MISSION STATEMENT

After long, tedious, and blood-curdling carnage that not only killed our Kissi kinsmen, but also devastated our lands and made us refugees in neighboring countries like Guinea, and others along the west coast of Africa, the MAKONA BOOK CLUB is born to engage in innovative and transformative skills; to energize the strategic planning of the lives of the Kissi in Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia; to attempt to provide the enhancement of proper global transformations of the Kissi region and in the world; and to address other components of global challenges that could be beneficial to the Kissi through news media relations and through works of authors from the Makona area who will be published with assistance from the MAKONA BOOK CLUB.

VISION

To enable the Kissi to heal from the scars of horrible human carnage; to be vigilant in their pursuit of happiness; and to pursue life’s many aspirations that could benefit them. To find innovative and transformative solutions to address the many needs of the Kissi of the Makona region through literary pursuits. To build a concrete bridge of friendship that could portray human love, and compassion among the Kissi through MBC news media; to pray that the work of the MBC be graced by human benevolence to benefit all the Kissi; and to help all schools in the Makona area to meet the challenges of the 21st Century.

DONATE SCHOOL AND SPORTS MATERAIALS

ALSO ON FACEBOOK

MAKONA BOOK CLUB INC.

NEW YORK STATE REGISTERED CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION MARCH 15, 2011

 

SIERRA LEONE, GUINEA, AND LIBERIA - WEST AFRICA

makonabookclub@yahoo.com

www.makonabooks.com

Dear Sir/Madam:

The Brief History of the Kissi Tribe

The Kissi are one of the poor, ancient, and forgotten tribes in the forested region in northeastern Sierra Leone, with their neighbors in Liberia and Guinea all living along the banks of the Makona River. The civil wars in Sierra Leone and Liberia devastated these natives in such a way that urgent help is needed in all areas of human development. They lost their loved ones, their domestic animals, and their homes. The roads have not been paved since the end of the civil war, especially in Sierra Leone in 2002.

 

These natives have never benefited from a modern clinic or hospital, and their young women die miserably in childbirth. Their school-age children sit on cold, hard floors in dilapidated schools that also lack sports equipment. As the first Kissi storyteller in the Makona Book Club (www.makonabooks.com), a non-profit organization, it is my duty to introduce you to one of the forgotten tribes of the twenty-first century.

 

The Intent of the Makona Book Club, Inc.

 

This letter, written on behalf of the Makona Book Club, Inc., seeks to promote education and development for the people of the Kissi Bendu communities in northeastern Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. This program provides a platform to spread awareness about these critical needs and also gives them a unique opportunity to showcase their hidden talents.

 

For the physical and emotional healing of these poor, vulnerable people especially the children of the Kissi Bendu communities this program is timely. By financially supporting this program, we are doing a good deed for society.

 

With generous support from the public, NGOs, and donors like you, the Makona Book Club, Inc. continues its community programs serving the Kissi Bendu school children, the hungry and homeless, as well as providing educational activities for children of all ages. Your generous donation will be noted on our webpage and in our catalog for distribution to our friends and members in Kissi Bendu and the Diaspora.

 

We are in tumultuous times; surely there are many demands on your kindness and generosity. Nevertheless, we hope that you will consider contributing to the Makona Book Club, Inc., especially now when the needs are so great.

 

Enclosed is a donation form for you to complete and return to the Makona Book Club, Inc. via postal delivery or by email to (Kallonb@aol.com) or to (makonabookclub@yahoo.com). Your gift will be greatly appreciated.

 

Thank you so much for supporting the Makona Book Club Inc. in this all-important effort. To see a video of the devastation in Koindu, in the Kisi Bendu community in Sierra Leone, visit “The Koindu Project” (Thekoinduproject.com).

 

Sincerely,

 

Michael Fayia Kallon

PhD Student, Public Safety/Criminal Justice

Capella University/USA

Published Author

www.makonabooks.com

Founder/CEO

Makona Book Club, Inc.

New York State Registered Charitable Organization

 

Makona Book Club, Inc.

CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTION

DONOR/SPONSOR INFORMATION FORM

 

Date ________________________

 

Donor Information

__________________________________________________________________

 

Street Address ___________________________________________________________

 

City ___________________________ State __________ Zip Code _______

 

Telephone ______________________ Fax ________________________________

 

Email _____________________________________________________________

 

N/B: For Being our donor/sponsor, and for your generous contribution, the Makona Book Club, Inc. will like to give you a gift – a T-Shirt, bearing our logo, and a cap. Please indicate your T-Shirt size below:

 

Small_____________________________

 

Medium___________________________

 

Large_____________________________

Email- Kallonb@aol.com or, makonabookclub@yahoo.com

 

 

Donation Designation (see list below):

 

 

Makona Book Club Inc., is a non-profit organization, designated for Kissi Bendu community development projects in northeastern Sierra Leone and for Kissi communities in Liberia and Guinea on the west coast of Africa.

