By: Theresa Thomas
The African Achievers Awards is an annual awards program founded in 2011 by Dr. Rex Idaminabo ESQ. Awards have been granted in the fields of community development leadership, arts and culture, business and entrepreneurship, agriculture, community service, rural development, and education since the organization’s inception.
Michael Okentu Bangura, the African Achievers Awards Communications Director, stated, “This is no longer a strange event as it has been ongoing for over a decade in Sierra Leone where over fifty people have been nominated for this award and eight people are qualified having gone through their Curriculum Vitae which serves as one of the qualifications for you to be considered for this award.”
He went on to say that the process is free and fair, and that they are not responsible for nominating people into different categories; rather, community members and other stakeholders did so using the forms provided, reporting back to the committee on the outstanding work done in various lives and communities, which the committee will vet and forward to the advisory committee.
This is not only for the educated, but also for the illiterate who have made a difference in people’s lives and communities by working in both skilled and unskilled jobs.
The Africa Achievers keynote speaker, Dr. Cornelius Max-Williams, said the Africa Achievers Awards are always a success because the theme is “Maximizing Diaspora Investment for Sustainable Development in Africa,” which means tapping into the expertise and resources of Africans in the diaspora to accelerate the realization of government goals and sustainable social transformation in Africa, according to the Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Rex Idaminaboh.
This Award Ceremony gives a venue for African industry to get together and discuss strategy, as well as build a blueprint for attracting diaspora investment to Africa.
The African Achievers Awards is a cost-effective way to honor entrepreneurs and community leaders who have effectively contributed to Africa’s rise, as well as those who selflessly donate their time and effort.
Dr. Ekundayo Gilpin, on the other hand, is a proud recipient of the prestigious Africa Leadership Awards by the UK-based African Leadership magazine at the international forum for African leadership in New York, as well as the African Achievers Awards in Sierra Leone and the United Kingdom, where he also serves on the Board of Directors.
Dr. Gilpin is a well-known figure in the banking industry, not only for his commitment and dedication, but also for his exemplary and admirable leadership style. He is a seasoned internationally recognized financial expert with decades of experience managing complex policies and processes in banking and bank-related institutions in Africa, Europe, the South Pacific, the Caribbean, and the United States.
His strong desire to motivate and empower both management and staff to believe in themselves and set attainable goals exemplifies his belief in teamwork. He is also a senior advisor to the Commonwealth Secretariat in the United Kingdom and has managed significant financial and management initiatives that serve as the foundation for long-term reform strategies in more than 25 countries.
Rosemarie Blake, Living Water’s Country Director, is a trained and qualified gender specialist who has demonstrated expertise in dealing with these challenges in the institutions where she has worked.
She has implemented and facilitated counsel for situations of social amenities such as water sanitation and hygiene for everyone as a human activist and educator for women and children.
She is, nevertheless, overjoyed by the prize and promises to do more for underserved communities, as well as devote the award to all groups, including women and children.
PUBLIC REVIEW RTICLE
[1/31, 11:57 AM] Andrew Kailie: PONDER MY THOUGHTS
WHO IS SIERRA LEONE’S DESMOND TUTU? NOW YOU PONDER!
I was amazed at the flurry of tributes from world leaders and other notable people to the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu recently. This set me pondering whether we could not have our own Desmond Tutu in Sierra Leone. I know what your initial impression may be-“Nor bring laf cam na berin ose o!”. But seriously, we need to ponder this.
Firstly, let us reflect on the extent of Desmond Tutu’s influence. He was an oratorical force whose leadership helped abolish apartheid in South Africa and was seen by many as the conscience of a troubled nation. While other leaders, like Mandela, were incarcerated, Tutu travelled and spoke widely, using his senior position in the Anglican Church and using the esteem of his Nobel Peace Prize to promote his anti-apartheid message worldwide and elevate the stories and lives of Black South Africans. He helped guide South Africa into its state of democracy, having chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that was necessary for the country to heal from the wounds caused by apartheid. Tutu was credited for dubbing a united South Africa the “rainbow nation.”
