Interviewed by Jim Clancy, CNN’s inside Africa, the Sierra Leonean born victim of war and author of the book ” The bite of the mango” Mariatu Kamara, told her horrific ordeal during the ten year long brutal war that maimed thousands of civilians in her country.
Mariatu narrates her story. At 12, fleeing from the activities of the rebels, she finds herself in another village. She felt hungry and decided to go to her village to get some food to eat. On the way, she was captured by the rebels and they amputated both of her wrist. The reason? So that there wouldn’t be any hands to vote for the government. But they are wrong ”I still have hands to do whatever I want to do” Said the courageous woman.
Asked by Jim Clancy why she named her book ”The bite of the mango” She explained that after her wrists were cut off , a man came to her aid and offered her a mango to eat. But she felt like a child as being fed. Despite the pains and blood gushing out from her wounds, Mariatu held the mango to eat it herself.
At her book launching in the United States of America, the courageous war victim was awarded ”Voices of Courage Award” She happily interacted and answered questions of people that want to know her story and spoke of the meaning of the award to her. Her message is ”Never give up in life, no matter the situation. She went on further to say that victims of war and other calamities to keep on pushing until success is achieved.
Mariatu is not only a courageous but a strong woman that has brought to the awareness of the world the suffering of war victims globally.
Mariatu and Ernest Bai Koroma, the president of Republic of Sierra Leone.
Mariatu Kamara was born and raised in the West African nation of Sierra Leone. Her harrowing experiences as a child victim of war and its aftermath are the subject of her memoir, The Bite of the Mango (2008).
Her professional goals for the future include working for the United Nations, raising awareness of the impact of war on children, and running her own foundation to raise money for a home, and eventually many homes, for abused women and children in Sierra Leone. She is also planning on reuniting several members of Aberdeen’s theater troupe, which she credits with her personal healing. She would like to make this an ongoing project so that she can share with youth the peacekeeping skills that she is learning through her own work with UNICEF and others.
In her spare time, Mariatu likes to listen to music, cook, shop, talk on the phone, watch movies, and go to parties. Most of the time she likes to stay home with family and be with her close friends. She is torn between her love of Sierra Leone and Toronto. She wishes she could live in both places at the same time.