Late Guinean presidents Ahmed Sheku Toure and General Lansana Conte were dictators who ruled with iron fist and series of human rights violations were committed under their watchful eyes, but after they left office not a single Guinean used “mammy cuss” against them.

Again, when President Alpha Conde was toppled in military takeover, no one used “mammy cuss” against him. Even in the Gambia, no one used “mammy cuss” against the brutal dictator Yahya Jammeh.

But why has it become almost generally acceptable in Sierra Leone for someone to use “mammy cuss” freely and the society finds pleasure in entertaining it? On the contrary, “mammy cuss” has never been used as a conflict resolution mechanism to solve problems, but rather adds more salt to injury.

Growing up in peaceful Kabala in the 1960s and 70s, anyone who uses obscene language or worst case “mammy cuss” is considered “raraay boy”, an outcast, a street boy, to name only but a few.

Insulting someone’s mother is regarded as taboo in polite usage and repulsive by reason of crass disregard of moral or ethical principles in a decent society.

I had the opportunity to travel and worked in many African countries including, Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau, The Gambia, Senegal, Cape Verde, Tunisia, Morocco, amongst others, but to be honest, I have never heard the rampant usage of “mammy cuss” in any of these countries as it is used in Sierra Leone.
Women are highly respected in these countries to the extent that, a whole country was named “Guinea, meaning Woman”.

Sierra Leonean women are hardworking, especially those who are experiencing a polygamous marriages.

Some of us who grew up in those families knew first hand how our mothers suffered to make us what we are today in life. But, unfortunately most of them are no longer around to rip the benefits of what they sowed.

Meanwhile, what’s making this new norn of “mammy cuss” very entertaining in our society is that, highly placed individuals finds it interesting to listen to.

However, this new norn could sociologically be associated to what sociologists referred to as; Post War Traumatic Syndrome (PWTS) and Social Media Abuse Syndrome (SMAS) which are currently affecting our society. Don’t forget the eleven year senseless war, the emergence of the uncontrollable social media and the dreaded drugs called Kush.

If this trend continues unabated in our country, I foresee a situation where good people that have the capabilities to turn our country around will not run office.

Watching a BBC documentary on the effect of a new drug in Sierra Leone called Kush makes me sad about the future of our current young people. But that’s a topic of discussion for another day.