Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Reason for Starting the Segbwema Blog

Yesterday I received a very interesting email from an individual who was interested in knowing my motivation for starting the Segbwema blog, what I gained from it and what my political leanings were. This individual told me that they made it a habit to check the blog on a daily basis. I would of course be lying if I did not say I was flattered. Just imagine, a person wanting to know my opinion everyday!

I would endeavor to answer some of the questions in the encouraging email.
About me; I was born many moons ago in Nixon Memorial hospital in Segbwema. I went to school by accident. All the male members of my family were sent at an early age to Dama in Kenema district for Quranic and Islamic education. When I was born my grandmother was very fond of me and did not want me to go away. So I stayed in Segbwema and started learning the Quran from an uncle, Karmoh Umaru Kallon who lived in the first room of our extended family house.

Our house was on the road to Methodist primary school. Those days USAID used to distribute bulgur wheat for cooking at Methodist school and some of my cousins who went to the school used to bring the bulgur home. One day I decided to go to Methodist for the bulgur and and went and sat near class one. A teacher, Mr. Jajua, saw me and invited me into the class. The rest as they say, is history.

My sister Massah Kanneh, who was living in Freetown at the time, came for holidays in Segbwema and learnt that I had started going to school. She was excited and eventually brought me to Freetown where she had me enrolled into the Samaria Primary School, Wellington Street, just behind Red Lions bakery. My education and food have always been mutual companions!

After Samaria I went to Bo School, Wesley Segbwema and did sixth form at Sierra Leone Grammar School before heading for Fourah Bay.

Today I reside in Saint Paul Minnesota where I work for a living and engage in eleemosynary ventures.

One day several years ago,I wanted some information on Segbwema for a college essay and decided too look it up on google. The only information on Segbwema that I could get related to Foday Sankoh and some disarmament exercise. There was absolutely no information on my beloved home town where I was born, bred and nurtured. I resolved that this should change and decided to start writing a blog about Segbwema and about Sierra Leoneans living in Minnesota my home state in USA. The rest as they say is history.

When it comes to politics, I could best be described as a conservative liberal, meaning that you really cannot put me in a box. I am liberal on some issues and conservative on some. On the conservative side for example I believe in low taxes and fiscal discipline. On the liberal side I believe in the universal affordability of health care and social programs that help lift the poor out of the deprivation of poverty.

My heroes are Nelson Mandela, Saul Alinsky, John Maynard Keynes, Majatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King. In Sierra Leone I cherish the late Sir. Milton Margai and have a grudging respect for the political astuteness of late Siaka Probyns Stevens. Though Tom Nyuma has left me in the opposition, I will always respect him for his exploits in the 90s during our civil war. As they say, a man is a sum of many parts.

On Sierra Leone politics, I have never been fond of APC, a party that worked tirelessly to bring misfortune and economic decline to Sierra Leone by stifling democracy, promoting corruption and propagating violence. I respect Tejan Kabbah for restoring peace and stability to the country and restoring some sort of economic stability after the war. I also respect the fact that he allowed the international community to know the full extent of the atrocities in Sierra Leone leading to the indictment of the top brass of both the RUF and the Kamajors. I resent the fact that he never really fought to grant immunity to Hinga Norman who fought so hard to bring him back from political exile. But all in all, I have enormous respect for him and believe that I'm the end, history will be kind to him.

I am a fan of eleemosynary ventures. I believe that every individual has a unique ability and that society has a moral responsibility to harness this ability for the good of the society. I believe in justice and equality and envision a Sierra Leone where people will be recognized not because of the language they speak, the strength of their pockets or their political leanings, but because of their contribution to solving the problems of poverty, illiteracy and social injustice. I am more a fan of Davidson Nicol than Bailor Barrie.

I hope I have in some way satisfied my curious fan.
Sheku Sheriff-Segbwema Blogger

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