top of page
Search

An Unforgettable Journey: Gibril Sorie Mansaray's Homecoming Adventure

Updated: Sep 25, 2023


On March 26, 2023, as the clock struck 5:55 pm, an extraordinary moment unfolded at the Lungi International Airport in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Mr. Gibril Sorie Mansaray, a man whose reputation and accomplishments had long been admired from afar, had finally returned to his native land. It was my great privilege to be the first to extend a warm welcome, ushering him into the embrace of Sierra Leone, his beloved homeland.


The anticipation was palpable as we locked eyes, and smiles of recognition passed between us. With a heartfelt hug, Mansaray conveyed his deep gratitude, saying, "I'm here now. It's a blessing to be here. It's a blessing to meet you in person, too. We've just been communicating through social media for far too long."


At that moment, we captured our joy through welcoming snapshots. We adorned him with a green, white, and blue sash, beads, and a cap—a vivid declaration to all that he had returned to Sierra Leone.


Leaving the airport behind, we embarked on an unforgettable journey aboard the Seabird boat, which would carry us across the enchanting Lungi Sea to our destination: Mozza Beach Resort at York Village. It was my inaugural experience with the Seabird, and it marked the first time I would set foot in the exquisite Mozza Beach Resort.


Our three-day stay at the Mozza Beach Resort was a dream come true. We enjoyed the comfort of well-appointed rooms, savored delectable cuisine, took refreshing dips in a luxurious swimming pool, and mingled with members of the upper echelons of society.


On March 27, 2023, we embarked on a journey into the heart of family heritage, visiting the Paternal family—the Mansararys—at Makamba compound, nestled behind Hotel 510, a place renowned as the home of Sierra Leonean teachers. The warmth of the family's welcome and the shared stories about their ancestral roots left an indelible mark on our hearts.


From there, our path led us to the Mongegba community, my own cherished enclave. The excitement was palpable as Gibril Sorie Mansaray met my family, including my wife and son, Edward Gibril Kamara. He made sure to visit Orphan Marie Conteh, a soul he had been caring for, demonstrating his unwavering commitment to giving back.


Our journey continued as we explored his father's building sites at Yams Farm junction and Mongegba Community, offering insights into Mansaray's vision for the future.


March 28, 2023, unfolded as a day of honor and admiration from the educational elite. We visited dignitaries in the education sector, including the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary School and the chief director of Education. Their pride in Mansaray's commitment to educating rural children in underserved communities was evident. His aspiration to construct a Junior and senior secondary school and a Library in Magbaikoli Community was met with commendation.


After this, we delved into history at the Sierra Leone Museum, where Mansaray immersed himself in the stories of Bai Bureh and other legendary warriors. At the bustling Sierra Leone big market, cultural treasures were acquired, adding to the rich tapestry of our experiences. We returned to the hotel, hearts brimming with the beauty and heritage of Sierra Leone.


March 29, 2023, saw us journeying to Makeni, the provincial headquarters of Northern Sierra Leone. Our stay at the Wusum Hotel, the region's finest, was marked by the comfort of modern amenities and high-speed internet, a true testament to Sierra Leone's evolving landscape.


The pinnacle of our journey arrived on March 30, 2023, as we ventured to Magbaikoli village. The reception from the students, staff, and parents of PK Memorial Primary School was nothing short of jubilant. Traditional dances infused with local culture were performed. Swept up in the fervor, Gibril joined the dancers in a heartfelt celebration.


Surveying the school's infrastructure and environment, he expressed his profound satisfaction. His formal welcome by the school's students and staff was met with deep appreciation. Mansaray's speech resonated with hope and promises—a commitment to extend the primary school, build a Junior and senior secondary school, and establish a library in Magbaikoli village. The pledge of decent toilets and water facilities was a testament to his dedication to education.


In response to the children's enthusiasm, Mansaray offered sage advice: "Respect your parents and teachers, and never give up on education." He promised: "As long as I can breathe in the United States, my people will have a voice."


Our journey continued as we met with the deputy director of education and the inspector of Schools in Makari Chiefdom. Their commendation and support for Mansaray's educational endeavors were invaluable.


On March 31, 2023, we returned to Magbaikoli village, where community members welcomed us with traditional dances. A visit to Mansaray's father's house and a gathering at the community center further strengthened the bonds between Mansaray and his community. Their expressions of gratitude and needs were met with assurances of continued support.


Mansaray's visit to his late grandfather's gravesite was a poignant moment. Gathering sand from the grave as a symbolic representation of his roots, he carried his grandfather's spirit with him, a powerful reminder of his heritage.


Our journey took us to the serene Magbaikoli River, a hub for social gatherings. The local beach and interactions with children and youths enriched our understanding of the community's spirit. Meeting key figures like Mr. Jalloh, a cattle rearer and a Dissect member, highlighted Mansaray's land and agricultural development plans.


April 1, 2023, led us to the Lumley Beach Arts and Crafts market, where the rich tapestry of Sierra Leonean culture came alive through local purchases. A meeting with the PK Memorial School Alumni Ambassadors further solidified Mansaray's commitment to education.


As our journey neared its end, we spent a night at the Sierra Palms Hotel, reminiscing about our unforgettable experiences. Our departure on April 2, 2023, marked by heartfelt farewells at Lungi International Airport, was a bittersweet conclusion to an incredible journey.


Reflecting on this extraordinary adventure, I am grateful for the privilege, love, and genuine support that Gibril Sorie Mansaray MBA extended to Sierra Leone. His legacy as a champion of education and his unwavering commitment to his roots will continue to resonate throughout the land he holds so dear.



13 views0 comments

Comments


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page