Amb. Ndomahina Meets Sierra Leonean Community
By Joseph S. Margai in Beijing
In a bid to intensify his unification mission of all Sierra Leoneans living in China, Sierra Leone’s ambassador to China, H.E Ambassador Ernest, Mbaimba Ndomahina, has on Saturday, 15th September, 2018, met with some Sierra Leoneans in the Embassy of the Republic of Sierra Leone premises in Beijing.
When addressing the Sierra Leoneans who availed themselves for the meeting, Ambassador Ndomahina said President Bio cares for all Sierra Leoneans and wants to see a united Sierra Leone.
“This gathering is a family one. I want to know where our brothers and sisters are living in China. This is a network of all our brothers and sisters, because if we are together, nothing will divide us. All of you know that unity is strength and it behooves all of us to be united and contribute to our nation’s development,” he admonished the listening Sierra Leoneans.
Ambassador Ndomahina suggested that some Sierra Leoneans, might be suffering somewhere without the knowledge of the embassy because the network of brothers and sisters has not been working.
“We should extend love, care and concern to all Sierra Leoneans in China. It is now the responsibility of all of us that are present here today, to identify at least two Sierra Leoneans who are living in China. I want to know where they reside and where their relatives are in Sierra Leone. By doing so, we will restore confidence in them and we will also be able to track down those foreigners who are holding our passport, thereby using it to commit crimes in China,” he said.
He said if all the Sierra Leoneans, who are living in Beijing, are united, they will know if one of them is travelling anywhere around the country so as to ensure his/her safety, adding that, “I am on kneels begging all of you here to come together as one for benefit of all and sundry.”
“I am more interested in personal touch. One-on-one contact is important in unifying us. It’s like a manhunt for all our brothers and sisters here. I don’t mind to visit your residence and see how you are doing and if eventually anything goes wrong with you, the embassy will know and we will step in immediately to solving it,” he said.
He instructed the secretary general of the Sierra Leonean Students’ Union in China to give him the database of all students studying in China, of which he agreed to do.
Deputy Ambassador, who was also a student in China, Saffa Rogers, said the “new direction” administration is serious about the welfare of all Sierra Leoneans.
He told the gathering that the embassy belongs to all Sierra Leoneans, urging them to visit the embassy at all times.
“We have some Sierra Leoneans who are not allowed to check-in at some hotels in Guangzhou, previously, that was not the case. People used to see us as law-abiding individuals but since some foreigners have started carrying our passport our image have been dented to our host country. In order to tackle this, and subsequently create an enabling environment for all of you to thrive peacefully, we need to unify ourselves,” he said.
Deputy Ambassador Rogers said there might be some Sierra Leoneans who are in jail but their cases are not known by the embassy officials, adding that, “Let’s be our brothers’ keeper by uniting all of us and try to address our own problems.”
He recalled that while he was a secretary general of the students’ union in China, they used to organize an end-of-year party, noting that some officials from other African embassies in Beijing used to come to the Sierra Leone embassy to celebrate together with them.
“That was another way of knowing all Sierra Leoneans living in China. We should know every Sierra Leonean that is coming to stay in China so that we can give them the needed love and care they deserve,” he said.
Ibrahim B. Kai-Samba, a Sierra Leonean that had been in China over 20 years, said the initiative of Ambassador Ndomahina to unity the Sierra Leonean community is a step in the right direction.
“Since I have been here, you are the second ambassador, after Munu Koroma, to bring up this idea of unifying us. We are going to support you and we will make sure you succeed here as an ambassador,” he said.
Brima S. Zoker suggested that another way of unifying the Sierra Leoneans in China is to create an official website at the embassy where they should log in for current information, adding that information also about Sierra Leoneans here should be on that website.
He said there are some Sierra Leoneans living in Hong Kong, who have a visa for Hong Kong instead of mainland China, and the embassy should reach out to them.
Secretary General of the Students’ Union in China, Prince T. Mabey, assured Ambassador Ndomahina of providing the names of all students who are studying in China.
He informed the ambassador that plans are underway to pick up new students who are coming to study in China, noting that they will be taken to their various universities in order to make life comfortable for them for the first day of arrival.
“Those that will be going out of Beijing will be escorted to the train stations and we will make sure they board the train to their universities,” he told the ambassador.
Dr. Esther Gondo, who stays in Nanjing city, told the gathering that there are some Sierra Leoneans in Nanjing that she will inform about the ambassador’s initiative.
“I will take their names and contacts numbers and submit them to the embassy,” she said.