Op-Ed: Was Blacker Depicting The Harsh Reality On Ground?

Relax. Take a deep breath. You are in for an exciting enlightening route!

I wouldn’t wish for it to sound climacteric and overdramatic. Maybe, I have slowly transformed into the complex and cryptic conspiracy theorist who gets suspicious and curious about everything. That sensitivity, perhaps, may have directed me to the hidden message portrayed by a mad man.

Mohamed Mansaray, popularly called Blacker, is a lunatic who is well recognized by the public. His activities, though familiar with one who is insane are relatively touching and realistic. He blends them with comics and laughter. But most importantly, it is how he asserts the issues bothering the country that marvels me. For instance, his views on why the country was unsuccessful at the Nations Cup Tournament were simply captivating and unexpected of a mad man. Unlike those who wander the busy city to make sense of the rubbish they find, you can easily spot him around the corner idly landing his disposition.

Most recently, Blacker was arrested and detained at the Male Correctional Center for allegedly insulting the President. He was later released on bail. Perhaps, you are not from Sierra Leone. Hysterically, it sounds pretty surprising and unheard of for a mad man to face incarceration like every sane being. Well, Sierra Leone is one hell of a peculiar geographical location. He appeared in court together with a group of lawyers who made sure of his legal representation. The clashing point however is the iconic photo of him in court with his lips held locked with his hands. Originally speaking, I have tried as best as possible to bequeath that spectacle – I cannot.

The symbolization of that image cannot be overemphasized. It is as emphatic and obvious as you look deeper. Now, there is a culture of silence and soundlessness in this country. “Don’t speak up! Accept it as it comes.” You are expected to stay mute on issues bothering the state, bottle up your criticisms, bear with the suppression, or “Don’t say it all out.” There are two blamers for this tragedy of quietude and lack of freedom of expression: Institutions and the People.

As a student who has traversed secondary and now almost completing tertiary education, you are being coached to stay undefiant to the system and its inadequacies. Don’t say it is bad! Even with the depraved system one accesses, any drop of visual discomfort or defiance would land you in the bad book of the administration. It is either you side with the system or be excommunicated. When was the last time you heard of a students’ strike? Such is inactive. You dare not try it. Sierra Leoneans are still admonished to seek a pass from the police force before they take to the streets to reaffirm their needs and the shortcomings of the leadership. Supposing your activism agenda troubles the government, there is an abundant likelihood that your desired procession would be disqualified. Can you expose the shady dealings of your boss at the workplace? The administrative order despises that. Stay dumb.

Sierra Leoneans have always been the stumbling block to progression and development. The population is not enlightened and fearless. The affinity with a political party, tribes, regions, and, so on, has consequently occupied our state of mind. The two parliamentarians who boldly testified to the subject of full-blown corruption happening within the well were praised and slandered altogether. The ordinary people affiliated with the party had to bash them for no justifiable cause. They saw them as disingenuous and unscrupulous. Despite the valiant strides of Dr. John Idriss Lahai to cleanse the workforce of all fake educational documents, some people are still butt hurt over the notion that the credibility of their relations or those they describe as mentors or anchors. He is perceptibly on the right side of life if he forgets about that worthy task and stays mute. Whistleblowers are the enemies. Even when white elephant projects with falsified contents are carried out in communities to the glory of the deceitful doer, people who have been indirectly robbed in all ramifications will demonize you for calling out the individual. There is a special type of bad blood for truth and honesty. You must be able to thrive in lies and pretentiousness. You are the enemy if you choose outspokenness and focalization.

Probably Blacker was at fault for allegedly insulting the president. The motive was not to defend him but to carve out an ideal fixated imagination on the depiction of what the cameras covered. The suppressible nature of the country and how it has hindered open expression was illustrated in a single snapshot. If I were you, I would stretch out to reconcile with truth and the importance of having more seekers of the right motive in the societal scope.

Author: Delvid Stanley-Coker

Delvid Stanley-Coker is a dedicated writer for The African Dream. His passion and desire to publicize the appreciable department of Africa, and voicing out the prevalent ills of society has adequately contributed to the promulgation of stories of different sort. He finds pleasure in reading novels, listening to soothing songs, and play video games for leisure purposes.