The nation was shocked to learn on Friday 6 July about the death of the First Mother, Mrs Alice Rosaline Koroma. Aged 83 years. Grandchildren who lose their octogenarian grandmother would usually beat drums and dance her remains to the grave. But Mrs Koroma was a different grannie. She was, in fact, a mother.
We are saddened by her passing, even if it was inevitable. It is all too easy to hail her for being the first First Mother of an elected Sierra Leonean president. Yes that is laudable. It was she who raised our President. Had she failed in her maternal responsibilities President Ernest Bai Koroma would not be leading us. For over a decade she weathered the storm, singlehandedly, serving as a pillar for her son after the death of her husband, Sylvanus Koroma.
But perhaps her biggest contribution was to have been born in a conservative society in which, especially at the time, Western education was a faux pas, yet she got Western education. Not only did she accomplish that feat, she imparted knowledge into children for generations; Children who grew up to contribute to the progress of society.
While the nation gears up to lay her to rest, we at Politico, salute her service to the nation – especially for giving birth to the nation’s president and bringing him up the way she did despite the meagre pay of her salary and her husband’s. Rest in peace Mama Alice.