The picture is worth a million dollars because of its historic value , and so was Wednesday’s gesture itself.
Iconic Peace Corps volunteer, Mr. Gary Schulze, who loves our nation so much that he is helping to put the history of our country in its right perspective , on his birthday on Wednesday December 28, 2016 traveled all the way to New Jersey from New York to present to Sierra Leone’s Minister Plenipotentiary to the UN and international journalist, Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu , the original photo of legendary Lokko warrior and Chief , Bai Bureh , who waged war on the British in 1898 for imposing hut tax in Sierra Leone.
Bai Bureh, who rightly should be regarded as one of the architects of resistance to British colonial rule, being one of the first nationalists who delivered the British colonial masters a strong warning that Sierra Leoneans were not going to be sitting ducks under their rule, remains one of Africa’s most noted historical figures. But there was no original and real photo of him anywhere.
This changed in 2012 and the industrious Gary Schulze himself dramatically co-procured the real and authentic photo of Bai Bureh. He explains : “As the years went by I began to search for an actual photograph, convinced that one had to exist somewhere. When the internet appeared in the 1980’s, my search area grew vastly larger. Then, on 12 August 2012, 108 years after Bai Bureh’s death and 50 years after Mr. Marsh made the statue based on Green’s pencil drawing, an incredible thing happened. A photograph of the great warrior appeared on Ebay, the internet auction site.
I was contacted by an old friend, William (Bill) Hart, who has done extensive field work in Sierra Leone and is an authority on the history and cultures of the counry. Bill had also seen the picture and was excited about the prospect of us acquiring it for the people of Sierra Leone. ”
A professional document dealer in London placed the bid that won the photograph, but Gary, after much hassle, convinced the dealer to sell the photo to him at a higher price than the man had bought it and words could not describe Mr. Schulze’s excitement when he at last laid hold on the authentic photo of Bai Bureh. He has already presented meticulously framed photo copies of the photo to President Ernest Bai Koroma, government officials, institutions of learning and the Sierra Leone Museum.
On Wednesday , Gary Schulze came to New Jersey to present the photo to Rev. Kabs-Kanu in a special program at the studios of the SIERRACAST/COCORIOKO TV, at Highland Park. Present at the ceremony were the President of the New Jersey Chapter of the ruling All People’s Congress ( APC ) , Mr. Alimamy Turay , the Chairman of the West African Community in New Jersey , Mr. Foday Mansaray, a member of the board of the Cocorioko Newspaper and SIERRACAST Producer , Mr. Hamjat Jolomy-Bah .
THE PAINTED IMAGE OF BAI BUREH
Rev. Kabs-Kanu thanked Mr. Schulze glowingly for his immeasurable gesture to travel to New Jersey on his birthday to present him the photo. He told the iconic peace corps volunteer that he felt honored and was very grateful. He thanked him also for the photo, whose historic importance cannot be measured by words . He said he will adorn his living room with such a very historic picture which will attract interest from his family and visitors . He underscored Mr.Shulze’s love for Sierra Leone, which he stated was indescribable and that God will bless him for his sacrifices for the nation.
Gary Schulze first went to Sierra Leone as a young peace corps volunteer in 1962 and was assigned to teach history and civics at the Albert Academy in Freetown. The Peace Corps transferred him to the National Museum, at the old Cotton Tree Station, where he worked As Acting Curator under the direction of Dr. M.C.F. Easmon and served as Secretary to the Monuments & Relics Commission and the Museum Committee.
WE WILL BRING YOU THE VIDEO RECORDING OF THE PRESENTATION PROGRAM AND THE TV CHAT REV. KABS-KANU HAD WITH MR. SCHULZE IN HIS PROGRAM : “ISSUES OF OUR TIME. ”