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Sierra Leone Students in China Celebrated Independence Day in grand style!

Sierra Leone Students in China Celebrated Independence Day in grand style!

Sierra Leone students in Jilin and Shenyang have added another feather of pride to the image of our Country, Sierra Leone during the 49th independence celebration in the city of Changchun. The two cities are hosting more than twenty Sierra Leonean students who came together to celebrate the day.

The theme of the celebration: “We are celebrating for a common reason” is deliberately chosen to emphasize the uniqueness of being together and united, and the strides we have made so far.

The Independence Anniversary has left a vivid and pleasant memory of Sierra Leone in the minds of foreign students and the Chinese in this part of China.  The independence celebration was given a wide publicity which encouraged multiple congratulatory messages from different foreign nationals and Chinese alike: with messages like; “well done”, “keep it up” “wish you success” and all the best wishes one can think of were showered on us and our country.

In his opening statement, the chairman of the programme who is also former president of the Sierra Leone Students Union in China, Alpheus Koroma thanked the almighty God for granting us students the opportunity to celebrate our country’s 49th independence in good health. He congratulated students for their loyalty for putting their resources and effort to mark the day in grand style. Alpheus Koroma emphasized the important ambassadorial role we are performing as students on behalf of our nation. He admonished students to continue to carry themselves and their academic activities responsibly.

Alphaeus Koroma ended his opening statement by thanking the government for creating conducive environment for investors and thereby creating jobs for not only graduating students who are returning back home but all Sierra Leoneans in the country.

The head of the visiting students from Shenyang, Brima Turay presented a positive picture of the country.

The 49th Independence Anniversary Celebration marks another milestone in the effort of Sierra Leones all over the world in rebranding the country’s image from its brutal civil war to its now peaceful and investment friendly atmosphere. Our war is what most foreign students can remember about our country. The event is used as a platform to narrate other pleasant stories and presented the other beautiful side of our nation.  The event was well attended with representatives from different countries.

The gathering sang Tell Papa God, Tenki

The gathering sang Tell Papa God, Tenki

“From the yokes of our colonial masters, Great Britain, rose an independent nation in the West African region on the 27th April 1961”, Adikali Hassan Kamara,  Vice President of the Sierra Leone Student Union in China, began his Independent message.  The message touched on the significance of the celebration, which he said is also an opportunity to outline the development prospects and rebranding the country’s image especially after our eleven year brutal war. He also emphasized on those things that can continue to cement our nation and not those that are keeping us apart as students and a nation. He called for students to be loyal and patriotic to our mother land. He also thanked the president H.E. Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma for launching a free healthcare service for pregnant women, lactating mothers and under five children as an independent gift to the nation.

Speeches were also delivered from representatives of our neighbouring countries; Liberia and Guinea. Representatives from both countries expressed their warm feelings about Sierra Leone and how the three countries of the Mano River Union need each other for their respective development and security.

Each candle was lit by foreign nationals from 49 countries residing in China

Each candle was lit by foreign nationals from 49 countries residing in China

The cutting of the cake climaxed the occasion. The independence cake which has a diamond shape and coloured in the country’s three national colours; Green White and Blue, portrays the rich treasures, peace and unity we are enjoying as a nation. There was a standing ovation when the independence cake was ushered into the hall, waving the green white and blue hand flags by Sierra Leoneans and invitees and dancing to the soft and melodious song “Tell Papa God Tenki”.  The cake was lit with forty-nine candles which represented forty nine years of independence. Each candle was lit by a foreign national from forty nine countries residing in China. The candle lighters were highly delighted and honoured to light the independence candles.

One of our upcoming international artists and also an intellectual, Mr. Alusine Yilla gave a live performance from one of his songs composed in China. The song moved the admiring attendants from their seats to the stage.  

The independence celebration ended with a city tour for the invitees from other cities. One of the places visited is the Changchun International Sculptures Park, one of the renowned sculptures park in China where our national flag is flying high with a Sierra Leonean made Sculpture, Shegbureh is right in the Heart of the Park.

Abu Bakarr Sesay, Public Relations Officer, Sierra Leone Student Union in the People’s Republic of China, Jilin University,  China

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