Showing posts from July, 2016

Is WhatsApp Killing African Talent?

Africa, probably more than any area of the world, has been swept up in the Whatsapp revolution.
WhatsApp is a social media app that permits the user to easily transfer high quality video, audio and pictures files instantaneously between smartphones around the world. It doesn't matter which corner of the world users reside in, as long as they have respectable access to the Internet, WhatsApp allows them to share huge files.
With the proliferation of mobile web access in many African countries, the use of WhatsApp and other mobile social media platforms have taken off like a category 5 hurricane. For many Africans who can not afford the exorbitant phone fees required to talk to their relatives in Asia, Europe,  the Americas or even Australia, WhatsApp has been a real God send, as it now allows them to be in constant touch with their relatives in these far flung areas of the world.
For those of us living in America and other Western countries who come from struggling families in …

Culture Clashes Lead to Fatalities in Bonthe as Local Youths go on the Rampage

Over the weekend in Bonthe, arguably the most peaceful area Sierra Leone, a group of youths went on the rampage over a minor incident that resulted in clashes between some misguided youths on the island and soldiers stationed there, resulting in fatalities. It is reported that at least two people were killed yesterday in skirmishes between the youths and some soldiers stationed in the area, with some of the soldiers sustaining minor injuries.

The whole incident started with a quarrel between two young people on the island, one Michael Jikpama and a lady called Esther Senesie. During the quarrel Esther sucked her teeth at Michael, an act that is traditionally considered extremely disrespectful in the area, especially if it is from a woman and directed against a man who has been initiated into the local Poro secret society. To add fuel to fire, Esther also told Michael that if he was a man, he should do what he wanted to do over the perceived insult.

Michael was so outraged by the challe…

Sierra Leone: Bleak Prospects in the Face of Abundant Opportunity.

Bob Marley's aphorism, "in the abundance of water the fool is thirsty," which is probably the most memorable verse in his 70s hit "Rat Race," aptly describes the conditions prevailing in many Sub-Saharan countries today, roughly 50 years post independence. Sierra Leone us a poster child of all that is wrong with Sub-Saharan Africa.

How can a continent blessed with so much natural wealth and such a resilient people, be so poor in terms of human material development and progress? How can there be so much poverty and squalor in the face of so much mineral, agricultural and marine wealth. How can a country like Sierra Leone, with a population of only 6 million and some of the richest diamond deposits in the world, consistently rank among the poorest countries in the world and become only notorious for the severity of its natural and human conflicts and the weakness of its governance institutions.

Many young Sierra Leoneans cannot even imagine today that there was …

The Blog is Back!

Over the past year, I have had emails, calls and social media contacts from various fans of my weblog, the Segbwema blog. People wanted to know why the frequency of blog posts saw a steep decline. There was a partial hiatus of the blog, as I was engaged in several projects that did not leave me enough time to focus on the type of stories I usually like to explore from a neutral perspective. Also, with the proliferation of social media information outlets, it is very easy these days to get news in real time, as soon as an incident occurs. So unless a story is really worth exploring, the information vacuum that used to exist in the days before the mobile revolution simply doesn't exist anymore. However, the same problems that I am passionate about continue to exist and I think it is now time to lend my voice to the effort to bring reforms in governance and social justice in Sierra Leone.