 

Proposed Areas of Contribution

 

 

Please support the fund-raising project of the Makona Book Club, Inc. with a generous contribution to any of the following areas:

 

School Materials: Pens, pencils, rulers, erasers, copy books, school bags, chalk

 

Sports Materials: Soccer balls, volleyballs /nets, boots, jerseys, basketballs

 

Road Construction Project: Caterpillars, shovels, pick axes, wheelbarrows

 

Kissi Bendu Teachers Union: Organizing conferences and teacher development programs, soft loans to teachers, and more

 

Kissi Bendu Farmers Assistance Program: Soft loans, grains, cutlasses, hoes

 

Libraries: In the three Kissi Chiefdom headquarters in Sierra Leone: Koindu, and Kangama in Kissi Teng, Dia in Kissi Kama, and Buedu in Kissi Tongi, Nongoa and Gueckedou, in Guinea, and Foya in Liberia

 

Used Clothing: All sizes for males and females (men and women, boys and girls)

 

Toiletries: Bathing and laundry soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, blankets and towels for old and young mothers and elders

 

Office Equipment: Computers, paper, printers, computer printer ink, computer tables, and chairs

 

Musical Instruments: Guitars, drums, microphones

 

Parks: To be opened in Koindu, Kangama, Dia; Buedu in Sierra Leone; Foya in Liberia; and Nongoa and Gueckedou in Guinea

 

Materials for the Construction of the Kissi Bendu Hospital in Koindu: Cement, zinc, nails, boards, iron rods, medical supplies

 

Book Publishing Projects: Stories, poems, plays (www.makonabooks.com)

 

Kissi Bendu Tailors Assistance Program: Sewing machines, all colors of threads, needles

 

Transportation: Used/new, vans, cars

 

Makona Book Club Awards: In all areas of human development abroad and in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea

 

Miscellaneous Contribution (applied to area(s) of need at the discretion of the Makona Book Club, Inc. administration to help in other cultural programs in the Kissi Bendu communities)

 

Financial Contributions: Check, cash, money transfer

 

Banking Information for the Makona Book Club, Inc.

 

Name of Bank: BANK OF AMERICA

 

Routing Numbers: USA- 026009593

 

International Routing Number: bofaus3n

 

Financial Transactions

 

All financial transactions for the Makona book Club, Inc. should be forwarded to the attention of –

 

Mr. Michael F. Kallon

Founder/CEO

Makona Book Club, Inc.

71 -15 Beach Channel Drive Avenue

Apartment – 6R, Arverne

New York 11692

 

 

(N/B: We will open offices in the United States, Freetown, and Koindu, in Sierra Leone, West Africa.). The Koindu office will serve the Kissi communities in Liberia and Guinea.

 

The goal of this donation is to provide support for all expenses related to the Makona Book Club’s educational and development projects for the children and people of the Kissi Bendu communities in northeastern Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea.

 

Administration:

Funds designated for the Makona Book Club, Inc. are administered by the founder/CEO and executives for the direct beneficiaries in the Kissi Bendu communities, in eastern Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. As a charitable organization, all work is done on a voluntary basis.

 

Program administration is handled by:

 

Michael Fayia Kallon

PhD Student, Public Safety/Criminal Justice

Capella University/USA

Published Author

www.makonabooks.com

Founder/CEO

Makona Book Club, Inc.

New York State Registered Charitable Organization


Link to the Makona Book Club, Inc..

 

SOME HISTORICAL ASPECTS OF THE FORMATION OF
THE MAKONA BOOK CLUB (MBC)
A NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION
MOTTO: Helping the Poor

A brutal rebel force called the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) of Sierra Leone that was armored and controlled by then Charles G. Taylor, the Liberian warlord, during Sierra Leone’s 1991-2002 civil wars led to the deaths of some 200,000 people. The RUF rebel force engaged in vicious and horrendous crimes as they pillaged, killed, raped, used children as soldiers, and hacked off hands to terrorize civilians of Kissi and other tribes in Sierra Leone.

The front rebel movement was headed by Sierra Leoneans. The rebels of this movement started in the 1970s when Foday Sankoh, renowned for atrocities and for causing untold human suffering, and the notorious revolutionary lots of other disgruntled Sierra Leoneans hated the good-for-nothing APC government in Sierra Leone at that time. Sankoh, a corporal and later a TV cameraman before he was sacked for politically motivated actions in the country, was arrested and imprisoned briefly by the Siaka P. Steven’s regime.

Then in 1987, Foday Sankoh joined a group of explosive Sierra Leonean politicians in Libya, where Colonel Ghadafi was sponsoring military training that would have poured revolutionary movements throughout West Africa. Sankoh successfully graduated from this military training and returned to Liberia. He was renowned among the leading figures in Charles Taylor’s NPFL rebels. He successfully participated in the rebellion until Charles Taylor came to power in Liberia.

Reliable sources with this movement disclosed that “Together with his two colleagues, also Libyan trained guerrilla fighters, Abu Kanu and Rachid Mansaray, they recruited the local youths to their RUF rebel movement and launched an insurrection in Sierra Leone in 1991. This developed into a full scale civil war in the country, and what had been stated as a high-minded and idealistic movement to rid the country of its military-backed corrupt politicians now degenerated into a movement dominated by young and very cruel men seeking opportunities to loot, massacre, and destroy the countryside for their own enrichment. They specialized in political banditry of stunning cruelty. They hacked the limbs off infants and massacred thousands of poor and unarmed kinsmen in cold blood.”

Eyewitness sources disclosed: “When Abu Kanu and Rachid Mansaray voiced their discontent for such atrocious tactics and threatened the leadership of the RUF, Foday Sankoh had them detained and summarily executed.”

