It is not often that a community has an opportunity to reflect on its history and at the same time map a path for its future. Such an opportunity will come next week Monday, 19th December, 2016, at the British Council Auditorium at 7:00pm, when the book “Foulah Tong 1960 and Beyond” is formally launched. The 218 page book, is written by a leading Sierra Leonean pharmaceutical scientist, Dr. Mohammed Leadi Cole, who deliberately moves into new territory of history, sociology and culture.
The event itself will comprise a session of special readings by leading “Foulahtonians”; presentations of signed copies to well-known members of the community; a special auction of signed hard cover copies and a public sale of paperback versions of the work.
The book provides a detailed historical background on the areas of Freetown known as “Foulah Tong”; the composition of its diverse Oku-Krio Muslims and Oku-Krio Christians and a glimpse into what life was like growing up in this unique part of the nation’s capital.
It discusses the character of Christian/Muslim relations and the amicable manner in which these groups have lived together over the years. It hints at some of the attributes that ensure religious tolerance in the nation and indicate how “Foulahtonians” have contributed to this national trait.
Most interestingly, it provides short and wonderful pictures and stories on the lives of many Sierra Leoneans from this community. The list is impressive and includes academics, civil servants, contractors, diplomats, engineers and entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers, military officers, and politicians to name just a few.
However, as the book surveys the various social and political events that have shaped this community, it also describes the decline it has faced and raises questions on what current and future generations may need to offer. Some of the questions raised in the work, provide “food for thought” among several other communities in the nation and may help citizens across Sierra Leone to confront some of their limitations.
The book is a must-buy for historians, sociologists, politicians and religious communities, as it undoubtedly forms a new addition to the detailed story-telling of our nations growth and the contributions made by many of its leading citizens.
Easy to read, the work is both informative and instructive and could be a worthwhile contribution to school libraries, and family collections, as it further provides details of how the Western Area of our nation has been shaped and tells the tales of those involved.
The author Alhaji Dr. Mohammed Leadi Cole, himself a “Foulahtonian”, is an alumnus of the Sierra Leone Grammar School; and graduate of Texas Southern University, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Glasgow, Scotland United Kingdom. During his professional life he rose to the rank of Captain in the Royal Sierra Leone Armed Forces; served as a lecturer at the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, (COMAHS) and has been a practicing pharmacist for many years prior to his retirement.
Friday December 16, 2016