Rush Hour- Phase 1

By Moses Kay Fembeh

With technology taking over the world already, most of our young people, if not all, are in haste to make life easier and comfortable at all cost, which in itself not a bad lifestyle. But the manner in which a person fashions him or her life determineswhether such a person is in a rush hour or not. And most of our young people who have this philosophy of the easiness of life are not even aware of the consequences of ‘the rush hour’. Just as the saying goes, “you can’t eat your cake and have it back”.

Our young people of these days are over ambitious; want to finish university before 18, want to have a family together before 25, and want a doctorate degree before 35years, and even want to be the richest man or woman in Africa before 28. All of these desires are not a bad thing. Like I said earlier, the formula used can be destructive and problematic if not handle well. Nobody wants to be a loser not even Satan; he wants to conquer the world at all cost and that is his mission. Just like you and I, our mission is to serve others generously with love and compassion, but the battle between young people and the world which has been controlled by Satan and his agents is the idea of ‘rulership’, not even with the intent of compassion and love. 

Furthermore, majority of our young people these days want fat salaries, if possible to live on Banana Island and drive expensive cars. Unfortunately, the fantasy life has led man to willful thinking of this so called ‘rush hour’ which has led many to their early grave, and some are in prison, whilst others are engaged inarmed robbery and prostitution, some are used as political tools by politicians. 

One thing I want my readers to understand is this: ‘problem is man-made’. Rush hour is with the intention of using the shortcut and this sometimes cause problem for us. We invite problem in two ways; knowingly and unknowingly. The problems we invite knowingly could be an escape route to keep us safer if we are truly pragmatic about our future as we parade it on our faces.

A danger! Imagine a university student planning to write her semester exams decides to engage herself on full time series and other movies as well as TikTok, Facebook and WhatsApp,posting every now and then to attract more likes, instead of studying full time to attract better grades. But do not forget thatthese are the same people whose wishes do not resemble their true self. They slay all day with big phones like iPhone 11 & 13 pro max in their hands to attract more men in the streets and on social media. Social media was originally invented for easy communication amongst families, workers and other diplomatic issues but this New Media has become a dating site for many young people. I don’t want to say this, but I will; the future has been transmitted into a fashionable stock. No vision and no clear goal. 

Most of our parents especially the mothers could be well blamed for the rush hour of their children; as some parents forcibly give their female children to men who have money not even with the intention of marrying their children but the money that comes in on a daily basis. Could this be a course of poverty or lack of contentment? I don’t want to believe either. If some of our African mothers could have a strong faith in God, they would not do such an evil act before God. I’m not judging or attacking anyone but just saying a simple truth of what our Africa continent has turned into. I know that parents want the best for their children, so does God want the best for his creation. But the issue here is, it is in accordance with God’s provisions for healthy up bring or is it in accordance with world standard of living?

In addition, since colonial masters succeeded in dividing our world by class or segregation, the young people in Universities have also affirmed that sad reality by creating class for themselves. Those with iPhone are the valuable ones on campus and those with less valuable phones are the least important ones on campus. But to tell you the truth, from personal studies or research I have done, the latter are the ones who do well in semester exams but they are despised by their own course mates. But funnily enough, these serious students do sometimes assist the iPhone classical students in writing their exams. 

When there are no examinations, they hang out with their fellow iPhone friends and they Snapchat and snap everywhere on campus. Sadly, when grades are out these iPhone family on campus can be easily identified because of their sad faces of failure and by the amount of frustration on their faces.

The story for lecturers sleeping with some of them for grades will be talked about in phase 2, so I am not going to talk about sex for grades right now. I want to remain faithful to my chosensubject which is “rush hour.” 

Another issue for the cause of rush hour is the essence of competition today. Everyone is or wants to compete with someone else, probably a friend, a coworker or a family member. And competing with others breeds jealousy and unfortunately we jealous others because we think we are in competition with them. 

In addition, the class saga will continue here again, I’m sorry for the repetition but allow me to do so; our young people and some parents have created a class already for people they would mingle with in society. This has extended in marriage relationships. Some ladies date men because of money, and what they can give to them. This has been a reason for fornication and “tap to me” which is on the rampage. This too will be discussed in Phase 2. 

