New Canadian Media
Monday, 03 October 2016 21:23

“I Almost Died from Genital Mutilation”

Commentary By Dr. Nanah Sheriff Fofanah-Sesay

Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises of all procedures involving partial or total removal of the female external genitalia such as the labia majora, labia minora, clitoris and other injuries to the female genitalia for non-medical reasons as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Proponents of this act often engage in these behaviors to adhere to and preserve an ongoing cultural tradition that failed to take into consideration the dignity, physical trauma, emotional trauma, and human rights of young girls and women.

In a recent article titled SALWACE’s “imitated not mutilated” Campaign, the author/s referred to Bondo (a society for the performance of FGM) as “the recognition of adult women to choose what they want to do with their own bodies.” The author/s further describes the act of FGM as “labiaplasty” and “clitoroplexy” and other forms of “so-called female genital cosmetic surgeries.”

The Patriotic Vangaurd

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Published in Health

by Our National Correspondent

July 30 marked the 11th anniversary of the Patriotic Vanguard newspaper published from Vancouver. In our continuing effort to profile and work with ethnic media across Canada, New Canadian Media conducted an interview by e-mail with the paper's founder and chief executive officer, Gibril Gbanabome Koroma, a Sierra Leonean journalist in exile. Koroma is pictured at right, in front of the Vancouver Public Library. 


Q: It's been 11 years since you set up the Patriotic Vanguard newspaper. Why did you set it up and why did you choose the name "Patriotic Vanguard"?
 
Well, I came to Canada in the year 2000 because of the war in my country, Sierra Leone, and because I was a journalist back home (editor and correspondent for foreign media), I just could not stop writing. So, I contacted fellow journalists from my native country, Sierra Leone, scattered all over the world and set up the Patriotic Vanguard. As you know, it's not easy for a new immigrant to get work in Canadian media, but that did not bother me. I just created my own newspaper. Simple.
 
The name Patriotic Vanguard came about because we all felt we should do something for our country, even though we found ourselves elsewhere. We can live and work and contribute to say Canadian, British, Australian society and so on and still contribute to the country we left behind, a country that had done so much for us. It's okay to be patriotic towards more than one country. I love Canada and I also love Sierra Leone. I think that feeling is at the core of Canadian multiculturalism.
 
It's okay to be patriotic towards more than one country.
 
Q: Sierra Leone is a small nation and rarely makes it into Canadian (and presumably, American) news. Who is your audience and why do you think they've become fans of your newspaper?
 
We have a vast audience or readership of Sierra Leoneans and non-Sierra Leoneans scattered all over the world. This is a global online newspaper, a diaspora newspaper, which is eagerly read at home and elsewhere, every minute, very hour, every day. Just the other day, somebody contacted us from Harvard University asking for information.
 
Q: Do you hope to influence the government in Freetown? How?
 
We did not set out in 2000 to influence anybody. We only wanted to relay the news and comment on happenings back home especially when we observed a distorted presentation of news about our country in the mainstream Western media. We saw so much ignorance and sometimes outright nonsense being written about Africa and Africans, and we saw it as our duty to correct and counter such nonsense whenever we could and we are still doing it. We also publish a lot about Canada and Africans living in Canada and other western countries. Of course, our people and the government back home have very high respect for us.
 
We saw so much ignorance and sometimes outright nonsense being written about Africa and Africans, and we saw it as our duty to correct and counter such nonsense ...
 
Q: Please give us a description of how you run the paper and its online editions. Do you plan to expand?
 
The Patriotic Vanguard is basically an online newspaper for now, but we plan to have a print edition if we get funding, which will, of course, make it more general, incorporating news form other communities in Canada. A print edition in Sierra Leone is also being planned. We are all volunteers; nobody is paid anything. 
 
Q: Lastly, what do Canadians need to know about the Patriotic Vanguard and Sierra Leone?
 
Well, a lot of Canadians already know about the Patriotic Vanguard, including you! For those who do not know about us yet, it is what is normally called an 'ethnic publication' targeting Africans everywhere, including in Canada, with special emphasis on Sierra Leone, the birthplace of the publisher (myself) and most of the staff, who are all volunteers. But as I said, we plan to expand into publishing news about other communities in Canada in a print edition if we get funding. We really want to make it a meeting place for all communities in Canada.
 

