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Archive for May, 2011

50th Anniversary : Ambassador Bockarie Stevens And Team Steal The Show

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

It was indeed a fitting climax to a memorable 50th Anniversary celebration and the glory to steal the show fell on the man President Ernest Bai Koroma sent to the United States to be what everybody is now hailing as THE PEOPLE’S AMBASSADOR. You can love the man or hate him, but one thing you will admit without hesitation is that Ambassador Bockarie Stevens is excellent .He knows how to  excel . One of the sons of the former President of Sierra Leone, the late Dr.Siaka Stevens, knows how to organize anything to bring people together in the cause of the nation and yesterday he did it again . Last Night’s 50th Anniversary Banquet and Awards Night staged by the Ambassador with the help of his competent staff at the Sierra Leone Embassy to the U.S. and the Jubilee Celebrations Organizing Committee easily climaxed into a masterclass that was the best occasion in the whole celebrations . It was the most dramatic finale to a successful jubilee  that saw record-beating events staged in many parts of America , especially New Jersey .
PHOTO : Ambassador Stevens (In white gown ),Ambassador Conteh (Right ) and some of the dignitaries
Everybody who has a stake in the destiny of Sierra Leone was there last night; from foreign diplomats  to Sierra Leone’s Ambassadors and diplomats assigned in Africa and Europe , to retired peace corps volunteers , to prospective investors ,  to representatives of all the political parties in Sierra Leone, to Sierra Leone’s intellectuals in the continental U.S, to supporters of President Ernest Koroma; to distinguished citizens from all walks of life in America, to musicians, young, aspiring  artists  and journalists and to everybody who sensed a grand event in the making and decided to be there to be part of history. A man blessed with the ability never to be awed by any event, however huge, Ambassador Stevens towered over it all with his splendid organizational skills , humour , inclusiveness , congeniality  and that lovable spirit that is his hallmark and with the help of his staff and the Committee , made everybody in the hall experience the thrill of a well-organized program carefully put together to sizzle . This is a program that will be spoken about for generations to come. Held at the Martin Crosswinds, 7400 Greenway Center Drive, Greenbelt, Maryland, the Banquet and Awards Night was too exciting for the right adjectives to describe it. The show had everything.There was plenty to eat and drink , brilliant company ,  eye-popping fashions and of course enjoyment (Dancing ).
AMBASSADOR STEVENS ADDRESSING THE LARGE GATHERING

MRS. MUSU STEVENS : THE AMBASSADOR PRAISED HIS WIFE FOR GIVING HIM SUPPORT
This is just the appetizer. Cocorioko-style, we will bring you all the excitement and all the thrills in a series of articles, plus the photos that tell the story of a million words. This article is just to pay homage to Ambassador Bockarie Stevens and his team. To write any report without first giving the Ambassador and his team credit for their marvelous work would be unfair . Here are full  names of the members of the Organizing Committee :
Ambassador Bockarie K. Stevens
Ambassador Ibrahim S. Conteh
Ambassador Rassie Kargbo
Sheku Misali
Saspo I. Conteh
Alan C.E. Logan
Elizabeth Foray
Mohamed L. Bah
Alimamy Bangura
Jeneba Bishop
Mohamed Koya Bangura
Bernadette Kamara Bangura
Nanah F. Bangura
Rev. Gloria Cline-Smythe
Francis A. Conteh
Alhaji Deeney Davies
Yaya Fanusi
Kwame Fitzjohn
Eric Johnny
Abdul Bero Kamara
Bernadette Kamara
Morlai Kamara
Hassan Kamara
Giileh Kebbie Scholz
Daniel Koroma
Mabinty Koroma
Dorothy Dinkins Marah
Lucy Nahim
Suna Nallo
Audrey Pabs-Garnon
John Sandy
Tejan Savage
Victor Tarmoh
Yolanda Thompson
Patricia Omo Thorpe-Finney
Mariama Turay
Rev. Yvonne Washington Turay
David Vandy
Abubakarr Wurie

APC -NA ‘agbagbas’ hang out at 50th Anniversary Banquet and Awards Program

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

APC -NA ‘agbagbas’ hang out at 50th Anniversary Banquet and Awards Program

Posted by  on May 29, 20110 Comment

There were lots of joyful scenes last night at the 50th Independence Anniversary Banquet and Awards Super show. The sight of stalwarts of the ruling All People’s Congress North American Branch enjoying themselves at the Banquet was a spectacle not to be missed and it was a journalists’ delight that  Cocorioko will bring you in this segment  . A happy family was out having fun on the night and they  added color and glamor to a memorable occasion.

