Salone News

Freetown: Update from mayoral candidate Yvonne Aki-Sawyer

24 February 2018 at 17:54 | 2404 views

Update from the Campaign Trail -Part 1

By Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, mayoral candidate, Freetown

Hello again Freetonians,

Wednesday 14th February marked a milestone in the campaign as the three week countdown to the elections started on that day. I am quite excited to bring you this two part update from the campaign trail, which is my second update since NEC officially declared campaigning open.

My day started with a public lecture at IAMTECH, a University in the East of Freetown. There was a great turnout and I had the honor of speaking to about 300 students on the topic, "The Future of Freetown". I used the opportunity to share a quote that I have come to love and appreciate as I continue on this journey:

_"A city is not gauged by its length and width, but by the broadness of its vision and the height of its dreams"_ - Herb Caen

I used this as the basis to share my dreams about the future of Freetown with the students. Beyond that, I articulated my hope that as Freetonians, together we will determine the kind of Freetown that we want to have, as well as accept each of our individual responsibilities within that.

However, I wanted to hear from the audience as they have a huge stake in Freetown’s future. So I asked what they saw as priorities. Unsurprisingly, feedback included waste management, water, street markets, mechanic garages, drug abuse and sales. As a Freetonian, these are issues that affect all of us. It gave me an opportunity to touch on my ideas for dealing with these issues. These solutions such as facilitating sustainable job creation through enterprise development or the implementation of a comprehensive end to end waste management strategy as clearly highlighted in our vision statement.

After asking the audience how they disposed of their last empty water sachet what followed was silence, followed by a bit of laughter as many realized that they didn’t dispose in a responsible manner.

This underpins my belief that as Freetonians we all have accept our individual responsibilities to ensure that the dreams we have for a transformed Freetown become a reality. A transformed Freetown can only be achieved through transformed Freetonians.