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Archive for May, 2010

Muslim Cleric Warns Sierra Leoneans in New Jersey

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Alhai Ibrahim Conteh, the Imam of the Dawal-Tul Muslim Jamaat of New Jersey , has warned residents of the Garden State against pagan practices which grieve the heart of God. The muslim cleric gave the warning during his sermon at the funeral service for the late Mohamed Unisa Kamara at the Andersen Funeral Home in New Brunswick, New Jersey last Sunday. Alhaji Ibrahim Conteh said that muslims who celebrate 40-day and one-year ceremonies for the dead were out of the will of God as these occasions are ordained neither by the Christian Bible nor by the Muslim Quoran. He admonished muslims to study the Quoran well so they can follow its teachings and precepts well.

The muslim scholar, teacher and preacher also delivered a strong warning to muslims who dabble in juju (Voodoo ) practices. He told them to refrain from the practice of going to sorcerers and marabout people to ask them to make charms for them. He declared to his rapt audience that wearing voodoo amulets (popularly known in the local parlance as “Sebbeh ” ) around the waist or hanging it on doors for God’s protection or blessings was not consistent with the teachings of Islam as all protection and blessings come from God.

Imam Ibrahim Conteh condemned beliefs that a “Sebbeh” could bring somebody blessings because if it was true the juju men would have been the first to be blessed.He said that the fact that  these marabout men are not blessed is  a demonstration of the fact that they too do not have the power to have anybody blessed. He drew laughter from the jampacked hall when he stated that some people even go to the voodoo men to be given magic pens to pass their examinations. He ridiculed the juju men that their children fail exams and asked his audience that if these marabout people had the power to make others excel in exams, won’t their children be the first to pass examinations ?

The muslim leader also warned New Jerseyans to avoid a lackadiasical attitude towards God. He warned that tomorrow is not promised anybody and that death can strike anybody at any time, regardless of age, social standing oe economic position. He therefore advised New Jerseys to draw near God by joining any of the muslim jamaats or, if they are christians , to align themselves with churches.

Alhaji Conteh also asked people to respect and love each other as they live in an interdependent world. He gave a graphic demonstration of man’s dependency on others. “When you are being born, you need somebody’s hand to hold on to  you to bring you into this world .When you die also, you need the hands of people to bury you . Therefore we must respect and love each other because we always need each other ,” he preached.

Alhaji Conteh also chastised muslims who do not seek to study the muslim prayers well to be able to recite them correctly in public. He warned that if a muslim was called upon to pray during a burial , for instance, he should understand well  the verses to recite because the angels  are there listening and they will not hear him if he blunders and recites the wrong verses. He said that was the reason that other learned muslims cut off such  a blundering muslim and finish the recitation for him the moment he begins to stumble.

Imam Conteh called on muslims to comport themselves well during burials. He admonished muslims to be in prayerful spirit and to refrain from worthless and unnecessary discussions  and noise at the cemeteries during burial ceremonies.

NEW JERSEY was the scene of three funerals and two memorial ceremonies over the weekend .Thousands of Sierra Leoneans travelled from far and wide to help New Jerseyans bury three of their compatriots who passed away recently. The deceased who were laid to rest at the weekend were Mrs.Hawa Bob-Grey , who was allegedly killed by her stepson; Mrs.Margaret Allman who died suddenly and Mr. Mohamed Unisa Kamara who passed away after a long illness. There were also memorial ceremonies for Mrs. Bintu Nabe -Conteh , who died last December  and the  late mother of Mr.Beddor Bangura.

In other developments, to prove that in the midst of death, there is life, there was also an outdooring ceremony in New Jersey at the weekend. Imam Ibrahim Conteh held a traditional “Pull-Nar -Doe ” (Outdooring ceremony ) for his grandson who was born last week. We will bring you the details.

© 2010, COCORIOKO. All rights reserved. – Discuss this and other related articles on the Salone Forum

One Response to “Muslim Cleric Warns Sierra Leoneans in New Jersey”

  1. Osman T. SesayJuly 18, 2010Edit

    I thanked our beloved immah for his wonderful sermon in this funeral. I think we can count Immah Conteh as one of the right muslim cleric that translated the words of God in the right way.Again I thanked Cleric Conteh for his wonderful guesture and the beautiful sermon on the funeral.My heart goes into deepest sympathy for our bother who pass away. May his soul rest in perfect peace. I am a born muslim Sierra Leonean who resite in Orlando Florida. May God continue to bless our beloved leader,and the people
    of Sierra Leone.I am really happy to hear our country people in America. God blesses America and all of us in the United States. Once again I thank all the muslims brothers and sisters in New Jessey. Osman

