Celebrating a new Sierra Leone
Hip, Hip, Hip, Hurray! Sierra Leone as a nation is 50 years old today. I wasn’t around when Sierra Leone got her independence from Great Britain in April 1961; however, my parents recounted their memories of Independence. It was such a blissful moment! My Dad’s face will brighten up the living room as he licks his lips to enlighten us about the single event which changed the sovereign landscape of Sierra Leone. Various tribes that make up Sierra Leone rattled out their drums and their sets and celebrated the occasion in glitzy and flamboyant style. Like the distant sun, hope was on the horizon.
On April 27th, 1961 a new nation was born at the stroke of midnight, when it’s green, white and blue flag was unfurled. A huge crowd gathered at Brookfields play ground to watch the historic moment that broke into tumultuous cheering as the Duke of Kent handed the royal instruments recognizing Sierra Leone as an independent nation.
In his Independence speech, Sir Milton Margai, as recounted by one of Sierra Leone’s finest Historian and humanitarians, Dr. Alusine Jalloh, a unique template was designed for the socio-economic development of Sierra Leone. A blue print, if followed, would have taken this nation to a higher height. Alas, Sir Milton’s dream never materialized and the nation that had huge potential began to disintegrate!
Sierra Leone at 50
Well, fifty years after, some around me feel there is no reason to celebrate. They proffer the question: To celebrate what? But I beg to differ. Those who ridicule Sierra Leone, are failing to realize that the country did not destroy herself. She met her unscrupulously destruction at the hands of ruthless stewards. I believe in the lyrics of the old church folks which said that we should count our blessings and name them one by one. It will indeed surprise us at what the Lord has done. Does Sierra Leone have problems? Absolutely, yes! Is the nation at the point where it ought to be after 50 years of independence? Maybe not! But we must not only take account of the problems and crises that have almost destroyed us as a nation, we should at least appreciate the mercies of God that we have enjoyed time and time again.
I know that Sierra Leone as a nation has a mountain full of what looks like insurmountable challenges and some of them are quite understandable. However, by reasoning of the fact that the Nation is still existing despite all the damage done to her socially, politically and economically by the black sheep among us is enough for us to thank God. We still keep it real and hope for a brighter day.
It is only in Sierra Leone that we can claim to be a citizen without paper. This is our home and the home of our children – the land that we love, our Sierra Leone. In every other place we go, we are still strangers irrespective of how well we behave and what our status might have changed into. So I am still proud to be a Sierra Leonean. I am grateful to God Almighty who has sustained the fragile peace existing in this nation and has not allowed us to experience another Foday Sankoh styled civil war.
Sierra Leone will rise again!
Behind every dark cloud, there is a silver lining in the sky. While others are expecting Armageddon in Sierra Leone, I choose to join those praying for the success of this nation. I believe that Sierra Leone will rise again. I believe that the broken walls of relationship between the various tribes, regions and political parties will be rebuilt. We will co-exist in unity under God fearing leaders who are ready to serve.
I believe that the Lord our God will smile on us again and give us patriotic leaders who are ready to rebuild the ruins of our social infrastructures. Sierra Leone shall rise again. If you believe Sierra Leone shall rise again, join me and my family as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Sierra Leone’s independence and a new Sierra Leone. Cheers!
By Christian Foday Sesay Jr. Texas News Correspondent
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