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I LOVE the Krio language. It is organic and receptive to diverse influences. I frequently equate the Krio language to Jazz music, which I also love. But there is a place for Krio and a place for the English language which also is part of our heritage and I am quite disturbed to see Krio as the medium for journalism and public communications in Sierra Leone.
This trend in my opinion is an unfortunate commentary on the decline of educational standards in our country and it is very, very, sad. I have even heard from responsible sources that Krio is increasingly becoming the medium of instruction in schools across Sierra Leone. In an increasingly connected global community, English is our ticket to the table. Krio is the easy way out. It is being elevated at the expense of English to compensate for the damage we have done to our educational infrastructure, and this trend is setting Sierra Lenoe back and apart.
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Lord Knice, I would hate to sound like some stiff upper lip, but please accept my sympathy and my condolences about some of what you are saying - the problem of Krio mother-tongue language interference when it comes to speaking, reading, understanding and writing Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Mother Tongue. A Nigerian language buff by the name of Farooq Kperogi is still making bones about the same kind of problems in his own provence now gone global and known as “ Nigerian English ” : He has written a book about it. Perhaps some of our Sierra Leonean academics who write about anything else but Sierra Leone - perhaps avoiding where they could be severely challenged, will at least be less abstruse when writing about such concrete matters.
Up to the age of six years old, Fullah was my first language.Personally, I should think that teaching elementary maths in Mende, Themne, Krio etc should be an asset that should be encouraged, unless we want to make Lord Fauntleroy all, of our little buggers...
It is not my intention to ignite a discussion that could blow up the Bintumani forum :We understand what the word means in English, but when Mr. Former Vice-President speaking Saro Krio refers to the democratically elected President Koroma of Sierra Leone as a “ dictator” , I can only shudder and ask : Is that right Chief Alhaji Abu Bakar Sidique Sam Sumana ? There are some other problems about this propaganda video interview of Sam-Samuna, ostensibly conducted in Krio, the linguafranca of Sierra or Shierra Leone, as the interviewer announced, “ for viewers all over the world”. If it was indeed intended for “ viewers all over the world” then it falls far short of its intention, being conducted in Sam Samaun and the interviewer’s tortuous and to my ears their often weird brand of Krio/ Anglo- pidgin-Krio, in this case with some forced , technically anglicised Krio, when attempting to clarify matters in constitutional Krio legalese. So far for much clearer communication “ for viewers all over the world”. Why not conduct the interview in simple, straightforward English, which is the official language of the former Vice President , so that he can speak more clearly and that the wider audience of all kinds of English speakers audience understand and appraise exactly what he is saying or trying to say? Best Regards, Cornelius
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I deliberately avoided any political implications of the interview or the personalities involved. My point simply is this: there are some six million Sierra Leoneans in total, and not all of them may even speak or understand Krio. The population that is literate in Sierra Leonean Krio is therefore even smaller. And there are some six billion people in the world. Like it or not globalization is the core trend. If we want o trade or conduct any other transactions with people outside Sierra Leonean borders, we must communicate with them and the English language is our ticket to that relationship. Or we can chose to be insular and narrow minded to feed our pride and collective ego. It is interesting that you spoke only Fullah in your earliest years because I too, and I think most Sierra Leoneans, had that same experience. I spoke only Mende in my earliest years. If we had continued on that path you and I would be totally incommunicado today. But we were taught English at an early age which empowered us to communicate with each other and with other Sierra Leoneans. This is not a political issue as far as I am concerned. It is about creating a modern state that can stand tall and proud in a global community of equally tall and proud nations. If you reduce it to mere political calculus you will scare me off because I have learned the hard way that I do not understand Sierra Leonean political dynamics and even more importantly, cannot at all relate to it
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Lord Knice, No exaggeration sir! The only possible way of understanding what you just said is that it is absolutely crazy, psychologically inconceivable and unpredictable, tribal-is-tic-ally etc both beyond redemption and therefore beyond any hope of being rationally understood by a normal human being. When as eminent and respected a political commentator and guru such as you are, wants anyone to believe that you Sir, “ do not understand Sierra Leonean political dynamics and even more importantly, cannot at all relate to it ”, then there is little or no hope for the wicked and or even the likes of yours truly or Sir Mohamelberg K. Kutububu whose unusually intelligent pomposity I’m trying to imitate here. (There’s this funny piece about understanding / misunderstanding “ What the Brits say, what the Brits mean ” Is this not the forum where Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden warmly saluted you as her esteemed uncle ?
