President Ernest Bai Koroma has dedicated Friday as a day of cultural renaissance, where all should eat, dress, dance and drink the Sierra Leonean way.
The President was speaking on the occasion of the State Opening of the second session of the third Parliament of the second Republic of Sierra Leone where he said the “culture of the country was a mark of identity, an inheritance from the forefathers which must be enhanced for transmission to the children”.
He called on Sierra Leoneans to dedicate themselves to utilizing the rich cultural heritage and to make a pledge to enliven the society with dazzling traditions of the people.
With that, he stated that tentative moves have been made in that direction as most people wear ‘Africana’ on Fridays and Sierra Leonean music once more becoming popular in most places.
Despite that, the President reiterated that “let us not only wear Africana, but a Leona, or a Sierra; the Ronkos of Koinadugu, the Kondee gulay of Bo and Kailahun, the Gara of Makeni, the Cabaslot of the Western Area”
He called on the Country’s Musicians and Producers, to make use of the shegureh, the Balanji, Kondi, Killi and the Bata and also the re-energizing of the Bubu, the Goombay, Poromende, Ambasgeda and the Alimania.
The President re-called the music of Ebenezer Calendar, Salia Koroma and Bassie Kondi and called on the country’s artists to choreograph the Sierra Leonean dance; and the writers to rewrite the Sierra Leonean stories and bring alive the souls of the people; whilst the fashion designers to start a process where the Sierra Leonean can wear dress for convocations, parades, thanksgiving and anniversaries.
President Koroma thus reminded that “our cultural renaissance would enhance the re-branding of our nation. It would rekindle faith in our abilities, generate revenue for our people and enliven our streets with the colors of our heritage”
To support this cultural renaissance, the President declared every Friday a day of Sierra Leonean culture where they will dress, eat and dance the Sierra Leonean way.
The President painfully highlighted the battered image of the country and how difficult it has been for the country to attract investors and tourists but endorsed the wonderful heritage and a history of achieving many firsts in Africa; from having the first newspapers and radio to having the first university.
In that case, he went on, more robust action is needed in articulating the good things about the country and to build on the national heritage.