Then on May 17, 2000, Foday Sankoh was captured by the Sierra Leone soldiers in Freetown where he had gone to sign a peace accord. He was handed over to the British and the United Nations forces for his safety; they immediately disappeared with him in a military helicopter. It was then rumored that he was detained at an undisclosed location in Freetown. The RUF rebel movement was now in shambles. Sankoh later died in detention in Freetown, and the Kissi as well as other tribes in Sierra Leone had to rebuild their devastated chiefdoms and bury the dead after the war. This is a challenge for the Makona Book Club.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

To foster Kissi unity in the world through meetings, programs, and cultural dances, and to unite all Kissi organizations in the world through the activities of MBC  

To help the Kissi throughout the world to engage in innovations that could help them live happily in unity and in peace, far from the dungeons of the dangerous politics of the past

To help the poor Kissi to enjoy the basic modern amenities in the pursuit of life and happiness among other civilized societies in the 21st Century.

To help the Kissi to benefit from some of the world’s most viable projects and technological advances of the 21st Century, such as using Caterpillars to build roads. Roads should lead to all towns and villages in the Kissi Bendu areas, and all villages should benefit from modernized pit-latrines or flush-latrines, if possible in the future.

To help our poor and old Kissi men and women, our young mothers, and schools to get some basic things, like clothes, soap, paste, pens, pencils, baby food, and so on,  in the Kissi areas. To provide these basic needs to all our poor kinsmen and especially to our teachers and their families, and to build libraries in all major towns in the Makona region, while encouraging Kissi writers to work on books that will be printed by MAKONA BOOK CLUB.

To propagate the Kissi culture throughout the world through traditional dances that portray a good image of the Kissi through literary works that will help to meet global challenges.

To help organize the first Kissi Bendu Credit Union (KBCU) and to help our farmers to benefit from the sale of their crops, improve  business ventures, and provide building to those who may need them, and for them to be able to undertake other viable projects with soft loans from the MAKONA BOOK CLUB.

To help the teachers in the Kissi Bendu-Makona region organize what a Kissi Bendu Teachers’ Union” (KBTU). This union will help our teachers to benefit from their arduous exploits due to the difficulty they have in making ends meet; and to think about those who have died and are long gone.

To help the Kissi to get agricultural products from countries as far away as the United States, China, Japan, and other areas of the world. This will help mechanized farming methods and improve the production of rice, among other viable edibles.

To help build the first Kissi Bendu Hospital (KBH) in the international market town of Koindu, Sierra Leone, to help alleviate minor illnesses in the Kissi Bendu area, and to invite the United Nations through UNICEF and other agencies to aid in the prevention of diseases in the Kissi Bendu-Makona area and in the operations of the Kissi Bendu Hospital.

To help our school-going children go on school trips and engage in sports, and to introduce other educational programs and scholarships in schools in the Kissi Bendu areas. The MAKONA BOOK CLUB will help renovate schools and provide playgrounds in all schools in the Kissi region. Cafeterias and libraries will be provided in all schools in the Kissi Bendu-Makona region.

As a non-profit foundation and with voluntary participation, the MBC will find viable ways for our kinsmen abroad to be able to send money and other goods to our kinsmen in the Kissi region. The MAKONA BOOK CLUB will make it possible for such services to reach them even in the remotest parts of the region.

To enable all our kinsmen to attend programs like christenings and baptisms, and to be able to bury our dead with dignity when called upon for such programs around the world.

The MAKONA BOOK CLUB will help to organize annual Kissi conferences, with the first conference to be held in Koindu (the date and time to be announced soon). Other conferences will follow in Foya, Liberia, and Nongoa, Guinea. During the first meeting, someone will be elected to head all Kissi organizations in the world. He/she will be called the president of the MAKONA BOOK CLUB. He/She will be willing to travel extensively around the world, and travel expenses will be provided by the MAKONA BOOK CLUB. Conferences will also be held in the capital cities of Monrovia, Liberia; Conakry, Guinea; and Freetown, Sierra Leone.

The MAKONA BOOK CLUB will have vehicles assigned to the president, and he/she will have offices in Freetown, Sierra Leone and in Koindu – and also in Foya and Nongoa, as well as in Monrovia and Conakry.

The MAKONA BOOK CLUB will have to recognize that all paramount chiefs in the three regions will be honorary members, and the president of the MAKONA BOOK CLUB will work amicably with them, without any biases.

The president of the MAKONA BOOK CLUB will be introduced to the presidents of Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea, and will officially work with them in trying to solve the problems that may be affecting the Kissi. The MBC president shall be lodged in one of these capital cities: Freetown, Monrovia, or Conakry.

Philanthropic organizations and the United Nations will be invited by the president in the three Kissi regions to see which programs are worth undertaking; to introduce these world organizations to the needs of the Kissi in schools; and to undertake other infrastructural developments.

The MAKONA BOOK CLUB will engage in harmonizing ethnic vendettas that may have threatened our unity as one people, and will also introduce the world to the Bondo and Poro societies as platforms on which we settle our ethnic disputes and engage in peaceful celebrations of our strange and ethnic cultures.

The MAKONA BOOK CLUB will house the first radio station, KISSI BENDU-MAKONA RADIO (KBMR) to help to disseminate our cultural aspects and to build our unity with love, compassion, and benevolence. The radio station will be located in the middle of the Kissi Bendu-Makona area. These are just a few of projects that the MAKONA BOOK CLUB will undertake in the future.

A MESSAGE FROM THE FOUNDER OF THE MAKONA BOOK CLUB (MBC)

I am so glad that the Lord has enabled me to place the Kissi on the map of global recognition through my first book, Idols with Tears, published by AuthorHouse/USA, and followed by The Ghosts of Ngaingah, my second book on the Kissi culture published by the Sierra Leonean Writers Series (SLWS).

