By Ahmed Sahid Nasralla (De Monk)
The fifth son of the late mother of the nation has called on the public not to mourn the death of his dear mother, Mrs. Alice Rosaline Koroma, but to instead celebrate her life and legacy.
Speaking to AYV Radio’s popular host, DJ Base, on Night Life this week Mr. Thomas Koroma said: “We should not mourn our mother’s death, we should celebrate her life. It was a life well spent on earth. She gave everything she has so that others would live better lives.”
Mr. Thomas further said that their mother (and father, Mr. Sylvanus Koroma) invested in her children, ensuring that they were educated. According to Mr. Thomas, life was initially not rosy for the Koromas. Their father had to abandon the humble career of teaching to attend college, leaving a huge portion of the familial burden on Mama Alice.
He said her mother would fry ‘akara’ and sell them to make ends meet for the family of eight. Against this background, DJ Base was sort of inconsiderate when he asked whether the Koroma family could consider themselves rich at the time.
But Mr. Koroma aptly responded: “Riches are not really the quantity of things that one has. Riches are the satisfaction that one gets from what one has.”
Mr. Koroma said the family felt humbled by the support coming from all corners of the country in their time of great grief.
Even the main opposition leaders, Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maadi Bio and John Oponjo Benjamin of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) and Charles Francis Margai of the People’s Movement for Democratic Movement (PMDC) visited the family’s houses to sympathise with the Koromas.
“Their visit was a positive sign that the coming election would be violent free,” said Mr. Koroma. “We are one people. No matter what our political ambitions are, during moment of crisis like this, we have to learn to work together in the interest of Sierra Leone.”
Mr. Thomas described his late mother as a creative disciplinarian.
“My father was always liberal with his cane, but mother was always protective. She would protect us from the wrath of father. That was not to spoil us, but to protect us. After she would have protected us from our father’s cane, she would always remonstrate us, telling us that if we do anything wrong again, she herself would whip us first before handing us over to our father, ”said Mr. Thomas.
He said her mother would fairly arbitrate any dispute between her children.
“If she finds out that it’s an elder who’s in the wrong, she will console the junior one and reprimand the elder later. She’ll never deal with the elder in front his/her senior,” said Mr. Thomas.
Mr. Thomas said her mother wanted him to become a doctor, but he was fascinated by architecture.
“She was initially vexed because she didn’t know that line of study. But she would always give in to supporting the ambition of her children,” he said.
Mr. Thomas worked in government as a town planning officer until he went into private practice in 2006. He currently manages one of the most successful architectural firms in the country.
Meanwhile, you can listen to a repeat broadcast of the interview with DJ Base tonight on Night Life on AYV Radio 101.6 FM at 10 pm prompt. You can also read a feature on the interview in this edition by popular columnist Oswald Hanciles, titled ‘Thomas Koroma speaks on Alice Koroma’.