From the Editor’s Keyboard

Happy Anniversary, Salone!

By  | 28 April 2011 at 02:28 | 379 views

As we Sierra Leoneans celebrate our country’s independence from Great Britain today, April 27th (Canadian time), we should never make the mistake of thinking Sierra Leone is 50 years old. That’s rubbish; Sierra Leone is billions of years old, as old as the earth.

What we are celebrating is the fact that we are a sovereign nation with a head of state that is a SIERRA LEONEAN, not Queen Elizabeth in far away Britain. We are however only politically free, not economically free (we are getting there).

As we celebrate this day, we should never forget our past leaders, pre-colonial and post-colonial who had helped to shape what is today known as Sierra Leone although the name itself is derived from the Portuguese language after the country was allegedly "discovered" by a Portuguese adventurer called Pedro da Cintra in 1462. Of course this discovery story is nonsense because most of our people don’t even know who da Cintra was and don’t want to know. But the name has stuck; I say we should get rid of it some day and give the country a real African name. Many other Sierra Leoneans have called for this. President Koroma should therefore consider changing the name of our country as part of his (our) Agenda for Change.

Independence has not done much for us, to be honest, but at least we are free. Many people in other continents have lost their lands and identities to outsiders through the barrel of the gun and other means. We may be poor in Africa but our lands still belong to us and we can still kick out foreign undesirables from our countries when and if necessary. That’s huge power, as any African who has lived outside the continent can testify or affirm.

As we celebrate, let’s think of King Nemgbana (Gbanabome) of what is now known as Freetown, the great Bai Bureh of Kasseh (our country’s first national revolutionary), Chief Kailondo of Kailahun, Nyagua of Panguma, Ndawa the Mende warrior, Madam Yoko of Senehun, Gbanka of Yonibana, Foamansa Matturi of Kono, Sir Samuel Lewis, ITA Wallace Johnson, Sir Milton Margai and his brother Sir Albert, Dr. Siaka Probyn Stevens, Dr. John Karefa-Smart and so on. Let us hail them for the good things they had done for our country and forgive them for any foibles, for they were just humans, players on the stage of life.

I would end with this wonderful video, courtesy of Sajen Production, that depicts young singers (the future Sierra Leone) celebrating, praying and expressing love for their country: