From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Sierra Leoneans Must Change Their Begging Mindset
By Rose Tarawalie
Jul 7, 2010, 17:14

Reproduced from Torchlight Newspaper with permission

Zainab Bangura The International Begger!! Begs Arab Men to buy her Air Tickets
The Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation, Mrs Zainab Bangura, was recently under media focus for the wrong reasons. On the 18th June 2010, a local tabloid had a front-page headline, Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister Sings & Dances for Money’, and Mrs Bangura was quoted to have told the nation at a press conference, “I sing, I dance to beg for money from rich Arab men. Me, they call me the international beggar”.


She continued to explain that she was never ashamed to beg  Arab men for money to help her with cash and air tickets: “He looks at me and he feels sorry because sometimes when I beg these men, I even weep.”


Zainab Bangura then compared herself to President Koroma by saying, “He is shy. He is not like me. Not me, I am not shy. I beg. I shout and I even scream. Listen Mr. Prime Minister, me, I need a ticket oh! I want to go to Lisse in France but I don’t have any money.”

From this account purportedly coming from the horse’s mouth, our Minster of Foreign Affairs Mrs Zainab Bangura has obviously practised and mastered the art of begging so that she can be able to move from place to place.  Her mind is trained that Sierra Leone is poor and therefore the only way out is to beg the rich Arab men to give her money to go around the globe to tell them how Sierra Leone needs them.

For me, I have trained my mind to believe that Sierra Leone is not poor but resources are being wasted by senior officials. If the land is cultivated and if we plant more rice, plant more fruits for home and export, if the National Revenue Authority collects income and puts it to good use, if the tax man collects taxes, if we do all these things and the money is put into good use, our Foreign Minister would not have to stoop so low to beg rich Arab men.  They have the oil; we have the gold and all the minerals that they need; and this balances the equation. Therefore, we mutually need each other equally.  But if our minds are set and we are content with begging, then there is no hope for Sierra Leone.

It would be nice if the Foreign Minister could tell the public how the money she collects is used after dancing, singing and crying to these men. Instead of using this money trotting around the globe in first-class why not buy more tractors for people to cultivate their land to benefit the whole country. Indeed ordinary citizens would appreciate her more and people would still have high esteem for her.

If we are to see this country, communities and families’ life-styles change, we have to renew our mindset, take time to think developmental (not self), and wipe away the begging syndrome, which is not only reflected in what our foreign minister is doing but also on our streets.

If we are inviting foreigners to come and invest in our country, we need to first clean our house, put things in order, then they will willingly come and invest with confidence. But if our house is not clean and in order, these visitors may try once and may not come again.

Last week, President Koroma made a totally different statement – that with a renewed zeal, we are going to beg no more; that we are going to use our own resources – natural and human - to develop our country.  Well done, Mr. President, we need to hear more of these positive statements.


· Think like God. Walk with God - He is rich, silver and gold belong to him. We have been freely given. Just manage it well and we’ll continue get enough revenue from investors

· Walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the desires of the fresh

· To walk in the spirit is to walk in the mindset of God

· Set your mind on greater things not on mediocre stuff

· Transform yourself by renewing your mind

· Churches should train people on how to renew their minds


If you allow the devil to control your mind, then the result is that he will be reflected in what you say or do, which eventually affects others’ lives and your environment.

Set a standard through the Word of God in order not to be swayed by the devil.When you change your mind, your life will change.

We should be learners and not pretentious knowers. We learn every day of our lives. Sometimes we make mistakes in what we say or do; and from that, we learn how to do things in a different and better way.  Our Foreign Minister is greatly loved by Jesus Christ, and there’s a better way for her and for all of us.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.