We are primarily small-scale subsistence farmers. We harvest mostly pepper, corn, cassava, coconut, groundnut, rice and potato. We also do some stone-mining – though farming is in our blood! We have been farming for as long as we can remember. We are mostly Mende but we are also Limba.
Our community, once called Samai Town, was founded by a great Mende warrior from the south, Pa Samai. He began his fight in the east and fought all the way to our present community (which he captured). Our ancestors tell us that he fought in the Boma War and the First World War. His sword, in fact, is still here in Samuel Town.
Like other villages in the area, we celebrate our cultural festivals by going house to house and dancing to collect money from well-wishers. As the day gives way to evening, we settle in one place in the community and eat, tell stories and relish one another’s company. We do house to house celebration with our Gbanu cultural group to symbolize the love we have for one another. You’re welcome to come and join the love. Strangers are always welcome to village events!
The Gbanu is not our only cultural group. We also have Ojeh, Poro, Bondo and Hunting (each belonging to different ethnic groups).
We have plenty of great storytellers here. Ask Pa Forbe, Pa McCarthy or Mr Sahr to spin you a tale.
There is not a great deal of tourist activity here right now, though if tourists are interested, we would be happy to find lodging for them, show them our ancient remains, our old church, Pa Samai’s sword, Samba Town (which means “gift town” – it’s where we leave gifts for our ancestors) and our plantations. You can also ask to go see some of the other historical places in the area – such as Agiah Town, located in the hills. Farmers used to live in the hills, isolated from the people in the village.
Ask the headman to give you someone to show you around. Come stay for a night or visit for an afternoon – and if you stay for the night, ask someone to show you have to play Lodo or Draf.
We like the idea of setting up an eco-tourism village (a lodging facility) but would need financial assistance. We also see potential in historical tourism here – perhaps setting up a monument for Pa Samai and making sure that his sword is both visible and protected!
We’d like to have the means to fix our community centre, which is leaking and dilapidated!
We want to be empowered to continue to protect our water wells.
We would like support in our village to replace some of our damaged forest with live trees.
We need help enforcing the laws that are in place to protect the forest.
We would like to see our community with 24 hour power supply!
We want a good road.
We’d like to see our children enjoy a better standard of education. We used to have a scholarship program for our children through Plan International and would love to see such a scholarship program implemented again.
We would really like to protect our culture because it teaches us how to respect one another in the community. We had a lot of cultural play in this community in the past and would like to see this revived.
We’d like to reconstruct our community toilets and wells. Plan International and Oxfam built wells and toilets but some of these toilets are in bad shape. As is the sad story in so much of Sierra Leone, the contractors who did the implementation did not come from here and were not selected by our community. They mixed concrete with too much sand to construct the toilets. Members in our community were not given the opportunity to be involved as implementers and so our toilets were not built to standard. We would like to construct new ones.
(As of 2011) Headman: Mr James Harding (088 793 596, 076 730 523); Chairlady: Madam Lombeh Kargbo (077 859 139); Chairman: Mr Henry Davies; Secretary: Mr Donald; Youth Leader: Mr Ernest Moiba.