Hunting Back again On The Path Of The Literary Arts In Sierra Leone


To start off analyzing the subject matter needs defining and understanding the key terms. Of course the phrase “seeking again” implies recollecting and reflecting on what has gone on in the previous and in our unique case this is confined to what has gone on in the past of the literary arts scene in Sierra Leone which is the previous British colony in the West coast of Africa, surrounded by Guinea, Conakry and Liberia which became independent on 27th April 1961.

The word “Artwork” in The Oxford Dictionaries has been described as follows:

1. The generation of some thing beautiful, or the talent and capacity in this kind of work.

2. Performs these kinds of as paintings, sculptures manufactured by talent. Imaginative things to do this kind of as paintings, theatre and tale or poetry writings.

3. Ability applied to style, illustration or imaginative creation.

4. The conscious use of expert creativeness especially in the generation of aesthetic objects.

These then recommend that the broad gamut of art addresses music, cinema, images, painting, theatre, dance, literature and architecture.

This post, for motives of place, has been limited to the literary arts. I will as the situation calls for be building passing references to other areas of the arts as we go alongside.

Literature by itself is a central art. It is of training course the finer material of theatre and often of dance, a lot more so ballet. It is also related to those carrying out arts in the perception that it also recaptures the remarkable representation of motion or slices of lifetime, albeit by way of the published manner. But relying on the skill of the presentation these types of representation resonates with lifestyle pretty much as if it have been a spectacular recreation or even the pretty real problem by itself. It also captures what the visible arts capture by way of not the brush of a painter or the digital camera of the photographer but by means of its presentation by way of a meticulously chosen arranged sequence of phrases, which convey a vivid and correct image of that photograph.

Through text then, a literary writer recaptures the visible illustrations or photos of a painter or photographer in the composed manner. By means of the reader’s skills in unraveling the mental visuals, unveiling of the symbols hidden behind language by means of mental images, he gets the visible illustration of truth that words and phrases have. The rhythm is most well known in poetry, especially in drama. This should not counsel that rhythm could not be identified in novels and limited tales. We all know how deep an component, audio and dance is in African drama which the late Dele Charley, John Kolosa Kargbo, Yulisa Amadu Maddy, Raymond De Souza-George and Charley Haffner, normally exemplify in their performances.

I intend to glimpse at the literary scene as it was in advance of independence in 1961. Literature was then found mostly as a result of the medium of newspapers of which the renowned Sierra Leone Weekly Information was the most prominent. It was just about like a literary journal, nevertheless printed in the sort of a newspaper. Sawyer’s Bookshop at Water Street also performed a essential job as not only creating huge selections of literary is effective from the Western world readily available, but in also publishing smaller pamphlets and minor books from time to time.

At that time clubs flourished and quite a few of them had literary pursuits as part of their software. Clubs like the Town Literary Institute and Greenfield Club arranged lectures and dramatic demonstrates. The Greenfield Club was aimed specifically at advertising and marketing literary activities. The Eccentric Society (a Multiracial group) arranged periodic “brain-uplifting live shows. On the other hand a lot of of these clubs had been quick lived. According to historical analysts this was thanks to the bulk of Krios lacking interest in self-enhancement and disunity inside the ranks of the upper amount of Freetown culture. This was minimal to a number of hundred persons from whose ranks several of the other clubs drew their membership. With this form of near-knitted modern society, own disagreements have been conveniently introduced into these societies thus disrupting their harmony and producing their split up.

It could then be deduced that literary things to do then have been more or fewer of an tutorial and philosophical or spiritual mother nature. Seldom had been legitimate literary initiatives displayed. This sort of a situation was transferred to the generation of guides. Lots of of the textbooks have been much more of textbooks or dissertations. 1 of the first penned operates by a Sierra Leonean in 1865 mirrored this issue. It was the perform of the medico James Africanus Horton on West African Political Economic system of British West Africa. His next e book three decades later on in 1868 was West African Nations around the world and Persons, British and Native. This was like quite a few of the other operates revealed in London. There is also A.B.C. Sibthorpe’s monumental historical do the job on Freetown.