It was a most thrilling Banquet with hot Sierra Leonean rhumba and merengue music by some new  local artists rocking their nation keeping revellers on the floor all the time. Many of them danced the night away while others found time to get cozy with each other . APC men and women travelled far and wide to come and patronize the program organized by Ambassador Bockarie Stevens.   Cocorioko was there and we bring you the highlights :

YABOME AND BERO GET COZY HERE .YABOME IS PRESIDENT OF THE WASHINGTON DC CHAPTER AND BERO CHAIR OF THE MEALS FOR SCHOOLS CAMPAIGN

 

ALL SMILES –Left to right : Abdul Bero Kamara , Yabome Thasslim Sesay Koroma and Leslie Allen

‘PA NABE’ (Mohamed Aziz Nabe of New Jersey fame ) enjoying a steaming African piece with Queen Abie Bangalie-Mansaray .


MARIE SALIM , ALSO OF THE APC Washington DC Chapter enjoying herself at the Banquet

PUBLISHER KABS KANU POSES WITH HIS AWARD WITH THE SPECIAL ADVISER TO YABOME THASSLIM SESAY KOROMA , MR. ALLIE BADARA KARGBO


PROFESSOR MIKE DILO SESAY AND WIFE DOING IT ON THE FLOOR


ZULIBATU COOPER OF WASHINGTON DC (LEFT ) AND MADINA RAHMAN OF NEW JERSEY POSE WITH PUBLISHER KABS KANU (HOLDING  HIS JOURNALISM AWARD )

QUEEN ABIE AND HER DAUGHTER

THE PRESIDENT OF THE NEW JERSEY CHAPTER ALLIE BADARA KAMARA SPEAKING TO A PARTY MEMBER

MRS. KADI KARGBO ( LEFT ) AND OTHER APC Women

APC -NA ‘agbagbas’ hang out at 50th Anniversary Banquet and Awards Program

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

There were lots of joyful scenes last night at the 50th Independence Anniversary Banquet and Awards Super show. The sight of stalwarts of the ruling All People’s Congress North American Branch enjoying themselves at the Banquet was a spectacle not to be missed and it was a journalists’ delight that  Cocorioko will bring you in this segment  . A happy family was out having fun on the night and they  added color and glamor to a memorable occasion.

It was a most thrilling Banquet with hot Sierra Leonean rhumba and merengue music by some new  local artists rocking their nation keeping revellers on the floor all the time. Many of them danced the night away while others found time to get cozy with each other . APC men and women travelled far and wide to come and patronize the program organized by Ambassador Bockarie Stevens.   Cocorioko was there and we bring you the highlights :

YABOME AND BERO GET COZY HERE .YABOME IS PRESIDENT OF THE WASHINGTON DC CHAPTER AND BERO CHAIR OF THE MEALS FOR SCHOOLS CAMPAIGN

 

ALL SMILES –Left to right : Abdul Bero Kamara , Yabome Thasslim Sesay Koroma and Leslie Allen

‘PA NABE’ (Mohamed Aziz Nabe of New Jersey fame ) enjoying a steaming African piece with Queen Abie Bangalie-Mansaray .


MARIE SALIM , ALSO OF THE APC Washington DC Chapter enjoying herself at the Banquet

PUBLISHER KABS KANU POSES WITH HIS AWARD WITH THE SPECIAL ADVISER TO YABOME THASSLIM SESAY KOROMA , MR. ALLIE BADARA KARGBO


PROFESSOR MIKE DILO SESAY AND WIFE DOING IT ON THE FLOOR


ZULIBATU COOPER OF WASHINGTON DC (LEFT ) AND MADINA RAHMAN OF NEW JERSEY POSE WITH PUBLISHER KABS KANU (HOLDING  HIS JOURNALISM AWARD )

QUEEN ABIE AND HER DAUGHTER

THE PRESIDENT OF THE NEW JERSEY CHAPTER ALLIE BADARA KAMARA SPEAKING TO A PARTY MEMBER

MRS. KADI KARGBO ( LEFT ) AND OTHER APC Women

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

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Gloria Betts And Umaru Kebbay Take The Initiative To Make The Difference At Home During Sierra Leone’s 50th Independence Anniversary Celebration

