Showing posts from January, 2014

Choitram Hospital's Disgraceful Conduct

Early yesterday morning we received  news of the untimely death of Rtd. Lieutenant Colonel Tom Nyuma former Secretary of State for the Eastern Region of Sierra Leone and Undersecretary of State for Defence, after a long period of declining health. Barely some hours after the announcement of his demise, we started receiving "WhatsApp" pictures of the body of the former battlefield commander  probably taken with a cellphone camera right inside the hospital room at Choitram Memorial Hospital where he passed away at 4.30 a.m local time.
By the end of yesterday, this horrible picture was all over social media including Facebook, Google+, and electronic mail, you name it.
Many conscientious Sierra Leoneans both at home and in the diaspora were particularly miffed at such a blatant violation of all the tenets of patients rights.Why would a hospital like Choitram which is fast making a name for itself as one of the best hospitals in the country allow such wanton disregard for the m…

The Tragedy of South Sudan

Just a year or two ago, the world was rejoicing at the birth of the brand new country of South Sudan in Sub-Saharan Africa. Here in the United States, the joy at the independence of the largely Christian South played into the anti-Muslim narrative that has gripped the country since the heinous World Trade center attacks of September 11 2001.
South Sudan has traditionally been a hub of US Christian charitable activities as many of the American Christian right saw the liberation of the largely Christian southern region of Sudan from the Muslim north as a sort of modern day crusade reminiscent of the epic struggles between Richard the Lighthearted and Saladin in the epic crusades of the middle ages.
So when South Sudan finally got their independence, black Africans were glad and proud that their brothers were finally liberated from Arab domination and rule and Christians across the world saw it as just another victorious chapter in the centuries old struggle against militant Islam.
For …

Tom Nyuma Dies in Sierra Leone

The Segbwema Blog reports the death this morning in Freetown Sierra Leone of Tom Nyuma, Sierra Leone's former Defense Undersecretary of Defense, Secretary of State Eastern Region, and recently Chairman of Kailahun District, Eastern Sierra Leone.

In 1992, Tom Nyuma rose to prominence as one of the members of the military insurrection that removed the immensely corrupt regime of President Joseph Saidu Momoh from Power, after almost two decades of one party rule in the country. A protest over conditions of service at the Eastern war front led to the flight of the former Major General turned president out of the country, causing the protesters to institute a National Provisional Ruling Council headed by Captain Esegrabo M. Strasser as Head of State.
During the 4 years of NPRC rule, Tom Nyuma gained prominence as one of the few cabinet ministers who frequently donned military fatigues and went to the war front to confront the rebels. Many people in the East of Sierra Leone view Tom Ny…

Dynamic Ecobank Executive Director Dies in Sierra Leone

Mohamed Bah the dynamic Executive Director of Ecobank in Sierra Leone, a Pan African bank that helps Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) across the country passed away this morning in Sierra Leone from a massive coronary attack and died while driving to the beach for his usual morning jog. He was pronounced dead at the Choitram's Hospital in Freetown.
Traditional commercial banking in Sierra Leone was long dominated by conventional banks which had always imposed significant hurdles to borrowing by small and medium businesses in Sierra Leone, as they preferred lending to established businesses and individuals with significant collateral to mitigate the risks of lending in the volatile region. Ecobank bucked this trend by starting to lend especially to SMEs.
Ecobank Sierra Leone is a member of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) which was established in 1985 with a view of loosening the stranglehold that foreign commercial banks had on commercial banking in Africa. It's mi…

Dr. Julius Spencer Arrested in Freetown

News reports filtering in from Freetown indicate that one of the heroes of the civil resistance to the brief military Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC)  interregnum that almost derailed multiparty democracy in the late 90s in Sierra Leone, Dr. Julius Spencer, has been arrested in Freetown on allegations by Information Minister Alpha Kanu that the Premier News which is published by Spencer's Premier Media published an article which the authorities considered defamatory.
The exact circumstances of the case have yet to be revealed, but Dr. Spencer who is the Managing Director of Premier Media and Alusine Sesay the editor of Premier News had their offices raided earlier today by personnel of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) with the confiscation of multiple media equipment including computers and documents, all of which were taken to the CID. Both Spencer and Sesay are currently in detention at CID.
Dr. Spencer is a renowned arts lecturer at the country's premi…