Great man indeed, Tutu! But who is our own Desmond Tutu here in Sierra Leone? Can we not also have great men or women who can bring their influence to bear positively on the lives of citizens of this country, irrespective of any personal consequences of their actions? Indeed, the ills in our country have been many and persistent for a very long time. Public resources and public property are often placed in the service of the party in power. We have seen violence mar the political landscape. Our illiterate, unemployed youth have been used as cannon fodder by politicians. The country has been used to further some people’s personal ambitions. There is a dire need for national cohesion. Our problems are so many. Many people who are supposed to speak out are too afraid to do so for a whole host of reasons.
When will a leader stand up to emulate the attitude of Archbishop Tutu? Let us examine some of the attributes that made him a great man from some of the tributes paid to him. He was all of the following:
1. A patriot and conscience of the nation.
He loved his country so much. He was truly the conscience of the nation and people listened to him.
2. A leader of principle, integrity and pragmatism
He was described in one tribute as “a patriot without equal; a leader of principle and pragmatism who gave meaning to the biblical insight that faith without works is dead”. Archbishop Welby said Tutu – “always known as Arch” – was “a prophet and priest, a man of words and action, one who embodied the hope and joy that were the foundations of his life”.
3. A leader against injustice and advocate of human rights
President Obama described him thus: “A universal spirit, Archbishop Tutu was grounded in the struggle for liberation and justice in his own country, but also concerned with injustice everywhere,”.
4. A leader with moral strength, moral courage and clarity
While Tutu preached against the tyranny of apartheid, he would go on to be just as critical of Black political elites. In 2013, Tutu withdrew his support for Mandela’s party, describing South Africa as “the most unequal society in the world.”
5. A leader who preached national cohesion
He preached incessantly about the need for national cohesion. Toward the end of his life, Tutu also spoke with regret that the dream of a true “rainbow nation” had yet to be realized.
6. An unwavering voice for the voiceless
Tutu cared for the oppressed and was very vocal about issues concerning them all over the world.
7. A leader with extraordinary personal courage and bravery
Somebody said of him- “He was a man of extraordinary personal courage and bravery: when the police burst into Capetown Cathedral, he defied them by dancing down the aisle”. Former Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu said Tutu was a man of “amazing faith” who was “so rooted in Christ he feared nothing”.
8. A leader who transformed lives
One tribute stated-Tutu’s love “transformed the lives of politicians and priests, township dwellers and world leaders. He was a pioneer and “a man of enormous vision”.
Tutu is obviously a hard act to follow. A South African commentator’s opinion was that in many ways Tutu was lucky that he appeared at the right time in history in the right context. His view is that it is difficult to get all these qualities in one man and that perhaps in looking out for another Tutu, South Africans should consider people who are doing their own bit in their little corner to further some of the ideals Tutu fought for, so that collectively, they can help shape the direction of the nation. I agree with this assessment.
So here is the challenge to us in Sierra Leone. This time I would like those reading this article to ponder their own thoughts on who is Sierra Leone’s living Desmond Tutu. Ponder the problems that you may consider exist in our country-poor national cohesion, unfair incarcerations, political divisions, unfair dismissals, selective investigations, concerns about separation of powers, concerns about the judicial system, corruption, nepotism, tribalism-you name them! Ponder people who are doing their own little bit to bring these to our national consciousness with a fearless call to action. I do realise that there are many who may be capable of doing such but would rather compromise with leaders of the day for self-gain. Ponder the qualities Tutu had and judge these people by these qualities. They may not need to be perfect (even Tutu had his flaws and his critics), but would need to have some of these qualities, influence a fair number of the citizenry and probably action by national leadership. I would also reiterate that he or she must be known to be fearless and speak truth to power. The person (or persons) should have a message that would be consistent, irrespective of which government is in power.
Please drop me a note, pondering your own thoughts on Sierra Leone’s Desmond Tutu. I intend publishing the findings in a related article later. Let us celebrate our heroes. Please send contributions to me by whatever means convenient or by email to [email protected]
Ponder Sierra Leone’s Desmond Tutu(s). Ponder my thoughts.
