Chieftaincy in any form and shape in the Northern province of Sierra Leone is a taboo for women. Many women have faced a lot of challenges for the past decades when it comes to chieftaincy or public elections in the country, thus most women have been marginalized.
The trend has started changing over the years; women are now holding positions of trust in that part of the country. Last year in Heremakono section, Wara Wara chiefdom, Mbalia Koroma, chairlady of Peace Mothers was appointed the first acting female section chief. This success is in part due to Fambul Tok’s intensive sensitization and training programs on women rights and responsibilities in the North.
Recently, the people of Masongbo village, Makari Gbanti chiefdom, Bombali district, Northern Sierra Leone unanimously appointed the very first female town chief since the inception of the village. Cecelia Kanu, an adviser in the Peace Mothers group in Masongbo section went unopposed and was crowned, thus entering the guinness book of records for being the first female town chief in Masongbo.
Cecelia elevation to that position was also a result of her dedication and commitment to advocate for more women to be involved in decision making processes. Her clarion call has started yielding fruits!
In an interview in her village, she says she believes in the emancipation of women. “This is just the beginning, I have the conviction that in a not too distant future women are expected to become Paramount chiefs in the north like in the east and south of Sierra Leone,” she emphasizes.
Madam Kanu is also the headmistress of the Roman Catholic Primary School in Masonbo village and is very active Peace Mother. She is 54 and married with four children.