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Outspoken St. Augustine boy impresses Hon. Dr. Sho-Sawyer

Outspoken St. Augustine boy impresses Hon. Dr. Sho-Sawyer

 ‘He has the potential to become a future leader of this country!’

Nine year-old Solomon Lewis apparently moved everyone at the crammed Brigade Battle School (BBS) hall last Sunday when he was introducing a skit on education by his school, but it seemed newly-elected Member of Parliament, Hon. Dr. Michel Sho-Sawyer was the one most touched by the confidence and brilliance of the Class III pupil. (Photo: FUTURE LEADER: Hon. Dr. Sho-Sawyer assures Solomon of all the support)

“In such a remote area, you naturally will not expect much from these pupils. But he (Solomon) actually caught everyone by surprise. He was confident and smart, and you can see the potential in him,” said Hon. Dr. Sho-Sawyer.

The occasion was the Day of the African Child, June 16th 2013, in Gondama, Tikonko Chiefdom, Bo District, Southern Province, at the BBS, where AWOL held its annual feeding and awards programme for school children this year.

In his introduction of a skit by his school, St. Augustine Services Primary, Solomon began by boldly asking his huge audience, comprising of his colleague pupils from various schools, teachers, parents and local authorities: “Who is responsible for the decline of education in Sierra Leone?” Without waiting for answers from the expectant audience, he went on: “Is it the government? Is it the teachers? Is it the parents? Is it the pupils?”

His questions set the stage for a skit that would expose the underlying factors that are contributing to the decline of education in the country- corruption in the form of teachers forcing pupils to buy pamphlets, teachers trading grades for sex, bribing of Inspectors, ghost teachers, child labour, etc. and the subsequent effect on the pupils- dropping out of school, teenage pregnancy, drug abuse, lack of respect for elders and authority, and pupils becoming liabilities to their communities and society at large.

At the end of the programme Hon. Dr. Sho-Sawyer summoned Solomon to the stage and announced that he would responsible for the boy’s primary and secondary education to wide applause from the audience.

Solomon Lewis lives with his mother, Kayma Lewis. He is the second of three children: Joseph, 14 and Alice 5. Their father, a soldier of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces, died when Solomon was three years old.

“There’s no family support, only me,” said their mother Kayma. “I thank God for this; God is really great! I will pray for the Honourable and God will bless him and his children.”

Solomon too cannot believe his luck to have being chosen among hundreds of his colleagues.

“I am very happy and I thank God for this wonderful opportunity,” he said. “We came here this morning without expecting something like this. Thank you very much Hon. Dr. Sho-Sawyer.”

Acting Head Teacher of St. Augustine Services Primary School, Morrison Sagba, described Solomon as a star in his class and promised to personally monitor and guide his progress.

Meanwhile, Solomon promised to continue to be hard working in school and hopes to become a lawyer one day. However, Hon. Dr. Sho-Sawyer challenged him to become a Honourable Member of Parliament and fight hard to bring development to his people in Gondama.

“I want you take advantage of this opportunity,” he inspired Solomon. “You have the potential to become a future leader of this country.”

Hon. Dr. Michel Sho-Sawyer, who is one of the youngest MPs in the current Parliament, and representing Constituency 108 (Ward 381, 382 and 383) was among ten members that recently joined AWOL.

By Ahmed Sahid Nasralla (De Monk)

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