We, the Kissi, are ancient warriors, children of rivers, natives of mystic healing herbs, as well as people who fell in love with the cutlass, and subsistence farming to survive both on the dry land and in the swamp. We can also boast that our cacao and coffee plantations and our areas along this mighty Makona River are melting pots for trade, education, culture, human development, and great venues to cultivate peace, as well as huge economic prospects.

With this in mind, the Kissi can agree with me that our unity has long been shaken by our weakness in trying to foster knowledge and innovation that could have helped to enrich us and to eradicate the sufferings of our people in the three countries. We have instead indulged in personal attacks and have disrespected the foundations of the human strategic planning of our old and complex cultural human systems and the past organizations we created, only to end in disunity, complete shambles, and decadence. It is time that we come together to end the tendentious diatribe and to find appropriate solutions to help our Kissi kinsmen in the Kissi Bendu-Makona region.

The vision of the MAKONA BOOK CLUB will be to reconcile our peaceful existence, to foster knowledge, to find innovative solutions to address the needs of the Kissi of the three countries, to build a lasting bridge of friendship, love, compassion, and benevolence for all the Kissi in the world; and to portray the Kissi as peaceful people who love strangers. My fellow Kissi men and Kissi women, brothers and sisters around the world, we have to start doing something to help our people before it is too late. This is a challenge for all our kinsmen who would like to see their works imprinted, and the Kissi Bendu-Makona Book Club will help them realize their dreams.

Since this is a newly created newspaper for Kissi all over the world, we hope that our readers will continue to look forward to our bi-monthly publications for such a historic venture in the future. All articles should be sent to founder Mr. Michael Fayia Kallon’s address or email address located on the last page of this newsletter. Also, the names of all future heads of the MBC will appear in the next pages. I hope that this newsletter will be the start of placing the Kissi in the annals of world history, on the map of globalization, and on the map of civilized nations. We have long been forgotten, and only we, as a great people, can strive to tell the world who we are in our stories.

The efforts we will exert in this venture will be praised for many generations to come. We need good roads, we need clinics for our people, and we need schools, churches and mosques. We need to be able to return home to sit down at parks with our elderly, where they can tell us stories of our great forebears and the attractive tales of our traditions. Kissi men and women reading our first newsletter should know that a new day has come.

 

PERSPECTIVES ON THE THREE KISSI DIALECTS SPOKEN ALONG THE SHORES OF THE MAKONA RIVER

The Kissi people speak three distinctive dialects along the shores of the Makona River. The dialects are:

Kissi – LaGuinea (Kissi spoken in Guinea)
Kissi – Labella (Kissi spoken in Liberia)
Kissi – SaLone (Kissi spoken in Sierra Leone)

Also, the Kissi in Guinea are referred to as - Kissia LaGuinea (Kis-sia LaGuinea)
Those in Liberia are referred to as - Kissia Labella ( Kis-sia Labella)
Those in Sierra Leone are referred to as - Kissia SaLone ( Kis-sia SaLone)

Although these Kissi dialects may illustrate few differences and similarities when spoken, the Kissi can cleverly comprehend what each is trying to portray. For instance, Kissi- LaGuinea is spoken with broken French idioms. A school may be called “lacoleo” a broken idiom for the French word for school which is “ecole.” Kissi – Salone and Kissi – Laballa may call a school “school-yoh.” Kissi – Labella is spoken with American idioms, while Kissi – Salone is spoken with few words borrowed from Creole, or broken British English. While Kissi – LaGuinea may call a vehicle “mobilloh,” Kissi – Salone, and Kissi – Labella may also call a vehicle “moteeyoh,” for a motorcar.

This is one of the greatest mysteries of colonialism that helped to invent strange and distinctive spoken dialects, even though people may come from the same cultures. A further ethnographic research may reveal more wonders of the Kissi dialect.

HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES ON COLONIALISM AND
THE KISSI BENDU REGION

The founding of the MAKONA BOOK CLUB, with its newspaper the (MBC News) is the first step toward placing the map of the Kissi through the news media onto the stage of globalization and human development. The Kissi are still living in the Stone Age with none of all the prestigious technologies that mankind can boast of today. The Kissi were denied enjoying the basic contemporary political, economic, and infrastructural developments like road building, schools, clinics, hospitals, and political representation in the governments of their respective countries.

Every Kissi man and woman should be aware that there have been many Kissi organizations formed all over the world, and that the MAKONA BOOK CLUB (MBC) shouldn’t be a threat to their viability and existence. If all roads lead to Rome, all Kissi organizations should strive towards building our once great Kissi Empire, and to fight for the economic, political, and humanistic emancipation of the Kissi Bendu-Makona region. This should be our challenge, not to fight or tear each other down.

Colonialism sliced our once great Kissi Empire and thus placed us into the three countries in which we have remained politically dormant over the years. Can we then say that the Kissi are among the endangered tribes in the world today? The answer should be yes, taking into consideration the contours of our non-existence over the years, and the denial of these United Nations organizations, UNHCR and UNICEF, from providing us as tribe the basic developments for our Kissi areas. The United Nations did not only ignore us, but also never acknowledged our existence as a race in the past, in the present, and probably in the future.

The Kissi are subsistence farmers, mysterious reapers, great astronomers, and they have their Kissi calendar. They made their own ancient coins called the Kissi penny. They can name the days of the week in the Kissi dialect, and another aspects so unique in the Kissi tradition that they are among the only ancient tribes that have a specific list to name their children with regard to rank in the family and according to our norms.

