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Sunday, November 21, 2010

“Sierra Leone is my Motherland" says Jimmy Cliff

Jamaican reggae legend and film actor; Jimmy Cliff has disclosed that Sierra Leone is his mother land considering the fact that his ancestors came from Africa where they were taken by slave masters and were later resettled in Caribbean after the abolition of slave trade.

Jimmy Cliff came to Sierra Leone as a guest of honour for the 2010 ECOWAS Peace Pageant that was held on the 13th November, 2010. This is his second visit to the West African state that was once referred to as the “Province of Freedom” after his first visit in 1977.

Speaking to the media at a brief meeting the Reggae legend said: “I am happy to be home and I want to liberate the minds of my brothers and sisters through music and it is my hope that my presence here in Sierra Leone will inspire the youths” He added.
He encouraged Sierra Leoneans to be proud of their culture and believe in themselves.
“As a people we need to remember who we are and never to allow our culture to be dominated by foreign culture” Jimmy urged.

His performance was inspiring and mesmerizing as the entire audience at the ECWAS Peace Pageant including Ministers of Government and other important dignitaries stood up to dance to his music as he performed on stage.

His presence in Sierra Leone has by all means gone a long way in inspiring our young musicians and young people in particular to believe in themselves.

Jimmy Cliff whose original name is James Chambers was born on 1st April 1948 in Somerton District, St. James, Jamaica. He began writing songs while still at primary school in St. James. He is a reggae musician and actor. He is the only currently living musician to hold the Order of Merit, the highest honour that can be granted by the Jamaican government for achievement in the arts and sciences.

He is best known among mainstream audiences for songs such as “Sitting in Limbo,” “You Can Get it if you really want,” and “Many Rivers to Cross”. Jimmy Cliff was one of five performers inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010. Outside of the reggae world, he is probably best known for his film appearance in “The Harder They Come”.

Salone came 3rd in ECOWAS Peace Pageant

The two contestants that represented Sierra Leone in the 3rd Edition of ECOWAS Peace Pageant that was held in Freetown on the 13th November, 2010 did remarkably well as they succeeded in progressing to the semi final stage of 10 out of 28 contestants.

Margret Murri and Stella Bangura who made their first major appearances in such a high profile event for the first time did their best to make Sierra Leoneans proud despite the limited time they had to prepare for the contest.

Stella was unable to progress to the final stage but Margret did and she ended up being the 2nd runner.
Shirley Nwangere from Ghana took the first position while Matel Sow of Senegal was 1st runner up.

The Peace Pageant showcased the rich culture of Africa as contestants presented themselves in beautiful African dresses that distinctively portrayed the way of life of certain tribes across the region.

There was a question and answer session for the 10 Semi finalists and was followed by a presentation of peace messages upon which the five finalists were selected by the Judges.

The theme for this year’s Peace Pageant was “Peace and Development”.

By William Freeman


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