Anunsah Family Day
August 28, 2023

Banana Island

Banana Island is off the Coast of Yawri Bay in the Western area of Sierra Leone. It is a group of 3 islands made up of Dublin, Ricketts (up to 900 habitants) and Mes-Meheux. We travelled about 25 miles by road from Freetown to a coastal village called Kent, then took a ride across the river on a small motor boat (about 20-30min) to Dublin. 

We were lucky to come across some ladies who were waiting for their friend to take them to the island. So we paid 500 CFA return. During the ride, the boat consumed water and a bucket was used to clear at regular intervals. However they do provide jackets on board. What an adventure. 



There are many rock coves and landing docks for canoes and boats where fishermen where fixing their nets and boats. To reach the main part of the island required walking up some steps. 


In between vast vegetation we walked on muddy paths passing open houses greeting residents who were either farming, cooking or relaxing.

The locals speak Krio and are self-sufficient living off cultivated exotic indigenous fruit trees and plants including tabacco, kren kren, corn and ground nuts. There is a school, clinic, church, bars and guest houses.



There are locals who can be your guide if needed, but elder directed us to historical landmarks and gave some history information about the island and colonial era. 

He informed us that the indigenous settlers were called Shebra (spelling unsure) and called Banana Island because of shape when the 3 islands are linked together. The British introduced an oil street lamp, a water well and Christianity. 


Banana Island was the first African country to be colonized by the Portuguese, then the British, who sold and transported Africans to Americas during 16th – 19th century. At the old wharf, remains 4 canons that was used by the Portuguese and then British to ward off attackers. There is also an area where a pit was covered with overgrown plants that was used for Africans during Trans Atlantic Enslavement Trade.

After a few hours we descended back to the bay waiting for our boat to return. Listening to the local natives speak Krio sounds similar to Patois (Caribbean). 

 

Be sure to visit Banana Island when in Sierra Leone, there is so much history the local people will share. There are also many guest houses and overnight camping experiences set up on the island for you to experience.

Bless Sister E

 

 

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