Salone Times Editorial Team has carefully selected Sierra Leoneans who have made positive impacts in the country for the year under review- 2017.
Below are the following people SALONE TIMES deemed influential in Sierra Leone for 2017:
1, NFA ALIE CONTEH:
The soft-spoken Chair of National Electoral Commission (NEC), Nfa Alie Conteh has been able to contain unfair criticism by government officials including abuses from the ruling APC and their side kicks.
The Commission under Nfa Alie Conteh has been able to conduct voters’ registration for the 2018 elections with little or no problems.
Just because he refused to dance to the tune of the ruling party, an attack of calumny was rained on him with political poodles questioning his competence.
But it has been proven that Nfa is the most experienced and qualified NEC Chairman, Sierra Leone has ever seen.
His courage and steadfastness even in the face of criticism has been commended by all meaningful Sierra Leone at least for upholding the integrity of the Commission.
2, ALHAJI CHIEF SAMUEL SAM SUMANA:
He would have done like Foday Sankoh (The Man Who Brought the War To Sierra Leone) but the elected Vice President who was sacked by President Koroma refused to do so and decided to take his matter to the ECOWAS Court.
When he took the matter to the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone, the court ruled against him but he decided to seek refuge in the ECOWAS Court where there has been a land mark judgment in which the court described his sacking as “illegal, null and void.”
About the money that the country should pay him for violation of his right Sam Sumana told the world that, “Sierra Leone needs the money more than he does.”
He continued that the judgement is about protecting the democracy of Sierra Leone and not about him.
3, MARCELLA SAMBA SESAY:
Marcella Samba- Sesay has been an advocate for over a decade now. She is the Chairperson of National Elections Watch and has been speaking against anti-democratic tendencies in the country.
She has been supporting the Electoral Commission to ensure that the processes leading to the elections are fair and credible.
She has also been able to lead other Civil Society Organizations to parliament against attempts by some people to ensure that the “more time” syndrome did not have it way in the well of parliament.
She was also very vociferous against the recent government white paper on the constitutional review in which the government did not accept good-governance recommendations rather accepted those that will entrench them in power.
4, FATHER PETER KONTEH:
Father Konteh is the head of CARITAS Sierra Leone.
The Catholic Priest is the President of the Sierra Leonean Catholic Priest and he has been engaging in developmental activities.
His organization CARITAS became famous after the war when they opened the St. Mary Orphanage in Bo to take care of Children orphaned by the war.
Father Konteh’s CARITAS has been very influential in responding to disasters in Sierra Leone.
They played a pivotal role in helping the needy in the recent Mudslide in Freetown where thousands of people were killed and others were homeless.
CARITAS also played a vital role in the EBOLA Scourge that devastated Sierra Leone
5, FATMATA CLAIRA- HANCILES:
Although her organization has come under the radar for being politicized by her Boss the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Fatamata Claira Hanciles has been able to set up the legal aid board in Sierra Leone with structures and presence all over the country.
Through her support, the Former Special Court Lawyer has been able to help countless number of Sierra Leoneans in accessing justice and at the same time help to free people who have been wrongly imprisoned.
As a result of her efforts as the Director of Legal Aid Board Sierra Leone, many people are beginning to develop confidence in the justice sector.
6, HON PARAN TARAWALLY:
People have described the recent past parliament of Sierra Leone as the worst since the introduction of multi-party democracy in 1996 but one MP that stood out amongst the rest was Hon. Paran Tarawally.
The opposition MP from Bo District was very vociferous in championing the cause of the people of Sierra Leone.
He is amongst the few MPs that spoke out loudly against the rogue toll road contract with the Chinese although it was passed by Parliament but he came out in the public to condemn it.
He the only MP who spoke against some of the rush-bills that Parliament was rubber stamping in the last two weeks towards their dissolution to the point that the Speaker had to throw him out because he refused to compromise his voice.
“I will urge the next Parliament to look at all the bills that have been passed by us in this few weeks because they are not good for Sierra Leone,” Paran Maintained.
7, LAWYER ABS TURAY (KABAKA)
The Lawyer turned Music Producer has established the biggest Entertainment Record Label in Sierra Leone called Kabaka Multi Media or KME, since the demise of Paradise Music.
He is using his KME to help promote young and talented Sierra Leoneans in the Music Industry.
He has promoted some of the famous musicians in the country such as Markmuday, Roazay and others.
He has well-equipped music recording studios with modern and sophisticated instruments.
Because of his help to Sierra Leoneans, most people think that he is a Nigerian but he is always proud of his Sierra Leoneaness.
Melford Vincent is the Chief Executive Officer of I-Gro Cosmetics. I-Gro Cosmetics is the solution for damaged hair and skin.
Melford Vincent is one of the latest young entrepreneurs in Sierra Leone who focused on natural and relaxing hair and skin products.
Melford explained she struggled with her damaged hair and she found out that most of the products that are imported to Sierra Leone are not of high quality as they are counterfeit.
She began to do research for solution and later found a recipe for damaged hair.
When she got the solution, she first applied it on herself and later on friends but stressed that it was not for business.
“My research was not for me to start a business but was basically for my own problem but now when friends started asking me about the changes in my hair and I began to produce for them using my own resources then I thought again that I am losing money, through that I decided to start my business.”
I-Gro is over a year old now and it has made a great impact in the lives of people. It makes hair grows very fast, the product is made out of herbs and it is available in all shops and saloon.
Melford started with Le 60,000 ($ 8) but dreaming of achieving great things and for her to produce in large quality. Her focus was mainly on natural ingredient.
Melford formula has taken over a year. Melford Vincent is a final year Law student at the Fourah Bay College.
In April, she received the extra ordinary rewarding excellence YES 2017 awards by the Youth Empowerment Synergy (YES) summit that is organized by my Father’s House Foundation.
Natasha Beckly is the Chief Executive Officer for the IAMSL PAGEANT AGENCY and also a native born of Port Loko town former Maforki Chiefdom now Bekeh Loko Chiefdom.
This young, dynamic and hard-working woman was given the honor of inclusion on the presentation of the construction of the Falaba Madarasha school project to community stakeholders, religious leaders, youth groups, women’s group and set of children’s groups.
The construction of the school is a felt and urgent need of the people of Port Loko town.
Natasha Beckly is formal Miss Sierra Leone, she has represented Sierra Leone in different international contests.
Her role to as a change maker in the lives of young people especially ladies can’t be over emphasized.