Lassana Bamba, Crystal, Minn. – Aside from belonging to the same ethnic group, the Mandingo tribe, analysis shows that they all dream the same dream; they have similar task on hand, but ironically, what sets them apart is the way or formula each individual implements to make that dream of oneness a dream that will take their organization to the promised land in line with its counterparts.
Taking the Federation of Liberian Mandingo Associations in the USA, Felmausa, to the promised land has not been an easy task since its formation. Instead of being lauded for the courage to step to the throne of leadership, most Felmausa leaders exited with their share of blame for holding the organization hostage from growth.
Despite those accusations and counter accusations, and the degeneration of the organization into problems that nearly crippled it for the worse, others are leaving no stone unturned in proclaiming their desires as presidential candidates for the highest office of the single largest Mandingo organization in the US.
Bamba 1 News has received a dispatch from the “Sekou4BetterFelmausa” campaign, grass-rooters of Felmausa who according to the dispatch desire to uphold what they referred to as “Our common patrimony, rule of law, and respect and love for the Mandingo heritage as dictated by the Mandingo tradition and values.”
The dispatch which came from Mohamed Dorley, former president of the Minnesota Mandingo Association, now communication director for the Sekou Kenneh campaign team, said Felmausa is at a critical point where its members can either decide to continue the downward trend it is heading or introduce visionary leaders that would be progressive minded, responsible, accountable and at the same time transparent.
According to the “Sekou4BetterFelmausa” campaign, the motive of Felmausa is the love each Mandingo share for their community and to remain “Each other keepers.” With a collective idea of rising and falling together, Mandingoes will resist any internal or external force craved on threatening the community, it added.
The campaign has however outlined key areas it will tickle once candidate Sekou Kenneh is elected president of Felmausa. Among programs candidate Sekou Kenneh’s leadership will undertake include peace-building, chapter and women empowerment. They have also vowed in their platform to lead the community by “Consultation and consensus building.”
It is also promising that its first 100 days in office would be completely different from what it has always been in Felmausa. This according to the campaign team is different because they have done a complete audience analysis of some of the major problems the community is faced with. “We have been involved in FELMAUSA, studying and carefully diagnosing the problems with FELMAUSA. What you’re seeing here is a result of patient and painstaking diagnosis. And the remedies that we are recommending have all been evaluated and all of the potential risks have been carefully scrutinized and we have also drawn up all of the mitigating strategies to counter risks if they materialized.”
The “Sekou4BetterFelmausa” team has also acknowledged in its dispatch that women are the foundation of Felmausa, without their involvement, the organization would have failed in its infancy.
It can be recalled that on April 26, 2015, a young lady known on her Facebook page as Jiji Sidibay-Obama who said she has attended several Felmausa functions in Philadelphia, PA, decided to join the “Sekou4BetterFelmausa” campaign. “As a Liberian Mandingo woman, and a financial sales consultant by profession, I have been contemplating as to how, and what I can do to give back to my community. I hoped that one day I could work with the Federation of Liberian Mandingo Association in United States of America – FELMAUSA, as a way of giving back to my community. Fortunately, and even more heart cheering for me to hear that Hon. Sekou Kenneh of Arizona, the current Co-chairman of the National Board of Directors of FELMAUSA is considering to run for the Presidency of the Federation. I couldn’t resist but to say Yes! What a better time than now for me to give back to my community. A once in a lifetime opportunity.”
In her public posting, Jihan Sidibay said the “The dream team” headed by Mr. Sekou Kenneh will take the Federation to the promised land that, “We all envisioned for this noble Mandingo community.”
The news of Ms. Sidibay joining the team has been welcomed by many Mandingoes across the United States, especially those who believe that for too long women have been subdued in the federation. In reaction to her Facebook post, Siaka Tour, president of the Wisconsin Mandingo Association wrote in these few words, “Congrats sister for coming forward. I hope your action will encourage more sisters to join this noble cause of giving back to our community. We stand with you and your team for greater achievement for our people.”
Another person on Facebook, Winchester Swaray said, “Wow, I’m impressed with your beautiful wording, Jiji you get my blessing and count on me and keep in mind that your decision is fine and we will support you to the best.” Her coming on board is also seen my some as a way selling the “Sekou4BetterFelmausa” tickets to members of the federation.
Despite what critics might say about Jiji as she is affectionally known, one thing remains clear, her desire to step forward to contribute her quota to the development of her community is something that most Mandingo women might emulated, especially those who have managed to properly educate themselves to acceptable standards.
With women coming forward to contribute to Felmausa, there is no doubt that achieving the dream of oneness is right around the corner. This is evidence by constructive roles women continue to play in almost every home.