The National Vision for Sierra Leone
“…The war is gone, forever, I hope and pray…As for me, the most important thing is that I don’t want to witness another war in my beloved country. I am tired of war and its consequences…
..I want to see a Sierra Leone in which my people come together purposefully in pursuit of a different kind of national reconciliation. I want to see meaning given to that so-called spirit of love, unity and patriotism that is supposed to keep us together as one people and one country.
..I want to see a Sierra Leone that is free of the broken bottles that cut us into pieces. Broken bottles like tribalism, nepotism, favoritism, sectionalism …
..I picture myself traveling between Sierra Leone’s towns and villages on roads that are free of pot holes. I picture myself walking through streets free of swarming dust and overflowing rubbish containers. I want to be free to fill my cup with taps that are running with safe drinking water; free to go out in the evenings under the light of functioning street lamps; free to make use of a power supply that runs for twenty-four hours a day.
.. I dream of Sierra Leone that will be worthy of the title of the ‘Athens of West Africa’; a land flowing with milk and honey, not one obsessed with silk and money; a promised land and a land of promise, where people will come running to seek pastures greener, instead of running away from our rotten infrastructure…
…I feel that we will never make progress if we don’t put our petty differences aside and work as one. Let’s stop talking about it and start acting on it; if we want to make headway, we need to put our heads together. We must always remember that no man is an island. We need each other in this transient world; we don’t need to become engrossed in mere trivialities…”
-from “My National Vision for Sierra Leone”, Chinsia E. Caesar
“I wish for the day when politicians are inducted into politics not for self-aggrandizement and self-assertion, but for genuine patriotic intentions geared towards nation-building. I look forward to a society where freedom of association, speech and movement are amplified so that government is kept on its guard and compelled to be responsible”.
-from essay by Sahr Egbinda Juana
I saw the atrocities in Sierra Leone
Yes I saw
I saw the people running for their lives from cities to towns,
towns to villages, villages to the bush
Yes I saw
I saw rebels, Sierra Leone Army and Kamajors shooting in the streets, killing, attacking and looting
Yes I saw
I saw children crying for food
Yes I saw
I saw abomination between man and woman, man and man, woman and woman, adults and children
Yes I saw
I saw a victim helping a victim
Yes I saw
I saw the United Nations peace keeping forces and I was happy
Yes I saw
I saw the rebels coming home for peace
Yes I saw
I pray never to see again what I saw in my beloved Sierra Leone.
With the past we know the present and combined we make the future
Now is the time to move forward ever but only with oneness
Our mistakes have opened the doors of discoveries and our discoveries must lead to recoveries.
-from “My Sierra Leone”, Revolutionary United Front prisoners, Pademba Road Prison, Freetown, Sierra Leone
“The journey of one hundred years begins with a step. Our beloved country has been moving along the road to total liberation from the colonial days. Many chances had come and slipped by us without achieving the desired liberation...
Unity, Freedom and Justice are our motto. The national colors are green, white and blue showing natural vegetation, peace and the rich sea and terrestrial resources of the state of Sierra Leone. It is however lamenting to state that since independence there has been no peace and justice, nor freedom in this country. The absence of the above has kept Sierra Leone disunited. The absence of unity is clearly the absence of love. We do not have love for our native homeland Sierra Leone because we do not have love for one another.
No one is ready to make a national sacrifice. ..(Our) history of greed and selfishness culminated into the unpatriotic and non-commitment of most Sierra Leoneans…. Citizens cannot talk of their rights when the economy is exploited to the advantage of a privileged few. Some people say that the Sierra Leone war was a war of ten years, but in actual fact, the war is still going on because the solutions to the problems have not been addressed…”
-from “Let us Come Together with Love to Solve the Problems of Sierra Leone”, Revolutionary United Front of Sierra Leone prisoners at Pademba Road Prison, Freetown, Sierra Leone
On My Rebirth
Paul James Allen
On my rebirth
I will bounce from the earth
As though I have never suffered death
I will crush that which killed me
Forgive those that made that which took me to my grave
And remember what they did to me for life
And remind my offspring to keep a stick behind their doors to stop another
In the new years to come
We would strive to live side-by-side in our rebirth
Jumping in the glowing sun, seeing the seas from the hill tops
from behind the palm trees
Saying “Kunafo burma” – Never again.
