By: Alusine Fullah



In this 21st century a lot of our countrymen are with the view that when they come to the city, they could easily make it in life. That is why the Capital of Sierra Leone has become populated. The population of Freetown is drastically increasing on a daily basis which has led to many able body men and women to embark on street begging just for them to survive in the city. The issue of street begging has been a norm in not only in Freetown, but also the country as whole.

For clarity purpose, Street begging is the practice of imploring others to grant a favor, often it could be a gift of money, with zero expectation of reciprocation in return. In Sierra Leone people have taken street begging as a means to survive, because ten chances to one, this is no laws in the country that prohibits street begging; and that is why we see barrage of beggars in the Street.

Before this time, the act of Street begging was mainly meant for physically challenged in the country, and also for young orphans who are finding it difficult to survive because they had lost their parents, and they don’t have any relatives that could take care of their basic needs. But it is no longer a secret that, the issue of Street begging has been the order of the day and a lot of vibrate youths are seriously engaged in the habits of begging in Freetown. When you move around the city, you can feel and smell street begging. It will be surprising to see young energetic men and women are into the habit of street begging. Sometimes ago, I come across a young charismatic guy along Regent Road, the guys greeted me and I responded wholeheartedly not knowing that these guys had an intention to beg for transport fare, the guys came close to me and said ‘man I am a student from (name withheld), and I really want you to help me with transport fere.’ I looked at him and said to myself let me help him as a young guy and I decided to give him NL20; and to my greatest surprise after a while, I saw this same guy along Lumley Street begging again for something that I had initially gave him NL20 for. And I said to myself, this is not the Sierra Leone that we used to know in the previous decades because things have totally changed to something else.

Moreover, some might say the economic situation is not favorable in the country that could have led many young people in street begging, but it is not a sufficient reason for them to turn begging as a business strategy. Also, our fellows Sierra Leonean are in the habits to constantly chasing our political leader for help and some have turned it as a habit for politicians to give them something anytime they meet with their favorite politician. Say what you may, but this is also indirect aspect of begging and this must be discouraged if only we want to move our nation forward.

There are a lot of sober minded people who engage in skill training to sustain with their families. In fact, some have become successful personalities in their various skills and they are impacting the society positively.

But we are seeing a large number of unemployed youths who have moved from their respective home towns for a greener posture in the city, but guess what? They don’t have any affordable place to stay not alone to talk of a job that could sustain them. So, as a result, they are finding it difficult to survival in the city. And maybe the only option for them is begging in the street.

In addition, among the other days, Friday has been selected by the beggars to be their favorite day to beg, this is simply because, on Fridays you may come across many beggars in the Street of Freetown. The number of baggers you see in the street on Fridays is not commensurate to any other days in the week. And in a vox pop interview, some of the beggars confirmed that they loved moving around on Friday because this is the day, they could receive a lot of gestures from people.

In all of this, children have been taking a center stage in the country to beg for their survival. Some blind beggars are of the habit of moving around with young children, while some children push wheelchair users from point-to-point for begging. Some of these children have left some purposely to move around with those physically challenges and especially with the visual impaired individual. One may be tempted to ask what the future holds for those children that moving around with them. Because some of those children are supposed to be in school, instead they are roaming around in the street begging which is not good for the nation in general.

This issue seriously needs to be treated with utmost concerns because begging has been part and parcel of many of our countrymen. Authorities concerned must try as best as they could to discourage this ill habit in the country. If only the situation continues like this, there are lots of implications that is not good for any progress of a nation.


Copy right –Printed in the Expo Times News on Wednesday, December 1st, 2023 (ExpoTimes News – Expo Media Group (