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Fun Facts About Sierra Leone – The Diamond of Africa
Peace & Democracy
did you know- Since 2007, SL is one of the youngest democracies in the world. The government is making enormous efforts to improve the human development conditions of all Sierra Leoneans. The country has just emerged from one of the world’s most brutal civil wars (an ethnic-based conflict), in which more than 100,000 people were slaughtered. During that bloody war, thousands of boys were forced to become child soldiers and slaves. In addition, several girls and teenagers were raped by rebel forces and other groups, one of the worst nightmares in modern history.
did you know- Sierra Leone is a beautiful nation in West Africa, whose territory is covered with tropical rainforests, mountains, and savannas, as well as beaches and mangrove swamps. With an area of 27,699 square miles (71,740 km2), about the size of West Virginia, the modern state of Sierra Leone is one of the smallest republics in Africa and the 118th largest country on the planet, ahead of Ireland, Georgia and Sri Lanka. Despite its small size, it boasts a multitude of rivers. This tropical nation borders to the north and east with Guinea (a former French colony since 1958), to the south with Liberia (the only African nation that has never been taken over by foreign rule) and to the south with the Atlantic Ocean. . In addition, it has the third largest natural harbor of the world.
Aphrodite of Africa
did you know- During the 2009 Miss World, Sierra Leone’s delegate Mariatu Kargbo, who speaks Chinese, Creole and English, caused a great sensation when she won two special awards, where more than 110 countries and dependencies participated. Because of this, Sierra Leone – a former war-torn country that is making enormous efforts to build a democratic society – has become one of the favorites to win the title of Miss World, along with Venezuela’s Maria Milagros Veliz, a student at the European Business School. London, and three other Latin American contributions. During an interview, Miss Kargbo said: “I prepared myself for the past two years when I saw Sierra Leone do poorly in the 57th Miss World Championship in Sanya (China)”. Educated in the People’s Republic of China, Miss Kargbo, whose idol is Nelson Mandela, won the Miss World 2009 Talent. Then, on November 28, 2009, she, the assistant manager, won the World Designer Award when her evening gown was voted the “most original design” in the global competition (the nation’s first ever title at that competition ). Designed by Dany Tabet, Kargbo’s dress was inspired by the ethnic diversity of the country, one of the richest on the African continent. Interestingly, the country has never competed in Miss Universe.
did you know- On February 14, 1972, the country made world headlines when the world’s third largest gem-quality diamond — dubbed the “Star of Sierra Leone” — was discovered in Koidu, SL. The “Star of Sierra Leone” -now its value is about 3 million dollars– is 968.8 carats.
did you know- SL has been an independent republic for over 45 years. 1961 was a special year for Sierra Leone: it gained its independence from Great Britain. In the following months, on September 27, 1961, it officially became a member of the United Nations. But before that time, it also joined the British Commonwealth. In the following decade, between 1970 and 1971, Sierra Leone won one of the 15 seats in the UN Security Council, along with France, Taiwan and the United States.
did you know- Since the 1960s, the English-speaking nation has been a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Of the 16 SL champions, supported by the IOC, who participated in the 1996 Summer Olympics in the United States, 14 were athletes.
did you know- Due to its magnificent landscape, it is a new tourist destination in the region. Without a doubt, Sierra Leone has a lot of amazing landscapes, from mangrove swamps, rivers (Moa & Sewa), islands (Sherbro) and wetlands in the south to tropical rainforests, and mountains (Bintimani and Sankanbiriwa) in the east and historical sites. in the west. The nature reserves of the country are home to several wild animals, waterfowl, insects, reptiles, amphibians, snails, spiders, and crustaceans. On the other hand, it is also endowed with one of the largest areas of virgin beaches (perhaps a holiday paradise). Certainly, it offers some of the best tropical beaches in West Africa – there are more than 300 kilometers of beaches surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. Meanwhile, Sherbro Island is home to one of the continent’s most popular fishing spots. On April 16, 1991, Yvon Sebag caught a tarp of about 283 lbs. In addition, SL has various African traditions. When you think of tropical rainforests, African music and stunning beaches, think of Sierra Leone. In fact, here you will find a new country to discover!
did you know- This land is very rich in natural resources (such as minerals, fresh water, and rainforests). Despite being one of the smallest republics of the Continent, it is one of the most important diamond producers in Africa (accounting for almost 55% of total exports). In addition to diamonds, it has extensive deposits of titanium and bauxite.
did you know- This English-speaking republic – the “little jewel in West Africa” - is a fusion of various cultures, religions and races. It is home to up to sixteen ethnic groups.
World famous Athletes
did you know- Sierra Leone is the birthplace of Eunice Barber, one of the best female athletes in the world in the late 1990s, along with Stacy Dragila (USA), Tegla Loroupe (Kenya), and Denise Lewis (UK). Until 1998, she competed for SL, and became the country’s most successful athlete (male or female). At the beginning of the 1990s she participated in the 25th Summer Olympics in Spain, where she did not even make the semi-finals in the heptathlon and 100m hurdles. Before 1993, she did not make the semifinals in the women’s heptathlon at the IAAF World Championships in Stuggart (Germany). In later years, Barber was ranked among the top five heptathletes in the world. By 1995, she placed fourth at the IAAF World Cup in Sweden. At the XXVI Summer Games in Atlanta, USA, Miss Barber, a French-educated athlete, finished fifth in the heptathlon (with 6,342 points). Like several African champions, she became a French citizen at the beginning of 1999. Competing under the French flag, she won two world titles: heptathlon (1999) and long jump (2003). In addition to these awards, Miss Barber won three other medals (2 silver and 1 bronze) at the World Championships in the early 2000s.
did you know- Freetown, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, is the capital and largest city in the country. This metropolis – a capital that is a port – has many historical buildings. In addition, there are more than 1.1 million people here. It was erected in 1787.
did you know- From the 1960s on, SL has a handful of famous people: Salif Easmon (author), James Jonah (diplomat), Eunice Barber (athlete), and Abiogen Nicol (novelist).
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