Tag Archives: Disability

The importance of semantics

You don’t need Batman to clean up a city if everybody does their bit


I went for a run early on Saturday morning, I run up the hill beside my house onto the back streets and onto a dirt track. I run until I can see the construction of the Bo Rangers football stadium and then I run back. Sometimes I stop at the Mixing Point for a water or, if it’s evening, I treat myself to a Star.

When I got back Bob was a bit frantic as he had been tried to call me and was worried that I would be getting hassled. Hassled by the police!

For the simple reason that every two weeks in Bo you are not allowed to leave the area around your house until after ten and everyone spends that time cleaning the area round their house, the pavement outside and, even, clear out the guttering that runs alongside the pavement and acts as drainage.



I’ve heard that there’s something of a cultural taboo around begging in Sierra Leone, unfortunately there’s also a tremendous stigma and, by extension, very little support for people with mental or physical disabilities.

As a result of this the people that you do see begging are people on the very margins of society with no way to support themselves and not much, if any, support given to them beyond the small sums of money given by people as they pass.

The only way that this can be stopped is by giving them the opportunity to make money for themselves and giving them the dignity that goes with this.

I know that the police employed three disabled people recently to man the phones and there are some charities providing computer training to people with physical disabilities, which is a start. Sounds like small steps but, I guess, small steps are initially required to help with this big problem and it must at least provide a little hope that the problem can be eradicated in time.

Sadly, this is an, almost, perfect analogy for how the developed world treats Africa small hand outs are given out to enable the people to keep going but trade barriers are erected and subsidies given out to stop the continent being able to compete equally with the rest of the world.

It’s like there’s a vested interest for the west to keep Africa disabled…



Blindcraft closing was a real tragedy, surely they could have worked with some cool young designers to come up with some products that were viable to make with the production infrastructure that was already there but were nice enough that people would want to buy them.


Cyrano De Bergerac

I couldn’t get Airtel to work and I wanted to text Gill to tell her to have a nice weekend with her parents who were over from Scotland. So I asked Bob to text her as he’s on Africell.

He went with ‘Have a lovely weekend with your mum and dad. We both love you and miss you very much. Bob and Gareth.’

She had been gone all of half an hour…


The importance of semantics

They call tug of war tug of peace here. No more war.