The brains behind the planning of the 50th Independence Aniversary celebrations in New Jersey have told COCORIOKO that it hopes to be a massive celebration, one that will leave an indelible impression about Sierra Leone and which will not be forgotten for long. COCORIOKO had an exclusive interview with the Chairman of the New Jersey 50th Anniversary Committee, Mr. Lamin Alharazim, the Chair of the Parade Committee, Madam Madina Rahman , the chair of the Dance Committee , Mr. Sanusi Mustapha Kamara and the Secretary of the Anniversary Committee, Mr. Suliman Kargbo today.( COCORIOKO Man, Dennis Kabato will also conduct a live radio and video interview with them next week, which hopes to be classic ).
Crusading COCORIOKO reporters who will bring you an authoritative media coverage of the events, met with the officials today and the first question they asked was : “How far have you gone with the preparations ?” Chairman Alharazim and all the officials enthusiastically replied that massive preparations have been going on to make the jubilee celebrations a massive success . They said that they had been meeting regulary at the Somerset Fire House in Franklin Township. They decided not to hold their meetings in any private home because they wanted the celebrations to be completely all-Sierra Leonean, involving people of all the various political parties , clubs, organizations, churches and other interest groups in the community. “This is not an APC or SLPP or PMDC or NDA celebration; this is an all-Sierra Leonean celebration” , Chairman Alharazim asserted. “This has been an opportunity for Sierra Leoneans to prove that they can unite for a national purpose and work together “.
Messrs Sanusi Mustapha Kamara and Suliman Kargbo said that they had successfully got the hall for the big anniversary dance and it is the Chinese Community Hall on Elizabeth Lane in Franklin Township , Somerset. Music will be supplied by three notable people–DJs Gule, Baryoh and Donald Cline-Thomas.Invitation and Patron tickets have been printed and are already being distributed. There will be patrons and Grand Chief Patrons.
Both men praised the level of participation of New Jerseyans in the planning of this gigantic show. They said that the cooperation from Sierra Leoneans of all persuasion and walks of life was fantastic .
The dance hopes to draw one of the biggest crowds ever to attend an occasion in New Jersey with celebrants expected from all the states in the continental U.S.
MR. LAMIN ALHARAZIM
SANUSI MUSTAPHA KAMARA
An excited Madam Madina Rahman, who is also President and founder of the New Jersey Nurses Association , briefed COCORIOKO about the huge preparations for the parade and cultural show to be held on Saturday April 23 , followed by the dance. “ We have made plans for floats, fire trucks and flatbed trucks to be used during the parade. The Union of Sierra Leonean Organizations in New York ( USLO ) will be coming to join us ”
Madam Rahman stated that the Committee was very strict about making the celebrations non-political and non-partisan, and to ensure this, every Sierra Leonean, regardless of their political , religious or regional affiliations will be allowed to participate and no group or party will be allowed to dominate the events. Party colours will not be allowed to adorn any of the floats or flatbed trucks, though organizations and parties can hold banners , if they wish. “We are celebrating a national event and we will make sure that the event does not lose its national character . ”
Madina Rahman further disclosed that she had got the youths of New Jersey involved in the parade. “We have told them that they will have their own block of time , especially at the park where the parade will end . We will be having a cultural show there and the youths have been asked to come up with their own program and inform us. “ Though an army of Franklin Township Police will be on hand, the youths will also play a part in providing security.
Saturday April 23 will really be a remarkable day in New Jersey as various organizations have planned to come out with masked Sierra Leonean devils in the parade and cultural show. There will be a fairie , hunting society devil, and Wunde and Poro devils as well as the Gelegele devil . A Sierra Leone Dance Troupe from Philadelphia is also expected to perform.
The brains behind the New Jersey celebrations also announced to COCORIOKO the active involvement of religious organizations in the arrangements. Muslims and christians will help to make the occasion grand .On Friday April 22, muslims plan to rent a place and hold a big congregrational prayer Service , and a menange of christian churches and organizations will hold their own congregational service on Sunday April 24.
COCORIOKO will as usual provide a thrilling and comprehensive coverage of the New Jersey celebrations.