A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier - Ishmael Beah Dear Ms. Naomi Campbell,I have always been an ardent aficionado of your work; from your heydays sashaying the YSL runaways along with Linda Evangelista to crooning in George Michael’s Freedom video. Your numerous sexual trysts with celebrated oligarchs and other questionable chaps were highly fascinating although not marvelous. But lately, you seem to forego your sadistic tantrums and suffer from a transient global amnesia. Is it due to those numerous chalky dust lines running through your nasal septum? I do not know whom to believe You, Carol White or Mia Farrow? Are you familiar with a certain Mr. Charles Taylor, the benefactor to your gift of “dirty-little-stones”? Aww! My apologies if I’m being a twinge to you ruptured temporal lobe. Anyhow, as an admirer of your never ending legs, I enclose a pill to your deteriorated hippocampus.Let me introduce:-Ishmael Beah(now don’t you get that dirty little mind working), Beah is a regular teen, trying to make sense of his life with his stepmother, a father who appears to have lost track of Beah’s life, harbors a dream of being a rapper by aping the likes of Run-DMC, MC Hammer and loves playing soccer with his brother Junior.Oh! I forgot to mention Beah is a child soldier recruited by the RUF(Revolutionary United Front) to battle against the rebels. Dreadful isn’t it?Beah’s story travels to a quaint village of Mattru Jong in Sierra Leone. Circa 1993, Beah travels with a couple of his friends to enter a talent competition for upcoming rap artists. On his return, the once picturesque Mattru Jong has been ravaged by the rebels, massacring every human soul in sight. The prospect of seeing an old man resting in a armchair is pleasant, except once Beah went nearer there was not an inch of flesh untouched by bullet wounds, a little closer and the man’s limbs were scattered with sprinkles of blood patterned on the wall. Sierra Leone was under an ongoing dastardly active civil war. A war that showed no mercy to any living being, slashing every inhaling lungs. Control of Sierra Leone's diamond industry was a primary objective for the war. Although endowed with abundant natural resources, Sierra Leone was ranked as the poorest country. With the breakdown of all state structures, wide corridors of Sierra Leonean society were opened up to the trafficking of arms and ammunition, and an illegal trade in recreational drugs from Liberia and Guinea.Seeing his family perished Beah runs to save himself from being caught by the rebels in fear of being recruited in the camps. For over a year, Beah wanders through several villages; passing through dense forests walking for endless miles with hunger corroding his sanity and being alive was a burden itself. Running was not a sport for Beah but a gift to remain alive. A year after his deathly escapes he unfortunately gets recruited by RUF at a tender age of 13. Beah life’s takes a turn making his daily chores of annihilation, toting Ak-47s and grenades appear mundane for a killing machine. His diet now consists of mind numbing tablets, snorting cocaine and brown-brown(a mix of gun-powder& cocaine). The early day soccer practice is replaced by guarding posts avenging every intruder. Following a period of three years as a combatant Beah is lastly rescued by the UNICEF and NGOs giving his life a new lease. Ishmael Beah is now a speaker at the UN against war crimes relating to child atrocities and resides in NYC.In May 2000 the situation of Sierra Leone was deteriorated to such an extent that insurgency of British Troops was ordered to evacuate foreign nationals and locals. The 11-year war finally came to an end in May 2002 with President Kabbah taking the sovereignty of the nation.Even after the end of the Liberian War carnage culminating in the arrest of former President Charles Taylor, regrettably more than 50% of the diamond mines are unlicensed and used for illegal smuggling of ammunitions.Therefore you comprehend Naomi, even as you mull for the authority of your dirty donation and disembark your yacht frolics whilst acquiring a 10-page lavish spread of your chastisement on the coveted W Magazine; there will be festering of thousands other Ishmaels not that privileged to escape the unspeakable perils due to your lacerated amnesia.Thanking you,A keen observer eagerly waiting for your upcoming crabbiness and monotonous whoring of testimonies.