One Fine Day - Oona Go Learn
By Abdul Suhood Komeh,
This is a simple but fundamentally serious point that we don’t seem to get, and to disastrous consequences. It is no longer sufficient to elect people for electing sake.
Sierra Leone’s situation is too dire for a hopeful punt in choosing leaders. And, in an increasingly smart and connected world, we need leaders who are deligent, and capable of immersing themselves to an excellent grasp of the issues. That way, when called upon, within the short window of a live broadcast, or given an audience with top leaders, can articulate themselves in an intelligible way that wins the attention and sympathy of the world to our cause.
Failing that simple but important civic responsibility, we are underestimating the task of removing the majority of our compatriots from abject poverty; we are justifying the world’s view of us as one of THE euphemisms for ’failed nations’, and deservingly too!
Some people can try and spin things, propagandise all day. We see through them as if without clothes. Sadly, not only is their labour selfish, but for scant or rewards unworthy of thier time. If you bet on the wrong horse and for that, your country is stuck in a paucity of ideas, fess-up and move on.
Of course, not the easiest thing to do but way better than digging yourself further down a hole. As they say, life is a classroom, everyday.
Everything that has happened in the last four years, culminating in COP26, has made one fact even more clearer: an opportunity was missed at the last elections in 2018. And the country is paying, and will continue to do so.
No way, is Sierra Leone without capable people with courageous ideas to move it forward. But to give them the opportunity, we have to be more resistant to tribalism, elect our brightest and most talented, if only to demonstrate seriousness. Otherwise, we will forever wallow in mediocrity.
If Sierra Leone is so ripe a destination for investment, it needed no cultural appropriation of an American hymn to proclaim that reality where the government is teeming with ideas. Very poor optics, indicative of a lack of thoroughness. Investors are enticed by one thing only. Their interest is not songs, but profit.
No, absolutely not, Amazing Grace is not Sierra Leonean. A capable leadership would have avoided the folly and saved us the embarrassment of having to desperately defend its integration into a culture as rich as ours. Freetown, our capital alone, is as good a selling point as there is in all of Africa. Why the meaningless revision?
If serious about tourism as a viable addition to economic activity, a sensible government would advertise in western markets, not Dubai, a competitor for Western tourism dollar. A smart government could have renegotiated the mainland airport proposal they inherited from their predecessors, make the project theirs, and eradicate Freetown’s self-imposed remoteness. But no, they are unbreakably wedded to the idea of a fantastical bridge and a floating city, at the cost of twice a national debt no government has been able to reduce or pay since Independence.
Now, they are telling the world about ‘radio broadcasts’ and ‘gutters’ that don’t exist as their policy for mitigating the effects of climate change. The gumption, porous showmanship and trademark lack of preparation of a government that governs from polluting hired jets. Do they know if there were ‘gutters‘ in Sierra Leone the British high commission, USA and EU representatives will know?
Right at this minute, there is an articulate and charismatic Sierra Leonean in Glasgow. He has enviable credentials on issues environmental and matters economics. We rejected him by construing his eloquence and understanding of issues to that of a ‘liar’. Because we craved tribal representation, how ever incompetent, as opposed to solution-proffering leadership. Now we are here.
The point is. Our government can travel to as many climate, finance, or other discorama exhibitions as it pleases. Unless we choose a main man or woman with the ability to show a thorough understanding of subjects, photo opportunities will remain the optimal reward for wasting the country’s meagre funds.
But, hey, one fine day, Oona Go Learn!