The Sierra Leone Gullah/Geeche Kinship Association has received a letter on behalf of President Koroma from the head of state of Gullah/Geeche nations in the United States of America, ‘Queen Quet’, on her pending visit to Sierra Leone to sign numerous memoranda for the development of Sierra Leone.
The president of the Sierra Leone Gullah/Geeche Kinship Association, M’bomba H. Dumbuya, told journalists over the weekend at the Miatta conference hall Brookfields, how they had since 1994 been engaged in tracing the Sierra Leone Gullah connection through history, to unearth the input Sierra Leone made to the development of the new world which later became known as America.
“Sierra Leone is not only connected to USA than any other African country , but also played a vital role in the socio-economic development of America by taking the most potential slaves across the high seas to the new world now known as America by British traders, to work on their rice farm” he explained.
He said Sierra Leone had a long traditional relationship with USA , dating back to the period of slave trade through the 1920s when Sierra Leone slaves were in high demand by the slave traders who settled around Bunce Island to acquire slaves to work on rice farm in north and south Carolina USA.
He noted that 6,000 slaves were shipped to the New World from Bunce Island in Sierra Leone annually with a total of over 360,000 slaves shipped from Bunce Island towards the end of the trade.
Mr Dumbuya further maintained that Sierra Leoneans in America were identified with malaria virus and were later abandoned in those four states by the white Americans for fear of contracting malaria virus. Since then their isolation by the whites, he explained, remained more than ever committed to maintaining their cultural heritage including rice cultivation.
He said an American philanthropist, Joe Opala, had over the years done a series of researches on the Sierra Leone Gullah connection, but much was not realized except for the visit of the Mary Moran family in 1997 to trace their root with the help of madam Baindu Jabati.
He confirmed that they had huge member ship in 120 communities and 170 schools in the Western Area and each of the school and community would be linked and affiliated with schools, colleges and communities in USA in the spirit of development.
One of the staunch members of the Sierra Leone Gullah/Geeche Kinship Association, Augustine Bockarie who has recently returned from USA, said a number of plans had been strategized by the Queen to develop Sierra Leone after she would have paid her maiden visit to the country later this year.
Part of the plan, he added, was to allocate part of the $2billion annual budget allocation to the Gullah/Geeche nations by the US government to the development of Sierra Leone on a yearly basis.