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Page added on July 7, 2012
The ordeal of Chernor Bangura (in photo), son of Pa Joseph Bangura, head of the ‘Poroh’ society at Makabrie village in the Port Loko District continues and has even worsened.
Worsened because the father Pa Joseph Bangura has given up his ghost.
He died on Sunday 27th May, 2012. This made the name of young Chernor a song on lips of ‘Poroh’ society big men.
Chernor had been forced into joining the Poroh society, notwithstanding his religious status – Christianity – which two are certainly seen standing poles apart.
He was in the society’s shrine ‘kantha,’ but stealthily sneaked out to nowhere.
Having gone halfway the ceremonies, society elders now see him as serious threat to their sacred secrets, which they fear would fall on the ears of non initiates – an unforgiveable taboo to ‘Poroh,’ like to many other secret societies.
Possessing such information as a non-initiate qualifies you a traitor to society members. You cannot come close to them for life, as the society itself is an institution which has survived since time immemorial.
A week after the death of Chernor’s father Pa Joseph Bangura, town crying was done in Makabarie village and in all the nearby twelve other villages, as tradition demands for. Eyewitnesses narrated that Madu Fathu, the town crier chanted, ‘Pa Joseph Bangura is about to be reborn!’ We are looking for his chicken-hearted son, his incontestable successor. Where is Chernor? Where is Chernor? ‘Do you have him here?’
Secret societies are a serious affair in many parts of the country. For instance, there are 149 chiefdoms, presided over by paramount chiefs.
One cannot be elected paramount chief in the greater number of these chiefdoms if you have not gone through some form of secret society rites.
Concerns have been raised by interest groups for the curtailment or reform of the activities of these societies, but the calls have fallen into deaf ears.
Apparently, things will continue like that in the foreseeable future. The best bet is for one not to be as unlucky as to be born into such secret society families, like Chernor is.
Quite a reasonable number of unwilling young men have had no option, but to exile themselves in this manner.
It is only hoped that Chernor has not taken his life as a better preference, which in itself is not. Nobody has seen him since his escape from ‘kantha’.
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