Grand 50th Anniversary Banquet and Awards Night today

Friday, May 28th, 2010

All roads lead to Maryland  today as Sierra Leone’s 50th Independence Anniversary Celebrations  in the United States reach the climax with the grand Jubilee Banquet and Awards Night at the Martin Crosswinds, 7400 Greenway Center Drive, Greenbelt, Maryland, 20770  at 9:00 pm. It is a massive ceremony that will be attended by a galaxy of distinguished personalities including some of the nation’s ambassadors assigned here and different countries, VIPs in the Sierra Leonean community , celebrities and nationals in the Continental USA from all walks of life. The event is being staged by the Jubilee Committee set up by Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the U.S,  H.E . Mr. Bockarie Kortu Stevens and the Embassy itself.

It will be a fitting finale to what has been a memorable 50th Anniversary celebrations in America with the Sierra Leone Embassy among those that staged the best and the most thrilling programs and Ambassador Bockarie Stevens and staff , including the Deputy Ambassador H.E. I.M .Conteh, Head of Chancery Mr. Sheku Misali and First Secretary Mr. Saspo Conteh ,  deserve a pat on the back . Their brilliant and creative ability to galvanize Sierra Leoneans from across a broad spectrum of political parties, regions and organizations is absolutely praiseworthy. It has been a wholly Sierra Leonean affair as it was in other states like New Jersey and New York.

FROM RIGHT : AMBASSADOR STEVENS, DEPUTY AMBASSADOR CONTEH AND HOC MISALI

Among the highlights of the night will be guest Performances by Sierra Leone’s Talent, Shabaka, Janet Laggah-Bona, Salone Jr, Gilleh, Sierra Theatre Productions, Manzu Avec C-Bolt, and Cameroon’s Josephine Atanga. Of course, there will be dancing, an open bar and food is expected to be abundant. It will be another night to remember and Cocorioko will be there to bring you all the news and big-occasion flashes.

The main feature of the night will be awards that will be made to Sierra Leoneans and organizations for distinguished service to the community. The following are the honoured recipients of the Awards:

Mr. Donald K. Stephens, President and Founder, Mercy Ships – Sierra Leone@50 Diamond Award for humanitarian endeavors: In recognition of his contribution to the development of Sierra Leone, particularly in the area of health.

The Friends of Sierra Leone (FOSL) – Sierra Leone @ 50 Humanitarian Award: In recognition of Friends of Sierra Leone’s instrumental role in rendering humanitarian and development assistance particularly in the provision of artificial limbs and other medical care for amputees who came to the United States at the height of the war as well as funding agricultural and education projects in Sierra Leone over the years.

Friends of Sierra Leone is also known for its advocacy role on behalf of Sierra Leone to United States policy makers, particularly towards obtaining the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for over ten thousand Sierra Leoneans that came to the United States of America as refugees during the rebel war and not least, the eventual return of the Peace Corps volunteers.

Mrs. Bernadette B. Kamara-Bangura, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sierra Leone Relief Development Outreach (SLRDO) – Sierra Leone@50 Humanitarian Award: In recognition of her dedicated commitment to meeting the needs of Sierra Leoneans back home particularly in the area of health care service.

Rev. Leeroy W. Kabs-Kanu, Minister Plenipotentiary, Sierra Leone Permanent Mission to the United Nations New York – Sierra Leone@50 Diaspora Leadership Award: For his leading role in keeping the Sierra Leone community in North America and other parts of the world informed about day-to-day events in Sierra Leone through the electronic media, particularly through his online newspaper “Cocorioko”.

Mr. Richard Schroeder, President and Chief Executive Officer, First Step Economic Opportunity Zone Inc – Sierra Leone@50 Economic Development Award: His organization, First Step Economic Opportunity, has established a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Sierra Leone which will attract labor-intensive globally competitive enterprises to the country.

Mr. Madieu Williams, Founder, Madieu Williams Foundation – Sierra Leone@50 Award for sports: In recognition of the role his sportsmanship has played in projecting a positive image of Sierra Leone in the United States of America.

Mr. Idris Elba – Sierra Leone@50 Entertainment Award: In recognition of his role in the field of entertainment.

Mr. David B. Vandy and the Sierra Theatre Production – Sierra Leone@50 Culture Award: In recognition of his efforts in keeping alive the culture of Sierra Leone through performing arts that portray Sierra Leone culture.

Professor Richmond Stanley Garrick, Middlesex County College, Edison, NJ – Sierra Leone@50 Culture Award: For his role in promoting the culture of Sierra Leone in the United States of America through his artistic work, particularly in the area of Fine Art.

Sierra Leone Council of Representative (SALCORE) – Sierra Leone@50 Community Empowerment Award: In recognition of its role in coordinating the activities of Sierra Leone community organizations.