Therefore the growth of MAKONA BOOK CLUB (MBC NEWS) will tell the world about the great news, information and announcements about this project, our perspectives, and about the Kissi. It is also through this medium that we the Kissi should unite to foster knowledge and to share innovative skills that could enrich and sustain the lives of the poor Kissi. Their homes were destroyed, and animals they kept in corals were slaughtered and eaten by the hungry rebels. We also hope that through MBC newspaper, globalization can widen their benefits to smile on the hapless Kissi, and the United Nations can know that the dwindling population of the Kissi can qualify us to be among the endangered natives on Earth.

SOME ANCIENT KISSI WARRIORS

Our warriors of old created a large empire which today can be located between the three countries already mentioned. According to the ancient history of the Kissi, they helped the Lorma and Gbandi tribes of Liberia especially during the Samory Toure’s intermittent incursions into the Liberian territory in his effort to get warriors to fight the erstwhile French colonial masters on the Guinean soil around 1880s. It was because the mighty Kissi warriors, like Gbekah Kondo who founded KOINDU, and the forebear of the FORYOH family of that town with others, were called to help the Gbandi and Lorma tribes fight the intermittent Guinean rebel incursions in their territory in Liberia during that ancient time that made these Liberian tribes to call the Kissi their uncles. In fact, Gbekah Kondo was so fearless that he at one time challenged the famous Samory Toure of Guinea to a fight with all their mystic charms to demonstrate his anger over Samory Toure’s wickedness, and for the brutality he demonstrated against his own people - the Guinean tribes – Mandingo, Fullah, and so on, who crossed the Makona River en masse into Sierra Leone and Liberia during that colonial time, to escape the brutality of war as Samory and the colonial French soldiers fought over the territory that later became known as French Guinea after gaining independence in 1958.

The Guineans were allowed to stay, live happily, and enjoy the bastions of human freedom across the border in Koindu and in the surrounding villages in the three Kissi chiefdoms of Toli, Kissi Kama, and Kissi Tongi; and as far as to Foya in Liberia. One peculiar aspect genuinely accepted by everyone is the kindheartedness of the native Kissi man. The Guinean tribes that crossed the Makona River and poured into Sierra Leone and Liberia during that ancient time; were allowed to stay, own land, build homes, send their children to school, and lived happily among the Kissi. They engaged in trade, many married to Kissi women, and send their children to schools in Sierra Leone and in Liberia. These Guinean tribes have never been subjected to political victimization or ethnic discrimination or to any tribal injustices for they were always considered Kissi by their kinsmen.

History taught us about the great Bandakillie Fugbu, who lived in Yilandu, just half a mile from Koindu. He was a great warrior of his day and one of Gbekah Kondo’s warriors who went as far to Liberia to help the Gbandi and the Lorma to fight the intermittent incursions of Samory Toure’s men into that territory in their effort to get young men and women to swell their ranks to fight the French colonial soldiers on the Guinean soil. Bandakille was so mysterious that even to this day his exploits and deeds can still be narrated in stories in Yilandu.

Also in the Toli area are the Ganawah and the Bandabellah, prominent families in the Toli Chiefdom.

In the Kissi Kama area was the famous Jabba family that is still the most powerful family in the Kissi Kama chiefdom. The warrior cloth once worn by the late Paramount Chief Sahr Jabba can still be seen today in Dia, the headquarters of the Kissi Kama Chiefdom.

In the Kissi Tongi Chiefdom, of course, was one of mankind’s mysterious rulers, Kai Tongi. For even the oral traditions of the Kissi Tongi Chiefdom can still narrate that all Kai Tongi had to do was punch his belly, and a cock would crow loudly. He lived in Buedu, the headquarters of the Kissi Tongi Chiefdom, and the Bayoh and the Sengu were prominent families in the Kissi Tongi Chiefdom.

One of the Kissi warriors who lived among the Mende tribe in Kailahun was Kai Lundo, who was popularly called Sahr Kayeh by the Kissi. He was renowned for being one of the greatest warriors and a nation builder of his time.

THE KISSI AND ANCIENT MIGRATIONS

Great historians have told us that the Western African region was occupied by great empires like Ghana, Mali, Songhai, and others, and that constant wars and migrations became a way of life for most of the tribes that lived in that region long ago. A peculiar aspect of the migration of Kissi seems to be so mystical that great historians have yet to look into it. We have a Kissi tribe today in Kenya, East Africa, and the questions that should come to everyone’s mind is why the Kissi left their kinsmen behind in that far distant land to migrate as far as Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, and to carve an empire in the Kissi Bendu area? The Kissi should undertake projects, through DNA technology, to investigate the link between the Kissi of Kenya, and those of Liberia, Sierra, and Guinea. This is what the MBC plans to do soon.

 

FUTURE PLANS OF THE MAKONA BOOK CLUB (MBC)

Everyone should know by now that the Kissi are among the poorest tribes on earth. The economies of the countries they came to embrace have never sought to end the mystery among the Kissi. They have lived and have engaged subsistence farming and trading in cash crops like cocoa, coffee, and edibles like eggplant, plantains, and more that they transport to the distant capital cities of Freetown, Conakry, and Monrovia in Toyota trucks.

A vivid reminder of human misery is when these trucks travel the unpaved and muddy roads especially during the rainy season; many accidents—even deaths—are reported trucks accidentally slide on slippery roads and fall into ditches. The SLPP government in Sierra Leone made it possible for the road between Kenema and Koindu become reality, and we are hoping that the project takes shape during the APC regime in Sierra Leone.

