Looking Back On The Path Of The Literary Arts In Sierra Leone

Wanting Again On The Path Of The Literary Arts In Sierra Leone


To start out analyzing the subject requires defining and understanding the important thing phrases. After all the phrase “looking back” implies recollecting and reflecting on what has gone on up to now and in our particular case that is confined to what has gone on up to now of the literary arts scene in Sierra Leone which is the previous British colony within the West coast of Africa, surrounded by Guinea, Conakry and Liberia which turned impartial on twenty seventh April 1961.

The phrase “ART” in The Oxford Dictionaries has been outlined as follows:

1. The manufacturing of one thing lovely, or the talent and talent in such work.

2. Works equivalent to work, sculptures produced by talent. Artistic actions equivalent to work, theatre and story or poetry writings.

3. Ability utilized to design, illustration or imaginative creation.

4. The acutely aware use of expert creativeness particularly within the manufacturing of aesthetic objects.

These then recommend that the broad gamut of artwork covers music, cinema, photography, portray, theatre, dance, literature and structure.

This text, for causes of area, has been restricted to the literary arts. I’ll because the state of affairs calls for be making passing references to different features of the humanities as we go alongside.

Literature itself is a central artwork. It’s after all the finer materials of theatre and typically of dance, extra so ballet. It’s also associated to these performing arts within the sense that it additionally recaptures the dramatic illustration of motion or slices of life, albeit via the written mode. However relying on the talent of the presentation such illustration resonates with life nearly as if it had been a dramatic recreation and even the very actual state of affairs itself. It additionally captures what the visible arts seize via not the comb of a painter or the camera of the photographer however via its presentation via a fastidiously chosen organized sequence of phrases, which convey a vivid and correct picture of that image.

By phrases then, a literary author recaptures the visible photographs of a painter or photographer within the written mode. By the reader’s expertise in unraveling the psychological photographs, unveiling of the symbols hidden behind language via psychological photographs, he will get the visible illustration of actuality that phrases carry. The rhythm is most distinguished in poetry, notably in drama. This could not recommend that rhythm couldn’t be present in novels and quick tales. Everyone knows how deep an ingredient, music and dance is in African drama which the late Dele Charley, John Kolosa Kargbo, Yulisa Amadu Maddy, Raymond De Souza-George and Charley Haffner, usually exemplify of their performances.

I intend to take a look at the literary scene because it was earlier than independence in 1961. Literature was then seen largely via the medium of newspapers of which the well-known Sierra Leone Weekly Information was essentially the most distinguished. It was nearly like a literary journal, although printed within the type of a newspaper. Sawyer’s Bookshop at Water Road additionally performed a significant position as not solely making vast alternatives of literary works from the Western world out there, however in additionally publishing small pamphlets and little books on occasion.

At the moment golf equipment flourished and plenty of of them had literary actions as a part of their program. Golf equipment just like the Metropolis Literary Institute and Greenfield Membership organized lectures and dramatic exhibits. The Greenfield Membership was aimed notably at selling literary actions. The Eccentric Society (a Multiracial group) organized periodic “mind-uplifting concerts. However many of these clubs were short lived. According to historical analysts this was due to the majority of Krios lacking interest in self-improvement and disunity within the ranks of the upper level of Freetown society. This was limited to a few hundred people from whose ranks many of the other clubs drew their membership. With this sort of close-knitted society, personal disagreements were easily brought into these societies thus disrupting their harmony and causing their break up.

It could then be deduced that literary activities then were more or less of an academic and philosophical or religious nature. Seldom were genuine literary efforts displayed. Such a scenario was transferred to the production of books. Many of the books have been more of textbooks or dissertations. One of the first written works by a Sierra Leonean in 1865 reflected this concern. It was the work of the medico James Africanus Horton on West African Political Economy of British West Africa. His second book three years later in 1868 was West African Countries and People, British and Native. This was like many of the other works published in London. There is also A.B.C. Sibthorpe’s monumental historical work on Freetown.

Few creative works during this period were produced by creative writers like Adelaide Casely-Hayford and Gladys Casely-Hayford. Gladys Casely-Hayford was perhaps the best-known from this period. Some of her poems and stories have appeared in American and British publications and are still been included in recent anthologies compiled in the West. One of her poems which she published in a small book of poetry, Take Am So in Freetown in 1948 is written in the country’s lingua franca, krio.

The Educationist Mrs. Adelaide Casely-Hayford (nee Smith) wrote stories following the traditions of Ghanaian writers like Efua Sutherland and Ama Ata Aidoo. The most popular of these is “Mister Courifer” which is a part of Paul Geoffrey Edward’s anthology for faculties which was extensively utilized in Freetown faculties within the early 60s.,West African Narrative This concern for tradition is even seen in her work within the academic area. In keeping with historian, Akintola Wyse, after learning in England and Germany and returning house she was so appalled by the system of schooling for girls that she devoted her complete life to introducing a system that gave an vital place to African customs, arts and crafts amongst others.

One other poet printed throughout that interval was Crispin George whose assortment of poems titled Valuable Gems was printed by a well-known vainness publishing outlet, Arthur Stockwell in 1952.

