By KABS KANU :
WHAT everybody should never forget about Freetown is that it is a historic city, perhaps the most historic city of West Africa. The entire landscape , structure, names of streets , many places of interest , the markets, sea entry points and much of her infrastructure provide splendid lessons in history.
Because of the unique history of this city, and the imperative to preserve its historical significance and relevance for generations to come , a new capital city must evolve outside the capital’s precincts. Historic structures and places of interest must not be demolished . These are important facts to consider as we celebrate the 225th anniversary of this wonderful city.
Freetown is a significant relic of the history of Sierra Leone and Caribbean countries and those who understand and appreciate History will see instructive lessons in the ancient nature of the city. Nowhere is modernity juxtaposed with history as Freetown.
Krio, the language spoken on the streets of Freetown , is a historic linguistical masterpiece. It is a universal language that embodies the histories of many nations, not only Sierra Leone. Krio must be preserved in its most native form . It should not be “POTOMALIZED”( Anglisized, Westernized etc.) . I heard variants of Krio in the Caribbean that sounded very impressive in the depths
Another unique characteristic of Freetown is that it is such a natural structural masterpiece, built around hills, that it is one of very few capital cities in the world where you receive a stunning glimpse of her stunning coastline and the ocean from most parts of the city. In many cities of the world you have to travel out to the outskirts to have a glimpse of the sea, because they are built on flat land. Not Freetown. From your porch or balcony in Freetown, you are treated to the beauty of nature, a breathcatching panorama of expansive ocean , of barges, boats and ships sailing by and of fishermen thrillingly at work. Where else in Africa do you enjoy such aesthetic beauty from your porch ?
Freetown is synonymous with rich history and natural beauty . In Africa, it is the nearest imitation of the splendour of Caribbean countries where man has tried to rebuild paradise on earth. I have been to over nine Caribbean countries and every one of them reminded me of Freetown. St. Lucia is a brilliant carbon copy of Freetown with her beautiful, hilly settlements and magnificent coastline. It was from visiting Caribbean countries that I appreciated more the historical beauty of our capital and the significance of her infrastructure and of course the Krio inhabitants and their rich language and culture.
FREETOWN KING JIMMY MARKET BY THE SEA
It is a thing of joy that some contemporary Sierra Leoneans interested in the preservation of history like Amadu Massally, Melbourne Garber, Bowenson Frederick Philips etc, not forgetting peace corps volunteers like Mr. Gary Schulze, are trying to hook our country back to her rich and glorious past ties with some of these Caribbean countries. I think I will join that crusade. Freetown must not lose her history and its significance.
CREOLES PROUDLY CLAD IN THEIR TRADITIONAL DRESS
It is also refreshing that the Creoles too are now galvanizing themselves all over Europe and the U.S. to form Krio descendant unions , a move designed to highlight and preserve their language and culture.
CREOLE FUFU AND EGUSI SOUP
Freetown is richly and marvelously different from other cities of Africa because our history is different from their own. The natural structure of Freetown is redolent of her rich history. Those advocating that the whole city be broken down and rebuilt do not understand the significance of preserving history. Freetown can still be developed and beautified as President Ernest Koroma is doing without tampering with its historic structures and relics. If we want a more modern capital, we can start building one at Lungi or Hastings or Makeni or Bo.
That is why it is very idiotic of one presidential aspirant to say he will break down State House , rebuild it and paint it blue. For what purpose, one is tempted to ask ? FORT THORNTON , whatever name it assumes today, is one of the rich historical relics of Freetown that must be preserved.
Anybody close to nature will appreciate Freetown because nowhere do structure and life imitate nature like Freetown .
WRITTEN BY KABS KANU
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