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Freetown, Sierra Leone April, 2011 :  Sierra Leoneans around the world that came together for a historic celebration; there was so much energy in the city during the 50thIndependence celebration. It was unbelievable.  Mr. Isaiah Washington, who traced his genealogy to Sierra Leone, joined in the celebrations and presented President Ernest Koroma a signed copy of his new book, A Man from Another Land.  The Diaspora is eager and ready to give back to the country.Members and friends of The HOME Initiative were caught up in the festivities and did their part by donating care packages to the government hospitals and awarding scholarships and school supplies to university and college students.   Members and friends of The HOME Initiative were caught up in the festivities and did their part by donating care packages to the government hospitals and awarding scholarships and school supplies to university and college students.
HOME is a nonprofit organization registered in Washington, DC; its mission is to help promote healthcare and education in Sierra Leone.  We continue to accomplish this goal by providing scholarships to eligible students at the college/university level and healthcare packages to the three government hospitals in Freetown – Connaught, PCMH (Cottage) and Dr. Ola During hospitals.
 PHOTO : DR.NOAHLEEN AND MR. UMARU KEBBAY
Hospitals officials and patients were pleasantly surprised and grateful that their compatriots abroad took the time to visit with them amidst the celebrations.  They urge the Diaspora to continue with these types of charitable donations.  It was evident that the locals work very hard to run the government hospitals – I personally was pleasantly surprised and impressed to see that the hospitals were clean and well kept; the staff looked neat in their uniforms – their compassion and dedication was very evident.  Programs are being established to educate patients and staff. One example is May 5th is Midwives Day which serves to educate new mothers and mothers to be on the importance of healthcare for them and their babies; in turn HOME has pledged its commitment to continue its annual support to these hospitals.
HOME would like to thank all the medical staff who took time out of their very busy schedules to meet with us and give a tour of the various facilities: Dr. David Baion, Matron Joya Jones, Matron Roselyn Mommoh, Mary Massaquoi, and Matron Cecilia Sandy.  A critical concern they shared with us was sometimes the medicine donated has a “soon to expire” date and they cannot use medicine once it expires; so we are asking that the Diaspora to be cognizant of this when donating medicine.
  There were 11 recipients of HOME’s annual scholarship and school supplies this year representing the three main universities and the nursing program in Sierra Leone.  Deota Ali and Modupeh Coker 2nd and 4th year students at Sierra Leone College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences (COMAHS); Ibiduni Snell – Blue Shield Medical Nursing School; Ismaila Kabba and Christopher Vandy 1st year students at the Fourah Bay College Faculty of Social Science and Law; Moses McGill, Noah Sillah, Musa Massaquoi and Mark Kelley – all students at the Milton Margai College of Technology.
Bimba Idriss, a medical student in his final year at (COMAHS), was awarded a scholarship to help with his research at the Connaught Hospital in Sierra Leone about the prevalence of the Diabetic foot.  
Jatu Abdulai, a two-year recipient, graduated last year and is currently doing her internship. She shared her personal story with us and it was rewarding to see how delighted the recipients were. There was consensus among the recipients and their families present that the scholarships definitely help relieve the financial burden of paying for their education.
The brain drain continues to be of concern in the medical field and the specialists are few and far between.  The Connaught Hospital approached HOME for funding to help at the post graduate level – more to come.
Gloria Betts, Emma Fofanah, Umaru Kebbay, Breh Koroma, Saidu Jabbie (US HOME board members); Hannah Coker, Arnold Cole and James Davies (SL HOME members) and Joya Tucker, Mimi Betts, Anet Koroma, Noahleen Kebbay, Eben Tuboku Metzger (UK & US friends of HOME) were in Freetown this April.
HOME wants to extend its continued gratitude to its donors and supporters – their generosity is empowering HOME to help others and contribute to “Social Change”.  A very special thank you to our most loyal donors for 2010 – Mr. & Mrs. Ambrose Levi (MD), Mr. & Mrs. Martin Bradshaw (NC), Mr. Desmond Walcott-Taylor & Ms. Julia Hume Dawson (MD) and to our corporate sponsors Jacobs General Services and Jabs Tax & Travel.
The board members look forward to your support in 2011 – Mrs. Gemina Archer-Davies, Ms. Gloria Betts, Dr. Hazel Bowen-Wright (Matthews), Mrs. Kara Dunston, Ms. Emma Fofanah, Ms. Deanie George, Mr. Saidu Jabbie, Mr. Umaru Kebbay, Mr. Breh Koroma, Mrs. Elizabeth Toure and Ms. Monica West.

NOSLINA Awards Night was a big success once again

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

By KABS KANU :

The  prestigious National Organization of Sierra Leoneans in North America (NOSLINA) last Saturday held yet another highly successful Banquet and Awards Night at the St. Andrews Ukranian Orthodox Cathedral in Silver Spring , Maryland . Regal , colorful and majestic as usual, Sierra Leone’s version of the  Oscar Awards Night  (as many people  have come to regard the annual event ), saw  citizens, organizations  and friends of Sierra Leone honored for their contribution to the upliftment of society. Many distingished Sierra Leoneans and nationals of the U.S. and other countries jammed the hall to take part in the event .

According to a description of the goals and objectives of the Organization : “ The  National Organization of Sierra Leoneans in North America (NOSLINA) NOSLINA was launched as a nonprofit organization about 12 years ago in Washington DC when Sierra Leoneans and their friends/supporters came together to pool their resources to help campaign for an end to the brutal civil war, to restore democracy, and to promote sustainable development. Since that time, we have lobbied Congress to support the return of democracy, we have launched scholarships for needy children, we have pushed for Dual Citizenship for Sierra Leoneans so that they can be better positioned to help their country of origin, we have conducted public communication campaigns for peaceful conduct of elections, we have donated medical journals to the University of Sierra Leone, and recently we donated large community dumpsters to help reduce urban blithe and improve sanitation in Freetown. ”

