Culled from Titus Boye-Thompson – Strategic Media & Development Communications Unit
THE KRIOS ARE SIERRA LEONEANS AS WELL
The people are a loose agglomeration, conditioned by the vagrancies of Sierra Leone’s history, a combination of freed slaves returned from the United Kingdom and other far flung places, recalcitrant slaves like the maroons who proved to be uncontrollable to the extent that their disaffection of their condition caused them to be sent back to Freetown after the colony’s founding and in somewhat the same way as the Nova Scotians opted to return when given the chance, to a land where they can once again become free. These groups were joined by settled itinerants who called the west coast of Africa their home, in a parcel land bought and paid for by their blood and on a transaction that was not even settled after the first payment was exchanged. A further indignation on their stay was the repeated reference to them as strangers when those who boride them were the very same who had sold them off to slavery in the first place.
The krios speak creole, a variant of English patois interspersed with native West African dictum. Theirs swiftly became one of the most progressive communities in Sierra Leone. Their influence permeates the unity of this land in that their language, creole is now the lingua franca for Sierra Leone. Their reach into the hinter most parts of Sierra Leone is undeniable, having worked in various positions , mainly senior in the civil service, having contracted with international companies as engineers and in all, having helped to build this land, the whole none yards of it only to be confronted with a new dimension of indignity.
The Krios in Sierra Leone are an uncanny type of people and as a result, suffer from a lack of cohesion. They wallow in the things that differentiate them rather than work on such enviable proponents of their humble beginnings. Even though their attributes or characteristics have the power to unite this nation, it is a wonder that this is a group that are in themselves so disparate as to be characterized by a lack of unity. There then lies the indignations they would suffer when passed on in such glaring ways for promotion or preferment in public office. There are a few who would reach out to others in their community to build networks but such an act is always frowned upon. It is clear that they fail to see any need in propelling others to positions of influence but would rather celebrate those who struggle by other means to reach high heights.
Krios are Sierra Leoneans as well. It is disheartening to have to bring this out but it should be even more discomforting when a good man is let down or passed over because there is a semblance of krio domination within an environment. When the Krios reach out to make a distinct stand for the mantle as Mayor of Freetown, there is widespread alarm as if the laws which govern other leadership positions in the rest of the country need not suffer like challenges. The Krios have accepted the discriminatory nature of land acquisition in Sierra Leone for so long now and as a consequence have come under pressure to relinquish ownership of their own lands and properties. There may be a lot wrong with the Sierra Leone inherited by President Ernest Bai Koroma but he is one who recognizes that. Fairness dictates that the Mayor of Freetown must be a krio. That a Supreme Court Judge who is unashamedly krio, with the right credentials and experience must aspire to be Chief Justice, and that irrespective of where you are, your being a krio must not be a consideration of whether you are promoted or not.