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Showing posts from March, 2014

New Paramount Chiefs Welcomed into Local Government

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WIMSAL | Women and the Business of News

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To close out Women's History Month on Sewa News,  Mariama Kandeh and Rachel Horner bring us news and notes on women in Sierra Leone's media landscape,  their challenges, influence and representation.


In the days following the transition from Harmattan to mid dry season, Jane (not her real name) got caught up in a dialogue. She was searching for answers in her lonely room packed with junk clothes and shoes from Malamah Thomas Street. Her salary is not good enough to buy new, ready-made clothing.
“Journalism is a man’s job. Aren’t you tired of all the harassment, bullying, and the pull-her-down syndrome that has marred the profession for a number of your colleague female journalists?” Jane thought. Telling herself all the reasons why she did not belong.

“Maybe I should have gone into public relations,” she said. “It makes good money, which I will never find in this field.Maybe this is not my calling,” she lamented as she walked up and down her sparse room, kicking the only chair…

Each One, Teach One | Where I Live and Work

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Sonnah Kakata turned 55 yesterday and the purpose-driven Sierra Leonean entrepreneur chose to pause long enough to celebrate on Facebook.
Two years ago, Sonnah and her cousin started a nursery—a small preschool offering education to kids aged 3-5 before  compulsory, universal primary school—in the bustling east of Freetown. Like many a small business in Sierra Leone, Sonnah and her cousin have climbed up by their boot straps without any bank loans or angel funding.

“I do everything pertaining the school without sponsorship,” she in-boxed. “It's not easy.”

As far as Sonnah knows the Fisher Street-Big Wharf community has never had a nursery or a kindergarten.

“If revolutionary change in the past few years has propelled Sierra Leone onto the prosperity highway, then the citizens who live in the historic coves that ring Freetown were left in the dust,” writes Hadi Bah in Sierra Leone 365. “Like their counterparts in the epic slums of Nairobi, Mumbai or Port au Prince the residents…

Sierra Leone's Ahmad Tejan-Kabbah Is Laid to Rest

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Thousands of people lined the streets of Freetown Sunday, March 23, 2014, as a military honor guard marched with the body of Ahmad Tejan-Kabbah, former president and commander in chief of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces, on a gun carriage to his final resting place at Kissy Road cemetery in the east of Sierra Leone’s capital city. The burial brought to an end more than a week of national mourning. Alhaji Kabbah died on March 13 aged 82.
Since the former president passed away at his home on Juba Hill after several months of ill health, commemoration of Kabbah’s service to the nation began with flags flying at half-mast from Friday, March 14 through Thursday, March 20.

On Friday, March 21, the coffin of the former commander in chief was taken on a gun carriage to the Parliament Building at Tower Hill.

Hundreds paid their last respects to the former president as he lay in state in the hall of Parliament. His widow, Mrs. Isata Kabbah, and President Koroma were present for the fi…

Making the Perfect Pitch

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The wake of recent troubles at Battery Street are over and this week’s news promises to put a smile on the face of football. On Tuesday, March 18, the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) signed an agreement to replace the natural turf at the Siaka Stevens National Stadium with an artificial one.

“It’d make for a better quality of games,” football association documents state. “For men and women, Premier League and First Division clubs, and the government of Sierra Leone." According to the FA, the estimated $600,000 project aims to increase the quality of football played, meet the standard quality for turf in games, and open up the stadium to more activities and teams, including young people and schools.

The Ministry of Employment, Youth and Sports will lease the pitch to the SLFA for 20 years, and the lease will require the football association to pay ground rent as agreed upon. The FA will be responsible for day-to-day operations, expenses, and costs for maintenance and r…

State Funeral for Sierra Leone's Fourth President

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On Thursday, March 13, 2014, Alhaji Ahmad Tejan-Kabbah, wartime President of Sierra Leone, died after having suffered health complications for several months.  He was 82.
To honor the late leader, President Ernest Bai Koroma declared seven days of national mourning. Flags flew at half-mast from Friday, March 14 to Thursday, March 20, across Sierra Leone.

On Friday, March 21, Kabbah's casket was transported by soldiers of the Republic of Sierra Leone Military Forces to Tower Hill for an ecumenical service, public viewing and tributes at the House of Parliament, where the former president and commander in chief of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces will lie in state for two days.


A state funeral service will be conducted at a central mosque in Freetown on Sunday, March 23, the day when the first shots were fired in 1991 triggering a decade long war. Alhaji Kabbah will be interred at Kissy Road.





President Ernest Bai Koroma described the late President Ahmad Tejan-Kabbah as…

A Global Citizen Raises Her Voice for Change

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Janice Kaday Williams is one of over 18 million immigrant women living in the United States. Her courage, strength and love for building communities across the world are just as vital as any third culture kid, growing up among worlds.

Janice was born in Kamakwei, a small town in northern Sierra Leone Still a toddler when the first shot was fired in Sierra Leone’s decade long war, her small town--about 90 miles from the capital and twenty-five miles from the Guinean border--was to see much destruction before the horrors came to an end. By 1996, previously untouched areas of the country came under heavy fighting. In one notorious attack, Kamakwei reportedly saw sixty houses burned down leaving scores of people dead and dying on the street. Although Janice had left Kamakwei for primary school in Freetown, the nation's capital, she was still at the front line.

“I left Sierra Leone at almost eleven years of age, when the war was going on," she recalled. "I lived in Yangon, …

Football's Fambul Tok

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Political action finally broke the impasse between Sierra Leone Football Association President Isha Johansen and the former national football team captain, Mohamed Kallon, when the two high-profile adversaries sat down in a meeting Friday called by Ministry of Political and Public Affairs at the old government building called Youyi (means friendship in Chinese). After the talks, Johansen and Kallon agreed to work together in the interest of football and stay off legal action.
Kallon had filed assault charges against Johansen at Adelaide Street Police Station following an incident on Thursday, March 6, at the Sierra Leone Football Association Academy in Kingtom, after an FA Cup game involving Kallon's team, Kallon FC Junior.

The same day, Johansen also filed charges against Kallon at the headquarters of the Operation Support Division of the Sierra Leone Police at Brookfield, Freetown. Few days later, Kallon was detained by the police for about seven hours for questioning and rele…

Ahmad Tejan-Kabbah is Dead: Sierra Leone mourns

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Sierra Leoneans around the world are mourning their former president, Ahmad Tejan-Kabbah, who died on Thursday, March 13, 2014.Kabbah marked his 82nd birthday on February 16. Family sources say he passed away peacefully after a long illness at 4p.m  in Freetown with family members at his side.
To honor the late leader, President Ernest Koroma has declared a week of mourning. Flags will fly at half-mast from Friday, March 14 to Thursday, March 20, 2014, the State House press release said.

An ethnic Mandingo, Kabbah was born in Mobai, Kailahun District in eastern Sierra Leone, though he was largely raised in the capital Freetown.

Kabbah was an economist and attorney.He retired from the United Nations in the early 1990s after spending many years working for the UN Development Program. He returned to Sierra Leone in 1992.

In early 1996, Kabbah was elected leader of the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) and the party's presidential candidate in the 1996 presidential election. He…