By Thaimu Thullah
Investigations conducted by this medium has unearth harrowing stories of a family’s quest for survival (the Kamara-Kargbo family of Kambia), which seem to be having new developments by the day.
This writer encountered this family (only survivors) in a squalid Orphanage in Waterloo (a Western rural suburb), where they narrated their ordeal. Living in poor hygienic situation with meagre food to eat, due to the absence of adequate funding from the owner of the facility, whose hope of revamping and maintenance of the orphanage depended on the possibility of donor intervention, which is yet to happen, the plight of this family is precarious.
Desirous of getting more information about how they found themselves in this orphanage, this writer went further to probe into the beginning of their struggle for survival. In this quest for more information, this medium visited the home town of Kambia, where the family had its root. In order not to let out the whereabouts of the remaining members of the family, for security reasons, the investigations were done discreetly.
Sources spoken to, disclosed that the woes of the family started with the father and head of the family, Abu A Kamara-Kargbo, who was a senior military officer in the army prior to the civil war that ravaged the country. It was further disclosed that Abu A Kamara-Kargbo was also a senior member of the much dreaded secret society (the Poro Society), whose initiation ceremony has been linked with drinking of human blood, ritual murder of those seen as unable to complete the initiation or too weak etc. He is said to have had a change of mind when he returned from pilgrimage in Mecca, and commenced a campaign against the said secret society, much to the disdain of its members. It is against this backdrop that when the rebels attacked his hometown, Kambia, those aggrieved members teamed up with other parties and machinated his execution in cold blood and since then vowed to take their revenge on his family.
Our sources further disclosed that Abu A Kamara-Kargbo had several kids by the name of Ibrahim S. Kanu, David Issa Kamara-Kargbo,Abdulai Bakarr Kamara-Kargbo, David Kamara-Kargbo, Michael Kamara-Kargbo and Rugiatu Kamara-Kargbo. Being fearful of their lives after the death of their father, these kids then escaped to a secret location. As the secret society got wind of their whereabouts, they stormed the area at night and abducted them.Fortunately for the abducted family, the rebels attacked the hide out and as everybody fled for their lives, the family then escaped to neighbouring Guinea, where they joined others in a refugee camp in Guinea. After the war, some of the members returned, as the whereabouts of the others were not known, and settled in Kambia.
Notably absent was the female member of the family, Rugiatu and their last brother, Michael Kamara-Kargbo. It was further disclosed that she returned to discover her brothers doing menial jobs in the market place in Kambia. Reunited, the remnants of the family decided to stay together again, but this time the whereabouts of their little brother (Michael Kamara-Kargbo) was not known, as has been the case for many families trying to reunite after the war. Whilst trying to live as one family again, Rugiatu discovered that her other brothers had married and had children. The eldest of the brother, Ibrahim S. Kanu married Trinisha and they had 6 kids, namely: Alimamy Shereef Kanu, Isha Shereef Kanu, Mohamed Shereef Kanu, Alieu Badara Shereef Kanu, Ibrida Shereef Kanu and Kadijatu Zainab Shereef Kanu, and the second eldest brother, Daniel Issa Kamara-Kargbo also had married to a lady by the name of Ann-Marie and they too had 5 kids, namely: Naomi Fatima Kargbo, Daniel Issa Kamara-Kargbo, Memunatu Kamara-Kargbo, Yusuf Kamara-Kargbo and Mohamed Kamara-Kargbo.
Whilst trying to get their living from manual jobs in the town, members of the secret society got wind of their presence in the town and threatened to kill them if they refuse to join the society. On one fateful day, our source maintained, the members of the Poro society stormed the house in the dead of night and captured all those found in the house. Rugiatu is said to have been able to escape this attack, as she had taken children of her brothers; Naomi, Isha and Mohamed, who were sleeping with her, to attend to nature at the back of the house, and only heard cries coming from the house whilst still with those kids attending to nature, throughout the whole saga. She is said to have taken refuge in a nearby unfinished house of a neighbour with the 3 kids in her custody.
It was disclosed that since the attack and abduction of those other members of the family and their kids, nothing has been heard about their whereabouts. Rugiatu’s story was corroborated by some residents at Pamlap, close to the Guinea border, who said that she surfaced in the town and was engaged in some trading with the three kids. She then became the caregiver of the kids. As caregiver, she then embarked on trading between the Guinea border and Kambia town, travelling by motor bike to and fro. It was further disclosed that early in 2019, she became a victim of a gruesome accident along the Kambia-Pamlap highway whilst travelling on a motor bike with her wares and died instantly.
With nowhere to go and no one to take care of them,the three kids returned to Kambia, where they were discovered sleeping on the streets by some social worker of the Kings Orphanage, and were brought to Waterloo, where they met their missing uncle, Michael Kamara-Kargbo.
According to the social workers interviewed, Michael was discovered sleeping wild on a market stall at a popular trading centre known as Loma, some miles away from Kambia in 2015 and was brought into the orphanage. It was also discovered that during their engagement with the then young boy, he told them his ordeal and how he had lost his family, when they all escaped the war and had been living in nearby villages, working in small farms and helping in carrying food items to the trading centre at Loma. He is said to have intimated the social workers that his family sprang from Kambia, but he has not been able to locate them since the war, as their home was totally destroyed.
The social workers disclosed that whilst embarking on the sensitization in rural communities on the importance of protecting children, they stumbled on the three family members of Michael, but did not initially know them as relatives of the young boy. These kids were sleeping in market stalls, begging for food and were prone to abuse by adults. After interviews with the kids, they discovered that they too had nowhere to sleep and needed help, so the social workers appealed to their parent body, who gave them the permission to transport them to the Waterloo orphanage, where, by the hand of fate, they met their long missing uncle (small uncle) Michael. All four have clung together and are living on the meagre food that the orphanage is able to provide for them.
Sources at the orphanage say that the facility is overstretched and unable to meet with the daily demands for the kids, especially as donor assistance is not forth coming. The Kamara-Kargbo family are calling for any form of assistance to alleviate their sufferings in the orphanage.