Monthly Archives: August 2016

Sierra Leone Deputy Minister of Social Welfare Is A Weapon for White Supremacist War on Our Culture

Before Pedro da Centra set foot on the shores of our land and called it Sierra Lyoa (Sierra Leone or Mountain of Lion), the peoples of this land had forms of governing themselves and a social order that sustained our society and helped us survive the elements. Of course, we lost grip on self-governance from the first time our men and women were hunted down and taken into slavery by white supremacists and the eventual move of the British into our land as rulers. As the saying goes, “the rest is history.” We are still struggling to self-govern, despite nearly sixty years of “independence.”

NOTICE A WOMAN AS MEMBER OF THE KING'S COUNCIL

NOTICE A WOMAN AS MEMBER OF THE KING’S COUNCIL

The white Europeans who waged the physical war on our land and people resulting in the enslavement our men and women, as well as robbing us of our ways of governing ourselves, also waged a cultural war on us and have for centuries been trying to decimate our social order. White supremacists know that the key to complete conquer of a people is to make them lose sight of their culture; this is why Africans who were taken as slaves to America were robbed of their given and family names. In most African cultures, we assume relations and solidarity with others with whom we share family names; that kind of communal culture would have caused serious problems for slave masters. But the African slaves not knowing or perceiving each other as relatives made it easier for the white masters to conquer them as slaves by keeping them divided by their names and apart geographically.

NOTICE THE FAMILY BEING SEPARATED. A POWERFUL TOOL!

NOTICE THE FAMILY BEING SEPARATED. A POWERFUL TOOL!

The culture war, however, has been difficult for the white man to win in Africa. By some means, the peoples of Sierra Leone have managed to maintain social order, particularly through the two main cultural institutions, Poro Society for men and the Sande/Bondo Society for women. These two institutions have served to empower both men and women with knowledge, skills and social and political power in our society. In poro, boys become men; they learn essential skills, such as hunting and how to be pillars in society. In Sande/Bondo, girls become women; they learn essential skills that empower them to heal and be pillars in society, being the primary caretakers in the family and community. Whether times are good or bad, women’s roles are invaluable in Sierra Leonean culture.

The first thing a boy goes through in his initiation into poro society is circumcision. Likewise, the first thing a girl goes through in her initiation into Sande/Bondo Society is circumcision. This has been going on for ages, the first European invaders noticed how empowering these institutions are and tried, in vain, to invade them so that they could device means of decimating them. The main tool of that era in this cultural war was religion.

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Fast forward to the present NGO Era, their new weapon is shrouded in “humanitarian assistance.” With this new weapon, the white supremacists have built a structure in which the foot soldiers of their cultural war are Africans themselves. Millions, if not, billions of dollars are given to so called non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Africa every year for what they call female genital mutilation (FGM), a term white folks came up with to describe African women who are members of the Sande/Bondo Society. With such a derogatory term, they have tried for years to taint our culture. White supremacists have been spending tons of money to convince the world that the women’s institutions in Africa are “harmful,” as a way to end African women’s ability to maintain agency through their women’s society. No one is calling yet for the dismantling of the poro society, but we know that it would be their next target.

One of the main reasons Sierra Leone has one of the highest illiteracy rates among women is the grave fear the people have that once their girls are educated and exposed to western ideals, they would turn their noses up on our culture. This is why girls in most families are not allowed to attend school, some who start are not supported to continue into secondary or post secondary levels. Beyond the essential and life preserving practical roles women play in our society, they also serve as preservers of our culture; thus, most families believe that keeping girls out of western education is a means of preserving our culture.

Drummer-Nyaha

For instance, our mothers often prefer that their sons marry women from their tribes or regions because they worry about whether their sons would maintain their traditions without a wife who understands or follows our culture. Men who marry white women or otherwise western minded women are often perceived as having gone astray, “their children would never understand our ways,” family members would say. Of course, many Sierra Leonean men have married outside their tribes and regions and have still upheld their traditions all the same. But this is just to highlight the invaluable role of women as preservers of our culture in the Sierra Leonean social order.

The new and current Deputy Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, who by all looks of things, from her speeches to her writings, is not an educated woman, is proving our people right; western exposure has not only robbed this woman of our values and culture, it has made her into a foot soldier and a weapon in the white supremacists’ war on our culture.

She was discovered by her “FUNDERS” in Guinea, during the Sierra Leone war. With no prospect of finding a visa to repatriate to greener land in America or Europe as many others did, she grabbed the next best thing; formed a fictitious NGO, as many others have done. She has received millions of dollars through her NGO from white supremacist German and other European foundations who are waging war on the women’s institutions in Sierra Leone and elsewhere, in the name of “anti-FGM.” She continues being used as their weapon even after her political connections to President Ernest Koroma led to appointing her as deputy minister.

The deputy minister’s bias toward the Sande/Bondo women, who make up the majority of women in Sierra Leone, is not only a gross conflict of interest, it is a gross injustice to women as she is now using her position as a platform to continue her white supremacist funders’ war on the women of Sierra Leone.

