Ban On ‘Debul’ Lifted


By Aruna Rashed Toma Bangura

At the weekly press conference held last Thursday at the Conference Room of the Ministry of Information and Communication to update member of the Fourth Estate on government planned for coming festive season, the Minister of Tourism and Culture, Dr. Memunatu Pratt informed that government has lifted the ban placed on all masquerades.

According to the Minister, a workshop was held with the various heads of the hunting, Ojeh, Odelay Secret Societies aimed at putting certain measures in place that would witness a peaceful masquerading during the coming festive season.

Currently, she said they are now engaging the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) to ensure that they provide watertight security during the season.

According to the culture-friendly Minister, these secret society groups are a symbol of the country’s cultural heritage. She therefore believes they should be allowed to exhibit their individual unique cultures particularly during festivities. “Some of our brothers and sisters from the diaspora have been somewhat disappointed over the said ban as a good number of them are members of various society groups and always look forward to partaking in the yearly cultural rhapsody.

Dr. Memunatu Pratt reiterated that the SLP must act professionally during the festive season which, she said, is more often than not, marred by mayhem caused by misguided youths.

She however expressed optimism that this year’s festive would be a peaceful one based on prudent mechanisms her ministry and other stakeholders have put in place.

It goes without saying that the dynamic Minister of Tourism and Culture has since she took over offices, brought in lots of reforms in that Ministry much to the admiration of stakeholders in both the tourist and entertainment industries.