2011 AWARD WINNERS  as announced by the Chair, Mr. Melbourne Garber :

Acting in Accordance with Article VII of the Constitution of the National Organization of Sierra Leoneans in North America (NOSLINA, Amended 1999) the Board of Directors of NOSLINA has approved and authorized that honors, awards, and recognitions be bestowed on individuals/organizations for exemplary contributions to Sierra Leoneans in North America and in Sierra Leone. The awards will be conferred May 7, 2011, at 8:00 PM at the St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral, 15100 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland, as part of the celebration of the 13th Anniversary of NOSLINA and the 50th Anniversary of Sierra Leone’s Independence. The 2011 NOSLINA Award recipients are:

Dr. Kandeh Yumkella, Director-General, U.N. Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
DIAMOND AWARD: The Organization’s highest Award – for his work in the international arena and contributions in the form of projects and programs worth millions to Sierra Leone and its people.

Mrs. Jennifer Renner-Thomas, CEO/Founding Member, Well Woman Clinic in Sierra Leone
HUMANITARIAN LEADERSHIP AWARD for demonstrated success working to promote and improve the quality of healthcare for women and children in Sierra Leone by providing need-based healthcare services for women from all walks of life.

Professor Ted Folarin Roberts, Associate Professor, Howard University School of Communications
HUMANITARIAN LEADERSHIP AWARD: For true multi-faceted humanitarian dedication, many of which include the use of his personal funds to support students, refugees and needy families, as well as being the first to introduce Africa’s arts, culture and theatre into Voice of America programming.

Sierra Leone American Family Club
HUMANITARIAN LEADERSHIP AWARD: For fostering cooperation amongst Sierra Leoneans and Sierra Leonean American families to provide educational support; promoting the maintenance of cultural expressions; and mentoring newly arrived Sierra Leone immigrants and youth.

Ms Mahen Bonetti, Founder and Executive Director of the African Film Festival
ENTREPRENAURIAL LEADERSHIP AWARD: For the establishment of an arts organization that is the vehicle for presenting Africa to others and promoting an understanding of the diversity of African cultures, through films produced by African filmmakers.

Winston Brown and Vallance Morrison, Brown Realty and Brown Insurance Group
ENTREPRENAURIAL LEADERSHIP AWARD: For embarking upon successful business endeavors in the United States, as well as championing the success of startup businesses, with special concern for Sierra Leonean interests, which provide employment opportunities for Sierra Leoneans in the United States and abroad.

Mr. Ronald Jusu, Ron Jusu and Associates
ENTREPRENAURIAL LEADERSHIP AWARD: For support to the many loyalists and lovers of Sierra Leone by helping to guide them though processes associated with fundraising activities, including but not limited to grant proposals and submissions; business plan writing and submissions; and strategic plans developments.

Dr. Fuambai Ahmadu and Mr. Mohamed Kosia, SiA Magazine/MSSLDC and C&C Promotions
COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP AWARD: For contributions in promoting the many talents of locally-based Sierra Leonean artists as well as those based in Sierra Leone who are seeking an international audience; and for promoting a hallmark of the African culture – the inner and outer beauty, charm, grace and compassion of African women.

Mr. David Vandy and the Sierra Theatre Productions, LLC
COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP AWARD: For actively engaging Sierra Leoneans to come together with the goal of educating and entertaining through the arts by producing plays that depict the Sierra Leonean culture and tradition in positive ways.

Ms Lucy Sumner and The Magic Penny, Inc.
COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP AWARD: For superior and dedicated service in providing financial support for educational, economic and agricultural programs in the Bompehtoke area of Sierra Leone.

Mohamed Sadu Bah, Esq.
Distinguished Posthumous Award: For devoted and dedicated Service to the Sierra Leone Community in the United States of America. In addition to a Posthumous Award, NOSLINA will present a special gift in honor of the late Attorney Sadu Bah, a gift befitting a NOSLINA founding member.

Professor Clifford Nelson Fyle
Posthumous Award: For his everlasting and significant contribution to the people of Sierra Leone as the author of the nation’s national anthem, which has made a profound impact and enhanced the name of Sierra Leone and the welfare of its peoples.

WE WILL BRING YOU A` FULL REPORT AND INTERVIEWS AS WELL AS PHOTOS OF THE GREAT NIGHT . STAY TUNED .

