This post is part of a new “Student Spotlight” SFL blog series in which we honor the best and brightest student activists in our network by highlighting the top student, group, and event of the week and share their accomplishments to inspire other leaders to step up their game in advancing the cause of liberty.
Congratulations to SFL’s student of the week, Alieu Bangura! He is a senior at the University of the Gambia majoring in Computer Science. Alieu is also a founder and Program Coordinator of Students For Liberty in the Gambia.
How did you find out about SFL?
I found out about SFL through the Charter Teams Program. I also recall having signed up to receive newsletters. I learned more about it through Irena Schneider, the International Programs Associate, and since then I have been building a strong group that advocates liberty.
Who are your favorite figures or topics in liberty?
What sorts of projects and activism have you been working on or done recently?
Shortly after the AEB retreat in Ibadan, Nigeria, I got my group together and proposed that we should have at least one event per month. We have had two major events: the Leadership, Liberty and Enterpreneurship Seminar and a Talk at the American corner on the topic, “Africa And Her Blame Game.” Our next project is a march pass to make our voices heard, calling for freedom of speech. This will be followed by a Regional Conference in November.
The SFL team knows that you have received criticism and threats for spreading libertarian ideas, could you tell us more about that?
It happened sometime ago in 2013 when I was still a trainee CT member. Taking advantage of an invitation sent to me from a youth group in the Gambia, I used the platform to formally introduce SFL to the audience. The response was really positive, until someone posing as a participant threatened me and tried to talk me out of SFL for no genuine reason. I stood my grounds to what I am today and my belief never changed! I went on to receive emails from anonymous senders who never signed their names.
The recent threat was more like an open letter to me. It wasn’t signed yet again and this time I got it from one of SFL-Gambia’s members. According to her, a guy in a car stopped and handed the letter to her because she had an SFL T-shirt on. She further went on to say the guy didn’t say much. The whole content of the letter can be accessed on my Facebook timeline here.
I just can say that I am really happy everything went well in the end and that I got support from SFL.
What has been your favorite aspect (or aspects) about your involvement with SFL so far?
One of my favorite aspects of my involvement with SFL is that I have discovered my passion for entrepreneurship, capitalism, and free markets as well as the training and exposure I have received to the libertarian movement. SFL made me realize I could tap onto my keyboard not only to write source codes and do HTML or CSS, but also to inspire others through blog posts and articles.
What are your long-term goals once you are finished with school?
I recently joined the Atlas Leadership Academy in the hope that I will be exposed to even greater avenues for pro-liberty activism. Apart from my wish to work for SFL, my long term goal is to be able to start as many civil society groups in diverse regions in the world to help spread the message of liberty. In a nutshell, I want to make activism a career. My aim as a leader is to advocate for liberty throughout my time and beyond!