Raymond Sarif Easmon

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Raymond Sarif Easmon
Born (1913-01-15)15 January 1913
Freetown, Sierra Leone
Died 2 May 1997(1997-05-02)
Freetown, Sierra Leone
Occupation Physician
Language English
Nationality British Subject, Sierra Leonean
Education Prince of Wales Secondary School, Newcastle University
Spouse Esther Campbell Easmon

Raymond Sarif Easmon (15 January 1913[1]–2 May 1997) was a prominent Sierra Leonean doctor known for his literary work and political agitation.

Background and early life[edit]

Raymond Sarif Easmon was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone,[1] to the Easmon family, a prominent medical family. Easmon's father Albert Whiggs Easmon and uncle, John Farrell Easmon, had qualified as a doctors in the 19th century. R. Sarif Easmon was educated at Prince of Wales School, Freetown, and subsequently in England at the University of Durham, where he won awards in biology and anatomy and qualified as a doctor at the age of 23,[2] and at the University of Liverpool (Diploma in Tropical Medicine).[1] He arrived back in Sierra Leone in 1937.[3]

Political agitation[edit]

Easmon became politically active during the regime of President Siaka Stevens. Easmon criticized the rampant political corruption that occurred during the period and in 1970 was arrested and detained (1970-71)[1] for his opposition to the government.

Writing[edit]

Easmon's play Dear Parent and Ogre, first produced by Wole Soyinka in Lagos in 1961, won the Encounter Magazine prize. His second play, The New Patriots (1965), was performed in several West African countries. In the words of Simon Gikandi: "Easmon's plays are semi-comical commentaries on politics and culture in a community undergoing the birth throes of independence and corruption in the institutions of government."[2] Easmon also wrote a novel called The Burnt-Out Marriage (1967) and short stories, collected in The Feud and Other Stories (1981).

Personal life[edit]

Dr. Easmon married Esther Campbell, the daughter of William Campbell, a teacher, and the granddaughter of Dr. William Frederick Campbell (1858-1926), a Sierra Leonean physician.

Published works[edit]

  • Dear Parent and Ogre (Oxford University Press, Three Crowns Book, 1964), play
  • The New Patriots: a play in three acts (London, 1965), play
  • The Burnt-Out Marriage (1967), novel
  • The Feud and Other Stories (1981)

Sources[edit]

  • C. P. Foray and Magbaily Fyle, Historical Dictionary of Sierra Leone.
  • Adell Patton, Physicians, Colonial Racism, and Diaspora in West Africa, University Press of Florida, 1996.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Africa Who's Who, London: Africa Journal Ltd, 1981, p. 357.
  2. ^ a b Simon Gikandi (ed.), Encyclopedia of African Literature, London: Routledge, 2003, p. 220.
  3. ^ Adell Patton, Physicians, Colonial Racism, and Diaspora in West Africa, p. 190.