Huge sense of anticipation in Sierra Leone as President Koroma ignites hope in the country’s future

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Huge sense of anticipation in Sierra Leone as President Koroma ignites hope in the country’s future thumbnail

The 50th Independence Anniversary celebrations have demonstrated without any iota of doubt that hope eternal has sprung in the hearts of all Sierra Leoneans. For a whole nation and its citizens in the diaspora to be so united in their celebrations, it means that national pride and national love for the country has been reborn and the credit goes to President Ernest Koroma whose inspiring leadership and achievements under his AGENDA FOR CHANGE Program have given Sierra Leoneans hope that regardless of whatever the problems our nation is facing today there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  (Photo: President Ernest Bai Koroma)

Human beings have certain  criteria  they look at to get motivated about the future of their country. They go beyond their country’s problems, for instance,  to see if the government in power is making serious and honest efforts to turn around their country’s fortunes. Sierra Leoneans are encouraged that President Koroma is making honest and determined efforts to make their country a land of plenty in the not-too-distant future. Sierra Leoneans know that whatever the situation problems do not go away at once in a nation. They know that there are global factors that will always influence socio-economic events in their country. Sierra Leone, for now, is not an oil-producing country and we are at the mercy of international market forces like demand and supply. Sierra Leoneans at times talk as if their whole heads are buried in the sand and they are oblivious of events in the whole world. Anybody who reads newspapers online knows that there are presently fuel crises in many countries including  Nigeria, Liberia and the Great United Kingdom.  We have learnt that the present fuel crisis in Sierra Leone is not unconnected with the recent change  from the imperial to the metric system (from gallons to litres ).

Why is that we always amplify our own problems as if we are the only nation facing them? It is one thing to announce that there is a fuel crisis in your country .There is nothing wrong with that, but to write as if it is happening only in Sierra Leone is dishonest and distasteful.  Read the latest editions of the British Daily Mail , Daily Express and The Guardian – which I receive everyday by subscription – and the first thing of note on the pages of these  papers is the astronomical rise in fuel prices and the many cuts going on in social services . Even those who watch the news on TV in the U.S or read newspapers know that the American media have been buzzing lately with distressing stories about increases in the price of fuel and basic commodities as well as budget shortfalls which are causing massive layoffs of workers, including the police and teachers.  Sierra Leone is not the only country bedevilled by socio-economic problems. The industrialized countries like Britain, USA, France, Germany, Russia etc. are also neck deep in social and economic woes.

As long as Sierra Leone remains part and parcel of the socio-economic and geopolitical configuration of the world, whatever affects other countries will come to our shores. We will never be exempted. The Sama Banyas and other crybabies know this fully well but they will not pass by any opportunity to make political capital out of any problems facing our country. They are foolish enough to speak as if we never had these problems during SLPP rule.  The  positive thing that any rational being can take out of it all is that the anti-government propagandists have still not succeeded in dampening the mood of the nation .The overwhelming turnout at the events marking the Jubilee celebrations depicted a nation where there is a huge sense of anticipation that there is cause for optimism in the future of the country . Sierra Leoneans showed that they still have faith in their country which would not have been possible if we had a non-performing President and government in power.

People may be lining up to buy fuel but all around them they also see hope , through the  progress and developments going on and on the radio they hear more good news like the  recent opening in Sierra Leone  by the U.S of  its first Special Economic Zone in Africa . Said the U.S. Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Mr. Michael Owen:” The project is the first and only American-owned Special Economic Zone on the African continent with an enormous potential for growth.” Sierra Leone, through this project, will start exporting Mango and Pineapple Juice pretty soon and the Economic Zone has the potential to provide thousands of jobs to Sierra Leoneans. President Koroma negotiated the project when he was in the U.S. last year for the UN General Assembly.

Richard Schroeder, chief executive of First Step, which runs the factory, gave this heart-lifting appraisal of the project : “Our aim is to bring ethical foreign direct investment into Sierra Leone, providing space for international businesses to process Sierra Leone resources instead of exporting the raw material,”

Under President Koroma, Sierra Leone has  opened up to business , commerce and investments  and given the present momentum  created by the resumption of mining activities all over the country there is definitely a silver lining in the cloud. It is not all bleak. And if Sierra Leone becomes an oil producing country soon, one can just imagine the dramatic changes coming to the socio-economic fortunes of the country.

With President Koroma at the helm, masterminding progress in the nation, first class highways are being constructed in the capital and all over the country in the largest road construction enterprise ever undertaken in the nation. These infrastructural developments which will improve the quality of life of the people and boost commerce and farming, show that the Ernest Koroma government is working diligently in the interest of the people. No wonder people are so hopeful of the future.

President Koroma has even set the machinery in motion for Sierra Leone to achieve food security. Said the President: “Our goal is for us to move away from subsistence to commercial agriculture, agro-processing ,adding value to our agricultural products and realizing maximum benefit from the richness of our soil”. In this respect, President Koroma launched the Smallholder Commercialization Project which has brought together over 10, 000 farmers in farmer-based organizatioons to make agriculture more proftable. The result is that farming activities have intensified in the country. Lots of Sierra Leoneans are now going back to the soil and this is a good sign that Sierra Leone is headed in the right direction.

In years to come, especially during President Koroma’s Second term, it is obvious that Sierra Leone will be in a new dispensation of socio-economic and political renaissance. Sierra Leoneans would have started reaping the benefits of the investments presently being made by President Ernest Koroma. Let us therefore eschew negative thinking and pandering to the vicious propaganda being peddled by retrogressive journalists and hoodlums masquerading as media men and women. There is hope for Sierra Leone and if somebody does not deliberately try to be block-headed, he can see the signs all around him. Let us therefore throw our weight behind President Ernest Koroma and support his Agenda For Change, which bodes well for our beloved nation.