Sierra Leone Clubs of Columbus, Ohio (SLOCO) – Sierra Leone@50 Community Empowerment Award: For coordinating the efforts of Sierra Leoneans in Ohio State, particularly in the Columbus metropolis.

Union of Sierra Leone Organizations in New York (USLO) – Sierra Leone@50 Community Empowerment Award: For coordinating the activities of Sierra Leone Community organizations in New York State.

In photo : Some of the brains of USLO : From left–The President Mr. Ahmed Kargbo; Ms. Zainabu Sesay-Harrel and Mr. Sentu Johnson of the Sierra Big Apple .

Mrs. Patricia Omo Thorpe- Finney and the Save Sierra Leone Foundation – Sierra Leone@50 Community Empowerment Award: For her hard work in the Sierra Leone community and beyond. Due to her strong commitment in empowering community groups and individuals, her organization, the Save Sierra Leone Foundation, has participated in fund raising activities of Sierra Leone community groups in the United States of America

Sierra Leone Community Association (SLCA) Ottawa, Canada – Sierra Leone@50 Education Award: For contributing to the development of Sierra Leone, particularly in the educational sector. Since its establishment in May 2007, the Sierra Leone Community Association (SLCA) has been very supportive to some elementary school pupils in Sierra Leone.

Rev. Canon Julius Grey-Coker, Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church , Maryland -Sierra Leone @50 Long Term Achievement Award: In recognition of his service to Sierra Leone as journalist, broadcaster and TV newscaster in the early days of Independence and his outstanding services to the Sierra Leone Community in the United States of America, particularly in the field of religion.

Ms. Janet Baindu Lagah-Bona, Founder, Children Empowerment Foundation – Sierra Leone @50 Leaders of Tomorrow Award: For her selfless service to the Sierra Leone community and beyond. Through her organization “The Children Empowerment Foundation”, she has donated school materials and toys to other children in her community. Through her initiative and instrumentality, she got a proclamation from President Obama which declared November 20 as National Child’s Day in America.

Dr. Susan Shepler, Associate Professor, School of International Service, American University- Certificate of Recognition: For her active support to the Sierra Leone community in the Washington, D.C. metropolis particularly in facilitating the hosting of Sierra Leone country events at the American University.

© 2011, COCORIOKO. All rights reserved. – Discuss this and other related articles on the Salone Forum

17 to receive Sierra Leone Jubilee Anniversary Awards in America

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

As part of the 50th Independence Anniversary celebrations, the Embassy of the Republic of Sierra Leone in collaboration with the 50th Independence Anniversary Steering Committee in North America will be organizing an Awards Ceremony and Banquet to recognize various men and women whose works within their various vocations, professional and technical pursuits have contributed towards the enhancement of the profile of Sierra Leone.

The Sierra Leone@50 Awards ceremony will be held at the Martin Crosswinds, 7400 Greenway Center Drive, Greenbelt, Maryland, 20770 on Saturday, May 28, 2011 at 9:00 pm.

The following are the honoured recipients of the Awards:

Mr. Donald K. Stephens, President and Founder, Mercy Ships – Sierra Leone@50 Diamond Award for humanitarian endeavors: In recognition of his contribution to the development of Sierra Leone, particularly in the area of health.

The Friends of Sierra Leone (FOSL) – Sierra Leone @ 50 Humanitarian Award: In recognition of Friends of Sierra Leone’s instrumental role in rendering humanitarian and development assistance particularly in the provision of artificial limbs and other medical care for amputees who came to the United States at the height of the war as well as funding agricultural and education projects in Sierra Leone over the years.

Friends of Sierra Leone is also known for its advocacy role on behalf of Sierra Leone to United States policy makers, particularly towards obtaining the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for over ten thousand Sierra Leoneans that came to the United States of America as refugees during the rebel war and not least, the eventual return of the Peace Corps volunteers.

Mrs. Bernadette B. Kamara-Bangura, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sierra Leone Relief Development Outreach (SLRDO) – Sierra Leone@50 Humanitarian Award: In recognition of her dedicated commitment to meeting the needs of Sierra Leoneans back home particularly in the area of health care service.

Rev. Leeroy W. Kabs-Kanu, Minister Plenipotentiary, Sierra Leone Permanent Mission to the United Nations New York – Sierra Leone@50 Diaspora Leadership Award: For his leading role in keeping the Sierra Leone community in North America and other parts of the world informed about day-to-day events in Sierra Leone through the electronic media, particularly through his online newspaper “Cocorioko”.

