International Women’s Day: British Foreign Secretary receives thrilling welcome in Bo

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Rtd.. Hon. James Cleverly,British Foreign Secretary having selfie with school kids in Bo

By Alfred Koroma

Upon arriving in Sierra Leone, the British Foreign Secretary, Rtd.. Hon. James Cleverly, heads right away to Bo, in a historic visit to the birth origin of his mother.

The senior Conservative Party member is the first British MP with a Sierra Leonean background,who had on his Twitter page spoken of being “proud” of his Sierra Leonean heritage.

His mother was born in Bo, Southern Sierra Leone. She worked at the Bo Government Hospital for some time and moved from the country to London in the 1960s, working in Lewisham Hospital as a midwife and marrying, Mr Cleverly’s British father.

The British Foreign Secretary visited Bo on Wednesday, March 8, 2022, a day also marking the International Women’s Day. Part of his visit to Sierra Leone is to launch the UK Government plan to put women and girls at the heart of its international work.

While in Bo, Mr. Cleverly visited the Bo Government Hospital, where his mother worked, and also visited the Islamic Call Secondary School (ICS), Dobar Ground,the same place where Queen Elizabeth was received upon her visit in the early 1960s.

There, he  had a conversation with a group of pupils from the school, discussing their day’s activities in school and the importance of education and what they intend to be when they grow up.

“This is very impressive. Thank you very much, the British Foreign Secretary appreciated the pupils for their welcome song, noting: “My mother was born in Bo. She left and travelled to London and met my dad and had me. She died about 10 years ago.”

Crowds of excited people, including Paramount chiefs and other local authorities, wearing white T-shirts, emblazoned with the face of Mr. Cleverly,  converged to welcome his historic visit to his motherland.

As part of the appreciation for his visit, Mr Cleverly was also honored with a local name ‘Kolorbombor,’ by PC Prince Lappia Boima III of Kakua Chiefdom. Kolorbombor is the name of the Chief historically recognized for establishing Bo Kakua Chiefdom.

“This is where his mother worked. We warmly welcome him to our community,” Joseph Munda Bindi, former Chairman, Bo District Council expressed.

“To us, this is a pride to have our own brother in the diaspora returning home again. I’m appreciative of the commitment shown by our people,” MP from Bo,  Hon. Joseph Abdul Bash Kamara, representing Constituency 084 , added.

“We have the traditional leaders present to honor the occasion.”

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