Addressing hundreds of women, traditional leaders including women leaders, Soweis of the Bondo female society and their new initiates, last Saturday the 6th May 2017, at an outdoor ceremony held at the Mini Stadium Kailahun Town, the All Peoples Congress (APC) Minister of Local Government and Rural Development said the government of President Ernest Bai Koroma has no intention of banning the female secrete society called Bondo.
Hon. Maya Moiwo Kaikai repeated himself by saying “Bondo will stay, but for those women at eighteen years and above and there should be no forceful initiation.”
|Peaceful handshake between the President of the Soweis Group Freetown Ya Barome Mansaray and the National Vice Chairperson of the Soweis Council Elsie Kondolomoh, with Ministers Maya Kaikai on the background
He however said any society that threatens the peace, freedom and rights of others will face the full resistance from the law enforcing agencies.
He further referenced the death of a young man in Kenema Town as a result of attempt to forcefully initiate him in the male Poro Society. Such things, the Minister hinted, “should not be tolerated.”
Senior Social Services Officer East Region, Doris Mansaray whilst representing her boss the Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs Hon. Dr. Sylvia Blyden said “Bondo is part of the culture of the people and nobody can stop it.”
She outlined the advantages the Bondo society bring to it members. She said, the advantages “include unity, tuition in many fields for women to be able to take good care of their husbands and their families, singing and dancing among others.”
Madam Doris said “the government has no intention of banning Bondo but there should be no child and no forceful initiation”.
In addition, President Soweis Group Freetown, Ya Barome Mansaray who was also member of Social Welfare delegation with the Minister from Freetown to Kailahun Town, briefly thanked the government of President Ernest Bai Koroma and also thanked specifically the Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs Hon. Dr. Sylvia O. Blyden and Minister of Local Government Hon. Maya Kaikai, for in her words “the full support to carry out our society affairs in a decent and acceptable ways”.
The President of the Soweis Group Freetown assured government of the commitment to the age limit and zero tolerance to forceful initiations.
The ceremony which saw a peaceful handshake between the President of the Soweis Group Freetown Ya Barome Mansaray and the National Vice Chairperson of the Soweis Council Elsie Kondolomoh was initiated by Hon. Ministers Maya Kaikai and Hon. Dr. Sylvia Blyden, and was chaired by Madam Isata Kaikai Ndoleh.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.