Mr. Richard Schroeder, President and Chief Executive Officer, First Step Economic Opportunity Zone Inc – Sierra Leone@50 Economic Development Award: His organization, First Step Economic Opportunity, has established a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Sierra Leone which will attract labor-intensive globally competitive enterprises to the country.

Mr. Madieu Williams, Founder, Madieu Williams Foundation – Sierra Leone@50 Award for sports: In recognition of the role his sportsmanship has played in projecting a positive image of Sierra Leone in the United States of America.

Mr. Idris Elba – Sierra Leone@50 Entertainment Award: In recognition of his role in the field of entertainment.

Mr. David B. Vandy and the Sierra Theatre Production – Sierra Leone@50 Culture Award: In recognition of his efforts in keeping alive the culture of Sierra Leone through performing arts that portray Sierra Leone culture.

Professor Richmond Stanley Garrick, Middlesex County College, Edison, NJ – Sierra Leone@50 Culture Award: For his role in promoting the culture of Sierra Leone in the United States of America through his artistic work, particularly in the area of Fine Art.

Sierra Leone Council of Representative (SALCORE) – Sierra Leone@50 Community Empowerment Award: In recognition of its role in coordinating the activities of Sierra Leone community organizations.

Sierra Leone Clubs of Columbus, Ohio (SLOCO) – Sierra Leone@50 Community Empowerment Award: For coordinating the efforts of Sierra Leoneans in Ohio State, particularly in the Columbus metropolis.

Union of Sierra Leone Organizations in New York (USLO) – Sierra Leone@50 Community Empowerment Award: For coordinating the activities of Sierra Leone Community organizations in New York State.

Mrs. Patricia Omo Thorpe- Finney and the Save Sierra Leone Foundation – Sierra Leone@50 Community Empowerment Award: For her hard work in the Sierra Leone community and beyond. Due to her strong commitment in empowering community groups and individuals, her organization, the Save Sierra Leone Foundation, has participated in fund raising activities of Sierra Leone community groups in the United States of America

Sierra Leone Community Association (SLCA) Ottawa, Canada – Sierra Leone@50 Education Award: For contributing to the development of Sierra Leone, particularly in the educational sector. Since its establishment in May 2007, the Sierra Leone Community Association (SLCA) has been very supportive to some elementary school pupils in Sierra Leone.

Rev. Canon Julius Grey-Coker, Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church , Maryland -Sierra Leone @50 Long Term Achievement Award: In recognition of his service to Sierra Leone as journalist, broadcaster and TV newscaster in the early days of Independence and his outstanding services to the Sierra Leone Community in the United States of America, particularly in the field of religion.

Ms. Janet Baindu Lagah-Bona, Founder, Children Empowerment Foundation – Sierra Leone @50 Leaders of Tomorrow Award: For her selfless service to the Sierra Leone community and beyond. Through her organization “The Children Empowerment Foundation”, she has donated school materials and toys to other children in her community. Through her initiative and instrumentality, she got a proclamation from President Obama which declared November 20 as National Child’s Day in America.

Dr. Susan Shepler, Associate Professor, School of International Service, American University- Certificate of Recognition: For her active support to the Sierra Leone community in the Washington, D.C. metropolis particularly in facilitating the hosting of Sierra Leone country events at the American University.

The Embassy of the Republic of Sierra Leone and the 50th Independence Anniversary Steering Committee extend hearty congratulations to all Awardees.

Embassy of Sierra Leone, Washington DC, USA

Cocorioko Publisher gets another big award for journalism excellence

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

A very thrilled  Publisher of Sierra Leone ‘s biggest and most widely read newspaper ( COCORIOKO ), Rev. Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu ,  has expressed thanks to all those who nominated him and to  the 50th Anniversary Diaspora Committee and the Sierra Leone Embassy to  the United States for the Leadership Award that he will be receiving on Saturday May 28, 2011 during the grand Diaspora Banquet and Awards Night in Washington DC.  A press release from the Committee and Embassy this morning named 17 people and organizations who will be given awards that night. According to the press statement sent to media houses throughout the diaspora and Sierra Leone, the Rev. Leeroy W. Kabs-Kanu will receive the  ”Sierra Leone@50 Diaspora Leadership Award for  his leading role in keeping the Sierra Leone community in North America and other parts of the world informed about day-to-day events in Sierra Leone through the electronic media, particularly through his online newspaper ‘Cocorioko’ ” . This is the 4th  career -defining award Mr. Kabs-Kanu has received during almost 40 years of journalism practice.

Kabs-Kanu immediately dedicated the award to the hardworking members of COCORIOKO who toil day and night to make the online newspaper one of the most reputable, sourced , likeable, reliable and comprehensive news portals on Sierra Leone. He said that those working with him are giving off their best, working sacrificially under difficult and trying conditions to make sure that Sierra Leone is perceived in a positive light in the international world. The Publisher also dedicated the award to members of the newspaper who are no longer with Cocorioko , but whose contributions are equally highly appreciated.

