By Sarah Kamara

The Investigative Media Network

The family of Mariama Binta Sesay and Sallieu Binta Sesay is still devastated as to the whereabouts of their children. The boy and girl were the victims of attempted abduction by the Bondo/sowei and Poro secret societies.

It all happened in Kasama village, Tinkoko chiefdom, Bo district, southern Sierra Leone on 20th January 2020 when the girl, Mariama Binta Sesay, was about to be snatched by Bondo women for forceful ‘circumcision’ (female genital mutilation).

Mariama was previously being harassed by a 65-year-old man in the village for early marriage. The man paid the Bondo/sowei women to initiate the girl into the secret society first before he would proceed to marry her. The girl was against both the marriage and the initiation. Her brother, Sallieu, stood up to them and prevented the rabble-rousing women’s action. For that, the leader of the group reported to 65-year-old man, who in turn informed the male secret society, poro, to teach the boy a lesson. Getting wind of the impending violence against them, the boy and the girl were reportedly helped by sympathetic villagers to escape.

However, their family is now saying they have not heard from them ever since – while the society members are still threatening to initiate the siblings whenever they are seen.

“My worry is that they may have been killed in the bush and the society members are still acting as if they don’t know about it. I am totally confused. They seem to be a law to themselves,” a family member told this press.

Report reaching us has indicated that the ‘Poro’ and ‘Bondo/Sowei’ secret societies are actively conscripting teenagers and young men in Sierra Leone despite efforts by the Anti-Poro/ Bondo society activists to put a stop into this practice.

The ‘Poro’ and ‘Bondo’ society is a secret societies practiced in Sierra Leone and it has been in existence for over 100 years. There have been several reports of human sacrifices by members of the ‘Poro’ and ‘Bondo’ societies.

This Medium later tried to reach Sallieu Binta Sesay and Mariama Binta Sesay but could not locate them anywhere, but we learned that their life which is in danger was last seen in Kasama village, Tinkoko chiefdom, Bo district, southern Sierra Leone.

We learnt that members of the poro and bondo secret societies have vowed to take their pound of flesh should the set eyes on them alive for their anti poro and bondo activities.

Members of the poro and bondo secret societies who preferred not to disclose their names told this medium that one of the reasons why the poro and bondo initiations are dangerous is that they have so many taboos for non-initiates that are so uncertain, indescribable and unidentifiable that it is easy for a non-initiate to fall into the trap of a secret society.

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