Home Page > Centres News Item > PEN Sierra Leone School Clubs: Poems on Ebola
Student participating in Sierra Leone PEN's school clubs: by Rod MacLeod

Student participating in Sierra Leone PEN’s school clubs: by Rod MacLeod

PEN Sierra Leone has run school clubs since 2007 and there are now PEN clubs established in 50 schools across the country’s four regions to promote the importance of reading and writing. Schools are currently closed in Sierra Leone  due to the ebola outbreak and PEN Sierra Leone colleagues are working in collaboration with partner organisations to try to help bring books to the homes of children during the public health emergency period. Some of the students have written poems and stories about ebola, which you can read below.




Slowly you walked your way into the heartbeat of our country,
Kidnapping our heroes, and our lovely native people into the cold hands of death.
You came like a thief in the night,
Shooting bullets that we can’t see, nor can we hide or run from.
What a murderous criminal you are.

You made yourself famous and popular
By appearing on the headlines of the news and front pages
Of the news papers like any notorious criminal,
Reminding my kinsmen of what slavery was in the past,
You snatched away our rights and privileges by putting
Everything under a stand still.
By even closing down our schools and colleges
Oh Ebola what a criminal you are…

You think you got skills and tactics in waging this war upon us?
We might not see the bullets you throw at us,
And we might loose a great number of strong men and women
Fighting in the battlefield…
You laugh at us, thinking that you are smart
Teasing and mocking us running up and down like a thief…
Well done papa Ebola!
You think you are going to last or stay here forever?
We have no room for you in Mama Salone
Cause we are stronger than you think…
We have our own weapons of love and unity and a powerful
Way of praying to our God
And that’s something you don’t have…
And that’s makes you nothing but a sinful creature…
What can you say Mr. Ebola? Were would you run to?
You have reached your finished line…
And this is the end for you…
You are nothing but a criminal.

By: Jesse Cobna-Davies
St. Francis Secondary School, Makeni


Ebola stands tall like the clock tower in the centre of Sierra Leone.
As the second and minute hand ticks, one can hear the waves
slapping heavily against mount Kilmanjaro
like an angry sea crying for help.
Oh Ebola! Every dawn I rise, I can feel your sting like that of a bee across the globe.
When night falls, I can hear screams from young and old as your sharp claws devour
their flesh mercilessly, happily signing the death certificates of our loved ones,
robbing the world of its future leaders as
they decay with their dreams.
You are so untamed, like the lion in the jungle. Because of you, the love of many have waxed cold.
Humans tag each other with the name
“You are Ebola”
But listen up. With our swords of faith, we will not relent.
As a chosen army, we will combat you until you are conquered
Die Ebola! Die Ebola!!

By: Francess Rena Nicole
Annie Walsh Memorial School, Freetown


Oh Ebola!
It is difficult,
You should be happy
When you are Ebola free
Is it God made disease?
All men should resist.

For those negative
Prevent yourself from those who are positive
It infects you within seven days
Then you are gone
Ebola can wipe out families
One person can move everybody to the grave.

We have done everything
Nothing has spoilt this country but Ebola.
What have broken down homes is Ebola.

If you decide to wash your
Hands with soap and water,
Avoid body contact and
Finally avoid eating bush meats
You have pushed Ebola aside.

By: Papa Francis
Methodist Boys High School, Freetown


Though you hold us back
With your furious tentacles
We will still hold on to Job’s assurance
You may show your Hercules trait
But we will overcome you as David did Goliath
Untouched we will pace through your glaring eyes
Into the streets of Freetown with echoes of Laughter and music.