The  Leadership Award comes three years after the COCORIOKO  Publisher scooped another major and very important award from the prestigious and intellectuals-packed National Organization of Sierra Leoneans in North America ( NOSLINA ) –The Sierra Leonean equivalence of the OSCAR’S –again for journalism excellence. The NOSLINA Award was a defining moment for the Cocorioko Newspaper. The award itself came two years after the New York Chapter of Sierra Leone’s oldest political party , the Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ) gave the Publisher an Award for the same reason that the 50th Anniversary Committee provided —Keeping the world authoritatively informed about events in Sierra Leone. It was another award that the Publisher valued , because the SLPP was in power in Sierra Leone at the time and COCORIOKO was very critical of the leadership of ex-President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah . “We must have really done a great job for the SLPP  to overlook all our criticisms and give us that award. I also credit the party’s New York Chapter and its President Mr. Mohamed Tunis for being democratic “, the Publisher said at the time.

LEEROY WILFRED KABS-KANU

However, the SLPP was not the first governmental institution to give the Publisher an award , though he had been criticising them persistently. The first award the Publisher received in 1974 came from the Fourah Bay College Students Union Government , then headed by the late political and democratic icon, Mr. Kemoh Sulimani Sr ,whose administration received a brutal treatment on CHUKS PRESS  from the Publisher who was then a leading student journalist. The FBC Students Union Governments in those days gave  annual awards to students who were contributing substantially to the political, social, cultural and academic upliftment of the campus .Mr. Kabs-Kanu was stunned when his name was announced as one of the recepients of the Students Union  awards that year because he was merciless with the government in the students press . It went to prove that despite his failings, the late Kemoh Sulimani was a paragon of democratic values, the kind of man that would have been a gem to Sierra Leone’s turbulent politics if he had been alive  .  A college mate of Sulimani’s , Mr. Ernest Koroma, is Sierra Leone’s President today and he too is following an impeccable democratic path.  Both men epitomise the enduring values of democracy , credit to the FBC 1970s Brigade. The late Sulimani’s  son, the Rev. Kemoh Sulimani jr , who had not been born then, is today a valuable member of COCORIOKO, reaching millions of readers all over the world with his incisive and brilliant articles. Sierra Leone newspapers and other media across the world publish his articles.

COCORIOKO wants all those who nominated the paper’s publisher and those on the Committee who endorsed the nomination to know that the award is very much appreciated in a thankless world and a thankless and dog-eat-dog profession. “We shall always cherish the award and it will serve as a motivating force to prod us to do even better for our beloved nation and mankind, ”  the Publisher said this morning after learning about the award.

The other 16 honoured are :

Mr. Donald K. Stephens, President and Founder, Mercy Ships – Sierra Leone@50 Diamond Award for humanitarian endeavors: In recognition of his contribution to the development of Sierra Leone, particularly in the area of health.

The Friends of Sierra Leone (FOSL) – Sierra Leone @ 50 Humanitarian Award: In recognition of Friends of Sierra Leone’s instrumental role in rendering humanitarian and development assistance particularly in the provision of artificial limbs and other medical care for amputees who came to the United States at the height of the war as well as funding agricultural and education projects in Sierra Leone over the years.

Friends of Sierra Leone is also known for its advocacy role on behalf of Sierra Leone to United States policy makers, particularly towards obtaining the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for over ten thousand Sierra Leoneans that came to the United States of America as refugees during the rebel war and not least, the eventual return of the Peace Corps volunteers.

Mrs. Bernadette B. Kamara-Bangura, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sierra Leone Relief Development Outreach (SLRDO) – Sierra Leone@50 Humanitarian Award: In recognition of her dedicated commitment to meeting the needs of Sierra Leoneans back home particularly in the area of health care service.

Rev. Leeroy W. Kabs-Kanu, Minister Plenipotentiary, Sierra Leone Permanent Mission to the United Nations New York – Sierra Leone@50 Diaspora Leadership Award: For his leading role in keeping the Sierra Leone community in North America and other parts of the world informed about day-to-day events in Sierra Leone through the electronic media, particularly through his online newspaper “Cocorioko”.

Mr. Richard Schroeder, President and Chief Executive Officer, First Step Economic Opportunity Zone Inc – Sierra Leone@50 Economic Development Award: His organization, First Step Economic Opportunity, has established a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Sierra Leone which will attract labor-intensive globally competitive enterprises to the country.

