The 2013 Golden Baobab Prize Search Hero No. 5

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A very big welcome to our 5th and final Search Hero, Allieu, from Sierra Leone! Allieu has a soft spot for book characters who emerge victorious despite the adversities they go through in their stories. He also loves a certain sport, can you guess which one?


Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am Allieu S. H. Kamara, a member of PEN International, Sierra Leone Chapter. I am the Administrative Secretary of the Chapter which is known as the Sierra Leone PEN Centre. I have practiced journalism over a period of 15 years and I have recently registered a newspaper called the ‘EDUCO NEWSPAPER.’ 

What is your day job and what activities do you enjoy in your leisure time?

My daily job at the Sierra Leone PEN Centre is planning and executing the day to day activities of the centre. I like watching football and listening to music when I have free time.

Let’s take our readers on a trip down memory lane. What did your 8 year-old self want to become in future and were they in any way influenced by the books you read?

I’ve wanted to be a journalist since I was a small boy so I'm happy that my dream came true! Though I have read many books, I already had a passion for journalistic activities, especially research and reporting.

This is the tough one: Who was your favorite storybook character growing up?

When I read stories, I always admire a hero/heroine who strives hard to succeed despite difficulties in his/her adventure. An example is the popular primary school book, ‘Chike and the River,’ authored by the late African literary giant, Chinua Achebe. The main character in the book, Chike, became successful at the end of his ambitious story.   

What would be your biggest dream for African children’s literature?

When every African child has access to a variety of supplementary readers in schools at all levels, I would be the happiest man in the literary circle! This is because research has indicated that a child who can read and write, learns more and is more likely to stay in school. As a result, this child has a greater ability to contribute to economic prosperity. As a student/pupil masters the mechanics of reading, instructions expand to address reading and writing for critical thinking and the use of knowledge gained to solve real problems. 

How does it feel to be named a Search Hero for the Golden Baobab Prize?

It means a lot to me to help in promoting African literature, writers and reading. Also, it would mean suggesting and advising literary institutions on organizing writers’ workshops and publishing reading materials.

What kind of superpowers will you be contributing to enhance the Golden Baobab Prize search for captivating African stories for children?

Encouraging both published and aspiring writers to add to African literature and enrich its value. At PEN Sierra Leone, we have established a Writers Forum. The forum encourages people to come up with unpublished manuscripts so that writers can meet as peers to share experiences and new and aspiring writers can meet with established writers for tips and guidance relating to their works.

Where can people connect with you on the World Wide Web?

People can connect with me on We share this website with PEN International.

Well Sierra Leone, there you have it! Look out for Allieu, Search Hero No. 5 for the Golden Baobab Prize!