Of course, you are at liberty to have “deliberately avoided any political implications of the interview or the personalities involved” - but should the whole nation, including those who seek you out for guidance through the crooked jungle paths and crocodile infested creeks of Sierra Leone politics be then left bereft of encouragement to speak truth to power etc, the corrupt ones would be left to roam free, to blossom or bloom like grass, and to prosper.
No Sir! We do not permit you to shirk your civic responsibilities and it’s inconceivable that you should/ would just shrug your shoulders dismissively, as if it’s none of your bloody business.
When Ernest Bai Koroma, his crown prince or his successor also campaigns on a platform of “Zero tolerance for corruption” then it is our moral obligation to hold his feet to the fire and to ensure by all means possible that he fulfils such a pledge to the nation or we send him/ them packing - through a court of justice and with the minimum of judicial delay... About the language issue, including your love of jazz and of the Krio language which I think also has to be further developed , I see that we share the same kind of post-colonial loyalty and would like to continue to advocate the advancement of Her Majesty’s English as not only the language of poetry and of international commerce and arbitration and science etc but do you realise Sir, that with Brexit, English will no longer be an official language of the European Union ? In my opinion, it’s symptomatic of a general moral collapse and decay, a lamentation that was started even before the fall of Berlin as Orwell records in his 1946 essay, “ Politics and the English Language ” Going to bed now, still mulling over Robert Mugabe, “King Bob” as the Zimba Brits were fond of calling him. This critique is from 2008 .
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"But there is a place for Krio and a place for the English language which also is part of our heritage and I am quite disturbed to see Krio as the medium for journalism and public communications in Sierra Leone." (Knice) Knice, you are missing the fact that the television station is a business entity and its core purpose is to make a profit. Indeed you are right " there is a place for Krio and a place for the English language". However, the ownership or management of the television station, possibly the producer of the program, chose Krio to target a specific group of listeners/customers. This is their niche, a specialized section of the population, that they are targeting.
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KL, you will encounter no greater advocate of free enterprise than I! Included in my core beliefs is total conviction that those who take risks are entitled to full proceeds. Free enterprise and related benefits however are a contract between the entrepreneur and society. This is the reason why dubious money makers like prostitution and narcotics peddling are not encouraged. It is my strong opinion that dumbfounding of a society, and especially one that is still in search of identity and stability must be included among enterprise tactics that we must frown upon.
Cornelius, I see you are in an especially loquacious mood. Good for you! At the risk of coming across as pretentious, I want to humbly let you know that I consider myself a serious man. I do not enter discussions to simply strut. I always have in my opinion, good intentions and objectives of positive resolution. But in my experience of participation in Sierra Leonean forums, I have noted that resolutions of any kind are elusive. Under such circumstances my habit is to let go and move on. I have a comfortable and happy life man, AND I AM GOING TO ENJOY IT!!
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Ditto here. I don't know anything about Sierra Leone politics and I haven't been near the country since I was last there for ten days in April 1970 and I intend to keep it that way.
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Free enterprise and related benefits however are a contract between the entrepreneur and society. This is the reason why dubious money makers like prostitution and narcotics peddling are not encouraged." Ok, Knice, I am going to attempt to put you on the hot seat. Lol! Since you are for free enterprise, what is your take on legalizing marijuana in states like Colorado? Remember now one of the reasons for this is to take dubious money making out of society. Millions of dollars are now being collected in taxes but at what cost to society? And oh I can't remind you about prescription drugs and what it is costing society. What's your take?
