The Monday January 21st 2008 Event held in the United States of America marking the dedication of a brand new Student Theatre to the memory of the late Major Kula Samba was eventful. Speaking at the event were Maxie C. Jackson Jr., Ph.D., former administrator of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, Ann Varghese, field organizer for Amnesty International-USA Midwest in Chicago and my humble self, Captain (Rtd) Francis Ken Josiah. The event featured musical performances by the Olivet College Chamber Singers, and two movie shows; AMISTAD and BLOOD DIAMOND.
Photo of Kula Samba sits astride a table engraved with the Biblical words:
THIS DO IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME
The Current President of Sigma-Beta cuts the red
tape with help of Revd Fales as they officially open
the Kula Samba Theatre inside the Olivet Library.
At the ribbon cutting and dedication of the new Kula Samba Theater in the Burrage Library on the college campus, the President of the Sigma Beta society of which Kula Samba was a member noted their admiration for the late Army Major Kula Samba. The event organizer Mike Fales gave an emotional speech mostly directed at the awkward judicial mechanics of the Nigerian manipulated military tribunal and the erstwhile Kabbah government. The event was awesome.
|A view of the inside of the Kula Samba Theatre
|Another view of the inside of the Kula Samba Theatre
Left to Right: Ken Josiah, Revd Fales & Adeyemi Paul
There were many guests and students including the Publisher of a local Sierra Leone newspaper, Mr. Adeyemi Paul.
SPEECH BY RETIRED CAPTAIN FRANCIS KEN JOSIAH
I am very happy and honored to be here to participate in officially naming this beautiful new facility after Major Kula Samba. Today represents an important milestone as we remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and we honour the memory of the Late Major Kula Samba; an alumni of this wonderful institution. On behalf of the family and sympathizers, I thank all of you for the hard work and dedication of this wonderful COMPLEX. It speaks volumes about the officials and staff of Olivet College. These grounds serve to immortalize the Late Major Kula Samba.
The first time I met the Late Major Kula Samba was in the military hospital in Freetown Sierra Leone. You may recall that Sierra Leone was engaged in one of the bloodiest civil wars of the 21st century. She had come to visit me following a blast injury to my ear drums.
I was deployed in the hometown of her parents. She did not have to visit me because it was my job. In fact, she was the only senior officer who ever visited me in the hospital at the time. Her kind words and morale support were simply unforgettable. Across the length and breath of the Sierra Leone Army, she was known for her dedication to the rehabilitating of wounded soldiers, child combatants and bridging the bureaucratic gaps to make services available to victims of the war.
Accused of treason, Major Kula Samba was the first female to be executed in Sierra Leone by firing squad outside Freetown on October 19, 1998 by the Kabbah led government.
While this occasion is not the forum for her defense, it is worth noting that by every legal angle of the definition of treason, Major Kula Samba was innocent!! On this special day, as we celebrate the legendary accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King, I want to quote one of his memorable lines; "one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and every mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plains and the crooked places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."
Let me conclude with a more personal observation on the significance of what will take place shortly in this building. Kula Samba’s untiring service and energy to the poor and the wounded will forever remain alive through this structure we are here to dedicate.
MAY HER SOUL REST IN PERFECT IN PEACE.
photo credits: ken josiah
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.