Sylvia Blyden, full name: Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Walmina Oreshola Blyden (born October 1, 1971 in Freetown, Sierra Leone) is the only female news publisher in Sierra Leone, and “one of the most recognisable names in the country”. Blyden is a social and political commentator, rights activist, newspaper publisher and philanthropist. She has spoken of her interest to eventually run for the presidency of Sierra Leone.
Blyden is the great-great-granddaughter of Edward Wilmot Blyden, the “father of Pan-Africanism”. Her maternal grandfather is the Sierra Leonean politician, Solomon A.J. Pratt.
Blyden entered the Annie Walsh School with the best Selective Entrance results of entrants in 1982 and left with the best GCE O’Levels in 1987; she was to graduate with the best B.Sc. results from Medical School in 1993 and again graduate with proficiency in 1996 with an M.D in Medicine during which period she emerged as Sierra Leone’s first woman to be elected as University students’ leader in 1994.
A Child-Appointed International Goodwill Ambassador for Sierra Leone’s Children, Sylvia Blyden has been a Youths and Women’s Rights Activist. She represented Sierra Leone’s Female Youths in Beijing during the 1995 United Nations Women’s Confab, and was chosen by her African peers to deliver the Female Youths of Africa Speech on August 11, 1995.
In early 2002, she became Sierra Leone’s youngest National Political Party Leader at age 30, and the third Sierra Leone woman to lead a fully registered political party (the first being Presidential Candidate, the late Mrs. Jeridine Williams-Sarho in 1996).
Following her 24-Hours Internet Cafes, she launched a news media in 2005 known as Awareness Times, which is generally considered critical of the excesses of Government and State Institutions including the President, Ernest Bai Koroma.
Blyden remains the youngest ever Sierra Leonean to be nationally honoured with an Officer of the Rokel insignia in recognition of her meritorious service to the Nation, on April 27, 2007 Independence Day.
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.