The tremendous sense of anticipation in the country is not misplaced. President Koroma has brought hope to Sierra Leone and it is our duty as citizens to jump on the President’s bandwagon to provide the help he needs from all of us to make Sierra Leone a better place for ourselves, children and generations yet to come.

Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu, Minister Plenipotentiary, Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the UN, New York, US

Minister Plenipotentiary Kabs-Kanu asks Sierra Leoneans to unite and love one another

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011
By Jacob Sax-Conteh , Cocorioko’s Editor-In-Chief :

The Minister  Plenipotentiary to the United Nations and Coordinator of the Committee of 10 African States on the UN Security Council Reform, Hon. Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu , was the Grand Chief Patron during the 50th Independence Anniversary Celebrations Dance in New Jersey last Saturday April 21, 2011.

In the biggest dance to have been held in New Jersey in living memory with about 2, 000 guests estimated to have jammed the Chinese Community Cultural Centre on Elizabeth Avenue in Somerset , NJ to celebrate their country’s golden jubilee, charismatic nurse and former educator in Sierra Leone, Mrs. Martina Kabba was given the honour to introduce the Grand Chief Patron. The community activist , a  1980s graduate of the then Milton Margai Teachers College ( MMTC) ,  numerated Minister Kabs-Kanu’s numerous contribution to the New Jersey community as a religious leader , journalist and diplomat and said that the organizers of Sierra Leone’s 50th Independence Anniversary celebrations were delighted to have him at the occasion.

KABSKANU8

In his address, the Minister Plenipotentiary thanked the New Jersey community for the honor accorded him to make him the Grand Chief Patron of such an auspicious occasion. He praised New Jersey for staging what he said could be described as one of the best jubilee anniversary events, starting from the parade and picnic held earlier during the day. He noted that if there was any doubt that Sierra Lweoneans loved their country, “ that notion was destroyed today by the exceptional patriotism you demonstrated during the picnic and parade and this dance “. Mr. Kabs-Kanu said he was deeply moved and fascinated by the patriotic sacrifices made by  Sierra Leoneans in New Jersey to make such a grand jubilee ceremony . He admonished them to contining loving Sierra Leone , their motherland .

The Minister Plenipotentiary advised Sierra Leoneans to  however move beyond love for their nation by   loving one another. He stated that if Sierra Leoneans love their country this much, they must show a corresponding love for one another. He said that Sierra Leoneans were one people united by the green-white-and-blue flag  and there was no reason for the petty squabbles often seen  in their midst.  He called on them to learn to forgive one another . “I want to use this occasion to appeal to you all for national unity . ”

The Minister said he will not burden the guests with a long speech and  called on one and all to go on and enjoy themselves. The crowd cheered the short speech and many residents mounted the stage to shake the minister’s hand for his thoughtful admonition.

The New Jersey Parade, picnic and Dance are still being praised as one of the best ceremonies during the jubilee celebrations .The occasion also helped to bring the community together and organizers are planning to make it a yearly event.

Earlier in the week during a majestic flag raising ceremony at the City Hall Rotunda, 920 Broad Street, Newark, attended by distinguished New Jerseyans Sierra eone’s Ambassador to the United States , H.E. Bockarie Kortu Stevens, Minister Kabs-Kanu, who is also a Reverend, prayed for Sierra Leone and President Ernest Bai Koroma , members of the government, the diplomatic staff and all Sierra Leoneans.

During the flag raising ceremony , Ambassador Stevens and New Jersey Community activist, Mr. Foday Mansaray, were honored for their contribution to society.

Minister Plenipotentiary asks Sierra Leoneans to unite and love one another

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Minister Plenipotentiary asks Sierra Leoneans to unite and love one another

Posted by  on May 3, 20110 Comment

By Jacob Sax-Conteh , Cocorioko’s Editor-In-Chief :

The Minister  Plenipotentiary to the United Nations and Coordinator of the Committee of 10 African States on the UN Security Council Reform, Hon. Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu , was the Grand Chief Patron during the 50th Independence Anniversary Celebrations Dance in New Jersey last Saturday April 21, 2011.

In the biggest dance to have been held in New Jersey in living memory with about 2, 000 guests estimated to have jammed the Chinese Community Cultural Centre on Elizabeth Avenue in Somerset , NJ to celebrate their country’s golden jubilee, charismatic nurse and former educator in Sierra Leone, Mrs. Martina Kabba was given the honour to introduce the Grand Chief Patron. The community activist , a  1980s graduate of the then Milton Margai Teachers College ( MMTC) ,  numerated Minister Kabs-Kanu’s numerous contribution to the New Jersey community as a religious leader , journalist and diplomat and said that the organizers of Sierra Leone’s 50th Independence Anniversary celebrations were delighted to have him at the occasion.

