In the latest episode of the Make Sierra Leone Famous Podcast, “The Untold Story Of The Mandingos Who Became Temne Chiefs In Port Loko,” host Vickie Remoe is in conversation with Bai Suba III of Magbele Village, Lower Marampa Chiefdom, Port Loko District.
Magbele is the home of the Kabia family, a ruling house in Northern Sierra Leone. The name Kabia was originally Kaba–the same as the Kaba River which starts in Guinea and flows down to Sierra Leone via Karene District and the Outamba Kilimi National Park.
Here are the six things we learned from the conversation about the people of Marampa:
- The chiefdom of Marampa got its name from the Arabic word “Marhaba,” which means welcome.
- Kabias descended from Mandingos who migrated from Kankan in Guinea.
- Magbele village has 5 ruling houses all under the name of Kabia.
- A Chief must not depend on his people for feeding but must be able to feed him/herself, with that he/she will be righteous.
- Magbele was the main transportation center from Port Loko to Freetown and was the district headquarter town.
- In the early days when farmers were harvesting, they used to present a portion of their produce to the chief as a gift (a form of respect), and by then it was a tax-free era.