His Excellency President Brig. (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio on Sunday 21st May, 2023 officially unveiled the state-of-the-art stadium in the second city of Bo called the Southern Arena amidst pomp and pageantry. The occasion was graced by Government officials, dignitaries of various walks of life, diplomats, shakers and movers of the sports world, the media, well-wishers, as well as siblings, relatives and friends of the quintessential gentleman, Babadi Kamara, who personally and singularly funded the construction of the stadium as a young Sierra Leonean business magnate.
The Southern Area Stadium is the biggest indigenous investment in Sierra Leone and we as Sierra Leoneans should be very grateful to Babadi Kamara for demonstrating that with determination, seriousness and vision, only the sky would be the limit in actualizing your dreams. Prior the commencement of the project, nobody would have thought a Sierra Leonean could have the dream of constructing a stadium in Sierra Leone with international standards until Babadi Kamara proudly initiated the project to the admiration of most Sierra Leoneans and the sporting world, especially when the country has not had any new stadium of international standards after the construction of the Siaka Stevens Stadium in 1979, which is now under reconstruction.
Forty-four years on, Sierra Leone can now boast of having another standard stadium through the personal investment of the young indigenous Sierra Leonean, which is quite unprecedented in the history of this country. Not that Babadi Kamara is the richest Sierra Leonean but because of his passion for football, he decided to invest in the sport and he has for the umpteenth time demonstrated that through his massive investment in Bo Rangers Club that won last season’s Premier League and are also about to win the ongoing Premier League.
It is therefore hoped that other Sierra Leonean investors will emulate Babadi Kamara in promoting football in Sierra Leone by also investing in clubs and community football. As patriotic Sierra Leoneans, we should not fold our hands and expect the Government alone to promote football in the country, it is also incumbent upon us as citizens to contribute to the promotion of the game like what our brother and son has done in Bo.
While Babadi Kamara has successfully funded the 6000-seater state-of-the-art stadium for the good of the game, we are passionately appealing to those who would be managing the facility to be very responsible, transparent and accountable in managing it. That young man could have used the millions of dollars he invested in that stadium for other purposes that would benefit him and those close to him; instead, he decided to invest in a stadium for every Sierra Leonean to benefit from it either directly or indirectly. That is why the management of the stadium must be very mindful of Babadi Kamara’s investment and ensure the facility is properly and judiciously managed to international standards.