From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

The Act of Apologising; The Art of Forgiving
By Dr. Sylvia Blyden
Aug 6, 2010, 17:10

The Holy Bible calls on Christians to forgive the sins committed against us by others even as we call on God to forgive our own sins committed everyday. The Holy Koran makes a similar call on Muslims to practise the art of forgiveness.

The Act of apologising and begging for forgiveness from someone we offend is one of the surest ways in which we acknowledge our human frailties. To err is human. We all make mistakes. However, acknowledging those mistakes and calling for forgiveness with an Apology is an act that should be done genuinely.

In Africa, when a woman old enough to be your mother crawls on the floor in front of you, holding your feet and asking for forgiveness, there is no act of apology more sincere and genuine than that one; especially when the seeker of forgiveness sheds remorseful tears on the floor in front of you.

A smiling Kadijatu Savage, exhibits that she is a Lady of Class with African Culture of Forgiving by hugging Madam Oby at the IMC.

Kadijatu Savage and her parents, who were roundly insulted by the outgone MD of Zenith Bank, have accepted the profuse apologies of Madam Oby. Who are we to judge them and say we reject the apology on their behalf? Let him who has never sinned; let him who is without blemish, throw the first stone! Some of the recent coverage of the apology from Madam Oby is more of a reflection of the type of bitter and vengeful society we currently find ourselves in Sierra Leone. Such bitter and unforgiving traits will make foreigners rethink our much touted welcoming nature!

With such bitterness in your hearts; with such an unforgiving spirit and a reluctance to accept apologies, how can we ever move forwards when all we know how to do is to look backwards? One should only look backwards for lessons to learn from the Past to ensure such mistakes do not re-occur but never should we learn to look backwards as a means of maintaining and sustaining bitter thoughts of revenge. Our religions call for us to never forget that salient act of forgiving others when they beg us for our forgiveness even as God/Allah forgives us when we bend down to pray for forgiveness from him!

Here we all were last year when our Governmentís Spokesman Alhaji I.B. Kargbo inadvertently insulted Nigerians at an international forum by describing them as having bogus tendencies. The Nigerians forgave him for his outburst and I am reliably intimated that President Koroma had to personally apologise one time to Nigeria at State House during a visit of a Nigerian envoy to State House. Our Presidentís apology was accepted by the Nigerians. Who are we not to accept Madam Obyís apology rendered so sincerely and so profusely?

As for our Foreign Ministerís reported comments at Parliament, they are ironical! For a woman who makes it a habit to beg rich foreigners for cash to fund her roundabout travels, one wonders why she should be so recalcitrant towards a foreigner begging us to forgive her sins?

Madam Oby has apologised; Kadijatu Savage has accepted the apology. It is time for Sierra Leoneans to show the world our magnanimous nature and forgive and move on. Sticks and stones may break our bones but words should never hurt us. Madam Obyís words should never hurt us; especially not after she has so profusely apologised lying on the floor. Zenith Bank has recalled her in disgrace so it is time for us to move on to better things affecting this land that we all love rather than focus time on this non-issue!

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.