In his address, the Minister Plenipotentiary thanked the New Jersey community for the honor accorded him to make him the Grand Chief Patron of such an auspicious occasion. He praised New Jersey for staging what he said could be described as one of the best jubilee anniversary events, starting from the parade and picnic held earlier during the day. He noted that if there was any doubt that Sierra Lweoneans loved their country, “ that notion was destroyed today by the exceptional patriotism you demonstrated during the picnic and parade and this dance “. Mr. Kabs-Kanu said he was deeply moved and fascinated by the patriotic sacrifices made by  Sierra Leoneans in New Jersey to make such a grand jubilee ceremony . He admonished them to contining loving Sierra Leone , their motherland .

The Minister Plenipotentiary advised Sierra Leoneans to  however move beyond love for their nation by   loving one another. He stated that if Sierra Leoneans love their country this much, they must show a corresponding love for one another. He said that Sierra Leoneans were one people united by the green-white-and-blue flag  and there was no reason for the petty squabbles often seen  in their midst.  He called on them to learn to forgive one another . “I want to use this occasion to appeal to you all for national unity . ”

The Minister said he will not burden the guests with a long speech and  called on one and all to go on and enjoy themselves. The crowd cheered the short speech and many residents mounted the stage to shake the minister’s hand for his thoughtful admonition.

The New Jersey Parade, picnic and Dance are still being praised as one of the best ceremonies during the jubilee celebrations .The occasion also helped to bring the community together and organizers are planning to make it a yearly event.

Earlier in the week during a majestic flag raising ceremony at the City Hall Rotunda, 920 Broad Street, Newark, attended by distinguished New Jerseyans Sierra eone’s Ambassador to the United States , H.E. Bockarie Kortu Stevens, Minister Kabs-Kanu, who is also a Reverend, prayed for Sierra Leone and President Ernest Bai Koroma , members of the government, the diplomatic staff and all Sierra Leoneans.

During the flag raising ceremony , Ambassador Stevens and New Jersey Community activist, Mr. Foday Mansaray, were honored for their contribution to society.