The Kissi are still using pit-latrines, and many go to bushes to defecate; and with no pipe-borne water supply they are constantly bitten by snakes and scorpions in their effort to get water from distant streams during the plowing season on their farms. As God so happened to see their misery, He gave the Kissi mysterious charms that could cure snakebites and sprains instantly. It is so unfortunate that many Kissi young women die in childbirth since there are no modernized clinics or hospitals in the Kissi areas.

The MBC newspaper plans to correct the human suffering that the Kissi continue to endure and to inspire their lives for a better future during our time. It will strive to contact philanthropic organizations that would send representatives to the Kissi region to see how they could address many of these problems.

HOW CAN THE KISSI UNITE?

The Kissi are people so hardworking, but lack the unity that could drive their energies to achieve political ambitions and to fight to end their ethnic rivalries. We, who were lucky to have been born in the same Kissi regions along the Makona, saw many vendettas between our poor Kissi people there. The major reason for these conflicts was that politicians in their pursuit for political power use our weak, poor, and hungry Kissi people by keeping them at loggerheads or at each others’ throats, and thus push them to engage in ethnic rivalries.

We should first of all come to embrace the Makona Book Club (MBC), as an umbrella foundation, on which all other Kissi organizations in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea can come to rely, to tell their stories, to undertake the hectic battles of the Kissi, and to place the Kissi regions of the three countries on the world map. In this newsletter the names of the entire Kissi families in the world will appear so that we can easily communicate and to try to bury our hatchets in peaceful coexistence.

As founder of the MBC, I will lead a delegation to attend all Kissi organizations meetings in the world to sell the idea of this historic and non-profit entity to them. Today, the Internet has brought the world to households in small villages. Our e-mail addresses will appear in this newsletter so that those as far away as the United States, Australia, Africa, and Europe can be no further away than a few strokes on the keyboard – to greet, chat, and write, and for us to pray for one another. It is through this medium that a lasting peace can be sought among all of us. No one is going to help us fight our battles but ourselves, the Kissi, the great people of the Makona River.

Kissi unity has long been threatened by ethnic and political divisions which were never settled until the outbreak of the notorious civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Some of the famous families in the Kissi area have long subjected themselves to bitter vendettas. One of such examples was the prominent Foryoh ruling house of Koindu, and the Ganawas of Kangama, which is the Toli Chiefdom headquarters. The embers of disunity and chaos burned when politicians of both the SLPP and the APC tried so hard to divide these two prominent ruling houses just for their own selfish aggrandizement.

The Kissi are a warrior-like tribe, and engaging a Kissi man or woman to a fist fight will be a mistake. They are fearless, quick to use a machete or a sword in a warlike dance, and act with mystical spirits of their might. Those who have been privileged to gain education and work in good jobs have maltreated their Kissi kinsmen, who they have considered to be illiterate and poor, and this has threatened the Kissi unity tremendously.

The Kissi of Liberia, consider their kinsmen in Sierra Leone and Guinea Ban-di-kor-liah, meaning the strange people across the border. The disadvantage of such name-calling results in denial of opportunities to the Kissi in Sierra Leone and Guinea who go across the border into Liberia seeking education and better opportunities because they are considered foreigners in Liberia.

The Kissi of Guinea call those from Sierra Leone and Liberia “Ban-dee-yah,” meaning bandits, who engage in unscrupulous behaviors and can’t be trusted.

The Kissi in Sierra Leone call those from Liberia “La-be-lei – yah,” meaning strange people across the border who engage in cannibalism and can’t entrust your life with them. How could any tribe be so divided, so disunited, and show so much hatred for their kinsmen? They also call the Kissi from Guinea “La- gee-neah” or “Wa-lee-wa-liah,” meaning a very strange Guinean Kissi people who are versed in herbalism and can’t be trusted, and who come across the borders into Sierra Leone and Liberia as poor laborers, and thus are considered the lowest class of the Kissi.

The Kissi have the strangest speaking tongues. The Kissi in Sierra Leone speak British English that resembles a Pidgin English called Creole. The Kissi in Liberia speak American English that is like strange American broken English, while the Kissi in Guinea speak French, with a mixture of a strange language in which French and Kissi words are used. One must study the new languages among the Kissi. The Kissi is the only tribe with such vast speaking languages, another legacy of colonialism.

The MBC is going to undertake viable programs to first unite all the Kissi from these countries and throughout the world, putting all Kissi organizations in Africa, the United States, Europe, and as far away as Australia under one umbrella to help to fight the problems of the Kissi. It is only by burying all grievances and trying to extinguish our hatred for each other that we can come together to build foundations that foster our human development and meet the challenges of the 21st Century.

GLOBAL CHALLENGES THAT CONFRONT THE KISSI

Even though globalization brings immense opportunities and sometimes disadvantages to countries, the Kissi of Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia, even with our productive land and the flourishing of trade and agriculture, have been on the verge of extinction. This is simply because unscrupulous business people have made these Kissi lands a place where they can come to usurp every ounce of power through unscrupulous and corrupt activities for their personal gain. Even though our people are great farmers, due to the lack of good roads the subsistence agriculture they have engaged for many years has been non-productive.

Subsistence agriculture is just for survival and not for any expanded trade provisions. The money they get from the sale of goods will just be the same, paid towards their children’s education. Imagine half a million people living in abject poverty along the banks of the Makona River, without proper medical care, even though the country they live in is also a member of the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN). There has never been any visit of UNICEF or DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS to any of the three Kissi Chiefdoms: Kissi Kama, Kissi Bendu, and Kissi Tongui (Kissi-Bendu). Our kinsmen are dying every day of diseases that are life-threatening in other parts of the world today.

