Friday, September 28, 2012

Tegloma Meets In Obama's Backyard

Chief Victor Tarmoh Tegloma DC President
On Labor Day weekend 2012, Tegloma International Federation, the largest Sierra Leone organization in the diaspora held its annual convention in the United States Capital, Washington DC, and the Washington DC convention hosts set a new bar for organizational efficiency, for conveniently hosting approximately 400 delegates from all over USA, Canada and The Gambia, without as much as a technical glitch, largely thanks to the dynamic leadership and organizational ability of Chief Victor Tarmoh of Tegloma Washington and the active participation of the many members of his dynamic chapter.
Tegloma Board Chair Bhonapa and Vice Chair Kallon
Many people who have never hosted public participatin events are scarcely aware of the level of commitment it takes to host a sigle event, let alone a three day program that was meant to showcase Tegloma's philanthropy and Sierra Leone's cultural wealth. As the Secretary General of the board of Tegloma, my verdict on this years convention in Wahington DC is summed up in three words; excellent, magnificent and outstanding.
Federation Chairman Jamiru and California President Musa
The board meeting on Friday August 31st started late as some members were late at the Washington DC airports, but under the direction of the experienced and exemplary Board Chairman Abu Bhonapha, all agenda items were comprehensively discussed, the board was able to present a professional report to the membership and most board members left the meeting convinced that Tegloma continues to be a solid organization that has matured with age and is still able to exert maximum impact in the lives of its members in the diaspora and do much good back home in Sierra Leone. Chairman Bhonopha was able impress on the gathered board members the necessity of placing Tegloma on a sounder financial footing than it currently is, if only to enable it realize its enormous and full potential. For the first time board members spent over an hour exploring the merits and demerits of various mechanisms for raising finance, the goal being to develop the five acre Tegloma land in Bo in the very near future. The chairman also emphasized the need for all the chapter members to bring their federation accounts up to date.
Tegloma Gambia Delegate Andrew Macarthy
Friday night was a period of convergence as delegates continued to fly into Washington DC late into the night and the meeting hall soon became a Sierra Leone carnival.

Saturday was the main convention chaired by the Federation adminstration chief Alfred Moi Jamiru who ensured that the culture of Sierra Leone was widely displayed to the experienced and deft drumsmanship of the great Mr. Osman Panda, a veteran sports teacher and cultural ambassador. The convention focused on health care in Sierra Leone, Tegloma's past contribution to the country's health care sector and tthe potential to assist the people in the future. The keynote speaker Dr. Marke a health practitioner in Sierra Leone enlightened the assembled delegates about the sad state of health care and health infrastructure in Sierra Leone and what needed to be done to improve the situation and compliment the effort of the present and successive governments.
Tegloma Chiefs Entering the Convention Hall
The convention delegates were then divided into working groups to focus on several important issues confronting Tegloma, after a passionate appeal for funds from chapters by  Board Chairman Bhonapha. The board secretariat was also given the floor to outline the achievements of the current board and their plans for the immediate future.
Tegloma DC members setting up Breakfast
While all this was going on, the members of Tegloma DC kept ensuring that the delegates stayed well fed throughout. There was enough food provided to feed a small kingdom and delegates had enough energy to talk way into the late evening. The high points of Saturday's meeting were the address by Dr. Marke and the formidable presentation by Andrew Macarthy of Tegloma Gambia, who had flown from the small West African country of The Gambia, to represent the newest chapter in the 24 chapter Tegloma federation. This year, there were no delegates from Tegloma London.
Tegloma Gambia Delegate Addressing the Convention
On Saturday night Tegloma had a formidable ball in Washington under the grand patronage of the Sierra Leone Ambassador Bockarie Stevens, who made sure he brought his entire embassy staff. The ambassador was praised for his effort to reach out to all Sierra Leoneans by the Tegloma Washington president Victor Tarmoh. The wife of the current SLP  opposition leader Francess Bio was also given due recognition at the ball.
Ambassador Stevens and Tegloma Vice Chair Johnson

As usual the great Steady Bongo who attends every annual Tegloma convention was at hand to entertain the delegates and guests. He was in his element, gyrating to his latest and old music and he was awarded and recognized for his love for and devotion to Tegloma and his for mandible role in bringing contemporary Sierra Leone music to a wider audience. 
Steady Bongo in his element

After Steady Bongo, the Tegloma Goboi invaded Washington DC and the rest of the pictures will better tell the story.

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