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

‘Sierra Leone Week’ And Photo Exhibition Launched At The UN

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

By Wilfred Leeroy Kabs-Kanu
The United Nations Sierra Leone Club, in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the UN, on Monday launched “Sierra Leone Week ” at the UN in honour of Sierra Leone’s  golden jubilee anniversary celebrations. The occasion  introduced a flurry of week-long events heralding the 50th Independence Anniversary. In a very impressive ceremony, the launching program  was followed by the opening of a  photo exhibition depicting Sierra Leone’s past and present since she attained nationhood on April 27, 1961.
The two events were attended by an appreciable crowd which included the Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to the UN, H.E. Ambassador Shekou Touray, other ambassadors and diplomats assigned to the Mission, former ambassadors , members of the UN Sierra Leone Club , representatives of Sierra Leone organizations in New York and New Jersey and many Sierra Leonean activists.
It was another landmark occasion that  placed the nation at the focus of international attention , especially given the fact that it was held in the headquarters of the World organization responsible for promoting international governance, peace and security —on the third floor  the UN Secretariat building .
Statements were delivered by H.E. Shekou Touray , the Sierra Leonean-born Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Dr. Kandeh Yumkella (Who was not present but an attempt was made to provide his statement by audio , though technical problems affected the move ), the Chairman of the International Civil Service Commission, Mr. Kingston Rhodes, former Deputy Permanent Representative for Political Affairs, Dr. Sylvester Rowe, the former Permanent Representative, Dr. James Jonah, the President of the Sierra Leone Nurses Association of New York,  Ms. Zainab Sesay-Harrel, the President of the Union of Sierra Leone Organization, Mr. Ahmed Kargbo and the Chair of the National Organization of Sierra Leoneans in North America ( NOSLINA ), Mr. Melbourne Garber.
In his statement, Ambassador Touray said that the decision to launch the Sierra Leone Week was a worthwhile and noble undertaking because we are celebrating 50 years of nationhood. Independence , he said, was very important to Sierra Leoneans, because it carried the  hopes and aspirations of their  nation after centuries of suffering from the the Atlantic Slave Trade and then undergoing colonial rule for over a hundred years .  He noted that the launching of Sierra Leone  Week at the UN was  a special honor for the government and people of Sierra Leone and  on behalf of the government, he expressed  his  appreciation to the organizers of the program. According to the Permanent Representative : “Independence meant everything to us as it did to other countries  because even while we were under colonial rule, we showed tremendous leadership potentials and demonstrated that we have the ability for self-governance. During Colonial Rule, Sierra Leone at various stages of her development, was the hub of governance and the transmission of Western learning and civilization in West Africa. ”
AMBASSADOR TOURAY DELIVERING HIS STATEMENT
Ambassador Touray went on to say that  Sierra Leone  has every reason to celebrate 50 years of self-governance because the country has many achievements to showcase, despite the traumatic periods of war , bad governance and mismanagement she went through. He spoke about the negative image hangover being suffered by Sierra Leone , but he  hoped that through this 50th Anniversary, one of whose goals is to rebrand Sierra Leone , some of the negative perceptions held about the country will be dispelled.
PHOTO OF THE ATTENDEES AND ORGANIZERS
Former Ambassador James Jonah , for his part, discredited the widely held view that the  Sierra Leone war was caused by corruption and misgovernance. Though he admitted that these factors may have contributed, he theorized that the main cause of the war was greed for the country’s minerals. He also hinted  that the Momoh Government was lackadaisical with the war because before  the rebels invaded the country he asked the then President whether he had any situation report of events on the ground , the late General Joseph Momoh replied that he had none. He said that the army was kept weak  deliberately , which gave the rebel army the advantage. The former Permanent Representative also regretted that when the war started the perception was that it was being fought in the provinces, notwithstanding the fact that most of the country’s wealth was in the South/East.
ISHMAEL TAYLOR -KAMARA POSES WITH FEMALE ATTENDEES
Ambassador Jonah stated that the 1992 military coup was a  very popular putsch but he described the NPRC as idealistic young  soldiers who were later corrupted by politicians. He  then described the 1997 coup that briefly toppled the Tejan Kabbah government as an unpopular one and he recalled that it was the first time that a whole nation refused to go to work for a year in protest against the coup until the AFRC  junta was removed. He narrated the events leading to the staging of the first post-war democratic elections in 1996 .The nation, he recalled, went through a bitter struggle to have democracy . He also recalled how the SLPP Government first wanted to disband the army after it was reinstalled but were legally advised that it was not possible because the constitution mandated the existence of an army . He said the government thus decided to engage in Security Sector Reform –To reform the army, police and the rule of law –which he said brought immense benefits.
Ambassador Jonah said that Sierra Leoneans cannot escape the fact that we lost a whole decade but he expressed gratitude that Sierra Leone has been able to come out of it and as a nation was now forging ahead. He expressed optimism in the country’s next 50 years.
DR.ROWE (FIRST FROM LEFT )  CHAIRMAN RHODES (THIRD FROM LEFT)  AND AMBASSADOR TOURAY (FIRST FROM RIGHT ) AT THE PHOTO EXHIBITION
Chairman Kingston Rhodes recalled that he was an accountant in the Civil Service when Sierra Leone gained Independence and he described the pride of seeing the green-white-and -blue national flag of Sierra Leone being hoisted in 1961. He advised that the nation invest in education and the training of the youth, especially in this age of Globalization. He theorized that to develop, Sierra Leone does not only need to harness her natural resources but  even her human resources as well.
AHMED KABBA FROM LONDON POSES WITH THE LADIES
Dr. Sylvester Rowe recalled that at Independence he was a media man working for the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Service (SLBS ) and he disclosed ,  amidst cheers, that he was the broadcaster who announced to the world that Sierra Leone had attained Independence. He stated that on Sunday, he played the tape of the 1962 opening of Parliament and listened to speeches by Sir Milton Margai , Pa. Siaka Stevens and Mr. Banja Tejan-Sie, whom he described as a very eloquent speaker. He also expressed optimism in the future of the nation.
Zainab Sesay-Harrel said that though she was born of an African-American father and a Sierra Leonean mother, she was brought up to embrace the culture of Sierra Leone and most of her school reports were about Sierra Leone which her teachers appreciated .She urged Sierra Leoneans that as they celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Independence they must remember to embrace their culture . She also called on Sierra Leoneans to give something back to society.
Ahmed Kargbo philosophied that Sierra Leone is like a vehicle. It cannot move except the people move it. It needs a driver and somebody to constantly refuel it. He noted that one thing that held Sierra Leoneans together was tolerance. He praised the religious tolerance in Sierra Leone where muslims and christians worship alongside each other peacefully. He said that nothing mattered more than the national interest and reminded the attendees that without the people, there would be no Sierra Leone.
Mr. Melbourne Garber, in his very brief statement,  said that it was a happy time for Sierra Leone to celebrate 50 years of nationhood. He pointed out to the crowd that how Sierra Leone went  forward will determine how they  succeed as a nation.
The vote of thanks was given by Mrs. Muriette Lawrence-Hume who thanked everybody for coming to help make the occasion a success.
MR. SIDNEY LAWRENCE AT THE PROGRAM
The opening of the photo exhibition by H.E. Ambassador Touray then followed . Guests and organizers then spent quality time savouring the valuable photos which spanned the entire period of the country’s history since Independence.
NEW JERSEY was represented by members of the state’s 50th Anniversary Planning Committee, Messrs Mohamed Aziz Nabe, Foday Mansaray and Dauda Bangura while New York was represented by Ahmed Kargbo, Zainab Sesay-Harrel and Ishmael Taylor-Kamara.