PEOPLE, CULTURE, LIFE IN SIERRA LEONE
Sierra Leone is a country with a rich history, and deep scars left behind by a bloody civil war. Today, the people have rebuilt, and are looking towards a prosperous future. The country has a population of about 6.3 million people. Some of the ethnic tribes include the Mende and Temne (the two biggest ethnic groups), also the Mandingo, Fulla, Loko, Kina, and Limba. Majority of Sierra Leoneans are Muslim with Christians accounting for about 20% of the population. English is the official language but Krio is understood and spoken by virtually every Sierra Leonean.
One of the individuals who embodies the Sierra Leonean spirit is Chief Foday Ajamu Mansaray. Born and raised in America, he traced his ancestry back to Africa and has been in Sierra Leone since 2013. Chief Foday aims to uplift the image of Sierra Leone and its people through awareness and different projects. He also together with others offers assistance to those who are planning on repatriating back to Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone has a rich and vibrant culture that is thriving despite the country’s past. It is an eclectic mix of the different tribes within the country. The country’s food can be considered West African with cassava and rice the staple foods. One of the most common foods you’ll find anywhere in Sierra Leone is ‘fufu’ made from pounded cassava and water, with stews being made from groundnuts, chicken, goat or beef. Story telling is also an important aspect of the culture, with stories passed down orally from one generation to the next. Music and dance differs from tribe to tribe with some of the best known music genres including gumble, palm wine music and among the younger generation, rap, afro pop, reggae, dancehall and R&B. The society is important to the people and is separated into male and female sections with a strict code of conduct guiding interactions.
Sierra Leoneans love to have a good time, to dance and sing. The best towns to have night time fun are Bo and Freetown with some of the best casinos, nightclubs, bars and pubs. You can also head toward Lumley beach which is in Cape Sierra district for some local entertainment.