Kailahun District in the Eastern Provinces of Sierra Leone has since the weekend been in boiling waters after members of the ‘Sowies’ traditional ‘Bondo’ Society unleashed terror on two individuals who according to report are now on the run.
‘Sowies’ in our native Lingua- Franka are members of the exclusively traditional female group called ‘Bondo’ Society who are dominantly involved in the cutting process of the Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) process. These groups have committed members stretched in all corners of the 14 districts and 4 regions of the country. Therefore, Kailahun in the east is no exception.
Meanwhile, the outrage in Kailahun Town involved a certain Jestina Sesay and her betrothed Aruna Bangura, who according to media report in the East of the country have been on the run for months now.
Jestina, it is confirmed to us, is the daughter of Nyagua Ngobeh, and the latter, it is also confirmed is a very senior member of the Sowie Bondo Society. Hence therefore, Jestina was tipped to have been the person on whom the duty fell on to succeed her mother in running the affairs of the scared society.
However, it was confirmed that Jestina did decline the offer of her mother and several other sowies, claiming that she had serious religious reservations on involving in the practices of FGM, being that herself and the faith of her betrothed Aruna Bangura, Islam, does not permit them to indulge in such act.
Consequently therefore, both Aruna, who was in Kailahun on working assignment before he met Jestina, have been a target. As a result, the couple has fled in fear that they could be caught and the wife forcefully conscripted into the society.
Report says several dangerous traditional masquerades have been scattered in the region in search of the 2 and an insider of the Sowies have confirmed that there is a nationwide coordination from amongst sowies to apprehend them once seen.
Meanwhile, here in Sierra Leone, the traditional Bondo Society is a female society, where young women in provincial areas of the country are sometimes forcefully initiated in a process that is mostly excruciatingly painful.
However, many are speculating that Jestina’s own forceful initiation into the Bondo Society could be fiercer and that she could likely die in there because the Bondo leaders have personal grievance against her owing to the fact that her betrothed Aruna has been a strong campaigner against their act and what they referred to as their “daily sustenance.”
However, reports are that both Aruna and Jestina are still on the run and nowhere to be found though a search warrant has been issued on them.
The customary approach of the “SOKOBANA” or Priesthood succession of the Malongbo ‘Poro’ secret society which suffered a setback following the demised of the substantive on the 31st July, 2016 and the subsequence disappearance of his successor son Sallieu Koroma following an insider leaked details of the brutal traditional initiation rites passage has gone for years without the usual initiation because of the absence of leadership in the society to superintend same.
According to one Malongbo Poro Society insider who spoke to Provincial Times on condition of anonymity said the only successor accepted to the gods according to tradition is Sallieu koroma and no other person can act in that capacity when he is still alive. The vacuum created by his absence has accumulated hundreds of “GBORAKAS” (Non-initiates) because our insider source said initiation cannot be done without been superintended by a “SOKOBANA” (Chief Priest)
This medium’s anonymous source noted that the tradition dictates that when a successor refuses to ascends the society priesthood he risk been beheaded and his head presented to the gods to appease a replacement outside his lineage.
Sallieu who is said to be outside the country in protest of traditional beliefs that are inhuman, degrading and outdated will risk the prescribed consequences if he ever visit his country or decides to return.
Sallieu, who according to his maternal uncle Pa. Santigie Kamara witnessed the barbarism of being a member of dreaded society at teen after his late father superintended his initiation in preparation for succession grew up to hate it and developed a resistance attitude to succeed his “SOKOBANA” priest father.
A source close to the Koroma family told this press that Sallieu’s immediate family had been subjected to all manner of intimidation, harassment and touting to disclose his whereabouts’.
Yoni Excellence Awards Board Unveils Date and Place for its Maiden 2019 Yoni Excellence Awards Ceremony
Following both the local and international headlines of the Award Ceremony and Heritage Conversation, the Yoni Excellence Awards Board is excited to unveil the date and place of the 2019 Yoni Excellence Awards Ceremony.
Chinese Embassy hosts Reception in Celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China
Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone has on Friday September 27, 2019 hosted a grand reception in warm celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China at the Bintumani International Conference Centre, Aberdeen, Freetown.
The reception attracted in attendance a host of high-profile personalities. And among them were the Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone – H.E. Dr. Juldeh Jalloh, Chinese Ambassador in Sierra Leone –H.E. Hu Zhangliang, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister – Solomon Jamiru Esq., Government Ministers, Members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps, Chinese Community, the Press and other invited guests.
