POLITICIANS AND LEADERSHIP IN SIERRA LEONE: The Strength Within

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POLITICIANS AND LEADERSHIP IN SIERRA LEONE: The Strength Within
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POLITICIANS AND LEADERSHIP IN SIERRA LEONE: The Strength Within

By Mahmud Tim Kargbo

Current Sierra Leone political change agents assume way too easily, too lazily, that our ideological precepts are, if not always practised, nationally admired. In the trite truism, we declare all nationals are the same everywhere. It’s comforting, and brashly erroneous, to believe Sierra Leone values about individual freedom, inalienable human rights, capitalism, privacy marketplace solutions, consumer choice, Puritan work ethic, and cultural norms about life and death form a bedrock of national agreement on which to erect a unicorn peace nationally.

For starters, at a human level, it is silly to go on pretending that under the skin we are all brothers. The truth is more likely that under the skin we are all cannibals, assassins, traitors, liars, hypocrites, bootlickers, and poltroons. In truth, all of us are stewing admixture of goodness and badness. That said, if you are a practitioner of intolerance, mean-spiritedness, cruelty, hate, and stupidity, screw you. In my social change heart, I am confessing that I am not magnanimous enough to call you my father, mother, brother, sister, or leader. Instead, I am calling you an oppressor and a destroyer.

I keep having this recurring thing that happens in most of my dreams. At some point, good or bad, I realise I’m dreaming. Once I realise it, I immediately start flying. Either a few feet off the ground or high in the air I am suddenly engaging a superpower inside that was seemingly dormant.

So what does that really mean?

When we look at Sierra Leone’s alleged leaders who are impressive, with seemingly superhuman intelligence and abilities to operate at levels beyond what we think is normal, we elevate them to positions where we think flaws do not exist. While some of these stakeholders operate as if they do not have weaknesses, the smart ones know and embrace what and who they are at their core. The finished product is what receives the glory and attention, good and bad, while one of the most vital portions of what our rulers are and become gets widely overlooked. The perception of success is thought to be achieved through accelerated and title inflation. The reality is this only creates exposure for those who do not belong where they pretend to operate. The most realistic success you will experience can easily be garnered in one of the latest Under Armour Commercials.

The commercial reminded me of one of my favourite characters from an animated show (yes, a cartoon) I watched when I was at college called Dragonball Z. If you haven’t seen it, or aren’t into that kind of stuff – I get it. However, if you saw it, you would realise that this stuff is more than just animated fighting. Oddly enough, when I started watching it, I loved Vegeta for some reason. He was initially a villain but eventually became friends with the main character (Goku). Both of them loved fighting, growing stronger, and training. Whenever they weren’t fighting, they were training.

Oh…… And they can fly too.

Even with his passion, purpose, and determination, Vegeta would never be as strong as the main character, and often times his rivalry would cloud his judgment as he would seek to be THE greatest ( but never be better than Goku). However, Vegeta became instrumental in several conflicts as an ally that was key to success that benefited the greater good of everyone. Even more so, as you watch the series, you can see the character come to that realisation, more than once.

It’s amazing what comes from the inside of us when the chips are down. It’s sometimes even scary. Would you invest yourself in something when you know that your ultimate sacrifice would either be unknown, forgotten, or used by someone else to support their spotlight? How much would you endure? What has greater value, seeing someone use you to elevate themselves or them pushing you into the coming consequences of something you had nothing to do with? For most right-minded nationals, they both have immediate value. Sierra Leoneans learned more from how a political leader like late President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah who truly cared about them treated them when he was governing our country, versus what current self-centred political rulers say. And once you remove emotions from the equation, guess what rises to the surface? The sum of whom these current self-centred political rulers really are.

What weighs you down? Regret? Disappointment? Unfulfilled desires and expectations? More meaningless dribbles that cloud your mind and fuel displaced emotions that only cause you to make poor decisions when a moment of truth arrives? Great leaders stand calmly when others are panicking. True leaders like late President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah spend less time explaining why and more time being and holding others accountable. While others are looking around for answers, they fly.

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