As a Daughter of Sierra Leone, I am compelled to share my thoughts on a topic that seems to be the big white elephant standing in the middle of the room, being ignored by many. It is time to discuss a real issue that is plaguing the Sierra Leonean community.
The first escalator in the country went live at Lungi International Airport in Spring 2017, even though escalators have existed around the world since 1896.
I resent this fact. Sierra Leone is so behind in technology that my stomach turns when I think about it. When will Sierra Leoneans come together to improve the country? Are we waiting for charity?
Whether you are in Sierra Leone or in the Diaspora, this is a call to action. We have to unite and work together… with the government. And the government needs to create initiatives that are inclusive of those that want to do the work. Whether we are abroad or in Sierra Leone, we need a unified platform to contribute our talent. Yes. I said it. Regardless of your party affiliation, location, or whatever, we must be willing to put aside differences (especially the petty ones) and do our part to help the process of rebuilding the country. We need to support the business owners like Vickie Remoe and others taking risks and sacrificing to help improve the country. So many of us are giving our energy, education and natural gifts away when we could be giving them to our beloved homeland. This is a call to action.
However… we need to address the elephant in the room.
“They make it difficult for you because they can. If you don’t show up with extra cash, forget about getting paperwork you need. Scheduled appointments don’t matter unless you’re connected. It’s frustrating as hell. I am home, but I feel like an outsider.” ~Potential Business Owner, Returned from the United Kingdom to Settle in Sierra Leone-Age 34
“So… you think that just because you have come from Germany or the U.S., you can just enter and tell us what to do? Just like that? Hmmm. Where were you when we were surviving the war? Running from Ebola? Eh? Hiding abroad. We dealt with everything and we are still here. Surviving. We are fine. Now that things are fine, you want to come and dictate to us? Go sit down.” ~ Sierra Leone Member of Parliament, Age 37
Resentment. These are real comments from real people under the age of 40. I am guilty of resentment too.
Will resentment among Sierra Leoneans under 40 be the reason that Sierra Leone remains behind?
There are no more excuses. No war. No plagues. No more excuses. Let’s work together. I don’t have all of the answers, but I am willing to do my part. It begins with setting aside feelings of resentment towards one another. How do we unite and work together effectively?
Drop your ideas below or email me. Let’s get to work.
Wishing you all a Happy 56th Independence Day! God Bless Salone!