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Right now there is unprecedented security in the city incase the Brits try to pull a fast one. With this single move of the EU, we say hejdå engelska(goodbye English) in Europe and to make things worse one of the key requirements for joining the EU will be kicking English out of every office in your country. ' with Brexit, English will no longer be an official language of the European Union ? ' Bra Cornie, trust Sweden, we are about to make that happen here in Gothenburg today.
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Kära Broder Zlatan Kamarasson, Eftersom jag känner mig lite pratsam (yttrandefrihet) kan du snälla, vänligen ursäkta min svengelska? Men som du vet, vi måste överleva, med eller utan engelska. I trust that you are taking care of business over there in Göteborg - as you say “ unprecedented security in the city”, just in case Theresa May wants to pull a fast one, maybe seduce our Stefan Löfven or ( you never know, now that all these swedish women are coming out accusing us the menfolk of all kinds of assault) just in case, representing Swedish steel, our Stefan wants to pull a fast one on Mrs. May. Wishing you a happy weekend Kamrat Hamelberg
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Kamrat Kamarasson, Ah freedom ! Ah freedom to think, even freedom to speak, laugh , cry, joke, poke ,even weep ! But this ain't gonna be a filibuster Don’t forget that Sweden was never colonised by the Brits. Which does not mean that we should underestimate the threat that swenglish poses to Her Majesty’s English On the contrary, it is feared that the Swedish language could be replaced by English (all that TV, holy Hollywood, Beatles, Shakespeare, pop, hip-hop and gangster rap) English does not threaten to supersede Krio in the same way, thanks to English as the only official language in all the circles where the colonial cringe still dominates. Can you imagine China, having English as their only official language? Globalization notwithstanding, maybe we should nationalise Her Majesty’s English. Why should Her Majesty reigning over there in Buckingham Palace and as the head of the Commonwealth have a monopoly on the grammar , pronunciation etc. of the English Language ? ? God bless Pa Pratt who writing a commentary on the King James Version of the Bible in contemporary Krio, although, who knows, in another 400 yearts from now, his Krio could already be out of date... Comrade, tell me: why Sierra Leone and not Shierra Leone??? Maybe the last thing that O’bai will do before he leaves office - if he dares - will be to declare that SHIERRA LEONE ENGLISH should be the official language of Parliament . Or maybe THEMNE and LIMBA ONLY should be the official language of Shierra Leone and the languages of the smaller tribes can all go to hell? Btw, I don’t think that Brigadier Bio, Kamara and Yumkella all of whom speak Mende would like that. They might even accuse O’bai of “unmitigated tribalism” ? More seriously : On the authority of the most recent pedagogic research, it is foolhardy to start teaching a child to read in any language other than his/ her own mother tongue : Children should be first taught how to read in their mother tongue/ home language Of course, if Sweden had colonised Sierra Leone for about one hundred and fifty years, by now, we would all be speaking one form of the Swedish Language or the other, maybe a new language called “pidgin Swedish” much impacted by Temne, Mende, Madinka, Yoruba, Igbo etc, at least much more African than Rinkebysvenska . I guess that you would be competing with Svensson for stool number 18 in the Swedish Academy. How are things going in Göteborg? Maybe, on behalf of all Sweden, Stefan will make his move this evening ? Trevlig helg ! Comrade Cornelius
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KL, on the marijuana issue I must plead the 'FIFTH' because I am not clean. You see I smoked marijuana all through college. When I became a father I had a life changing soliloquy. How would I ever advice my children against using especially marijuana if I, myself, was using it? Such reflection guided me to quit and I have not touched it since; and my children are now in their thirties. Some years later I also completely quit drinking alcohol. As a person with experience consuming both marijuana and alcohol I don't believe either is worse than the other. Nevertheless someone like myself in recovery is in no position to be advising others on the matter.
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Unto King Loggy , King of the Sierra Lions : I suppose that just like Brother Obama, His Majesty, the King did inhale frequently and with great puffs did fill the sky with mighty clouds, unlike the King of Arkansas who “didn’t inhale ” at all, nor did he do any funny experiments with anyone other than Her Majesty...