As I, the editor left Liberia at the outbreak of war and returned to Koindu, it was in my presence that a young Kissi woman laid helplessly and died in a painful childbirth; it should have been easily taken care of, if only there was a clinic in Koindu. It was on that same day that I swore that I would write books and encourage others to write to help the Kissi. More about my books and webpage can be seen on the last page of this newsletter.

I grew up in Koindu and saw ethnic rivalries in the Kissi region in Sierra Leone, also in the churches in the Foya area in Liberia. I saw ethnic rivalries in the Gueckedou region in Guinea, all among the Kissi. It is time for us to cross this bridge of discord, to placate our temper tantrums, to beat our ancient drums of war, and to energize our unity as productive people. We are children of warriors, astronomers, great psychics, the mysterious Ngufueyoh reapers, and the children of the sacred Makano River.

To conclude this, before the war in Sierra Leone blazed into an inferno, large caches of ammunitions were discovered in homes of some businessmen in Koindu, and since an investigation will be launched on this matter, I wouldn’t like to say any more about it. Yet, it should always be remembered that as people, if we don’t unite now and foreigners learn of the deposits of diamonds and gold in the three Kissi Chiefdoms in Sierra Leone, we will be wiped out by our enemies; a clear indication of the incursion of the late President Lansana Conteh of Guinea into the Sierra Leone territory to usurp Yengah, a border crossing in Sierra Leone. It is in this sense that I know for sure that the MBC is the possible solution today for all these problems. It is a non-profit foundation that will incorporate already existing Kissi organizations so that we can come together to help our people, who have incredibly endured so many hardships, that no human being should have to endure. With the natural riches in our three Kissi regions, we can enjoy the blessings of globalization.

PUBLICATIONS BY KISSI AUTHORS

FIRST BOOK ON THE KISSI

Idols with Tears
BY MICHAEL F. KALLON
Kallonb@aol.com

New Novel Preserves Fading African Culture
ARVERNE, N.Y. – Before the footmen of the modern world sliced through the thick jungles of Africa, it flourished unspoiled. However, since imperialism has stripped much of the old ways, many cultures have been nearly lost. Michael F. Kallon revisits the Kissi tribe and its ways in a revealing new novel, Idols with Tears (now available through AuthorHouse/USA).

According to Kallon, the Kissi people were tribes that populated the areas of West Africa that are known today as Sierra Leone, Liberia and French-Guinea. His book takes place before the arrival of the foreigners who brought Christianity and Islam in tow. Set deep in the jungles of Sierra Leone, the novel tells the tale of Tamba Kolloh and his love for the late chief priest’s daughter, Kumba Mongor. When the ghost of Nyuma Mongor mysteriously chooses Tamba to be the next chief priest of the village of Yilandu, he must bear the immense responsibility without losing his love.

His ardent love for Kumba becomes the talk of the village as they organize separate societies for both the boys and girls. They also carry out the rituals of their forbearers and launch a witch hunt to stop the mysterious witches that have been embarking on hellish killing sprees. As Tamba accepts and excels at his responsibilities, Kallon uses the opportunity to detail the sophistication of the Kissi people and preserve their ways by chronicling their rituals and traditions.

An insightful novel that offers Americans an introduction to the Kissi people, Idols with Tears unveils the mysteries that surround the misunderstood continent and explains the depth of their sophistication.

Born in Koindu, a prominent business center in the Kissi Chiefdom located in Eastern Sierra Leone, Kallon was educated at Christian schools in Sierra Leone and Liberia. He sought further education in America. He graduated as a private investigator from the Detective Training Institute in California and earned a degree in creative writing and literature from Burlington College. He also worked as a freelance writer. Kallon has lived in New York since he escaped the human slaughter that plagued Liberia and Sierra Leone in the 1980s and ‘90s. Idols with Tears is his first novel.

AuthorHouse is the world leader in publishing and print-on-demand services. Founded in 1997, AuthorHouse has helped more than 20,000 people worldwide become published authors. For more information, visit www.authorhouse.com.
Tel: 888-728-8467 (AUTHORHOUSE PUBLISHERS INDIANA/ USA)
Fax: 812-961-3133
Email: pressreleases@authorhouse.com
(Please provide a street address for review copies.) The book can also be purchased through Barnes and Nobles, Amazon.com, and other Internet sites.

AUTHOR’S UPCOMING EVENTS

THE GHOSTS OF NGAINGAH
To be published soon by the Sierra Leone Writers Series (SLWS)

The Ghosts of Ngaingah is about a village located in the Kissi-Kama Chiefdom in the northeastern region of the Republic of Sierra Leone on Africa’s west coast, and a ritual curse that befell it. The Kissi have lived in that village since ancient times. Upon their refusal to follow ancient traditional practices at the local oracle near the Kuyoh Mountain, and at a shrine on the bank of Ndopie River, they heard a mysterious dirge one morning before the sun reached its zenith. The villagers saw a crowd of ghosts with bundles on their heads, and accompanied by lots of animals. They were repeatedly chanting a mysterious dirge. The ghosts entered crevices in the Kuyoh Mountain and disappeared. The scratches they left on the hard rocks are still visible.

According to my mother, who was a young woman when the incident took place, it probably happened in the mid 1940s. This narrative, which contains humor, mischief and magic, demonstrates how powerfully tradition and custom influenced the lives of the people of one ethnic group -- the Kissi. The mystery of the singing ghosts still haunts them and. I am telling the story so readers may know about one of the Twentieth Century’s enduring mysteries.