Osmond Hanciles: SIERRA LEONE’S DESMOND TUTU- NOMINATION
“…in looking out for ANOTHER TUTU( all bold are mine for the sake of emphasis), South Africans should consider people who are doing their own little bit in their little corner to further some of the ideals Tutu fought for, so that collectively, they can help stage the direction of the nation”
I also cannot readily agree more with big brother Engineer Columnist a renowned and respected high National Honours awardee, a man wearing a coat of resplendent many colours in the life of our still struggling and harassed on many fronts, nation that cannot feed and care for 98% of her children who are living in wanton poverty, Ing Kailie’s assessment that the above quotation is the great and challenging legacy that the late African icon, Archbishop Desmond Tutu has bequeathed South Africa and the struggling and unnecessarily impoverished Continent still searching for her soul.
Next, we are called upon here to ponder over this very serious if not grave question: ” WHO IS SIERRA LEONE’S LIVING DESMOND TUTU?”. Obviously, to ease our difficulties, we are given guidelines which are explicitly stated and need not be restated.
” As usual as ngor Margai” though with the Political Class to which Ing Kailie had long graduated into, notwithstanding, or possibly because of, his findings of the late ‘Arch’ conclusion about the ‘rainbow nation’ he had envisioned with, ‘enormous vision…amazing faith’ as “THE MOST UNEQUAL SOCIETY IN THE WORLD”, did not include the ONLY AND REAL REASON/CAUSE of the latter sad observation, which is and cannot be nothing more, nothing less than MASSIVE, GRINDING, UNBEARABLE AND SUFFOCATING POVERTY
Consequently, it is so easy for me without much ado to submit my nomination for the title of SIERRA LEONE’S LIVING DESMOND TUTU which cannot certainly be a person as none can be discovered in the horizon. Who then can best fit into this challenging title?
Fellow Sierra Leoneans, join me to nominate the SONIGA Innovation that will, when implemented, usher in the missing model in the enduring War against Poverty that the World Bank and UN Agencies have since endorsed known as SHARED PROSPERITY that alone has,”…A MESSAGE THAT WOULD BE CONSISTENT IRRESPECTIVE OF WHICH GOVERNMENT IS IN POWER” as SIERRA LEONE LIVING DESMOND TUTU.
In my crispy and punchy style of few words, I end my nomination message by stating with ABSOLUTE AND UNWAVERING CONVICTION that SONIGA will even surpass the, ‘ENORMOUS VISION…AMAZING FAITH’ which the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu manifestly exuded during his life which he capped with such unbelievable and incomparable humility by his choice of COFFIN NOT GOLDEN CASKET in which he has been taken by the grace of God to the Heavenly Kingdom
BRING ON SONIGA TO TACKLE THE BITTER AND GRIEVOUS CONCLUSION OF DESMOND TUTU THAT SOUTH AFRICA IS ” THE MOST UNEQUAL SOCIETY IN THE WORLD”
THE OSWALD HANCILES COLUMN
“The Greatest Evil”
“The world is a gas chamber – inside the world are gases we need to breathe and to live. There is no escape. Some people have been putting poisonous gases into this gas chamber, the atmosphere – over the past 200 years, and massively, for the past 30 years…. What we are talking about here is a murder project… What (“climate change”) means … is the slaughter and death of people…through starvation… ‘ Annihilation’ is a project to murder on a massive scale… billions of people. I t’s a project knowingly to undertake mass murder … .” – Roger Hallam, co-founder, Extinction Rebellion, YouTube: “Advice to Young People as They Face Annihilation”.
