Mammy Bonga wins again?


A recent drive along Sani Abacha St. in central Freetown offered convincing evidence that Mammy Bonga is once again about to emerge triumphant in her long-running battle against state authority.

Gibraltar Church, Sani Abacha St., Freetown

Mammy Bonga and her supporters lined the streets four and five deep on either side of the road from Clock Tower to PZ. They left barely enough space for a car to crawl through. Progress was frequently interrupted by the need to give way to pedestrians, omolankays and petty traders with trays on their heads.


In a brief interview she granted this medium, Mammy Bonga was confident of ultimate victory. She said she had defeated every government since Independence and she was confident of continuing to do so. She said the weight of numbers were on their side and no President dared to oppose them for long. She said they had the power to make the city ungovernable if they wished. She said the Mayor was toothless and it was only out of respect for the office of the Presidency that they had complied with his wishes for a few days.


All over the city Mammy Bonga’s supporters have been bolstered. Whereas before when his Worship the Mayor and Operation Wid were sweeping through the streets Mammy Bonga’s people appeared despondent, they now show nothing but defiance and are gradually returning to their old haunts.


The ultimate symbol of victory will be Wilkinson Rd, which the government has vowed to defend at all costs against the mammy. For His Excellency this is a flagship which he cannot afford to lose. If he cannot prevent the hordes of Mammy Bonga’s supporters from occupying his prestige project, then all his claims to development will have been shown to be bogus. When told this Mammy Bonga scoffed and said she was just now, with her lieutenants, planning for the final advance on the great prize. When asked if she felt that petty street trading was the route to prosperity Mammy Bonga replied that she could not see prosperity ahead. All she and her people were doing was living hand to mouth day to day through their street trading, and the government had no right to deny them that.


We watch with great interest as the battle for control of the streets continues.