This content was developed exclusively for New Canadian Media and can be re-published with appropriate attribution. For syndication rights, please write to publisher@newcanadianmedia.ca

Published in Top Stories
Thursday, 23 June 2016 22:29

Prominent diaspora Sierra Leonean media

By PV Staff.
People often wonder what we have as Sierra Leonean newspapers, magazines and online radio and television stations abroad.
Today we will try to bring some of the well known ones (it's difficult to know all of them because of the age and relative obscurity of some of them). We will categorize by country and prominent characteristics. This is not an exhaustive list; we will bring you more Sierra Leonean diaspora media organizations as and when we discover them. As the say, (...)

- World News

The Patriotic Vangaurd

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Published in Africa

Tribute to the late Ernest Cummings
From the Sierra Leone Community in Ottawa
Sierra Leoneans in Ottawa, Canada, are proud to be a community today because of what Ernest who was commonly as “Mr. Cummings” brought to the table.
Early 2000 when he migrated to Canada with his family, he realized that there was no functional community that brought Sierra Leoneans together. Between him and few others, they put the frame work together to have a community organization started.
His (...)

- World News

The Patriotic Vangaurd

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Published in Africa

PV Staff.
Sierra Leone's president Ernest Bai Koroma (pictured) on Tuesday spoke on a number of issues affecting women in the country.
The president, who was speaking at an even marking International Women's day dwelled at length on the issue of gender parity, the controversial safe abortion bill, pregnant school girls and related topics.
A huge number of Sierra Leone's women and girls cannot read and write and the educated ones face many challenges in both traditional (...)

- Salone News

The Patriotic Vangaurd

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Published in Africa

A Commonwealth initiative to boost Sierra Leone's health protection policy is designed to strengthen national health systems and help prevent and manage the impacts of future disease outbreaks, says Dr Joanna Nurse, Head of Health at the Commonwealth Secretariat.
The project with Sierra Leone's Government and other development partners comes amid national and international efforts to recover from the Ebola outbreak. The pandemic cost Sierra Leone nearly 4,000 lives - more than (...)

- Salone News

The Patriotic Vangaurd

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Published in Africa

The Director General of Cultural, Social and Family Affairs at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has said that Sierra Leone could be the best model with regards to religious tolerance, peaceful coexistence and bonds of unity.
Mehla Ahmed Talebna who is also a former Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports in Mauritania made the remarks to Sierra Leone's Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Representative to the OIC, Alhaji M.S. Kargbo during a familiarization visit (...)

- World News

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Published in Africa

PV Staff
A state House Communications Unit report states that various projects have been designed by the government to provide job opportunities for young people as well as improve their livelihoods in riverine and coastal fishing communities.
The report, dated Thursday February 25 ,added that President Ernest Bai Koroma officially launched the Youth in Fishing project and the Revised National Youth Policy 2014 at the Tambercular Wharf in Aberdeen, west of Freetown the capital on (...)

- Salone News

The Patriotic Vangaurd

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Published in Africa

The Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces has had its ups and downs over the years, like all state institutions in the country, but it went through the most turbulent time in its history during the brutal civil war (1991-2002) that caused a lot of havoc to its human and material resources.
The war took many brave and talented army personnel, both officers and men and many barracks suffered devastating damage and others were completed wiped out and had to be rebuilt after the war. The (...)

- Salone News /

The Patriotic Vangaurd

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Published in Africa
Tuesday, 29 December 2015 00:30

Sierra Leone: Post-Christmas Cabinet Reshuffle

By PV Staff.
A surprise announcement from State House in Freetown on Monday December 28th revealed partial changes in the current cabinet with the promise that more are in the pipeline.
Two big changes in the current political configuration are the appointment of Anti-Corruption Commission boss Joseph Kamara as Attorney General and Minister of Justice. Kamara is replacing Franklyn Bai Kargbo.The other one is the appointment of political new comer Professor Monty Jones (pictured-World Food (...)

- Salone News /

The Patriotic Vangaurd

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Published in Africa
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Poll Question

Do you agree with the new immigration levels for 2017?

Yes - 30.8%
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The voting for this poll has ended on: %05 %b %2016 - %21:%Dec

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The honest truth is there is still reluctance around immigration policy... When we want to talk about immigration and we say we want to bring more immigrants in because it's good for the economy, we still get pushback.

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