Northgate Senior Lions’ Centre
By MINISTER FAUST
African faces. Some people can’t tell them apart. And others see only the face of African tragic victimhood. Each false vision denies a range of beauty, individuality and hope.
Nelson Mandela, like many South Africans, has features that, hair aside, wouldn’t cause a second glance among many East Asian populations; there are the peoples of the so-called Pygmy nationalities of the central continental rain forest, mostly under 4’11”; there are tall and slender Masai and Ethiopians whose bodies seem designed either for ballet or marathons; and there are the frequently voluptuous peoples of Ghana.
Skin tones vary from the brownish-yellow of non-Arab (ie African) Egyptians to the “blue” black of some Nubians. Shapes and sizes of noses and lips range, hair textures range, body shapes range (and keep in mind that within each of these broad types, variety reigns).
Kamara says minimal help comes from a government still ailing from the civil war, and which is concentrating on urban development. In fact, of 15 teachers for Tamaraneh’s huge student body, six are actually volunteers. Parents are providing food and other basic necessities for the teachers in a country which “was burnt down to pieces” by a rebel force that destroyed livestock and houses, and raped, mutilated and massacred people. Ten years of civil war left 70 000 dead.
On Feb 9, Tamaraneh is hosting its annual “There is Enough!” dinner and development simulation, the proceeds from which will fund their school.
“I know how Sierra Leoneans have suffered,” says Kamara. “And I know Canadians are very, very helpful. Many immigrant Canadians have suffered a lot. They know war; this is why Canadians have sympathetic feelings.”