Culled from Salone Heartbeat….
Matthew 7: 4-5
…4“Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5“You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.?
My mom tells this story of how the Kono women sprung into action to defend one of theirs during the early days of President Koroma’s leadership. We had sent her on a visit to Sierra Leone and she got wind of something that happened in Kono while she was in the country. She spent decades there and gets the scoop from the older women about development in the district. True or not as she tells it, the President made a trip to Kono by all accounts to thank the people for their support and helping him win in 2007. O ya guess what happened? President Koroma was visiting his Kono in-laws and could find nothing else to do but to travel with one Ms. Arebella Foray who proudly acted as if she was the First Lady. Trouble broke out in Kono because the Kono women were upset with their in-law the newly elected president of Sierra Leone.
She said, the Kono women wanted nothing to do with the President’s antics. As far as they were concerned, it was the worse form of disrespect shown to them. How dare Ernest Bai Koroma just after his victory, would bring another woman to the motherland and fatherland of his wife Sia Nyama Koroma? It was time to teach Koroma some manners, which they did. With Aunty Manjama Matturie and others leading their delegation, they told the president that unless O’bai Ernesto Prezo sends Ms. Foray away from their land, he would likely receive the worse treatment from them; and they were serious.
Many are perhaps asking what ordinary women can possibly do to scare the leader of a nation. First, never underestimate the power of women who are determined to right a wrong. Look at the civil war and the role women played to end it. Once they became dogged-in and ready to stop the senseless bloodshed, the men could do nothing else but give in to their resolute demand for peace and unity, love and harmony in Sierra Leone. Thus, ordinary women could raise the awareness of the leader of the nation that he EBK is not a Muslim. Furthermore, until another woman is presented officially to Sierra Leoneans as his second wife, anyone acting in such capacity is categorically in the wrong and out of order.
Second, despite all the silliness surrounding Kono, there comes the time when the righteous indignation of the people is irrepressible. Ask President Koroma who knows his in-laws very well. He knew the matriarchs of Kono were angry ad serious. There was no smile on their faces and if anyone was having fun, it was probably just the president and his entourage, not his hosts. Here is what the matriarchs of Kono were ready to do. My mom said, all of the women young and old were ready to “strip themselves naked” in front of the president if he refuses to send Ms. Foray away; remove Arebella from their midst. Their Bondo devil came to town as they took over every area of their town sending the men into their houses because the women were in charge. Eventually, the President could do nothing but ordered that Ms. Foray be escorted out of Kono.
Finally, when members violate certain values within a common group, it is the responsibility of the rest to call them back to order. Diana Konomanyi is out of order acting like the unofficial first lady of Sierra Leone. Since she has forgotten about the Kono sisterhood, the matriarchs must now spring again into action. President Koroma must get his house in order and stop allowing Diana to run wild in the country acting as if she is the first lady. I am convinced that there are powerful Kono women who are afraid of neither Koroma nor Diana. Diana Konomanyi is not the first lady of Sierra Leone. Madame Sia Nyama Koroma the first daughter of Aiah Abu Koroma is the First Lady of Sierra Leone. I do not know how they would do it however, I believe they have the wits to get the message across that Diana Konomanyi must find somewhere and sit down. Stop acting as if she is the undisputed partner of the president and first lady of the nation. She is NOT!