Emmanuel Bryma Momoh
I heard the cry of 'Salone pikin' being conscripted
'Salone pikin' raped, killed
Were they not forced to drink in human skulls?
Oh 'Salone Pikin'
Where is your future?
Now I can see the future clearly
'Salone pikin disarmed
'Salone pikin' now a doctor
'Salone pikin' save lives
*Krio for Children of Sierra Leone
…I would like to live in an open society where access to information could be seen as the bedrock of our democracy; therefore information is given out when it is requested from whosoever.
MY SUGGESTIONS AS TO HOW TO MAKE SIERRA LEONE A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE IN
1. Decentralize the machinery of government so that ordinary people can see and understand decision-making processes that affect them.
2. Concentrate on agricultural production, putting to good use the many fertile fields of our Provinces.
3. Develop the touristic potential of our country and make Sierra Leone a place that everyone wants to visit.
4. Create a more welcoming environment for the Lebanese community to live in, especially so that they could feel a sense of belonging and would not have to be so worried about taking their resources out of the country.
MY DESCRIPTION OF WHERE I WOULD LIKE TO SEE SIERRA LEONE IN 5 OR 10 YEARS
1. In the next five to ten years I would like to see Sierra Leone get rid from our political scene those same old recycled politicians who have occupied the seats of national power since independence…New, energetic, progressive leaders should be our priority in the next five to ten years.
2. I would like see my fellow Sierra Leoneans who have gone abroad running to come back home rather than running away to seek asylum or stay as illegal immigrants in other parts of the world.
3. I would like to see any Sierra Leonean just as happy to stay in Pujehun or Koinadugu or Kailahun and getting the same social amenities as he or she would get in Freetown.
-from “My Vision for Sierra Leone”, Paul James Allen
…Now is the time to make Sierra Leone By burying the hatchet and letting sleeping dogs lie Forget all bitter thoughts And put your pains to gain Because none is free from blame Then and only then you will make Sierra Leone…
-from “Who will make Sierra Leone?”, Pademba Road Prisoners
Ex-combatants: …We are not here to defend our actions but to ask for forgiveness and that you accept us again as your children. This time around we are ready to build our land.
Chief: People of this land are you ready to accept their apology.
Crowd: A child cannot be thrown into a house on fire because he set that house on fire. They are our brothers and sisters and we accept their apology.
Chief: The land is yours, the people are your people and let us all work as one towards the development of Terpama.
-from “Reconciliation – The Way Out”, Ernest and Julius Mannah
“Sierra Leone must be seen to be holding free and fair and free from fear elections. There must be an atmosphere of tolerance. The will of the electorate must be respected. No more one party system. The opposition should no longer be intimidated. The constitution of Sierra Leone must be respected. The judges and magistrates must respect the laws and not be supportive of any political party. That the law of the land must be like death that spares no one. All Sierra Leoneans must be equal before the law. And the laws this time must be like a cloth, it must be made to fit the people that it is meant to serve. No more manipulation of the constitution to suit the Government of the day.”
-from “My Vision, Hope and Aspiration for Sierra Leone”, Augustine Lavai Tiva Bundu
“We built this boat as an inspiration to young people to develop themselves. This is to let the people of Sierra Leone know that they as carpenters can do something to develop Sierra Leone.”
-commentary on their submission, The Future Boat, Ibrahim Bangura and Tejan Suma
An honest leader is the pride of the nation.
Our survival lies in our hands.
The dreams of the future are better than the ugly history of the past.
Our women have ‘the mother spirit’ which they use to our way to better lives.
-from “Slogans for the National Vision”, Alex Bobor Kamara
“The kind of society our organization would like to see the citizens of Sierra Leone live in, is where someone is somebody and no one is nobody, where every individual is respected”.
-from “Youth Movement for Peace and People’s Rights Contribution for the National Vision for Sierra Leone”, Wurie Mamadu Tamba Barrie
“…The inspiration is let sprint, if we can’t sprint, let run, if we can’t run, let walk, if we also can’t walk, then let crawl, but in any way possible, let keep on moving…”
-from the written submission of Wurrie Mamadu Tamba Barrie