A most vital identify in Sierra Leone Literature is the broadcaster Thomas Decker. His significance is just not solely as a result of he spans each the colonial and independence intervals, however as a result of his pioneering work in propagating the broader use of Krio for literary functions was what generated the flowering of Krio performs intensified by Dele Charley, Raymond De Souza George, Esther Taylor-Pearce, Lawrence Kweku-Woode amongst many others. He’s seen because the principal poet in Krio on to the mid 50’s. A few of them had been printed within the mid 60’s within the Sierra Leone Language Evaluate and Sierra Leone Research. He additionally got here out with Krio variations of Shakespeare’s performs like Julius Caesar.

It’s troublesome to account for all the inventive works printed then as many appeared in various media, newspapers, magazines and journals domestically in addition to overseas.

Abioseh Nicol’s quick tales had achieved renown internationally, showing in British Literary journals and anthologies. A few of these fashioned a part of his two well-known quick story collections Two African Tales and The Really Married Lady and different Tales all printed by Cambridge College Press.

This colonial interval was marked by little publication of inventive works in e book type. However with the onset of independence and the publication of Robert Wellesley Cole’s autobiographical work Kossoh City Boy by Cambridge College Press extra works in e book type had been printed.

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

Dr. William Conton’s work, The African was a breakthrough for the Sierra Leone novel. It was nearly like our personal. Issues Fall Aside. Like Issues Fall Aside, The African was first printed in London. American editions appeared the identical yr. It was printed in 1960 with one other version following a yr after. It was reprinted in Nice Britain in 1964. Translations of it have been made into Arabic, Hungarian and Russian. EkundayoRowe additionally had his assortment of tales. No Seed For The Soil, self- printed in e book type.

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

From the 70’s onwards extra new writers emerged. Yema Lucilda Hunter’s novel Street to Freedom was printed in Nigeria by a Sierra Leonean publishing outfit, African Universities Press A.U.P. She has just lately printed one other novel titled Bitter Candy. Prince Dowu Palmer’s novel The Mocking Stones was printed by Longmans in 1982 of their Drumbeat collection. The identical writer had a yr earlier printed Raymond Sarif Easmon’s The Feud and different tales. This era can be characterised by the aggressive promotion of Macmillan publishers in Sierra Leone. They’ve already three novels from Sierra Leone of their Pacesetter collection. This contains two younger writers, the journalist and trainer Edison Yongai who got here outwith Who killed Mohta and the insurance coverage supervisor, OsmanConteh, with Double Hassle. From overseas additionally information of the publication of Yayah Swarray’s performs was obtained. His worksinclude ‘De Wol Do for Fraide.‘ Different writers, notably, Talabi Aisie Lucan, Melville Stuart, Marilyn Awoonor- Renner, Winston Forde and Clifford N. Fyfe channeled their inventive energies into producing youngsters’s literature a lot of which had been printed by Evans.

After independence just a few newspapers and different magazines of colleges, schools and church buildings carried restricted amount of inventive writing. The Sierra Leone Broadcasting Service which was then within the inventive arms of the late John Akar, a author himself, gave a lot outlet for creativity, whether or not literary, or performing. SLBS certainly gave prominence to artists like Ebenezer Calendar, Allie Ganda and the Rokel River Boys. There was additionally an everyday quick story program in some radio programming quarter. This featured the quick tales of younger in addition to older Sierra Leoneans together with two tales of mine. As well as, there have been e book assessment packages. The youngsters’s half hour packages in English in addition to the nationwide languages had been alternatives for the airing and dissemination of the wealthy folklore of the nation. Certainly many people who had no grandmother at house spinning such wealthy and attention-grabbing yarns for us, the story telling line on SLBS certainly crammed in a yawning hole in our social and cultural schooling.

With independence additionally there have been many newspapers together with the Day by day Mail which was then a really every day paper that gave a lot area to inventive writing, quick tales in addition to tales for kids within the youngsters’s nook. There have been additionally common publications of e book evaluations in addition to some consideration given to different inventive actions equivalent to dramatic performances and musical concert events.

However sadly in the present day the literary arts not receives as a lot consideration as earlier than within the press. The pressmen themselves complain of paucity of area which limits their publication to only political social and financial information. The Day by day Mailitself had plummeted to an all time low during which it might not be safely termed a weekly or bi-weekly. It too is in dire scarcity of area. However in the present day it has lastly gone silent. The New Citizen provides some area to the serialized tales of it is Managing Director and proprietor, I.B. Kargbo.

A commendable development began within the 70’s with the curiosity proven by a Swedish Linguist Nevillle Shrimpton within the rising performs in krio of younger in addition to older playwrights. Thomas Decker’s translation of Julius Caesar was fortunately one of many performs he printed. Additionally printed within 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 (Unhealthy Man Pas Emti Os).

There have been occasional breakthroughs when Sierra Leonean younger writers had been printed in journals and magazines overseas. A notable medium exterior which featured quick tales frequently was WEST AFRICA Journal. Tales of youthful writers like Peter Karefa-Good and Brima Rogers have appeared there. Yet one more of Rogers’ tales was broadcast on the BBC’s Brief Story programme on World Service. And a woman author gained the quick story competitors organized by the BBC African Service adopted by Mohamed Sheriff who has as well as gained a number of playwrighting contests organized by the B.B.C. His identify looks like one to be watched as he has demonstrated persistently robust indicators of promise. He has printed three works already together with a play, Sorie Intelligent, one other play The Criminal and the Fools and a novella titled Secret Worry, which was co-winner of the ECOWAS prize for excellence in literature. Macmillan Publishers printed it within the McTracks collection in 1997.

Supply by Arthur Smith


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