Sierra Leoneans across the world are currently mourning the fall of the historic Cotton tree in Freetown. Freetown’s most iconic landmark became no more following a heavy storm on Wednesday night.
Situated near the Supreme Court building and the National Museum, the oldest cotton tree in Freetown holds a significant historical importance. It served as a gathering place for the Nova Scotian settlers who sought freedom upon their arrival, where they offered prayers to commence their new lives as emancipated individuals. The tree came to symbolize their liberty and serves as a reminder of their journey.
Prior to the arrival of these newly freed Africans, Sierra Leone had already been inhabited. The name of the capital, Freetown, was bestowed by these newcomers, reflecting their newfound freedom.
To this day, Sierra Leoneans continue to pray and make offerings to their ancestors beneath the Cotton Tree, seeking peace and prosperity for their nation.
Standing at the heart of the oldest section of Freetown, this majestic tree stands as a prominent and recognizable landmark in the city.
Reacting to the fallen monument, British-Sierra Leonean Actor, Idris Elba expressed optimism that with the roots still in place, the tree will grow again. “This is very sad. The roots remain. Sierra Leone”, He wrote.
This is very sad. The roots remain. Sierra Leone.
— Idris Elba (@idriselba) May 25, 2023
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