The analysis of Mr. Koroma (by Nikiibu) is fabulous.
I met Salia Koroma in late 1969 at his Kenema home. Revered all over Mendeline and especially in his Kenema home area, a Kenema friend had introduced me to him at his home. I knew of his singing in those days and had purchased several of his songs on 45 rpms. I had also expressed interest in a Mende masquerade (devil) known a Falwi after seeing it at the Kenema Agricultural Fair. From time to time I would come across Falwi during holiday time and even once near the Kenema movie theater. Apparently Mr Koroma had some connection with this spirit and when we talked he suggested to me that he could find one for me. He lived on the other side of Kenema from us a distance of several miles. I remember visiting him on a weekend at his house. He was outside when we arrived and we made mostly small talk during the visit. By then he was in his late sixties - traveled with a group of his followers and was highly respected. I think he was flattered that I knew of and liked his music, but wondered how much I understood of what he sang given that his songs were for the most part in deep Mende - a form of Mende that was complicated and at times even difficult to understand by native speakers. He did sing a few songs during the visit mainly to please the crowd that came to see him.
|taken on the day I visited Salia Koroma at his Kenema home (1969) he played a few of his songs for everyone who was around and let me take his picture|
photo © by Chad Finer