Sierra Leone will be 47 on Sunday 27th April 2008. Since she gained independence from her colonial master the United Kingdom the country has seen a lot from happiness and bitterness. But what does 47 years of Independence mean?
Our reporter Saidu Bah went around the streets of Freetown to sound the opinions of ordinary people about Sierra Leone before and after independence and what prospects lie ahead for this nation.
Prince A Scott
Sierra Leone yesterday is not like Sierra Leone today because dramatic changes have occurred in our social, economic and political affairs on daily basis during these tremendous 47 years of independence.
The serious challenge facing this country during this post independence era is that the country’s culture and traditions are gradually eroding and westernization has taken the centre stage.
I want all Sierra Leoneans to adopt the colonial method of practicing our culture and traditions, – women to avoid naked dress code, while boys should stop plaiting their hair and government needs to abandon sex education in schools as it influences our future generation.
Sierra Leone has changed completely things are no more as they used to be, I can still remember those days when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II visited the country and toured the provinces with smiles beaming on her face and hopes and aspirations were also restored in the minds of the average Sierra Leoneans.
The capital city Freetown was clean, buildings shining with paints and streets clean to the amazement of visitors and natives of the land, but unfortunately the British legacies were not maintained and most of the discipline and infrastructures that were left in the hands of ordinary Sierra Leoneans have all varnished.
I hope this APC government will restore some of the important developmental and psychological programs for prosperity and national development.
I saw Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with my own naked eyes handing over governance to Sierra Leoneans through the late founding father of Sierra Leone Sir Milton Margai on April 27, 1961.
Since that date the country has been moving backward and things continue to be difficult for the average Sierra Leoneans, in those days we used pounds that had currency value and we also used to export rice to neighboring countries and feed others.
He added that most of the things they use to enjoy as government facilities are no longer in existence, but however expressed the hope for a brighter future in the country if only Sierra Leoneans can change their attitude and love one another.
Isatu B. Koroma
The 47 Independence Anniversary Celebration is just at the door and it seems as if only government people are concerned about it “as you can see I am just a poor market woman fending for my living and family. Independence means nothing to some of us because despite the independence we are still dependent on the white people overseas” she lamented.
In those days of the colonial era, they used to help us in building schools, churches, road construction and running the government effectively, but today things have gone up side down, to the detriment of its citizens and the nation as a whole.
I want the government to celebrate this year’s 47th anniversary in grand style at all strategic points in the country with lantern parade sparkling street lights.
Thank you for reminding me about the countries 47th Independence Anniversary Celebration as I almost forgot, she said. From her own point of view government is not sober to maintain the legacies of the colonial administration which have led to the current status of the country in terms of poverty.
She promised to celebrate this year’s Independence anniversary in a low key as things are very difficult and she cannot afford to buy anything or do anything on that day.
The only important thing I want government to do is to beautify the city with at least white wash paint and cleaning of all the piles of rubbish that are mounting in Freetown and its environs and also reduce the high cost of prices for basic commodities, before they start talking about the so called celebration of independence.