Research shows that 75 percent of ladies using iPhone did not buy them with their own money which is fine but most of these ladies have completed university and some are not yet working. So my premise is, of those ladies with iPhones and yet jobless, why can’t they sold those phones to empower themselves. There is nothing wrong with using a smart phone that is not an iPhone. Oh! Because of camera or for its name? Oh okay! Well I’m not rejecting the gift of receiving an iPhone but empowerment counts. 

Heard many people murmuring about our current educational system which is no longer standard. But some of these people crying down education are parents. They are the cause of the declining state of education today.

Imagine a parent has a class one pupil and that child fails to go to class 2. That mother sends 130 Leones for her six year daughter to be promoted to the next class. In that case her daughter will be in a near class but don’t you think she is a murderer of education? Of course she is! My readers will want to know the role played by the media and the teachers. The reality is that the head teacher and the class teacher tried to discourage her but the mother insisted that she would like to see her daughter promoted to the next class, probably competing with her neighbors’ kids not knowing that she has started murdering her daughter’s future. 

Fatmata Sesay, not her real name, had never worked hard to get her grades. She has always been helped by the bribed her mother used to give to teachers of the schools she attended. Sesay has a dream of becoming a medical doctor but because of bribery she was also pushed by her mother who is a housewife. 

Finally, Fatmata sat to her government and private West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) after several examination malpractices. She was successful in her WASSCE and she got admitted to the College of Medicine and AlliedHealth Sciences (COMAHS) in Freetown. 

Fatmata’s mother thought that the method she had been using to promote her daughter will continue in university but this time round, it didn’t work. Fatmata failed at COMAHS and was driven out of the college. She was later admitted at the University of Management and Technology (UNIMTECH) to read Diploma in Procurement and Logistics. Fatmata’s dream of becoming a doctor was murdered by her mother because they both lacked discipline and focus to study harder for better grades. 

Stay blessed we shall continue with Phase 2.

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“Courage is what keeps me going”- Cyclist Mansaray

By Abdul Alex Conteh

Despite the ongoing impasse in the Sierra Leone Cycling Association regarding Elective Congress and other contentious issues, cyclists are going against the odds to keepfit and make themselves focused for any given opportunity. 

Joseph Kalleh Mansaray, a national cyclist tells the writer about the predicament in the sport and the series of attempts to get things on track. 

He explains how frustrated they were over the postponement of the Cycling Elective congress due to verification of delegates. 

Joseph, who was speaking to Heroes Media Sports during one of their training sessions at Aberdeen beach says over the past years and to date cycling is still grappling to reach new heights in terms of development.  

The cyclist adds that he will not relent in his pursuit to fulfilhis dream of becoming a better cyclist, urging his fellow cyclists to train hard and ignore the loggerheads the sport is currently faced with.

Lovers of cycling would subscribe to the notion that sport unifies people in different parts of the world. Sierra Leone is no exception, and the utmost desire is to see a semblance of normalcy in a sporting discipline that is loved by many.

The prevailing situation now requires a lasting solution. According to the cyclists, peace is needed not just to see Sierra Leone in Tour de France but also the deliverables everyone is expecting.

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NDMA Responds to Wellington Fire Victims

With support from the Government of Sierra Leone, the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) through its Directorate of Relief and Response together with various Ministries (MDAs), Departments and Agencies and Partners has provided cash transfer, food and non-food items, and medical support assurance to the Wellington Fire Victims.

It could be recalled that on the 5th of November 2021, at Old Wharf Junction – Wellington, East End Freetown, a loaded fuel tanker collided with a truck carrying granite stones. The collision led to fuel spillage which eventually attracted residents to visit the scene to scoop fuel and stored it in nearby makeshift structures. It was during the process of scooping the fuel that a fire broke out killing 154 people, leaving hundreds with serious life threatening injuries.

Since the incident happened, the NDMA provided leadership and coordinated MDAs, NGOs and partners to ensure a swift response, rehabilitation and recovery.

Speaking at the event, the Director General of NDMA, Lt. Gen. (Rtd) Brima Sesay explained about the establishment, mandate of NDMA and the entire response process. 

“The NDMA was established in 2020 as a result of a promise made by His Excellency, President Julius Maada Bio to the people of this country during the 2018 campaigns. The mandate of the agency is to manage disasters and similar emergencies throughout Sierra Leone and to also develop the capacity of communities to respond effectively to disastersand emergencies” he explained.

