On August 3, 2012 from 3-5:30 p.m. at the British Council, an extraordinary event will take place—Celebration of the 180th Anniversary of Edward Wilmot Blyden, eminent West African, and vindicator of the African race. The event will bring together scholar and diplomat will bring together, diplomats, scholars and the general public. The program context is rich with poetry, music performance by students of the Ballanta Academy, lectures and presentations. Highlights of Blyden’s legacy: race/ethnic and religious tolerance, education, that are still observed in Sierra Leone. His tireless advocacy for an educated change of attitude and perception of the African race would have delighted President Ernest Bai Koroma whose agenda for change underscores attitudinal change in all areas.
The program opens with the Centenary 1887 Ode written by Blyden to celebrate of Sierra Leone’s Centenary in 1887 as well as Queen Victoria’s Jubilee, will be sung as an aria by Sia Borbor (trained at the Ballanta Academy of Music) and accompanied by Stephan Flore, visiting German French Horn Player and Music Teacher, remarks of appreciation from diplomats and scholars in Sierra Leone. The outcome of this event is the creation of the Edward Wilmot Blyden Foundation, and West African University College. A call for August 3rd as Edward Wilmot Day that will celebrate West African women’s education and literacy centers.
Dr. Blyden died 100 years ago this year in Freetown and is buried in Race Course Cemetery where a gravesite monument is erected by his West African admirers and disciples such as James Casely Hayford, J.J. Thomas, Rev. J.R. Fredericks of Antigua and Claudius May, founder of Sierra Leone Weekly News.
Members of the pre-eminent committee formed in London to create a fourteen foot fountain bust memorial erected in Freetown in 1913, included Sir William Hesketh Lever, Bart-Founder of Unilever Company and Sir Harry Johnston, British explorer, imperialist and founder of Sunlight Soap Company in Port Sunlight England.
Ian Hughes, High Commissioner of the United Kingdom to Sierra Leone and Liberia, will give a presentation on 19th century British Commerce in Sierra Leone.
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.