January 27, 2020
By Arolyn I. Koroma
Former Deputy Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs Rugiatu Neneh Turay-Koroma in collaboration with other organizations heads had exhibited a defining moment with the people of Port Loko City. It is a tale of a selfless and Patriotic woman, who is traditionally and culturally grounded to her roots in Maforki (Port Loko Town) and Marampa (Lunsar).
Rugiatu Turay is among the few African women who refused to shed off her Africaness in exchange for Western culture. She remained committed to her rich African traditions and culture. She steadfastly believed in her ancestors believes, as she is willing and able to carry the cultural batton. She refused to let go her tradition which many of her colleagues who tasted western values declared taboo.
The Amazonian non-profit org. CEO Ruggie Turay-Koroma and partners solicited the assiatant of a German philanthropic org. called Pfeerminzgieen, which underwrite the elaborate event.
In a nutshell, no African government legislators have ever succeeded in putting teeth behind the legislations to stop the women’s rite-o-fpassage, because governments can neither offer employment to the Bondo/Soway professionals, nor able to survalance the houses and the utilize bushes for the past minimum of one hundred years.
The ceremony brought to light an ancient historical perspective whereby the initiatied should bring firewood to the Paramount Chief as part of the elaborate event.
The program was titled “the Sowe Public Declaration”, which included “Handing over the Sharp instruments, and replacing the usual Red Head-Tie, to Blue and Yellow Head Tie”. As in ancient times, the initiated delivered a wood (s) to thecurrent Paramount Chief (PC) Alikali Maillar of Port Loko city.
The all-out cooperation from the women was overwhelming and unimaginable. The success was a result of Amazonian company and partners methodically planned all hands on deck event among women of all walks of life that has never been seen among the women population of Port Loko in recent times, and it’s impact is sure to last in the participants memory for a very long time.
Of course, Ruggie Turay and partners acknowledged
that the global world dwell in crises of confidence in human character, which clearly reveals that, it is not the ordinary talking that individuals patakes that translates to ones community overwhelming acceptance. It is certainly not how many years one has lived on earth, but rather what humble undertakings that positively impacts upon the lives of the downtrodden. That is what separates the talkers from the doers. This is certainly what translates to individual’s relivancy in the community.
For this century in Sierra Leone, Ruggie Turay-Koroma’s Amazonian non-profit organization, friends and her German partner, the Pfefferminzgieen’s benevolence has touched the lives of many, who otherwise could not afford the generational rite-of-passage for their siblings. Especially in this trying times in Sierra Leone, as basic life substanance commodities prices are continuously sky-rocketing. For example, one Leone (US$1= Le.10, 000) and a bag of rice is Le. 300, 000.
It was an inspiring and intriguing moment for the current generation as Port Loko women are determined to hold on to an ancesstoral cultural tradition.
The city of Port Loko is setting the pace for other cities in the Republic of Sierra Leone to follow. It was so overwhelmingly accepted that pregnant women also undergo the traditional ritual. Their exhibited tenacity and dynamism stole the show. They jubilantly danced (in video) with one of their sponsorer, Ruggie Neneh Koroma.
Indeed, the city of Port Loko has advanced the Sowe/Bondo society to an unprecedented level.
I now present to you some of the names of the able, efficient and cultural tradition partners, whose combined effort will go down into history as the warriors that exhibited the breath taking event in Port Loko: Dr. Aisha Fofana, Hon. Sirajin, Lawyer Jasmin Jusu-Sheriff, Brima Sheriff, Aminata Koroma, Anita Koroma, Nikki, Aisha Josia-Kamara, John Tholley, Terisa Pobe.
Arolyn i Koroma, Journalist & Author.
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