In 2017, Dr Maria Berghs, a colleague of Professor Simon Dyson at De Montfort University, went to Sierra Leone in 2017 and got their ‘Guide to School Policy‘ adapted to the local context. (The guide is also available in many other languages).
Whilst there someone took the guide, wrote a sickle cell song about it in KRIO (Creole), and the people involved have now all agreed to share this wonderful music through a Creative Commons License.
The Sierra Leone Sickle Cell Disease Society – Amelia Eva Gabba and Annie Sesay. The wonderful singing was provided by the Methodist Girls High School, Freetown, with Edwina Kamara (teacher) and pupils Fatmata Kargbo, Haja Fatmata Sesay, Vicresa Momoh, Fanta Kabba, Lina Kanu,Tushiatu Bangura, Jessica Johnson, Francess Kamara, Naizmiyeh Turay, Fatmata Mansaray and Tenneh Samura.
We thank everyone involved for their wonderful musical creation.
The death of Marvellette reminds us of an earlier sickle cell disease death. Today, 28th January, the BBC News Service announced the death of Gladys Horton, founder and lead singer of the 1960’s all-female Mowtown band, The Marvellettes on 26th January at the age of 66. The Marvelletes are best remembered for their 1961 number one hit “Please Mister Postman”, later covered by both The Carpenters and The Beatles.
What is less well known is that one of the backing singers and founding members of the group was Georgeanna Tillman, who married Billy Winter of male Mowtown band The Contours in 1963. Georgeanna is reported to have had both sickle cell anaemia and lupus. Complications of her illnesses are reported to have been behind her stopping touring in 1965 and subsequently leaving the group for good. She is variously reported to have died from complications of her sickle cell anaemia/lupus on January 6th 1980, aged only 36.