Celebrating a new Sierra Leone
Most Sierra Leoneans are yet to discern the new slogan attached to this country’s golden jubilee, marking her 50th independence anniversary. It is simply thus: ‘Celebrating a New Sierra Leone’.
Many would be obliged to ask ‘what is new in the ‘new’ Sierra Leone?’
For us at Sierra Express Media, there isn’t much that is new, nothing much tangible about the newness of Sierra Leone that would be worth celebrating during our golden jubilee.
We would have given a pass mark for electricity as a positive indicator of some infrastructural newness, given the massive expectation of a people who for decades lost their dreams of a brighter future in the thick of darkness; we could have lauded the effort even if it were just few hours of electricity a day in the midst of the prevailing hard times; but the story is a sad one.
In the same vein, we could have given a nod to our new health care initiative or our ambitious agricultural programmes, but the under age children and pregnant mothers are still dying for lack of drugs and proper attention, not to mention the hunger and starvation visiting most homes on the eve of our golden jubilee.
We would have been happy celebrating a ‘new’ Sierra Leone if the standard of living of ordinary Sierra Leoneans was something to write home about.
We would have been a lot better celebrating a ‘new’ Sierra Leone if our people have had free access to pure drinking water, but the water crisis, particularly in the capital leaves many Sierra Leoneans cynical about celebrating a new Sierra Leone.
However, in spite of the many inadequacies we are forced to cope with, Sierra Leoneans have one thing in common: love for their country.
Few will argue against this fact and would rather point to the unpatriotic nature of some Sierra Leoneans, especially those engaged in corrupt practices for their selfish designs.
But by and large, Sierra Leoneans generally have pride; have hope for their land of birth. This has been amply demonstrated during the period leading to the 50th independence anniversary: the green, white and blue colours on every shoulder, in every street corner, on every apparel, with the young or old, high or low, all contributing in one way or the other, all clamouring for attention is too fantastic!
They might be poor or illiterate but they too have a stake and the gusto at which they are poised to celebrate a new beginning of a new generation is beyond the imagination.
Indeed, we are about to witness the dawn of a new Sierra Leone!
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