They are parishioners, political rivals and former colleagues! The body language of Sierra Leone’s new President – Rtd Brigadier Julius Maada Bio and his opponent in the recent elections - Dr Samura Kamara has often appeared relaxed, genuine - more comradely than competitive. They really seemed to enjoy meeting up - even when things were tense.
A quick look at both their biographies indicates that the two men have more in common than it would initially seem, and that the friendliness dished up for the cameras is probably quite genuine. Dr Samura Kamara served under Maada Bio’s first government. They both received part of their education in Bo. Dr Kamara attended St. Andrews Secondary School (UCC) in Bo. Maada Bio went to Bo School. They are both Catholics and members of the same congregation. Both are religiously tolerant. Fatima, our new President’s wife is a Muslim. Dr Samura Kamara’s parents and most of his family are Muslim. Both have a charitable bent. In 2014 – Bio and his wife launched the Maada and Fatima Bio Foundation to provide scholarships, skills training and agricultural development for women and young people. Dr Kamara’s charitable work includes supporting the construction of mosques in his home village of Kamalo. Both have a taste for academia. Dr Samura Kamara has a MA and a PhD in Development Economics. Bio’s MA is in International Affairs. His PhD in Peace Studies from the University of Bradford may have to remain incomplete until his term in office is over. Depending on how much credence you give to star signs, it’s also interesting to note that both are born under the star sign Taurus - committed, stable and conservative.