Mr. Madieu Williams, Founder, Madieu Williams Foundation – Sierra Leone@50 Award for sports: In recognition of the role his sportsmanship has played in projecting a positive image of Sierra Leone in the United States of America.

Mr. Idris Elba – Sierra Leone@50 Entertainment Award: In recognition of his role in the field of entertainment.

Mr. David B. Vandy and the Sierra Theatre Production – Sierra Leone@50 Culture Award: In recognition of his efforts in keeping alive the culture of Sierra Leone through performing arts that portray Sierra Leone culture.

Professor Richmond Stanley Garrick, Middlesex County College, Edison, NJ – Sierra Leone@50 Culture Award: For his role in promoting the culture of Sierra Leone in the United States of America through his artistic work, particularly in the area of Fine Art.

Sierra Leone Council of Representative (SALCORE) – Sierra Leone@50 Community Empowerment Award: In recognition of its role in coordinating the activities of Sierra Leone community organizations.

Sierra Leone Clubs of Columbus, Ohio (SLOCO) – Sierra Leone@50 Community Empowerment Award: For coordinating the efforts of Sierra Leoneans in Ohio State, particularly in the Columbus metropolis.

Union of Sierra Leone Organizations in New York (USLO) – Sierra Leone@50 Community Empowerment Award: For coordinating the activities of Sierra Leone Community organizations in New York State.

Mrs. Patricia Omo Thorpe- Finney and the Save Sierra Leone Foundation – Sierra Leone@50 Community Empowerment Award: For her hard work in the Sierra Leone community and beyond. Due to her strong commitment in empowering community groups and individuals, her organization, the Save Sierra Leone Foundation, has participated in fund raising activities of Sierra Leone community groups in the United States of America

Sierra Leone Community Association (SLCA) Ottawa, Canada – Sierra Leone@50 Education Award: For contributing to the development of Sierra Leone, particularly in the educational sector. Since its establishment in May 2007, the Sierra Leone Community Association (SLCA) has been very supportive to some elementary school pupils in Sierra Leone. 

Rev. Canon Julius Grey-Coker, Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church , Maryland -Sierra Leone @50 Long Term Achievement Award: In recognition of his service to Sierra Leone as journalist, broadcaster and TV newscaster in the early days of Independence and his outstanding services to the Sierra Leone Community in the United States of America, particularly in the field of religion.

Ms. Janet Baindu Lagah-Bona, Founder, Children Empowerment Foundation – Sierra Leone @50 Leaders of Tomorrow Award: For her selfless service to the Sierra Leone community and beyond. Through her organization “The Children Empowerment Foundation”, she has donated school materials and toys to other children in her community. Through her initiative and instrumentality, she got a proclamation from President Obama which declared November 20 as National Child’s Day in America.

Dr. Susan Shepler, Associate Professor, School of International Service, American University- Certificate of Recognition: For her active support to the Sierra Leone community in the Washington, D.C. metropolis particularly in facilitating the hosting of Sierra Leone country events at the American University.

© 2011, COCORIOKO. All rights reserved. – Discuss this and other related articles on the Salone Forum

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Let’s Make Loud Noise for all Sierra Leoneans, Cocorioko readers and Rev. Kabs Kanu

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

 By Rev. Kemoh Sulimani jr :

You thought I forgot about making LOUD NOISE for others and have moved on to other topics.  Didn’t you?  My last time out the attention was on Sierra Leone’s Distinguished Vice President Alhaji Samuel Sumana. I will never forget to point the sunbeam on Sierra Leoneans. Unless we draw attention to what others are doing to “REBRAND” Sierra Leone, no one else will feel joyful shining the spotlight on the nation’s accomplishments. So here I come ready to announce the new Let’s Make Loud Noise LMLN recipients.

Thousands of Sierra Leoneans are worthy of being praised. We are familiar with our shared stalemates and we know what is not working in our communities.  Most of us are not secluded from the extreme challenges millions face every day. However, we cannot focus our energies only on exaggerating our frailties and shortcomings. Whenever possible, we must underline the efforts of those making a difference by helping Sierra Leone the envisioned new nation.

Today, let us take first send the LOUDEST SHOUT OUT to all Sierra Leoneans.  All Sierra Leoneans living on the face of the earth deserves compliment. Leading up to Independence Day, the Red and Green divide became secondary to celebrating the nation’s fifty years of sovereignty. Even pro-SLPP newspapers, who did not want to cover the festivities, went silent. Life has thought many of us that, “Silence is golden”. We cannot be quiet about our inimitability. Sierra Leoneans are unique. We do not know all the traits that are distinctive ‘only’ to Sierra Leoneans. However, because Sierra Leone is your land of birth, this LOUD NOISE is more than ever for you.

