Sierra Leone- 50 years of independence: Why we should celebrate now - Written by Mus Jojo Collier and Gibrilla Sesay
It was fifty years ago on the 27th April 1961 that Sierra Leone gained independence from her colonial master Britain. I normally like to say “some independence” since she was attached to strings that were pulled from London. Leaders came and went and left us in one state or the other; some good and some bad. This once beautiful paradise became a hell hole reducing her children to animals.
It has been ten years since the end of a decade long brutal and senseless war that made Sierra Leone make headlines around the world for all the wrong reasons. Those days are now gone and hopefully for good and so are forty nine other independence celebrations that did not really mean anything. Even the first republic and other subsequent republics failed to move this unbelievably rich nation in every sense of the word to the deserved heights of pomp and opulence. Instead the nation was pushed further down into the mires of squalor and abject poverty, fueling anger and desperation, which set in motion a destructive mentality that bred the carnage and anarchy only this nation has seen in the whole world.
The golden jubilee is now upon us - a time of reflection, celebration and renaissance. This is the first time in a very long time that Sierra Leoneans are wearing their national colors with pride and moving around in a renewed hope of a brighter future. The citizens have a sudden belief that this country can be what it once was, a model for other countries to follow; the Athens of West Africa it once was. Sierra Leone is a deeply spiritual country with her citizens believing that God has plans for their nation.
It is probably this belief that has kept us going in the most difficult times in our history.
It is the reason why I believe the Sierra Leonean believes this is time for real freedom from spiritual, physical and mental shackles, as promised in the Bible by God in Leviticus 25 v 10-13 “In this way, you shall set the fiftieth year apart and proclaim freedom to all the inhabitants of the land. During this year all property that has been sold shall be restored to the original owner or his descendants and anyone who has been sold as a slave shall return to his family…for it the jubilee; it shall be only to you; you shall eat its produce from the field.”
The tangible evidence of infrastructural and other developments across the country is probably another reason for the renewed hope. One carriage ways turning to two; new roads being constructed. Development in the medical landscape of the country and an all out assault on corruption without favor or discrimination by the authorities has put sparkle in the Sierra Leonean eyes and smiles on the lips. With unison for once everyone is calling for attitudinal change, after years of political bickering. This calls for celebration, calls for jubilation. Let us jubilate! It is jubilee!!
Mus Jojo Collier and Gibrilla Sesay
Freetown, Sierra Leone