“We are in an unprecedented earth emergency… This is the challenge…for all humanity…. The Terrible Truth is more and more terrible…..A world of 1.5 degrees Celsius (above pre-industrial levels) is a disaster… 2 degrees will be a world impossible to live in…. (The 2015 Paris Accord Climate Change is not going to meet the target)…. We are increasing the level of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere faster than in the part forty million years – that’s 200 times than it would happen naturally… That’s absolutely climate crazy…. The heat in our oceans is (like) five Hiroshima hydrogen bombs per second…. We have to change our economy fundamentally….We live under an economy that is inherently destructive of our planet… If we continue to emit gases into the atmosphere, the earth is going to be an intolerable place to live in….Suffering and deaths of humans… a slow death… Billions of people starving to death…. All of the infectious and communicable diseases are going to increase to increase global temperatures rise… It’s a suicidal recipe. And the only plans we have is that of (COLLECTIVE) suicide… This is evil; if you can’t call this evil evil, then you are complicit…. This is the Greatest Evil humanity has ever seen”_* – Peter Carter; a medical doctor, founder of the Climate Emergency Institute. He has served as an expert reviewer for the IPCC’s fifth climate change assessment in 2014.
The IPCC that Peter Carter reviewed for… is the “Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change”, the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change. Science!! Clearly, the worst culprits of man-made Climate Change – historically, United States and Western Europe; and currently, China (responsible for 28% of carbon emissions into the atmosphere); United States (15%) – have been hardly listening to the science on Climate Change. The masses, and youth, in Africa, are clearly oblivious of the magnitude of the Climate Change Emergency. And, what about Africa’s educated leadership who are aware of these chilling statistics? Africa’s governing and political elite are mental slaves. They read and hear that Africa that has contributed less than 3% of global emissions to Climate Change, would be the worst hit (droughts; famines; floods; low agricultural yields; starvation); but, they wait for dictates from the white man as to what to do; they are unperturbed by the consequences of Climate Change on their people, since they are sure they would flee to the West when the worst will unfold. To put Peter Carter’s words in perspective as he calls Climate Change “The Greatest Evil”, I start this serial teaching Africans, and reminding humanity in the West, about some of the great historical evils – which Climate Change is WORST than.
Hitler’s Gas Chambers
“SS men escorted the men, women, and children selected for death to the gas chambers…Trucks carried those too infirm to walk, and the rest marched.…The SS men kept the people fated to die unaware of what awaited them. They were told that they were being sent to another camp, but that they first had to undergo disinfection and bathe. After the victims undressed, they were taken into the gas chamber, locked in, and killed with Zyklon B gas…..After they were killed, Sonderkommando prisoners dragged the corpses out of the gas chambers. They cut off the women’s hair and removed all metal dental work and jewelry. Then they burned the corpses in pits, on pyres, or in the crematorium furnaces…”
(SOURCE: The extermination procedure in the gas chambers / Auschwitz and Shoah / History / Auschwitz-
(The “SS” was a paramilitary organization when Adolf Hitler was Chancellor of Germany during World War 2, 1940 to 1945. The two main constituent groups were the Allgemeine SS [General SS] and the Waffen-SS [Armed SS]. The Allgemeine SS was responsible for enforcing the racial policy of Nazi Germany, with the ideology that white people were superior to other races, and other races should be annihilated, starting with the Jewish race, who are also ‘white’. The Waffen-SS consisted of combat units within Nazi Germany’s military. A third component of the SS, the Totenkopfverbande [SS-TV] or “Death’s Head units”, ran the concentration camps and extermination camps. They murdered about SIX MILLION JEWS BETWEEN 1939 AND 1945).
Josef Mengele “ …was a physician in the concentration camp Auschwitz, and known as ‘The Angel of Death…’ He practiced many experiments on people… One of the most common experiments was on twins…. He would pour chemicals on the eyes of twins to see whether that will change their colors….and sewing them together to see whether that would create conjoined twins… There were about 3,000 twins, only 200 survived…. He sometimes forced parents to kill their children….He tortured children to see how long they will survive…. He sent over 400,000 people to their deaths in the gas chambers….”
