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Sierra Leone 49th Independence Anniversary: A Plea for Renewed Mindset

Sierra Leone 49th Independence Anniversary: A Plea for Renewed Mindset

As the nation celebrates her 49th independence anniversary, Sierra Leoneans both at home and the Diasporas should thank God for the trials, tribulations and multitude of blessings the country continues to experience. (Photo: Joseph Sherman, author)

I believe that as human beings, collectively and individually, we are at a juncture that offers tremendous opportunity despite the complexity and challenges we face.  Yet new manifestations of renewed mindset are required if we are to survive and develop as a nation.  The fundamental nature of who we are as Sierra Leoneans offers opportunity for expanding our realities, our identities and national views.

Unquestionably, there have been economic, political and social problems over the last four decades.  By and large, successive governments have not fulfilled basic human needs, human security and sustainable development.  It is clear that much more needs to be done if we are to achieve development and progress.

The key to every societal development is the mindset of the people who constitute it.  Our actions individually and collectively, have both short and long-term impact on our society.  Since we will not want to retrogress in development, our actions should be guided by a sense of responsibility, purpose and direction.

Although the government plays a crucial role in bringing about the changes we need, each of us will have to accept the responsibility for strengthening our communities.  We don’t need to rely wholly and solely on our political leaders or forget about our duties for the enhancement of the country because as citizens, we all have the responsibility to partake in the country’s development by taking individual responsibility for our actions.

Our politics in Sierra Leone has made us to believe that those who differ from us on certain issues are different from us; that our problems are the faults of those who don’t think like us or come from where we come from.  Consistently, our politics fuels and exploit this kind of division that has distracted us from the common challenges we face as a nation.  If we are to develop, we cannot afford to continue on this negative trend. 

It is time we rededicate ourselves to a new kind of politics.  A politics of individual responsibility of sisterhood, brotherhood, accountability and honesty.  We need to adopt an attitude that would put politicians on check, and understand that every action we take there is a corresponding result that would have a negative or positive impact on the nation.

Strengthening our civil society organizations is the best way to foster political process.  It is, no doubt, the most effective method to enhance political awareness and develop our political leadership.  A sound and fair civil society structure always poses threat to vicious interest of corrupt politicians and the redundant political system.  Sierra Leoneans lack of political awareness have caused our political backwardness because we have failed educationally to explore and understand the influences which can affect our lives and those of others.  In order to bring change and development, we need to have a new mindset, give people awareness about collective cause and collective thinking. 

The conscience of this nation cannot be at peace so long as we are not doing everything in our personal or collective power to solve our problems.  Politicians need to stop playing on the ignorance of the people especially the illiterates and start doing things that will lift the youths and the downtrodden out of despair.

Let us not be pessimistic or hopeless, let us come together and take step toward cultivating hope about a political system based on true democracy and having pluralism as its base.   We should learn from nations that have progressed through unity, purposefulness, commitment and optimism.  In everything we do; let us be guided by our conscience, culture, vision and the type of legacy we want to leave fro the next generation.  The time for a renewed mindset and responsibility is now.  May God bless Sierra Leone.

Joseph Seidu Sherman, Adjunct Professor, Montgomery College, MD, USA

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  • Foeday, thank you for exposing this brother.
    Joseph Sherman be like Dirty water, we all know Dirty water does not clean anything, so make keep quiet. If S/Leone know this Bo, they feel understand that he is a shame to SaLeone in and outside of our country.
    A cat may go to a monastery, but she still remains a cat!

    4th June 2010
  • SaLeone people be careful of brother, Joseph seidu Sherman. He is a crook, and looking for anyplace that is green to soak. He is irresponsible, and a liar. Let no one be fool by all this God, trials, tribulations, blessings he put on paper, because this brother is a fake.
    Shame on you Joseph Seidu Sherman. Where you dey from: SaLeone or Liberia. He go where something is- Liberia one day, SaLeone the next.

    18th May 2010

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