My name is Sierra Leone, I am thousands of years old but many know me as a 61-old-year woman, which I am not too happy with. I am a mother of many wonderful children; some I’m proud of some I am not. Don’t get me wrong, I love them all. My name, Sierra Leone, is not my real name though. It was given to me by a Portuguese imposter named Pedro de Cintra. Pedro was a Portuguese “explorer” who like many other Europeans and Americans left their countries in search of greener pastures but with the wrong intentions – to grab lands and minerals and colonize other mothers like me in the continent of Africa.
I came in contact with Pedro in 1462, he seemed lost at that time. He met not only me but hundreds of my kind in this land. He was, just like his European compatriots, so quick to change my name from Roamrong to “Sierra Loya” meaning “Lion Mountain” because according to him, my hips are shaped like a Lion; which I am not quite happy with because I am one of the most beautiful women in the world with alluring and dazzling boobs, fascinating and enticing shape with an enthralling natural hair.
Pedro falsely lied about his exploration of Sierra Leone. He never get to know me, he didn’t even stay for long in my abode. He just dazzled at my beauty and then left without any conversation, and then went to his colleagues telling them about a woman he never had the privilege to sit-talk with. Just like his European colleagues, he faked our relationship giving a false narrative about our encounter to his colleagues. These misleading interpretations of me led to the start of the influx of his European friends into my abode all with different intentions. So in the 1700s, they arrived in my home. I welcomed them with open arms and love because that is who I am. I gave them settlements and treated them like my children. I trusted them with my children. They acted nicely and righteously giving me the false impression that they are good humans with clean intentions who just wanted to explore the planet and connect bridges – but all this was a lie!
After days, months, and years of accommodating them, they finally showed me their true colours and unmasked their intentions. They turned their back against me and my children. In the 1800s, the tides turn. My children were taken away from me and took them to the United States, where they came from. They took my beloved children to the United States with chains on their necks and feet to serve as free labour for the cultivation of rice and cotton. The names of my children that were taken to the United States of America are Mende, Temne, Vai, Loko, Fula, Sherbro and Limba. They were the first to be taken to another man’s land as slaves. It was a painful sight for me to see my beloved children in shackles exported like goods across the Atlantic Ocean. I knew, at that painful moment, I may never set eyes on them again.
Note: Shape represents our landscape, Boobs represent our wonderful beaches and Hair represents our natural rainforest
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