Volte Face : An Ode to Sierra Leone’s Iconic Cotton Tree

The cotton tree is truly reflective of our strife

We were supposed to care for her as a dear wife

Devil-may-care, the lantern parades lighten her up at night

We all said we loved her, oh we lied

Happy-go-lucky, we pierced her heart with a knife.


Unreliable protection we offered, we let her leaves dry

Skrik, our forefathers will cringe and cry

For the bats and vultures that soar high

Stayed loyal to her as we watched her legacy die

Nature did the honors and ended her misery, sigh!


No one looked after her welfare

Once, we even set her ablaze like wild fire

La-di-da lovers, we built fancy rings around her

Compete to demonstrate our ambitions in posters surround her

Heedless as she withered within and got tired

Poor monitoring culture missed her failing strength and need to support her


Heavens be damned we salvaged this absolute fall from grace

Twelfth of never we restored her in time and not let her fall to her grave

Ergo, this beautiful piece of history terminates in disgrace

Peradventure we truly love her but we are just two-faced

Bystanders till the things we love crumble to worse case

Zealous lamenting; alas, we soon forget this ever happened – closed case.


The cotton tree, our history, our life

Woven in a parallel vein of gradual demise

Fueled by neglect, impunity and lies

Imminent failures and disasters ushered in red carpets and palm green

Generations upon generations with dashed hopes and battered dreams

Maybe it’s a disguised blessing to fall flat once for all

So we may hopefully disabuse and rise inclusively ‘one and for all’.

Volte-face or I can see it coming, may we be saved from the great fall!

Written By Hamid Marah

Hamid is a business thought leader, entrepreneur and development management practitioner.

Contact Him on:

Instagram: vanhamid

Facebook: Hamid Gbawuru Mpondo Marah

Twitter: evamid

Written by: arianadiaries

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