On October 1, 1949, the first five-star red flag was raised in Tian’anmen Square in Beijing. The Chinese people, who had experienced bitter struggle since modern times, finally saw the dawn of the rebirth of the Chinese nation. And with the rebirth of the PRC, the Chinese people became masters of the country, society and their own destiny. They began to embark on a great journey of realizing a strong and prosperous country, national rejuvenation and people’s happiness with full pride.
In his keynote address, Amb. Hu Zhanliang, started-off on recounting how far they have come as a nation stating that the Communist Party of China, the Chinese government and the Chinese people have united as one, forged ahead and made great strides that brought earthshaking changes to China. And that 70 years ago, China was one of the poorest and most backward countries in the world; but today, China has grown into the world’s second largest economy, the largest industrial country, the largest trader in goods, and the biggest holder of foreign exchange reserves. And that in 2018, China’s GDP totaled 13.6 trillion U.S. dollars, and China’s average contribution rate to global economic growth has been close to 30% for17 consecutive years now.
“From the early days of the founding of the People’s Republic of China to the year 2018, China’s urbanization rate has increased from less than 11% to about 60%,the per capita disposal income has grown in real terms by nearly 60 times, and people’s life expectancy has been increased from 35 to 77 years. China has lifted more than 700 million people out of poverty by UN benchmarks. There are 854 million Chinese citizens using 4G network to access information, learn knowledge and skills, and freely express their opinions and demands online”, said Amb. Hu Zhangliang.
He continued that China’s marvelous success would not have been possible without the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China, the determined struggle of the Chinese people, and the deep commitment to the mutually beneficial and win-win strategy of opening-up.
Amb. Hu Zhangliang furthered that, “given the spectacular achievements made in the past 70 years, China remains a developing country, China ranks the 71st in the world in per capita GDP and the 91st in human development index. China’sdevelopment is still unbalanced and inadequate, faced with challenges and risks. The government and people of China, under the strong leadership of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, following the guidance of Xi Jinping ‘Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era’, will resolutely uphold China’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, security and development interests, strive to achieve the Two Centenary Goals and fulfill the Chinese dream of national renewal.”
With regards the China–Africa relationship, Amb. Zhangliang said that time has proven that China and Africa are a genuine friends and reliable partners, and of which the FOCAC Beijing Summit last year ushered in a new era for the development of China-Africa relations. He continued that since the establishment of diplomatic ties 48 years ago, China and Sierra Leone have gone a long way in conducting fruitful cooperation in all areas.
And Sierra Leone being one of the countries that supported the restoration of the legitimate seat of the People’s Republic of China in the United Nations and having always adhered to the one-China principle, the ambassador said China will continue to be highly grateful.
In responding to the toast of the Chinese Ambassador, Sierra Leone’s Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister – Solomon Jamiru Esq., congratulated, on behalf of His Excellency Dr. Julius Maada Bio and the people of Sierra Leone, President Xi Jinping and the People’s Republic of China for the commendable transformation of that great country and PRC’s desire to achieve the Global Family of Equals.
“Sierra Leone is grateful for interventions such as the ultra-modern specialized medical centre at Jui, construction of roads and the rein of public infrastructure in the country, international scholarship support to students, construction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation building, supporting the implementation of phases 1 and 2 of the fibre-optic back-roll, and several other interventions for which Sierra Leone remains grateful”, Minister Jamiru expressed gratitude to the People’s Republic of China, and reiterated Sierra Leone’s commitment to deepening and strengthening the bond with China whilst looking forward to closer cooperation in the broad range of areas expressed as priorities in Sierra Leone’s development plan. He concluded by wishing prosperity to President Xi Jinping and the People’s Republic of China prosperity.
And the reception ended with performances from staff of the Embassy and pupils of the Fourah Bay College Secondary School, and the cutting of the celebration cake by the Vice President, Chinese Ambassador, and Deputy Foreign Minister.
Members of the secrete Poro Society here in Sierra Leone have issued a search warrant for Foday Conteh, son of late Santos Conteh and kate Fatu Conteh of Magbalafu Village, Northern Region of the country.
The real initiation and all other traditional ceremonies as demanded by the Poro Society might have faded away but devastation, trauma and destruction of properties including houses are still fresh on the minds of many, especially the victims of last December 2016 Male Society initiation in and around Kenema.
Members of the secrete Poro Society here in Sierra Leone have issued a search warrant for Alimu Jalloh who stayed in Blama Town, Small Bo Chiefdom, Kenema District , Eastern Province of the country.
Press Release from the Sports Writers Association of Sierra Leone (SWASAL) dated Sunday 8th September 2019 have indicated that two (2) bodyguards Guards of Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio have threatened to kill two (2) female sports journalists of the state owned Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC).