Ernest Bai Koroma

What’s the first thing that pops into your mind when you think of Sierra Leone? Nothing? Civil War? Diamonds? That beverage that is kinda like Fresca but not really? I’ll tell you what I think about: fancy hats.

Admittedly, this is probably because I was thinking about fancy hats before anyone mentioned Sierra Leone (specifically: fancy cats in fancy hats), but you should remember the equation. Fancy hats = Sierra Leone. Memorize that one. It will be on the quiz.

I often yearn for the days when political leaders were called “rulers” and “your lordship” and stuff sorta like that. Do you know what Kings and such also did in those days? Wear extravagant headgear. So does Ernest Bai Koroma.

Big difference, though. Kings and what-not had jaggedy, metal hats that looked dangerous and expensive. Koroma looks like he just got back from some Harry-Potter themed sleepover. He doesn’t look scary in a “kneel or I will execute you” kinda way. He looks scary in a “I might spend way too long telling you about my WoW guild” kinda way.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about Ernest Bai Koroma is that his first name is Ernest. I had no idea Africans were named Ernest. If someone was like “meet me friend, Ernest, he’s a-” I would expect them to say… “gas station attendant” or “18th century British gentleman,” or “early 90s comedic sensation.” I would definitely not expect them to say “President of Sierra Leone.” Even though I’ve written about him now. Still wouldn’t see that coming.