As Sierra Leone celebrates 58 years of independence from the United Kingdom this year, media sources claim that there are mixed emotions across the country, as the country’s key economic, social, and political difficulties remain unsolved.
Previous independence celebrations, on the other hand, have been quite spectacular, particularly on April 27, 1961, when Sierra Leone was granted independence from the United Kingdom.
There were celebrations all around the United States. People were in a good mood, decorated the city with new national colors, and a three-day public holiday was established.
Sierra Leoneans wore clothing with the inscription “Independence 27 April 1961. Sierra Leone” and participated in a series of commemorative festivities, including a mass led by the Archbishop of York, a canoe competition, and dances. Nigerian Prime Minister Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa was among the dignitaries in attendance.
The British flag was turned off at 11.59 p.m. on April 26, 1961, and the new independent Sierra Leone flag was unveiled for the first time.
To the delight of the MPs in Parliament, Queen Elizabeth II dispatched her cousin, Prince Edward, who handed over the constitutional instruments to Prime Minister Sir Milton Margai. This marked the beginning of the West African nation’s independence.
The majority of Sierra Leoneans are dissatisfied today since their top priorities have not been addressed. President Julius Maada Bio, on the other hand, has expressed his support.
We present with you some famous figures from the country as part of their efforts to honor their independence:
His father was from Sierra Leone, and his mother was from Ghana, therefore the British actor, musician, and DJ was born to immigrant working-class parents. He grew up in east London before making a name for himself in America. He is most recognized for his roles as Nelson Mandela in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013), narcotics trafficker Stringer Bell on HBO’s The Wire, and DCI John Luther on BBC One’s Luther.
The TV and film actor has been nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film four times, winning one, and has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award five times. Fans of the movies are cheering for the Hollywood actor to succeed from Daniel Craig as James Bond.
The Sierra Leonean-American ballet dancer, 24, is one of the world’s few black classical ballerinas. When she was three years old, she lost both of her parents. Her father was killed in the violent civil war in the country, and her mother died of a fever. She was subsequently placed in a shelter in Sierra Leone with 26 other children, where adults ridiculed her about being too ugly to be adopted, dubbing her “the devil child” due to her vitiligo (a skin condition that causes loss of pigment).
“I guess I was a little sassy,” DePrince told Glamour Magazine, “but I always believed I was destined for more.” ‘I don’t care,’ I’d say whenever people called me names.
With his famous memoir, A Long Way Gone, the Sierra Leonean author, and human rights campaigner came to prominence. In the mid-1990s, he was barely a youngster when his community was engulfed in Sierra Leone’s civil conflict. Beah discussed his parents’ and siblings’ deaths in the fight in his 2007 memoir A Long Way Gone, as well as how he traveled the countryside with a band of boys before being recruited as a child soldier by government forces.
He was discharged from the army and placed in a rehabilitation home in Freetown after two years, thanks to UNICEF’s assistance. Radiance of Tomorrow, Beah’s most recent novel, was released in January 2014.
The 69-year-old actor and stand-up comedian was born in Brooklyn, New York, but was reared in Los Angeles by a Sierra Leonean father and an American mother. Ajaye was a successful stand-up comedian in the 1970s who also wrote for Emmy-nominated shows and played jazz.
He dropped out of law school to pursue stand-up comedy full-time. Car Wash, Stir Crazy, and Bridesmaids are among his film credits. For his work on In Living Color and Politically Incorrect, he got two Emmy nominations for Outstanding Writing. In 2011, he played the father of Maya Rudolph’s character Lillian in the blockbuster comedy Bridesmaids.
Nzinga Christine Blake
The American/Sierra Leonean actress was a host on Current TV and appeared in national television advertisements for Sprite and Kinkos, as well as on Cartoon Network’s Fridays and Litton’s Weekend Adventure’s Culture Click. Cecil Blake, her father, is a former Sierra Leone Minister of Information, a former UN official, and a world scholar.
Blake is currently the host of “Culture Click” on the “Bounce” TV network. The TV host is also active in a number of projects that use entertainment, fashion, and the arts to promote youth empowerment in Africa and other poor countries.