Several resourceful functions in the course of this interval had been made by artistic writers like Adelaide Casely-Hayford and Gladys Casely-Hayford. Gladys Casely-Hayford was possibly the finest-acknowledged from this interval. Some of her poems and tales have appeared in American and British publications and are however been bundled in latest anthologies compiled in the West. One of her poems which she published in a small guide of poetry, Choose Am So in Freetown in 1948 is composed in the country’s lingua franca, krio.

The Educationist Mrs. Adelaide Casely-Hayford (nee Smith) wrote tales pursuing the traditions of Ghanaian writers like Efua Sutherland and Ama Ata Aidoo. The most well known of these is “Mister Courifer” which is section of Paul Geoffrey Edward’s anthology for schools which was greatly utilised in Freetown schools in the early 60s.,West African Narrative This concern for lifestyle is even observed in her function in the educational area. According to historian, Akintola Wyse, immediately after researching in England and Germany and returning home she was so appalled by the system of instruction for women that she devoted her total lifestyle to introducing a system that gave an critical place to African customs, arts and crafts among others.

Another poet released during that interval was Crispin George whose collection of poems titled Valuable Gems was published by a perfectly identified vainness publishing outlet, Arthur Stockwell in 1952.

A most crucial name in Sierra Leone Literature is the broadcaster Thomas Decker. His importance is not only mainly because he spans the two the colonial and independence durations, but due to the fact his pioneering function in propagating the broader use of Krio for literary uses was what generated the flowering of Krio plays intensified by Dele Charley, Raymond De Souza George, Esther Taylor-Pearce, Lawrence Kweku-Woode among several others. He is observed as the principal poet in Krio on to the mid 50’s. Some of them were posted in the mid 60’s in the Sierra Leone Language Assessment and Sierra Leone Research. He also arrived out with Krio adaptations of Shakespeare’s performs like Julius Caesar.

It is complicated to account for all of the resourceful works released then as lots of appeared in varying media, newspapers, journals and journals locally as nicely as abroad.

Abioseh Nicol’s limited tales had obtained renown internationally, showing in British Literary journals and anthologies. Some of these fashioned section of his two well recognized quick tale collections Two African Tales and The Genuinely Married Female and other Stories all published by Cambridge University Press.

This colonial period of time was marked by very little publication of artistic operates in e-book type. But with the onset of independence and the publication of Robert Wellesley Cole’s autobiographical get the job done Kossoh City Boy by Cambridge College Push more will work in ebook form had been revealed.

The performs of Raymond Sarif Easmon. Expensive Mum or dad and Ogre, The New Patriot and his novel The Burnt Out Relationship profited from this.

Dr. William Conton’s do the job, The African was a breakthrough for the Sierra Leone novel. It was pretty much like our have. Factors Fall Apart. Like Issues Drop Apart, The African was to start with published in London. American editions appeared the similar 12 months. It was revealed in 1960 with a further edition pursuing a calendar year immediately after. It was reprinted in Fantastic Britain in 1964. Translations of it have been created into Arabic, Hungarian and Russian. EkundayoRowe also had his selection of stories. No Seed For The Soil, self- printed in book kind.

Afterwards, new names like Yulisa Amadu Maddy, Muctarr Mustapha, Wilfred Taylor, Delphine King and Syl Cheney-Coker all broke out into print in many types.

