Rainy Days in Freetown, Kolonko Advertising, and BorbohBellehs


For the past three days the rains in Freetown have been unforgiving…….Some people carelessly use the phrase “its raining cats and dogs”…but you really have to be here to have an appreciation for that saying. I’ve been here for about six weeks and everything is moving very very slowly….slower than usual. Ah really don tire wit di ‘ol election bizness.

I want the elections to hurry up and come and I want them to be peaceful. And thats all I have to say about the Elections.

As for the social scene Paddies, Old School and Lagoonda are as they always are…though Old School may have dropped a little. They no longer seem to open the lower floor and the second is never as packed as it used to be. The music is good sometimes but most times I’m dissappointed. Paddies on the other hand is as entertaining as ever…..with the Kolonko’s holding down the turf. That place would be nothing without the Kolonkos….I really appreciate them. A not so new trend that’s become quite popular with our Kolonkos is the wearing of pants really low on the bottucks so that much of the upper part of the butt cheeks are exposed.
A friend of mine indicated to me that it was their form of advertising…You want to know what you’re getting before u sign the deal for the night……moving on…………..

Now I want to talk about something thats really really bothering me….Its nothing new but my tolerance level has reduced due to the over prevalence of this disease in town. Some people say its a sign of opulence or prosperity but this is nothing short of madness.

I will start with the historiography (not a real word) of the problem…A long long time ago when we lived in agraraian societies and food was hard to come by, it was very difficult for the African to gain weight….the African worked on his farm, went hunting, went to war, and had many wives and children. This combination of factors therefore made it difficult for even the African with a lot of wealth to gain weight…..when an African did gain weight…. especially around his belly…it was seen as a sign of great wealth.

Now let us fast forward into present day Africa….more specifically…SIERRA LEONE….Capital City: Freetown…A country where it is said that the ratio of women to men is 16:1.

Since I’ve been in Freetown these past six weeks I’ve noticed that the number of BorbohBellehs have increased exponentially. If the size of the bellies of the men in town is an indication of our current economic status then I must say….Business is Booming. Man dem belleh dem just day big lek fo say na competition. Really though people who I would have never in my life imagined would grow a belly, young guys in their early thirties…dem all day pull belleh. And what’s more interesting about the whole thing is that big belleh is something to aspire to because you cannot get a shred of respect in this city if you na man way no get big belleh. Another interesting thing to note is that even the Lebanese men rock the big belleh hard core.

Dare I throw out the statistic that Nine out of Ten of every successful business man or medium to high level civil servant or Ngoer in this City get belleh. You can even use the size of the bellies to tell how prosperous these men actually are. I really wish I could name some names but the decency in me and the fact that I live here now will not allow me to do so……damnnnn it

Na so i go na di American Embassy for dem July 4th Independence….di place bin full up wit all kin minista dem….Ah sweh to God u go fil to say na belleh competition….all man day pass with im yone….And the worst of it all, dem kin lek for wer dem tight tight suit way day wrap around the belleh……na so di bottun dem kin look so miserable…as if to say….do ya pa sorry fo wi…release wi now

Lek ow di belleh kin big na so dem kin get mind. Can you imagine man way belleh big like he’s carrying twins coming up to you really serious about taking u out to lunch or dinner….the nerve!!! “IFEOMA….ABOMINATION…”

I cant decide if its the food, alcohol, or inactivity thats causing the bellies to swell so badly. Either way, I think that these men should really be careful with their bellies cause only God knows whats really going on in there. I’m not a health professional but i’m certain growing bellies like that is not only unnatural but it could maybe lead to some gastrointestinal complications.

I’m not the fittest person in the world neither am I a health nut…..and this is not about being mean or spiteful….the bottom line is…..Some man dem belleh na dis tong too big fo dem yone good.

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