The DG further disclosed that NDMA through it Directorate of Relief and Response has supported of a population of 25,374 nationwide. Out of this number, the NDMA supported 5,174 households with food and non-food items, 1,507 houses and 67 public structures assorted building materials and 226 businesses with direct cash transfers who suffered from various disasters since the agency was established.

He also thanked the Ministry of Social Welfare for providing psychosocial support to the victims and those who lost loved ones. He also appreciated the remarkable role played by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) taking the various degree of burns they were confronted with to treat.

“President Bio had to cancel his overseas working trip short and returned home to sympathize with the victims and assured the affected population of Free Medical treatment. He also promised to institute an investigation into the circumstances leading to the fire incident. The investigation committee laterpresented a comprehensive report to HE Julius Maada Bio within the prescribed timeframe”, the DG added.

Dilating on the contributions of partners and well-wishers, the DG said NDMA has identified, verified and registered 310 affected persons/next of Kin, 2 households, 2 houses, 5 shops (makeshifts and containers), 48 motorbikes and 3 tricycles.  

He said that NDMA was able to receive cash and kind donation for the affected persons from the Sierra Leone Medical and Dental Association (SLMDA), Sierra Leone Red Cross Society (SLRCS), Partners in Health, Concern Sierra Leone, Handicap International, SLPP North America Region, Caritas Freetown, CRS, Choithram-SL, World Vision, All For One, Kri Progressive Association, Kono District Diaspora, Street Child and others.

He pointed out that donated cash support were made by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, the Indian Mercantile Association, Nutrifood (S.L) Limited, Staff of NASSIT, NASSIT Trust Fund, Eminent Women of Peace, Summa Airport Sierra Leone, New Apostolic Church, Premium Divine Trading, Thailand Republic, LEONE NET WhatsApp Group, Mandingo Muslim Jamat and a young Sierra Leonean student, Janice William.

“I am convinced that most of you have in one way or the other received donated items (cash & kind). The Government of Sierra Leone is here today to present the affected persons and beneficiaries of those who lost their lives, relief package in addition to the items that were donated by our partners. I am sure there will be peace of mind, restoration of hope and appreciation following the distribution of items that would officially mark the completion of this response today”, he expressed.

Representing the President of Sierra Leone, the Senior Adviser to the President, Mr. John Oponjo Benjamin thanked the President for setting up of the NDMA as per his 2018 manifesto. 

“I thank the President for establishing the NDMA. Before NDMA, emergency structures were established when incidents occur. When there is Cholera, Malaria or Ebola Outbreak, there is a temporary arrangement which will always fade away. But the president thought it necessary to establish and equip the NDMA in order to empower communities and effectively manage disasters”.

“We are establishing a Burns Unit at Connaught to train our doctors and that will enable them to help other countries when the need arise. Before anyone could come during the Wellington incident, NDMA, MoHS and the community were the first to intervene and before any other Partner could support our victims, institutions such as NASSIT which was created by SLPP is among the first to support. SLPP has empowered people and created institutions that will provide meaningful support whenever necessary”, he concluded. 

Alhaji Komeh, a victim, and the Country Director of All For One Foundation, Madam Katie Milazzo both expressed their gratitude for government’s timely intervention and conveyed their utmost appreciation. 

“It is God’s plan that we are victims, and we are thankful to God, the Government of Sierra Leone and more especially the NDMA for their relentless support. We are grateful”, saidAlhaji Komeh.

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Parliament Enacts National Land Commission Act 2022

Lands Minister, Dr. Turad Senesie

Parliament of Sierra Leone on Monday debated and passed into law with some amendments, the bill entitled, “National Land Commission Act, 2022”, for the development of Sierra Leone. 

The National Land Commission Act 2022, seeks to provide for the establishment of the National Land Commission, and other land administrative bodies to secure effective and holistic land administration and to provide for other related matters.

The Parliament of Sierra Leone also debated and passed into law with some amendments the bill, entitled “The Customary Land Right Act 2022”, for the development of the country. 

The Customary Land Right Act 2022 seeks to provide for the protection of customary land rights, the elimination of discrimination under customary law, and the management and administration of land subject to customary law, and other related matters. 

Earlier, the dual bills were debated by Members of Parliament bringing out their importance towards the development of the lands tenure system and administration for the country. 

The Minister of Land, Housing, and Country Planning, Dr. Turad Senesie piloted the enactment of the dual Bills.

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