Showing posts from September, 2017

Vitabu Reads | Sierra Leone Higher Education: At the Crossroads of Change

Kosonike Koso-Thomas's book,  Sierra Leone Higher Education: At the Crossroads of Change , traces the establishment of an engineering faculty in a traditional liberal arts university, but the story is also about how an extraordinary graduate in fast-track leadership started out in his academic career and advanced to success in college administration. In September 1962 , Koso-Thomas arrived in Sierra Leone from England and moved into his new job as head of a fledgling Engineering Department. He had been preparing for the moment for over six months.   “Who else do we have in the department? He quizzed the college principal at the meet and greet.  “We expect a new staff member to join us during the session,” came the conciliatory response. “I shifted in the chair thinking I might be gray by the time this [person] arrives,” the young and restless Koso-Thomas thought.  Organization and culture Still, there was a lot about the campus organization and culture that the young

Vitabu Reads: Contemporary Fireside Stories

Tony Jordan might not have been the first to get the idea of “building literary tunnels through which to liberate characters from the constraints of Dickensian novels,” but the thought was on my mind after reading Contemporary Fireside Stories during Banned Books Week. Let me explain. Banned Books Week is promoted by the American Library Association and Amnesty International. The annual campaign "stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them" and the requirement to keep material publicly available so that people can develop their own conclusions and opinions. The campaign notes those individuals "persecuted because of the writings that they produce, circulate, or read." The 2017 date is September 24–30. Tony Jordan created new lives for Charles Dickens’s greatest characters in a British television series Dickensian, which I watched back to back recently. Contemporary Fireside Stories is a vo

Vitabu Reads: Ponder My Thoughts Vol. 1 by Andrew Keili

Andrew Keili's shrewd, introspective, oftentimes hilarious commentaries in Ponder My Thoughts Vol. 1 are much like the opinion articles he wrote in the mid-2000s, when he explained post-war Sierra Leone, its management, or lack of it, in local, regional, and national government.  How we see things depends on where we stand on Sierra Leonean--ness, society, and politics. Keili's book, Ponder My Thoughts, captures a year (2013) in observations and stories, but it's not a time capsule. It's information you can use—contemporary Sierra Leonean history pieced together one op-ed at a time. Remember that debate surrounding misuse of funds from GAVI?  The global vaccine alliance that buys vaccines with Gavi funding, procured through UNICEF directly with the manufacturer, and delivered to low-income countries like Sierra Leone? Keili's columns start with the uncompromising subject of misuse of funds in public life and how Sierra Leone doesn't learn from mistakes

Vitabu Reads: Tiger Fist (Two Stories) A novella

Nnamdi Carew was fourteen years old when his science fiction meet fantasy was first published in 2013. The two stories that make up his colorful novella, Tiger Fist One and Tiger Fist Two, superbly blend superheroes like old Marvel, Captain America, and Superman, while blurring the lines of video game icons in "The "Legend of Zelda" and "World of War craft" with modern-day battles. Tiger Fist's story starts with how a baby boy, the main protagonist, became Tigerton – a huge cat-like creature with orange stripes and a menacing tail. Soon after the boy in Nnamdi's story was born to anthropologists Austin and Bianca Blake, the couple was killed by Tigerton, a hybrid of a tiger and a human similar to the mythical Minotaur, which Ovid the Roman poet described as being part man and part bull. Austin and Bianca had traveled to China to look for fossils and conduct studies into ancient beings and creatures. Intrigued by the hapless toddler, who had