(SOURCE: 25 Most Evil People in the World [worldpress.com])
Africa: What Climate Change Would Mean…
“Statement before the (United States’) House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Global Human Rights ‘The Effects of Climate Change in Africa’;… by Caitlin Welsh Director, Global Food Security Program, CSIS April 27, 2021 …Two narratives dominate reports of climate impacts on food security in Africa: that climate-related weather events suppress farmers’ yields, and that climate change contributes to violent conflict and humanitarian emergency in certain ‘hotspots’. These narratives, while true, are incomplete. Instead, climate change affects food security for all Africans through a multitude of pathways, with important implications for U.S. foreign policy,…. The prevalence of undernourishment is estimated to be 19.1 percent, or 250.3 million people, across Africa…”(SOURCE: EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON AFRICA HHRG-117-FA16-Wstate-WelshC-20210427.pdf [house.gov])
“Africa is likely to suffer some of the worst effects of climate change and is ill-prepared to cope, officials said on Monday, advocating better access for the continent to world carbon markets….
Changing climatic conditions from cyclones to forest fires are already spurring poor, rural Africans to move to cities, in a rapid and often chaotic wave of urbanisation….
Some of Africa’s largest cities, including Lagos, Mombasa, Dakar, Dar Es Salaam, are coastal, and by 2030, more than 50 percent of Africans are expected to live in urban areas….Of course, it is Africa that is least prepared to cope..” (SOURCE: Africa ‘not prepared’ for climate change (iol.co.za)
Whilst the United States almost always perceive global issues through the prism of their narrow economic interests or “national security”,
Climate Change as “mass murder” is being planned, is being slowly executed, in front of the eyes of billions of humanity!! Ordinary nurses, teachers, doctors, lawyers, pastors, stockbrokers, scientists…. in the West are turning a blind eye to what Roger Hallam of Extinction Rebellion calls the “Annihilation Project”; as he compares those ordinary people pumping noxious carbon dioxide gases into the atmosphere to those Nazi SS that mass murdered millions of people during the Second World War using poisonous gases. But, unlike the SS guards in Nazi Germany, affluent people in the West are inside ‘Gas Chamber-Earth’. Hallam called as “delusional” the Paris Climate Change Accord of 2015, COP-21, which the West has hailed as one in which the best options for combating Climate Change were agreed upon – for their goal of keeping global temperatures above 1.5 degrees pre-industrial levels. The science shows that it is certain to go above 1.6 degrees Celsius, even 2 degrees Celsius – with “catastrophic consequences” for humanity. Africa’s presidents, and ministers, and bureaucratic elite know this. Guess what? Over 197 countries are going to meet in the 26th global Climate Change conference, COP-26, in the United Kingdom, November, 2021. The Conference of Parties (COP) is the apex decision-making body of the United Nations Climate Change Framework Convention (UNFCCC), founded in 1994…to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions and to protect the earth from the threat of Climate Change.
The first one was held in Berlin, Germany, in 1995. Africa’s governing elite would clamor to attend the COP-26 in the United Kingdom – to gain travel allowances. At COP-26, the richest nations of the world may again not live up to their promises to give Africa $100 billion for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation. $100 billion will not even be adequate for Nigeria alone – with 60% of its population of 220 million people living below the UN poverty level, and accelerated desertification in its northern region, and about 95% of its tropical rainforests vanished. Under the auspices of the organization, the SLAVE SHIP-FREEDOM SHIP (which fuses the THOUGHT of the Atlantic Slave Trade and Climate Change), I founded in Calabar, Cross River State, in south east Nigeria in 1992, I have been articulating this mantra: “ $2 trillion annually for man-made Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in Africa from the richest nations of the world. (And from Arab nations that took part in the 600 years Trans-Saharan Slave Trade)”. Africa’s elites are slow to give traction to my vision because they are still largely mental slaves – they await individuals or organizations in Europe and the United States to first endorse my vision. It is not for “us”, as Africans, against “them”, the white races. The SLAVE SHIP-FREEDOM SHIP is for all humanity. The people in the West are ‘slaves’ to consumerism; slaves to gluttony; slaves to obsolete economic systems, and their false sense of superiority – they need FREEDOM if humanity is to be saved on planet earth. Call me. Reach out to me. We don’t have time to waste – the earth’s systems are at a “tipping point”. This ongoing sense of normalcy, and sedate language, whilst mass murder is being planned and executed is inherently insanity. Like Roger Hallam, my message – which would be imaginatively concocted – is mainly addressed to the youth of Africa, and the world; but also to enlightened humanity.