wiel

COVID-19 vaccination rollout begins in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's Ministry of Health and Sanitation has issued a public notice about its COVID-19 vaccination drive. According to the notice, the first phase began on Monday, March  22, and will continue through Wednesday, March 31. Target beneficiaries are below: Health care workers (Public & Private) Every Health care worker irrespective of age. Military Officers Age 40 years and above Police Officers Age 40 years and above Fire Force Officers Age 40 years and above Prison Officers Age 40 years and above Teachers (Public & Private) Age 40 years and above Lecturers and Instructors (Public & Private) Age 40 years and above Social Workers Age 40 years and above Custom & Immigration Officers Age 40 years and above General Public Age 70 years and above The following health facilities have been designated as vaccination sites:  BOMBALI  Makeni Gov’t Hospital  Kamabai CHC KONO  Koidu Gov’t Hospital  UMC Jiama Sewafe MOYAMBA  Moyamba Gov’t Hospital  Njala University BO

Where Were You When Sierra Leone Switched to Right-hand Traffic?

Photo courtesy of #SaloneTwitter  

Football leaders condemn violence in Sierra Leone

The Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) has issued a strongly-worded statement condemning violence, abuse, discrimination, and intimidation in football and the West African nation. The letter signed by SLFA President, Isha Johansen (standing left in this archive photo), said that what was expected to be a 'healthy campaign atmosphere' quickly degenerated into an ugly, almost fatal scene. Johansen apologized to Victor Lewis and wished the football veteran a speedy recovery.  Lewis has served as chairman of the Sierra Leone Premier League Board.  Rodney Michael (photographed with Johansen in happier times) also posted a rebuttal to a listserv, known for its controversial online activity.  On the platform, Michael said Mohamed Kallon,  who is considered the most famous footballer from Sierra Leone in some quarters, was not his supporter as reported by Mohamed Kamara of Sierra Leone Football News . "He  (Kallon) may be my friend and hero, but he is a Presidential candidat

Man Arrested for 'Brutal' Stabbing in Sierra Leone Football Association building

Days after human rights activists held vigils to commemorate the victims of acts of violence on January 6, 1999, the owner of Freetown's East End Tigers football club Victor Lewis is reportedly fighting for his life after being stabbed in the neck. According to Mohamed Kamara of Sierra Leone Football News , Lewis was attacked during a brawl that took place inside the football headquarters of the Sierra Leone Football Association. It is not known whether Isha Tejan-Cole Johansen, the current president of the Sierra Leone Football Association, was in the building. The football association is yet to make a statement. Kamara said witnesses taking part in the elective nominations at the football headquarters blame former Inter Milan striker Mohammed Kallon, lawyer Emmanuel Abdulai Saffa, and Rodney Michael, the brother of the Mercury betting company manager, for instigating the stabbing.  Apparently, the fight started when Lewis, chief executive officer of East End Lions, a premier foot