Man Reported Missing in Poro Society Initiation Forest

Rafieu Bendu.png

By Hassan Koroma

One, Rafieu Bendu, is reported to have gone missing in the Poro society initiation forest at Yundu, a remote Village in Kargboro Chiefdom, Moyamba District, Southern province of Sierra Leone.

Rafieu’s late father Ansumana Bendu was village chief of Yundu Village and was also the head of the Poro secret society.

Youdu Village is notorious for its deep interest in secret societies. It’s a place where male residents are obliged to join the PORO society while the female are initiated in the BONDO society. Refusing to be initiated attract consequences for the defaulter and his or her family members.

Speaking to the Calabash Newspaper, Ramatu Bendu, an elderly woman who identified herself as mother to the alleged missing man, said she last saw her son in December 2022, when he visited the village, noting that she woke up one morning and realized that members of the poro society has adopted him and since then until now she never set eyes on her son.

She said she had fallen sick with malaria and her son had gone to visit her in the village with some malaria medicines and foodstuff when he was adopted by members of the cult at midnight.

“He arrived at the village at round 4:30 pm on Thursday December 15, 2022. We spoke lengthily on issues surrounding my health and other family issues.

He promised to take me along with him to Kenema for proper medical attention if my health condition continues to deteriorate and that was our last conversation before we say good night to each other and that was the last time I saw my son,” she narrated in tears.

According to the old lady, her son who was living and working  in Kenema in the Eastern part of the country, but he was sometimes  called on by members of the cult to take his late father’s position as head a position his uncle who is now blind had acted for the past five years.

“I was once approached by some elders of the village, who asked me to talk to my son to accept to replace his blind uncle as head of the cult. They told me that they have tried to convince him but he had severally rejected their call.

I actually tried talking through my son to accept and follow the tradition that has existed in the family decades but, he told me that he was now a devoted Muslim and it is against his religious believed.

Rahinatu Bendu, elder sister to Rafieu Bendu also told this medium that, she herself had travelled to Kenema to convince her brother to accept the call of the cult members but he declined her like any other person that had tried.

She further narrated that, they were told that her brother had escaped the initiation forest and they don’t know his whereabouts, noting that they don’t believe the story by the cult members.

She said they have reported the matter to the police, but till now, nothing has been done to investigate the whereabouts of her brother.

When contacted the spokesperson of the cult, Mohamed Issa Kamara, told this medium that, Rafieu Bendu ran away from the initiation forest and they themselves don’t know his whereabouts, noting that he never wanted to be a member of the cult and that was why he ran without completing the initiation.


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