Stay tuned, Mama Salone has more!!

#MamaSaloneisNOTmutilated

#OurSandeBondoIsNOTfgm

#BondoSocietyisNOTmutilated

People of Kono District Must Unite to End Structural Injustice

The chronic polarization of Kono peoples must stop. While they are asleep by their focus on superficial divisions, the criminal political elite of Sierra Leone is robbing them blind of their land and their human and peoples’ rights.

When a leader wants absolute power but still needs the outside world and donors to see him as a “democratic” leader, he crafts laws that give legitimacy to his nefarious plans; in this way, outsiders can ignore what he does in the name of sovereignty. This is how the Mines & Minerals Act of 2009 came into being in Sierra Leone, at the behest of the current President Ernest Bai Koroma, the “Supreme Leader” with absolute power in “democratic” Republic of Sierra Leone.

This Act instituted a structure in which a place such as Kono District, which is the most diamondiferous district in Sierra Leone, belongs to the political elite and their network. A quick glance at the act tells you that in a place like Kono, the people have lost all rights to their land; the land and what it contains not only belong to the president and his cronies, they have absolute power over the people. This law has taken the people of Kono into a deep hole from which they must find a way to crawl out.

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Mines and Minerals Act of 2009- Section 2 – Ownership of minerals

(1) All rights of ownership in and control of minerals in, under or upon any land in Sierra Leone and its continental shelf are invested in the Republic not withstanding any right of ownership or otherwise that any person may possess in and to the soil on, in or under which minerals are found or situated.

(2) The Minister shall ensure in the public interest that the mineral resources of Sierra Leone are investigated and exploited in the most efficient effective and timely manner.

We have all decried the constant police brutality against the people of Kono, especially the youth, whenever they try to protest the injustices they are facing. We have wondered about the arrogance and over-confidence of cabinet ministers who operate in Kono. These ministers are well known for threatening, intimidating and ordering police to arrest, imprison and even kill Kono people who raise their voices against the injustices they face. The absolute power and impunity of Kono ministers are based in the laws.

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Ancestral homes are bulldozed daily and people of Kono are relocated by foreign owned mining companies to shabby new locations far away from schools, markets and hospitals. Schools that have existed for decades are bulldozed and relocated to areas that are inaccessible to the children who attend them. The list goes on and chronically corrupt politicians, their network and local leaders continue to enrich themselves at the expense of the people’s lives and livelihood.

The daily or weekly kimberlite blasting by a powerful mining company, Koidu Holdings aka OCTEA, has been causing so much physical, psychological and emotional havoc on the people of Kono;  the tremor caused by the dynamite blasts leads to many miscarriages among pregnant women in the vicinity, it also leads to psychological trauma, especially for older survivors of the decade long war. But it is all legitimate because the Mines & Minerals Act of 2009 says it is,

Section 36: Compulsory acquisition of private land.

(1) The Minister may, by order published in the Gazette, compulsorily acquire private land or rights over or under private land for use by the holder of a large- scale mining licence.

As a result, the people of Kono are internally displaced and are facing serious oppressive treatment by the police and the government officials they take orders from. Protecting the source of their diamond wealth has led the politicians and their vulture western investment partner companies to commit serious abuse of human rights in Kono District, yet, these atrocities may seem legally justified based on the mining laws.koidu-holdings-company-2

In one rare video report of atrocities in Kono, (which may well be a government commissioned propaganda report), a government minister is asked to explain the situation regarding the recent Congo Bridge destruction and mishandling of the youth and other citizens who tried to protest in Koidu City. Part of the minister’s explanation is that the bulldozing, digging, dredging, etc., were being done to “remove unsuitable materials…to protect the people and their interests.” It is very obvious from his responses that the overconfident minister is fully aware of the injustice of this mining activity, which is leading to the loss of a vital bridge and the lives and livelihood of the people. The Mining Act of 2009 provides legitimacy for this minister to claim that he has commissioned a mining company to “remove unsuitable material…,” a language borrowed from the law,  which gives him the power to order the wrath of police brutality on the people, which in the last incident, resulted in serious injuries and at least one fatality that we know of in Koidu City.

Diamonds have been mined in Kono District for over 80 years; but the previous regime of the late President Tejan Kabba and the current regime of President Ernest Bai Koroma are probably the worst in history for Kono and its people. Things are only going to get better for Kono District and its people when,

  • the people use their collective political powers to demand changes in the structure that the current regime has put in place in the guise of a mining law.
  • Kono people unite in holding their legislators accountable for partaking in the drafting and passing of such laws.
  • People of Kono realize that politicians are false prophets, their promises are fake and only meant to deceive them into giving them the very powers they end up using against them.
  • the people of Kono use their voting power to push for changes in the laws that have built the structure in which they have lost their birth rights to their land.

The people of Kono must unite and find legitimate means of using their collective voices to uplift themselves out of this hole dug by crafty laws drafted by crafty politicians.

References
Watch a video showing a light sample of OCTEA Dynamite Blasting in Kono

Mines & Minerals Act, 2009

A Call for Kono People to Instrospect & Unite