BANK OF SIERRA LEONE HONORS LEONE STARS

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The Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone (BSL), Prof. Kelfala M. Kallon, hosted a dinner to honor Sierra Leone’s national Football team (Leone Stars) at the BSL Staff Recreation Complex, Kingtom.

The event was attended by a cross section of players, mostly home based,  members of the coaching staff including the Head Coach, Mr. John Kister , senior officials of the Sierra Leone Football Association including the President, Officials of the National Sports Authority and other senior Government officials.

Thanking the Team during his after dinner statement, Governor Kallon said the magnitude of the team’s success will be felt across the country for a long time. He noted that the team united Sierra Leoneans at home and abroad around a single issue for two weeks as everyone prayed for their success.

He specifically thanked the Coach for a job well done, especially for being consistently focused on the objective amidst all the noise. He singled out the Goal keeper, Mr. Mohamed Kamara, for a special thanks, because he did not only make Sierra Leoneans proud but taught the country an indelible lesson which was, if Sierra Leoneans worked as hard as Mr. Kamara did on the bitch to defend and stand up for Sierra Leone, the country‘s economy will outperform the most extravagant expectations.

He called on the team to continue the good work and to remain steadfast in their commitment to do even better. He said they had shown that good things can happen in Sierra Leone and it will continue in the future. He assured the team of the Bank’s strong support at all times and that the Bank will work with the team whereever possible.

Giving the vote of thanks, the President of the Sierra Leone Football Association, Mr. Thomas Daddy Brima, assured the Governor that the SLFA will continue to do what it can to strengthen football at all levels. He noted that the team’s performance in Cameroon demonstrated what football can do for national cohesion if given the requisite support. He called on the corporate sector to sponsor football noting that it is only in that way that the sport will strive.  He thanked the Governor for the strong support and assured all that they will continue to fly the country’s flag high.

A wake-up call on ZERO Tolerance to FGM

February 6th is internationally declared as “ZERO TOLERANCE DAY TO Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).”

 Many countries have taken steps in enacting laws, where no laws existed, in a bid to ban FGM as a way of fulfilling their responsibility of protecting their female population (women and girls) from harmful and degrading practices. Others have formulated laws through their elected members of parliament as a way of meeting their international commitment to implement the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Maputo Protocol, and SDG 5.

The old-age culture of cutting the clitoris of women and girls needs to be thoroughly looked at and addressed holistically by authorities.

The fear of being attacked and backlashe by some campaigners borne the age of consent campaign which was considered as a stepping stone to ending FGM. However, this strategy used as an entering point has now turned to the end of the campaign by politicians and supporters of the practice.

Soweis and their promoters’ argument have always been “Respect the women’s decision and protect the girls.”  These people have never condemned the death of girls or women due to FGM.

Others will compare a procedure done by women in the west called labia beautification to FGM.  

Others have accused anti-FGM campaigners of calling for an end to FGM as a way to attract funding. While others will tell you that anti-FGM campaigners are Western stooges just to discourage our efforts and kill our spirit to not continue with our message of Social norm change. Others will say anti-FGM campaigners are disrespectful.

The truth here is anti-FGM campaigners are brave enough to call things by their real names and persuade others to Change harmful Social Norms. Anti-FGM campaigners are working hard to restore respect to the Bondo culture by asking for the removal of the cutting from the process. It’s the cutting of the clitoris that has led non-members and men who are medical personnel to enter our secret societies bush to administer treatment which is not happening with the male secret societies such as Poro, Gbagbani, Wunde, etc.

Traditionally, the Bondo Society has been an institution for “Rite of passage” from the girl-child stage to womanhood. As Bondo members, we want to bring the beauty of our only woman society to unify and empower not only the educated but rural women who make up the bulk of the country’s population.

It is disrespectful to see our masked devil riding a motorbike, dancing to rock music, and rapping around men who are not members of our own culture.  We want to develop signs and language like our male counterparts to remove the degrading acceptance of FGM. If and when we succeed our only female secret society will be the envy of West Africa.

So as we commemorate the zero tolerance on FGM we call on the powers to drop the knife and razor, stop the cutting and avoid the bloodshed.

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