By: Billy Yajah
Government Secondary School, Bo


Where did we go wrong, EBOLA?
How did your name came about?
Goes the credence to Congo
You are the countless faces of a classic monster
Perhaps harmful than all its colours
With less room for mercy

Scattered all over are great thoughts
Seeking suitable metaphor
To befit your curious looks
A search for eternity-who knows

Abstract indeed you are
Yet as invisible as the wind
And invisible as tornado
Ages, we heard, you’ve been in existence
Yet with a sudden resurrection
You got a standing ovation
Claiming lives like never in history
A topsy-turvy lacking measurement
Except suppositions from suppose originators

Why displaying military manifestation
Or should I put it relationship?
Like a boulder on a zinc house
We are but helpless tenants,
Unsophisticated nurses and
People of the Pen Army
Countless loved ones have departed unwillingly
With tears for them and anxiety in us
A melancholy with lasting reminiscence

Your incursion is the greatest of its kind
Tremendous than all turbulences
At which we could at last sense advancing foes
And dissolved at our best

The bitter part of your wrath
Discharge the helpless masses
With only a grain touching the mighty
If you can hear our voices
We sing memorial songs
If you can sport our tears
Acid rain from our eyes
If you understand our pains
Excruciating are they indeed
Like pairs of arrows on a chicken’s heart
Smelling remains of our dearest daily
The death burying the dead peculiarly
Where did we go wrong?

By: M.S Biro (The Pen)


You are an invisible enemy
Killing innocent people everyday
Making children fatherless and motherless
Roaming the streets of Sierra Leone
Causing them to be homeless.

You make parents runaway from their children
Children runaway from their parents
People loose their loved one everyday
Family ties scattered because of you
You are a monster.

You stop schools from opening in this country
Therefore; most of the girls are pregnant
Boys now are with the ghetto guys
Drinking alcohol and doing other terrible things
You also stop extra classes. Who are you?

Entertainment centres are all closed
Business is slow
People’s lives are in danger
We can’t sleep and wake up
To say; alas we are free.

Our motto is Unity, Freedom and Justice
But we lost unity because of you
And there is no freedom in our land
You violate our motto
And turn us foreigners in our land.

But justice we must have
The people of Israel suffered in the hands of the Egyptians
For a hundred years
There God was with them
He sees them through
And make sure that they are free

That’s how it’s gonna be
My dear darling Ebola
You will leave Sierra Leone
Like the Egyptians leave the Israelites

When the Kingdom of God
Suffer violence
And the violence taketh by force!
Right now!

You will leave Sierra Leone
By hook or crook
You will not prevail here
You little wench


By: Saffie Koroma.
St. Joseph’s Secondary School.


In a cluster of beds we lay
Draped in plastic gowns
To Muhammad and Christ we pray
That our destiny will be on top and not down
Moaning is our daily tune
To which we all dance
On a stage of similar misfortune
Together or by chance
We hold on to our fates
Along the corridors of Paradise entrance
One half in Hades gates
The other in Heavens fence
As our fortune boils up in this dilemma
Reality unfolds this drama
Corpse enter into a world unknown
While survivors head into a wicked world
Humanity, Hope and Love dethrone
As the Great Judge would be called

By: Billy Yajah


You have became a world epidemic
There are no hugs in certain places
You have sent worries and panic in the world
Killing people without considering ages
Population reduces every tick tock of the day
Your victims you do not pick
Expert speaks; high Ebola alerts, yet no cure
Your cruelty comes as kind of sudden
Punishing human beings badly
Enough is enough we agree you are practical
Everyone knows you travel without using maps, passport or visa.
Your deeds unto us is awful
Have mercy on our brothers and sisters
West Africa is on pain and suffering devastation
Ebola please set our neighbors out of homesickness
We are tired of your deadly records on newspapers
’’Dear ones here are my own precaution please take note’’
 Everyone come one come all and let save lives.
 If you sit there in silence, regret it you will
 Avoid facilities in West Africa where Ebola patients are being treated.
 Be careful on how you touch sick people; avoid contact with blood and body fluids.
 Do not handle items that have come in contact with an infected person
 Seek medical care immediately if you develop fever, headache, muscle pain, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain.
Limit your contact with other people until and when you go to the doctor. Do not travel anywhere else besides a health care facility
 And to God we cry, to strengthen us in our distress, no arrogance, pride is apart, so help us Lord Amen Amen…

By Sidratu latifatu Whyte
St. Joseph Convent Secondary School, Freetown