The Chief and the Leopard

 "So, the bad person be in the place. You, you can't take violence with him. You just take easy with him before you get him, for true he will come like that."




When he was being interviewed, Chief Jalloh shared that he had been criticized for cooperation with the different fighting groups who came to his area. This is the parable he used to explain how he did this to protect and get help for the people in his community.


"The bad person be in the town. He just looking like leopard. He be in the bridge. The modern man, they tell you they say “go bring leopard beer.” What you will do? You take some chicken. You put long rope on the chicken. You send it in the bridge. You, you sit down in the town. This leopard be coming, you haul it, you haul the rope, haul the rope. So, they eat it, before you look for goat. You put the rope, long rope. You send it so that they come they be eating the goat, they start to take the beer before they go to the money man. When there you don’t make like that, you come you stay you want tonight, leopard it will eat you. That the one, that the parable. So, the bad person be in the place. You, you can’t take violence with him.


Modern people will say that you should confront and deal directly with people. However, fighters are like leopards. If you just go up to them directly, they will kill you. The leopard is on the bridge to your village. So, what do you do? You take a chicken and you tie the chicken to a long, long rope. You throw it out to the bridge, but you stay in the village. Slowly, you pull the rope and the chicken towards the town. While the leopard is eating the chicken, you get a goat. You tie that to a rope and send it out to where the leopard is. You pull the goat towards the village and wait for the leopard to eat it. Then, when the leopard reaches the village, he will not be hungry. He will sit down for a beer with you before collecting taxes from the people. That’s a parable. If the fighters are in your place, you can’t try to fight them. You have to take it easy with them and bring them close and then they will not hurt your people.