6 reasons Why the Name Sierra Leone must be changed:
1) The name, Sierra Leone which is derived from the Portuguese language, Sierra Luoa, is fake and has nothing to do with our history and does not represent any aspect of our culture. It means in Portuguese lion mountains, as it was fictitiously perceived by Pedro Di Cintra, the Portuguese navigator proclaimed to have discovered the country though he found a large number of indigenous people on the ground. There were no lions and there are no lions up till this day.
2) The imposition of this dubious and erroneous name by a foreign power is an affront to our sovereignty and collective intelligence as a nation.
3) The name is too long and too hard to be pronounced by more than 90% of Sierra Leoneans. In the south, it is pronounced “saalon”, in the north, shierra leone” and in the Western Area “sarrha leone”. Our Guinean neighbours pronounce it “sarra lon”.
4) The name of the country has become synonymous with under-development, backwardness, poverty, misery, brutality, rebel wars, corruption, disease, primitivism, witchcraft, bad heart, chronic bad luck and a host of other Stone Age practices.
5) Countries that suffered from similar fates in Africa have replaced imperialist/colonial names to portray their African values. The examples are numerous but let’s just take a few of them: The Goal Coast took back its original of Ghana. Upper Volta changed to Burkina Faso. Tanganyika changed to Tanzania. Rhodesia changed to Zimbabwe. From Abyssinia to Ethiopia. The Congo changed to Zaire and then back to the Congo etc. So, why not Sierra Leone whose name is suggestive of prejudice and suspicion?
6) Because the name of the country and its capital are both fake, every other thing in the country is fake. Tell me of any single government policy that has not turned out to be fake. Agenda for prosperity= fake; agenda for food security= fake; agenda for attitudinal change= fake; agenda for green revolution=fake; agenda for the Lungi bridge=fake; agenda for the reintroduction of the railway= fake, agenda for Bumbuna Hydro electricity-fake. We have failed in every human endeavour.
I would like to suggest a name from one of our indigenous languages to that will be easy to pronounce by everybody and that also reflects our wishes and aspirations.
After a deep reflection, I would like to suggest the following name for the attention of our MPs: Masiandeland. Masiande pronounced ma-sian-de is a Limba word which means help one another. So, Masiandeland means the land of generous people. The land of each other’s keeper. Freetown can also be replaced with the name Masiandeville. The people can be called Masiandes.
I also believe that the national currency is a national disgrace and must be replaced. The quality and value of the notes are nothing to write home about. We print the most deplorable notes as if we have been destined for doom.
Readers may want to come up with their own suggestions.
By Atomic Pen
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