Some names in this work are fictitious, excluding the famous Paramount Chief Ansumana Jabba, alias “Memah” of Kissi-Kama Chiefdom, who lived at Dia, and that of Chief Sombo, who actually lived in Ngaingah during that time;, nevertheless what you are about to read is an eyewitness account of what occurred in that Kissi village.

Michael F. Kallon
AUTHOR
New York City, September 20, 1997

The Ghosts of Ngaingah is a story full of superstition, yet so credible. When a people neglect that which constitutes their collective consciousness and which helps them grow and prosper as a community, the negative effects are bound to hit them hard.

—Michelle Azara Osman
Barrister at law, Accra, Ghana


INTERIM MEDIA RELATIONS PERSONNEL AND OTHER OFFICIALS OF THE MAKONA BOOK CLUB (NBC NEWS) AROUND THE WORLD

Michael F. Kallon
Founder
MAKONA BOOK CLUB (MBC) & MBC NEWS
New York City/USA

Mr. George Tamba Foryoh
Media Relations – MBC News Canada
Founder: www.koinduproject.com

Dr. Sakilla Nyuma Bondi
Media Relations Advisor – MBC News
New York City/USA

Mr. Sahr John Foryoh
Media Relations –MBC News
Rhode Island/USA

Mr. Tamba John Kendema
Media Relations – MBC News
New York City/USA

Ms. Fatu Moriba
Media Relations – MBC News
Staten Island/USA

Mr. Alex Tamba James
Media Relations – MBC News
Australia

Miss. Rose Tewa Solo
Media Relations – MBC News
Indiana USA

Mr. Tommy Ndoinjeh
Media Relations – MBC News
London/UK

Miss. Sia Jeneh Mamie Kallon
Media Relations Advisor – MBC News
New York City/USA

Ms. Rose Marie Tamba
Media Relations – MBC News
Chicago/USA

Mr. Sahr Nyorkor
Media Relations Advisor – MBC News
Indiana /USA

Mr. Tamba Sama
Media Relations – MBC News
Philadelphia/USA

Tamba Yafondo
Media Relations Advisor – MBC News
Philadelphia/USA

Mr. John Leno
Media Relations – MBC News
Florida/USA

Miss. Tewa Solo
Media Relations – MBC News
Indiana/USA

Mr. Osman Daramy
Media Relations Advisor– MBC News
Detroit/USA

Mr. Kemoh Turay
Media Relations Advisor – MBC News
Minneapolis, Minnesota/USA

Miss. Sia Bondi
Media Relations Coordinator / MBC News
New York/USA

Mr. Morris Keifa
Media Relations Advisor – MBC News
California/USA

Mr. Moses Fayia Foryoh
Chief Personnel Officer – MAKONA BOOK CLUB
& Media Relations Coordinator – MBC News
Freetown, Sierra Leone

Mr. Francis Bindi
Freetown Office and Kissi Bendu
MAKONA BOOK CLUB Coordinator
Freetown, Sierra Leone

Miss. Elizabeth Ngunyoh
MAKONA BOOK CLUB - Social Secretary
Freetown, Sierra Leone

Mr. Tommy Tengbeh
President Kissi Bendu Teachers’ Union (KBTU)
MAKONA BOOK CLUB - Kissi Bendu Home Office
Koindu, Sierra Leone

Mr. Francis D. Tengbeh
Former member of the Parliament- Sierra Leone
Executive Project Director (MBC)

Mr. Charles Pascal Tolno
Member of the Guinean Parliament
Advisor, MBC/Conakry/ Republic of Guinea

Mr. Joseph Fayia Gbolie
Member of the Liberian Parliament
Advisor, MBC/Monrovia, Liberia Branch

Mr. Sahr Philip Joe
Media Relations Coordinator – MBC News
Monrovia, Liberia

Miss Agnes Sia Tommy
Media Relations – MBC News
Australia

Pastor Emmanuel Tamba Fayia
Media Relations Advisor – MBC News
Philadelphia /USA

Mr. Sahr Foryoh
Media Relations – MBC News
Chicago/USA

Mr. Prince Tamba Foryoh
Media Relations – MBC News
Chicago/USA

Mr. Sahr Mohamed Foryoh
Office Coordinator – Makona Book Club
Freetown, Sierra Leone

ARE YOU LOOKING FOR SOMEONE AROUND THE WORLD?

LET THE MAKONA BOOK CLUB NEWS HELP YOU….

HONORARY MEMBERS OF THE MBC

Hon. Tom Nyuma Chairman/Honorary Members Union
His Excellency Joseph N. Boakai - vice president of the Republic of Liberia
Paramount Chief Toli Chiefdom (Sierra Leone)
Paramount Chief Kissi Kama (Sierra Leone)
Paramount Chief Kissi Tongui (Sierra Leone)
Paramount Chief Foya – Liberia
Paramount Chief – Nongoa Region – Guinea

HOW TO CONTACT THE EDITOR

Mr. Michael Fayia Kallon
71 – 15 Beach Channel Drive Avenue
Apt – 6 R, ARVERNE, New York – 11692

Telephone Numbers: 718 318 5654 (Home)
Cell: 917 544 6360
Website: www.makonabooks.com
Send articles to Kallonb@aol.com

MAY GOD HELP TO BRING ALL OF US TOGETHER, THROUGH

THE MAKONA BOOK CLUB AND THE MBC News…