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Siaka Kroma’s New Novel: Gomna’s Children

By  | 11 September 2010 at 02:51 | 939 views

Gomna’s Children is a story set in colonial Sierra Leone written by Dr. Siaka Kroma, a Sierra Leonean and former lecturer at Njala University College. It was published by IPI Integrity Publishers Inc. August this year.

If you take a walk through this novel, you will quickly realize that the author, Siaka Koroma, creates a mental picture of the history of Sierra Leone through the eyes of Gomna and his children.

When the Paramount Chief of Yawei orders each of the chiefs in his chiefdom to send their children to school for ‘formal education’, Gomna as chief of Mano, a small town in Sierra Leone’s hinterland, reluctantly obeys these orders and this transforms his life and that of his family forever.

Siaka Kroma was born in Sierra Leone, West Africa. He was educated in Sierra Leone, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States of America. He taught in secondary schools and universities in Sierra Leone and the United States till retirement. He currently lives in Nairobi, Kenya, and travels regularly to Sierra Leone and the United States of America. He is married with four children.

During a personal encounter with Dr. Kroma at his Nairobi residence, he maintained that the importance of education is quite clear noting that education is the ability of putting our potentials to maximum use.

‘We can safely say that a human being is not in the proper sense a human being till he or she is educated," he added.

The importance of education, he explained, is basically the training of the human mind on how to think and how to make decisions and only through the attainment of education would man be enabled to receive information from the external world; to acquaint himself with past history and receive all necessary information regarding the present. Without education, man is as though in a closed room and with education he finds himself in a room with all its windows open towards the outside world Kroma said.

It is not clear how much this novel will cost in Sierra Leone but according to the price quotation by Amazon, the book sellers, the UK price is 9:50 (approximately USD14) and about Le. 42,000. Based on the economic situation in Sierra Loene, it is not however clear whether this price will be reduced so as to enhance more local readers of this novel.

I am of the opinion that if this novel can be made affordable in Sierra Leone, then it is a very good novel to be in the Literature curriculum at upper secondary and college level in Sierra Leone.

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