Within the broad-group of Sierra Leoneans, there is a sub-group that I cannot overlook. These are the dedicated patrons of Cocorioko. Because of you, Cocorioko has the largest readership amongst Sierra Leone’s International Newspapers. You demand quality reporting from us that has become the culture of reporting from our keyboards. You share our stories with others and value our coverage on insightful issues. We do not have to mask our proclivity for President Ernest Bai Koroma and his APC led GoSL. Because of your undaunted support, Cocorioko will keep on towering to greater heights and ensure that you receive the most accurate news from Sierra Leone.  Cheers to the millions of Cocorioko fans all around the world. You have helped to strengthen the newspaper’s voice on matters of national significance.

Someone is spending considerable time to make it all happen. I am sure that Sierra Leoneans everywhere, the Cocorioko readership and contributing writers will join me to make LOUD NOISE for Sierra Leone’s Plenipotentiary Minister, the Honorable Rev. Kabs Kanu. He spends time giving others their glees. We easily forget he is in the background and deserves to be in the spotlight too. Beyond the call of duty, Rev. Kanu has rendered his professional services to advance the course of Sierra Leone. Rev. Kanu is a pioneer of Sierra Leone Journalism on the global front. One must be a fool to think that his writings had nothing to do with propelling President Koroma to power. One would even be a bigger fool not to acknowledge his universal role in transforming the perception of Sierra Leone around the world today.

It’s working and thanks to Rev. Kanu. The new structure of the elevated Cocorioko, suggests that the first-fruits of the ‘REBRANDING’ efforts undertaken by the Honorable Rev. Kabs Kanu, are in. Sierra Leone’s Plenipotentiary Minister to the UN knows too well that “charity begins at home.”  Just as Cocorioko is unmatched in bringing you the best about Sierra Leone, Sierra Leone is becoming unparalleled in terms of renewal and improvement in Sub-Saharan Africa. Let us shine the spotlight on Rev. Kanu for his patriotism and a lifetime of ‘breaking new grounds’ to give Mama Salone the best media coverage.

Those who have heard Rev. Kanu speak, would testify he has an unbelievable gentle and soothing voice. He is soft-spoken.  However, the Right Rev. never minces his words. There is power in Rev. Kanu written and spoken words. His high standards of communication proved vital to my late father’s FBC Student Presidency in the early 70s. I recall that the day my father won the Student Union Presidency, the easterners brought out the N’goboi devil at FBC. There were jubilations in FBC for the entire weekend.

I heard about the ‘Chuk Press’ during my childhood. I thought at the time that Kabs was one of the guys choking and pressing on my dad.  Finding out what Chuk Press was, and who Kabs is, made me laugh. Rev. Kanu at the time through his commentaries and writings helped my father maintained is unifying FBC SU Government. I recall that Sidique Dao was the VP of that government.

Sierra Leone’s Plenipotentiary Minister to the UN, Rev. Kabs Kanu has a proven record in unifying Sierra Leoneans around praiseworthy undertakings. This record spans the lifetime of many individuals practicing journalism today in and outside Sierra Leone.  Rev. Kabs Kanu, gave the most extensive and inclusive coverage of Sierra Leone’s Golden Jubilee Independence Day celebrations. Over the years, Rev. Kanu has made invaluable contributions to Sierra Leone.

Once again, let us lift up all Sierra Leoneans as high toward the skies as possible. Sierra Leone’s portrait is incomplete without you. There is no place for the pettiness in the nation’s picture. There is only the space for one Sierra Leone that looks sturdy.  Because you are reading this material from Cocorioko, you are also in the spotlight.  I am convinced that other writers, contributors, and editors would join me in making LOUD NOISE for you as a faithful reader. Finally, all of these would not have happened, without Rev. Kanu’s originality.

Cocorioko is a reliable BRAND in Sierra Leone’s news business.  From everywhere on earth, let’s raise the roof, and make LOUD NOISE for our very own Honorable Plenipotentiary Minister Rev. Kabs Kanu. From the young to the old, from the simple to the complex and from men to women, let us acknowledge that Rev. Kanu is a standout everywhere. His embrace of diversity and empowerment has made his nationalistic message appealing to millions. KODUS!

Blessings & Peace

Rev. Kemoh Sulimani

RESPONSE BY COCORIOKO PUBLIHER

Dear Rev. Kemoh Sulimani jr,

Thank you for your kind sentiments.

First of all , I want to reiterate here that your late father, Mr. Kemoh Sulimani , was an excellent example of the model Sierra Leonean we are all praying for in our resurgent nation. He left a rich legacy as one of the most truly democratic student union Presidents we have ever had in Sierra Leone. How I wish he had been alive today to teach us Sierra Leoneans how to be democratic.A man like your father would have been a great asset to our democratic President , Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma.

