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Showing posts from January, 2017

Vitabu Reads | Looking Back - My Life and Times: Dr. Sama Banya

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Dr. Sama Banya’s autobiography, Looking Back - My Life and Times, is a great book to read. I found some of the best yarns and anecdotes on “big man politics, African conflicts, and informal power” in contemporary Sierra Leonean history.  
Born into a well-oiled machine for warrior-kings, Dr. Banya takes the reader on an epic tour of his hometown, which has seen consequential events in the nation’s 56-year history.

Kailahun district, its 14 chiefdoms—the last level of administrative subdivisions— neighboring districts, and their institutions, have all produced major political players.

Sama,  the grandson of Kailondo, one of Kailahun’s most famous warriors, was born in 1930 in Luawa Chiefdom of Kailahun. The town of Kailahun, which means Kai’s town, was named after Kailondo.

Banya’s book has no shortage of information on the seven generations preceding him.

They include incidents such as the duel between Kailondo and Ndawa at Ngiehun in 1890; folklore on why the hunter who kills a leop…

Vitabu Reads | Landscape of Memories, by Oumar Farouk Sesay

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***Updated January 16, 2016***In his first novel, “Landscape of Memories” (2015), Oumar Farouk Sesay has melded his boundless talent for playwriting and poetry with prose to write a stunning story featuring the most defining issues of our time: migration, identity, and common values of community.

In a recent WhatsApp interview, the author said the transition from poetry to prose was a difficult one.

"It seems poetry comes easily to me and I use that and my experience as a playwright to navigate through. It took four years to finish Landscape," Farouk Sesay said.

Although Sesay skips the headline-grabbing Jacob Lawrence type scenes of “black bodies in motion, in transit, and in danger,” to borrow Edwidge Danticat’s language, the Landscape of Memories author doesn’t skimp on the reasons why his protagonists leave home looking for opportunities.

Adama, the novel’s matriarch, left Mali as a young bride with husband, Silakeh, to find riches in the diamond fields of Sierra Leone.…

The Nicol Brook Line | Fantasy History 11

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The East Ward comprises the area within a line which starts at the crossing of First Street over Nicol brook and passes along First Street to its junction with Mountain Cut, thence in a northerly direction along Mountain Cut to tits junction with Bombay Street, along Bombay Street to its junction with Patton Street, along Patton Street to its junction with Malta Street, along Malta Street to its junction with Savage Square, along Savage Square to its junction with Davies Street, along Davies and Maltby Streets to the junction of Maltby Street with Ross Road, thence down Ross Road to the bank of the Sierra Leone River, thence in a westerly direction along the bank of the Sierra Leone river to the mouth of the Nicol brook, thence up Nicol brook till the said line reaches its starting point.


Nicol Brook, a mountain stream over two miles in length, runs along the western side of Mount Aureol and passes on through Freetown to the sea.

In 1870, pipe borne water was brought to Freetown from t…