From the 70’s onwards far more new writers emerged. Yema Lucilda Hunter’s novel Highway to Flexibility was posted in Nigeria by a Sierra Leonean publishing outfit, African Universities Press A.U.P. She has not too long ago posted an additional novel titled Bitter Sweet. Prince Dowu Palmer’s novel The Mocking Stones was published by Longmans in 1982 in their Drumbeat collection. The identical publisher experienced a yr previously posted Raymond Sarif Easmon’s The Feud and other stories. This interval is also characterized by the aggressive marketing of Macmillan publishers in Sierra Leone. They have already a few novels from Sierra Leone in their Pacesetter collection. This contains two younger writers, the journalist and trainer Edison Yongai who arrived outwith Who killed Mohta and the insurance policies supervisor, OsmanConteh, with Double Issues. From abroad also information of the publication of Yayah Swarray’s plays was gained. His worksinclude ‘De Wol Do for Fraide.‘ Other writers, notably, Talabi Aisie Lucan, Melville Stuart, Marilyn Awoonor- Renner, Winston Forde and Clifford N. Fyfe channeled their artistic energies into developing children’s literature lots of of which were posted by Evans.

Immediately after independence a few newspapers and other journals of educational facilities, schools and church buildings carried minimal amount of innovative producing. The Sierra Leone Broadcasting Company which was then in the resourceful fingers of the late John Akar, a author himself, gave substantially outlet for creativity, no matter whether literary, or doing. SLBS certainly gave prominence to artists like Ebenezer Calendar, Allie Ganda and the Rokel River Boys. There was also a typical brief story application in some radio programming quarter. This featured the short tales of younger as perfectly as more mature Sierra Leoneans which includes two stories of mine. In addition, there were e book review applications. The children’s fifty percent hour applications in English as perfectly as the national languages were options for the airing and dissemination of the abundant folklore of the state. Certainly a lot of of us who experienced no grandmother at dwelling spinning these types of rich and interesting yarns for us, the tale telling line on SLBS certainly stuffed in a yawning hole in our social and cultural instruction.

With independence also there were being several newspapers which include the Daily Mail which was then a actually every day paper that gave much space to inventive composing, limited stories as properly as tales for children in the children’s corner. There had been also frequent publications of ebook reviews as very well as some notice supplied to other inventive functions these as dramatic performances and musical live shows.

But sadly these days the literary arts no for a longer period receives as a lot consideration as just before in the press. The pressmen them selves complain of paucity of space which boundaries their publication to just political social and financial news. The Day by day Mailitself experienced plummeted to an all time very low in which it could no for a longer time be securely termed a weekly or bi-weekly. It far too is in dire lack of area. But now it has ultimately long gone silent. The New Citizen presents some area to the serialized stories of it’s Managing Director and proprietor, I.B. Kargbo.

A commendable development begun in the 70’s with the fascination demonstrated by a Swedish Linguist Nevillle Shrimpton in the rising plays in krio of youthful as properly as more mature playwrights. Thomas Decker’s translation of Julius Caesar was happily just one of the plays he posted. Also published in the Shrimpton collection have been Lawrence Kweku Woode’s (God pas Konsibul) Raymond De Souza George’s (Bohbohlef) Dele Charley’s (Fatmata, Petikot Korner) and Esther Taylor Pearce’s (Poor Male Pas Emti Os).

There ended up occasional breakthroughs when Sierra Leonean young writers have been released in journals and journals overseas. A noteworthy medium outside the house which featured shorter tales frequently was WEST AFRICA Journal. Tales of youthful writers like Peter Karefa-Clever and Brima Rogers have appeared there. Still an additional of Rogers’ stories was broadcast on the BBC’s Brief Story programme on Earth Support. And a woman writer received the brief story competition organized by the BBC African Services adopted by Mohamed Sheriff who has in addition gained quite a few playwrighting contests organized by the B.B.C. His title would seem like just one to be watched as he has demonstrated persistently powerful signals of promise. He has published three will work previously including a engage in, Sorie Clever, yet another engage in The Criminal and the Fools and a novella titled Top secret Worry, which was co-winner of the ECOWAS prize for excellence in literature. Macmillan Publishers published it in the McTracks sequence in 1997.

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