The Sierra Leone Web

  .Beresford Caramba-Coker is a retired banker living in the U.K. presently, running a business consultancy.  


From the Diaspora - Coming in From the Cold

An Ode to Mother Sierra Leone: Over the years we asked
Where are your Sons and Daughters eminent and distinguished
Those whose stature is felt beyond your shores whose history of their deeds should fill the breast
of young, aspiring boys and girls to assume their places or esteem their deeds.
Your Sons and daughters are winners of accolades in far yon horizons where they are contributing to developing foreign lands.
Oh our beloved country where are your Sons and Daughters of distinction
Cry for your children your history will be poor your tapestry woven will be weak
Your youth have little to inspire them they will despair, their mentors are gone to foreign shores to weave a finer tapestry in a far flung society.
Your shores waved goodbye to them in their youth they stay away until they are weak or retiring sometimes until their demise.
If they come to die if they come to be interned their souls have mourned their beloved land throughout their youth. Their yearning for belonging never fulfilled their bones will not rest as it was a tortured life they had.
Awake dear mother these are your heritage to grow your stature, to mark your place in the realm of the world and history.
Your children are roaming the world lost in search of what? They in the past were running away from that so dreadful and uncertain.
Rein back the loss retain your best protect their views there is room in your womb for the dissenters, the mavericks, the learned, the talented, the leaders, the followers, the contrarian, the wise and the foolish sons or daughters.
All of these together will weave a finer bio tapestry to make you proud.
Oh mother of these children, you are in despair in agony, is your womb wrenched in pain?
Where is your generation to be inspired from? What fountain of experience would they supp from?
Where can they learn that they can fight for their rights and unite in the cause of progress; the cardinal sin for which they were born.
If your heritage should stand, you need the carpenter craftsman, the masoner builder, the water carrier, the cook, the maid, the master, the servant each in his part expert and dedicated to serve not for fame or aggrandisement but to see the structure last a millennium.
Separation of powers and assertion of individual rights, responsibility to the wider society,accountability of every actions, awareness of excellence and the rule of law should be the mammary milk you dispense to everyone.
Your children feeding from that fountain of milk should feel the urge to stay around to serve you well into their old age. For the breast they would have suckled holds and yielded the qualities they desire and admired in foreign lands.


An ode to the noble " Patricians" in our midst
It is poignant to note that they are of the yesterday generation Professor Jones & Umu Kultumi Tejan- Jalloh

Noble citizens of old fought and shed their blood in defence of their cities and high ideals
All they asked was: that their cities be safe, their lives; they sacrificed that others may live.
Then came the time that old traditions crumbled and 'stout characters' were no longer cherished
The noblest were mocked for their high ideals they kept alive, whilst shunning greed, they noble; they resigned to live in crumbled pillaged cities
They lost the fight and seceded to the dictates of lowly characters boastful grand and ostentatious.
This was a time when it was the parlance "Say Bilor Barrie you say Davidson Nicol" for noble causes were mocked to scorn
This once noble place of old which once knew linage's of rulers whose sons and daughters will rather die than soil their memories
Succumbed to avarice and reckless abandonment the gilded cars and hilltop houses took rage and precedence.
The souls became lost to immoral ambitions they abandoned the poor and suffering masses to feed on scarge ends while they ate cakes with a life of greed and wanton avarice
It was in a decade of descent lives that Proff Jones and Umu Kiltumu Tejan-Jalloh were born and how they would have tormented and mourned the yester years of their glorious youth.
Umu Kultum Tejan-Jalloh formed of pedigree woven at nursery nurtured in a life of service to the common man none of a lesser god will rival you. Proff it is fitting that your shoulders bear this honour for after you there will be few if any to carry it on.
That they were chosen for excellence and praise is no surprise, for theirs is a life of simple grace
Pray that the once noble kinds that walked our lands will stride their strotes again
May they receive the respect of all men of good character and be placed to walk in heaven among the saints of old
To you two this nation will write upon its history that your acts were simple but inspired the hearts of all
It will be on your epitaph 'they were the richest in honesty noblest in characters' the true citizens
That is the greatest of all the wealth that man acquire, those who amassed the loot will have a simple epitaph on which weeds will grow as their names fade in time and ignominy



6th January, a memory that is forever be our nemesis
That day of our shame that experience of our despair
That nightmarish day that scorched our landscape the day that this nation lost its innocence
The sounds of artillery and scenes of mass crowds displaced
A mound of terror on the move coming on like "ABARA" sweeping over the landscape

The human toll we suffered in disgrace to achieve no end but slash and burn
A decade sign posted a period of blood and gore
On our soil was spilt brothers blood my sisters toils
We now bow our heads in shame disgraced that peace was torn and terror unleashed
For ten years this wind of terror waved through like a tsunami lives thrown to the winds and vultures feasted

Makeshift graves were dug by road sides families were burnt in houses
Women were victims of rape and assaults
Our historical relics burnt down in unjust rage
Guns were trained on unarmed citizens cowered in fear

For what was war and for what attainment
Thousands lost a future and thousands lost their lives
A generation is robbed of dreams and aspiration
Many dreams were broken on the cusp

This stain on our landscape a scourge that harms and delays our development
For why did we conspire to stage a theatre to destroy our homes and our kin folks lives
The ghosts of those wasted lives adrift on our landscape
Never again
That day of 6th January
In sober inflection give a moment of great reflection how fruitless war is and how
A once beautiful serene calm sober and ordered society lost its way

For the memory of the fallen souls the battered humans and the destroyed dreamers
This must be our resolve to never again in our lives nor in our history should such a dastardly act blight us
No principle, nor territory rights,nor divisions not tribal, not differences of opinion, not to assert our rights not to avenge injustice nor for any wrongs that you are plagued with should arms be reined against your countrymen
For war is fruitless and destructive its objective never fulfilled it only lay waste lives and ruins to rebuild.