Les Roberts – “Day 40: KB”

Les Roberts – Freetown, Sierra Leone – November 13th, 2014

Day 40: KB

I work with a guy named Kyobe Bosa. Everyone calls him KB. One of my colleagues was at a public event, a Community care Center (CCC) opening last week, and an official walked up to KB and said, “Good morning Chief.” He was standing next to a Paramount Chief, a Chief of perhaps 100 villages who is elected for life. The Paramount Chief wryly looked over at KB and said, “Not yet he’s not!”

KB has worked for years on infectious disease control issues at the WHO headquarters in Geneva. I suspect, WHO will be his career path for a long time to come. He is from Port Loko District where he is now the WHO field coordinator. When the outbreak happened, he just told his boss, and the Ebola Response crowd in Geneva that he needed to go home.   It is a beautiful thing, how he just has to be home at this moment of extreme need. But what is even more beautiful, is how unabashedly angry he is at the international response. He is perhaps the angriest person I have met here. He laughs a lot. He smiles a lot. But, don’t get him started on the issue of quarantined households not getting food, or how long it takes to have dead bodies picked up, or the contact tracers. Anger, it can be a really constructive thing. People in the relief world talk a lot about local empowerment as if it is a gift from the donors. It is really inspiring to see a local-lad take power!

Les

KB in Port Loko ©Les Roberts

KB in Port Loko: the revolution will not be televised!

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