The Balogun Koroma/David Tam-Baryoh Saga Continues: Enter Omotunde Blyden

Some days ago while on a trip to Kono with Sierra Leone Vice President Sam Sumana and some members of the Vice President's family, Sierra Leone radio journalist David Tam-Baryoh was reportedly contacted by a lady friend of current Transport and Aviation Minister and former Minister in the Office of the Vice President, Leonard Balogun Koroma (Logus). The lady in question informed David Tam-Baryoh that there were plans afoot to "deal with him" conceived by none other than Logus himself. The reason for this planned perpetration of harm by Logus, according to the mysterious lady, stemmed from the fact that David Tam-Baryoh interviewed more opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) members on his popular radio program than he did members of the All Peoples Congress (APC) and in fact Tam Baryoh was a pretender.

Upon hearing this information from the grapevine, David Tam-Baryoh, instead of calling Logus to clarify the veracity of the rumor proceeded to write a text message …

Kabs Kanu and Emerson

To be honest, it was just a few days ago while browsing for indigenous Sierra Leone music on Apple's iTunes that I came across Emmerson Bockarie's much talked about music Kokobeh from his latest Album Home and Away. For any musician from West Africa to have a  new album on iTunes is a real feat and  a recognition by the electronics and music giant of real talent and fittingly, I duff my hat off to this worthy Sierra Leone musical ambassador.
The reason why I had not had much interest in Emmerson's new album in spite of a healthy respect for his past efforts was because I read Reverend Kabs Kanu's epic take down of the recent album even before I had heard the music. Kabs Kanu described Emmerson's latest effort as rubbish, thrash, poor and tasteless with lyrics that were simply put, infuriating, not my words, but the exact words of this man of the flock of Christ.
However, when I saw Emmerson's new album on iTunes, something did not quite seem right. If this mus…

Dr. Gberie's Take on Kokobeh has the Fat Reverend Fuming.

Emmerson Bockarie’s "Kokobeh"
Friday 3 Januaryr 2014
By Dr Lans Gberie.
Dr Lans Gberie
An artist’s impact may not always be measured by the amount of outrage his/her creation generates, but it is a good sign when it provokes. Emmerson Bockarie, Sierra Leone’s most important artist, will fit well in the category of national bard. By this I mean that his music—didactic, in a free flowing conversational style, calm and beautifully enunciated—embodies most completely the yearnings and neurosis of his fellow citizens. Bockarie’s most recent offering, released just about Christmas, is entitled “Kokobeh.”
The Krio word derives from the Twi (a Ghanaian language) for leprosy, an exquisitely appropriate image for the corruption and putrefaction that the artist so witheringly derides. Sierra Leoneans have come to expect such commentary from their most popular poet and singer, and the squalid wells of misgovernment and graft in the country continue to fire his imagination.
When he release…

Sam Sumana's Golden Boy in Hot Waters

David Tam-Baryoh, one of main players in the propaganda machinery of the Sierra Leone government of Ernest Bai Koroma, whose main role in the last election was to get opposition members on the radio in the guise of providing a fair and balanced medium and then proceed to ask them embarrassing or belittling questions, while later having a panel of All Peoples Congress supporters tear apart any point the opposition spokesperson would have made when the person was no longer on the line, seems to be in some hot waters.

In 2012, David Tam-Baryoh's weekend monologue radio program became a political must staple in many areas of Sierra Leone. During the heat of the elections he was effective in minimizing corruption allegations against Vice President Sam Sumana, a personal friend and kinsman of Tam-Baryoh and a politician with a history of shady deals spreading from Minnesota and Missouri in the USA, to timber scandals in the hinterlands of Sierra Leone. Some businessmen in Minnesota who…