Beginning in 1989 I intermittently recorded the recollections in Krio of William Africanus Beckley, a family friend, in Tengbeh Town. Mr. Beckley was born in 1916 in Kent village in Sierra Leone, a century after its founding and a century ago. He lived there until 1934 when he moved to Freetown. Although he never returned to live in the village he always thought of himself as a “Kent boy” and wanted this to be the title of his book. As is the nature of conversations, topics would appear, disappear, and reappear again, unpredictably. I typed out the scripts, and then organized them into chapters, attempting not to insert any words of my own.
In January, 1994 I finished a draft of Kent Boy and read it aloud to Mr. Beckley, who was an avid reader in English but did not read Krio. He suggested some changes. That same year I gave him copies of this book and a book of his proverbs. He left work not long after that time, and died in January of 2001, at the age of 85.
You can read Mr. Beckley’s Kent Boy here. Enjoy! And if you are eager to learn more about the history of Mr. Beckley’s village, you will enjoy A History of St. Edward’s Church, 3rd edition. Nonfiction. 54 pages. CreateSpace, 2016. $5.95. ISBN 9781530581177 [in English].