FBC Lecturer Excels


By Pateh Bah

Senior Lecturer and Head of English Unit in the Language Studies Department at Fourah Bay College (FBC), University of Sierra Leone (USL), Mrs. Elizabeth Lucy Alberta Kamara has recently written her debut poetry book and is poised to launch it on Friday 5th June, 2019 at the Physics Theatre on FBC campus at Mount Aureol, Freetown.

The book titled ‘Distilled’ is a collection of social prism, a potpourri and a therapeutic social clinic. In the collection, motherhood is the metaphor that remains centre stage.

Doing the short introduction of the book, Senior Lecturer and erstwhile Head of the Language Studies Department, FBC, Mr. Kenneth O. Osho stated that Mrs. Elizabeth Kamara has been at the forefront of poetry teaching at FBC for over a decade, noting that literature students find poetry most challenging and in many cases prefer to veer off to other genres which they judge to be more approachable. This, according to Mr. Osho, remains a thorny issue that Mrs. Kamara continues to grapple with. He however notes that she has made a tremendous success in combating the challenges faced much to the satisfaction of many. Her debut poetry book, ‘Distilled’, the Senior Lecturer continued, packs into one compartment all her years of experience in distilling poetry for the unimpeded enjoyment of all students as well as casual readers of poetry. The seasoned lecturer is very impressed with her work as, according to him, a collection of fifty-five poems so varied in nature and rich in texture that is difficult to find anywhere, stressing that from the very first poem in the collection ‘Of the Athens of West Africa’ to the last ‘Across the Oceans’, the reader is enthralled and completely captivated by the easy-flowing verse in deceptively simple language. According to Mr. Osho, the rich metaphors and erudite allusions hit the reader in full force waking one up to a realization of how rich African tradition is.

He continued that the collection makes compelling reading and the themes are contemporary and the language is rich, but easily accessible to the interested reader. As one reads through the collection, Mr. Osho went on, one gets the feeling that one is listening to the inner voice, rummaging through the private thoughts of a poet that has spent days pondering on the meaning of life, and has sifted the chaff from the grain and is now presenting the grain to readers for consumption as one cannot read the poems in the collection without reacting somehow.

Making an endorsement, Lecturer of Sierra Leonean Languages, Syntax and Foundation Studies at FBC, Dr. Abdulai Wallon-Jalloh lavished praises on Mrs. Kamara for what he considers as good work. According to him, the poet has succeeded in communicating and therefore encouraged her to write more books.

Dr. Abdulai Wallon-Jalloh believes that the collection explodes with the poem ‘Sweet Mama’ which is an exalting piece praising mother and motherhood. In the poem, he further hinted, the struggles and triumphs of Mama are laid bare for all to see.

Dr. Wallon-Jalloh further noted that in the poem ‘An Urban Market Place,’ the vibrancy typical of market days and the superwoman qualities of women are evident. In fact, Dove Cot Market comes to mind with all its splendid filth and eerie déjà vu that normally haunts its frequenters.

Speaking to The Exclusive, Madam Kamara said she is very elated, noting that publishing the collection of poems is a fulfillment of her dream. “I am happy to be counted among the few Sierra Leonean women who have published collections of poems and I believe this is a cause for celebration of womanhood,” she said. Mrs. Kamara furthered that as a lecturer of poetry, she has chosen to write poems to demonstrate that poetry can be both interesting and educative.

The Poet is a proud graduate from FBC with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree in English Language and Literature and a Master of Arts degree from the same.