What impressed me most about your father was that though I was one of the most bitter critics of his government , he never held it against me and gave me an award at the end of his tenure. In those days , the tradition at FBC  every year was that at the end of his/her tenure, the student council president during his handing-over ceremony at the Mary Kingsley Hall gives awards to students who during the year had contributed to the social, political, academic and cultural embellishment of campus life . Your dad was the first man to motivate me in my early journalism career by having the FBC Student Council Government give  me an award for outstanding journalism and discjockeying . I wept that night after receiving my award. I could not believe it.

Your dad’s government was nice and motivating to me, though I was criticizing it bitterly everyday on CHUKS PRESS. The Minister of Information  of the students council was another perfect and wonderful gentlemen called TAMBA KOMBA.I think he did an Honors course in English or Geography.   He recruited me as one of the resident DJs who used to go host the weekly DJ Programs on” Radio FBC ” ( As we used to call it –The dining hall announcement table in Solomon Caulker Hall ).  I did very well because I used to play the latest disco, soul and reggae music in the country because my brother, Max Kanu , worked for the SLBS as a presenter and DJ and I used to borrow his records when it was my day to do the dining hall musical extravaganza. Your dad and Mr.Komba were so thrilled they used to ask  me where I got those latest sounds which were not at the disposal of the other students.   When I learnt of your father’s death while I was living in Liberia, I did not eat that whole day. I was very sad. May his worthy soul continue to rest in perfect peace.

You are following in your father’s footsteps as  a progressive and productive citizen of Sierra Leone. You will never know how many people you are providing enlightenment with your articles .  All your articles in COCORIOKO  get published in newspapers in Sierra Leone . Sama Banya has responded to a few of them. Therefore I think you too deserve a shout. Please keep it up. You are shaping up yourself into one of our nation’s best journalists.

KABS KANU

Charity for Late Bintu Mariama Nabie and Funeral of two in New Jersey

Friday, May 14th, 2010

2010-05-14

The family of the late Bintu Mariama Nabie will be having a Charity on Saturday, May 22, at the Chinese Community Center, 17 School House Road, Somerset, New Jersey. The Muslim ceremony is slated to commence at 3:00 pm. “We’re having this charity not only for our late sister, but for all the family members that have gone to the world beyond,” says Alpha Aziz Nabe of Highland Park, New Jersey, who is coordinating the big family charity that is expected to bring together all the members of the Nabie/Nabe family in the United States of America. “It’s some form of a memorial service and a family reunion,” he added. “We are inviting all our relatives and friends all across the United States.”

Bintu Mariama Nabie passed away last year on December 18 at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey. She was 47 years old. Bintu was the third Sierra Leonean to die within the Somerset/New Brunswick area of New Jersey in 2009. Ashmed Barrie of North Brunswick was the first to answer to the call of Allah, followed by Mohamed Jabbie of New Brunswick.
In less than a month after the burial of Alpha A. Kamara of Somerset and Unisa Turay of Piscataway, Sierra Leoneans in New Jersey suffered another terrible loss this week. Margaret Allman (nee Vincent), who has been confined to a sick bed for quite some time, passed away on Monday, May 10 in Maryland. A college graduate and longtime resident of Pennsauken, New Jersey, her passing away came as a big shock to many who knew her as a quiet and very respectful lady.

Sierra Leoneans in New Jersey were grappling with the sad news of the passing away of Margaret when devastating news came on Tuesday, May 11 – the fatal stabbing of Hawa Bob Grey of Lawnside, New Jersey. A longtime resident of Somerset, New Jersey, where she was well-known and held in high esteem, her death left many pondering over the futility of life. “I can’t just believe she is gone!” says a Somerset resident who attended Nursing School with her.
According to sources close to the family, the late Mrs. Margaret Allman will be laid to rest on Saturday, May 22 at Bethel Memorial Park, Pennsauken, New Jersey, after Funeral Service at Ashbury Church, Westfield Avenue, Camden, New Jersey.

The late Mrs. Hawa Bob-Grey (nee Deen) will be laid to rest the same Saturday at the Memorial Park on Route 27 in Somerset, after Funeral Service at the United Methodist Church, 323 George Street, New Brunswick, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. The viewing will be held on Friday May 21 at M.G. Murphy Funeral Home, 616 Ridge Road, Monmouth Junction, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. There will be a repast at Eternal Life Christian Center, 322 Franklin Boulevard, immediately after burial. For more information, contact Marian Deen – 609.865.8526.

Late Bintu Mariama Nabie and Funeral of two in New Jersey