The Luxury Of Not Living in Sierra Leone

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I have a friend who recently lamented that he had lost hope in SL and though this disheartened me it also got me thinkin…It brought me back to earlier this year in Jan when I was in Sierra Leone and I expressed similar sentiments to my mummy. I told her I was frustrated with government and the people and that I wasnt going to come back to SL for a while (clearly a false threat as I am heading to SL for a yr starting in Aug/Sept 07) but thats besides the point.
What I am trying to say is that those of us who have been fortunate enough to have lives and jobs in other countries are really blessed. We can actually choose to disown SL all together just drown ourselves in the diaspora world and relegate all thoughts of SL to weekends, holidays and family gatherings. What a luxury indeed that I could forget SL and move on with my life here in the states. I could marry an american or someone from elsewhere, have a family and live life to the fullest without ever returning to SL.
Unfortunately for me, the above scenario is not possible. Me “naybul“, umbellical cord is buried in SL and it refuses to let me be. I cannot forget SL and even more importantly lose hope. My fate and future are in SL and connected to the lives of everyday Sierra leoneans who do not have the luxury of giving up hope because they dont have that option. If we believe that the cause is hopeless that SLeoneans are a “God-Forsaken People” then we have nothing at all.
I totally understand and sympathise with the feelings of frustration, anger, sadness, and helplessness that can be so totally overwhelming that it forces you to give up but we must fight to “keep hope alive”. I know its sounds cliche but no truer words were ever spoken.
Every Sierra Leonean who has had the opportunity to live outside of Sierra Leone has an obligation to contribute to our nation’s development…..”Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country” has never been more important especially since the country SL at this point in time cannot do anything for you at all. However, Sierra Leone can be a place where you can witness and participate in the rebirth of a nation.
Everyday you wake up you should be thinking “how can i contribute to change in Sierra Leone” “What can I do for Sierra Leone”. For every problem that you think is plaguing SL you should be thinking of how you can solve those problems. From education to health, unemployment, corruption, to the filthy streets of Freetown, unequal distribution of wealth, investment to name a few…you should be racking your brain. Instead of being overwhelmed with hopelessness you should be filled with excitement of all the possibilities and potential in SL. When you think of Sierra Leone you should feel happy not because of the status quo but because we have an opportunity to start over and do things the right way and you know you have a part to play in the process. We all do.
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