A personal blog about everything Sierra Leone from Social Issues, Entrepreneurship, Art & Poetry, Fashion & Beauty, Health, Entertainment, Food, Weddings & Promoting Change. If it is NOT about Sierra Leone then it is NOT on Dasalonetiti's blog #peace✌
For over 35 years, Rotary International has been engaged in the fight to end Polio. On this year’s occasion of World Polio Day, we highlight how far we have come and reaffirm our commitment as Rotarians to completely eradicating this disease on the face of the earth.
Have you heard about Shea and More? Have you tried any of their products? Shea and More is a local cosmetic and Agric-Business Company that organically produced and sell; the African black soaps, body butter, facial scrubs, lip balm and peanut butter. They have mastered the chemistry of blending locally grown products fit perfectly for the African skin and weather. Taking into consideration the different skin types. Shea and More have become a household name with a lot of positive reviews from its clients. Rush now and be a part of history, don’t be left out. If you battling with blemishes, white and blackheads, acne, and scars. Are you looking for homegrown organic peanut butter? Why not try Shea and More today, and get that amazing skin result you have always wanted.
Don’t forget! Sierra Leoneans, one unafraid girl at a time. As we commemorate this day, let’s not forget to lend our voices to what truly matters in the lives of young girls in our homes and communities. #everygirlmatters #internationaldayofthegirlchild2020
Thanks to @level_upsalone for all you do in lifting other girls/women. We see you🤝💪
Predominantly worn by the Creoles of Sierra Leone. The print is a specific cotton design with a unique type of embroidery for ladies. It is a loose-fitting dress with matching scarf of a particular colourful cotton printed fabric made purposely for that. The surface is pleated from the imperial waistline down. Necklines may be square or be in an asymmetrical zigzag decorative pattern. Sleeves are three-quarter length, with ruffles around the cuff. The bottom of the dress has a decorative ruffle sewn just above the bottom hem. Only white or off white thread was used for the stitches. The dress has side pockets and it is then adorned with embroidery around the neckline, pockets and back shoulder. This is what the typical print/Kabba slot Embroidery looks likes.
LeoneCulture aims to rejuvenate the print embroidery by embracing modern styles and designs using vibrant African Wax/Cotton, and using different colour threads, and unique cutwork to bring the Print embroidery to life. While maintaining the foundation and respect for the women before us, who wore the prints embroidery with love. We don’t want the prints to be limited to only women as is used to be. That is why we are creating for both sexes. Shop from the website @www.leoneculture.com. We also wants to get young people interest in wearing prints as they are the drivers of trends and fashion. One way we can achieve this is to make the print as attractive and modern to fit their taste.
Sierra Leone has a few traditional attires such as the Print/Kabba Slot Embroidery, Country Cloth Smock, Ronko Smock, Batik(gara tie-dye). Over the years not much has changed fashion-wise especially, for the Print embroidery in comparison to the Kente and Ero and Buba by our counterparts in West Africa such as Nigeria and Ghana. Fashion keeps evolving and for a particular style to stay relevant it has to be flexible and adaptable. Willing to evolve and change with times and we have not seen this in the print embroidery fashion industry. We have seen the same materials, design, and thread work been used since the 1950s. Thereby pushing away a lot of young people or none creole Sierra Leoneans from embracing the print embroidery culture. Most have resigned from wearing it and have left it in the hands of the aged.
Leoneculture’s mission is to get more young people (both sexes) in Sierra Leone and elsewhere to be interested in wearing the print as a national symbol and pride by styling and designing it in more attractive ways, with different thread colors.
HOW IT IS MADE The first step is to make the stitches on a particular type of paper or canvas. After stitching, the next step is cutwork of designs on the yoke of the “Kabba slot,” the perimeters of the cutwork are intricately bound with bias tape or the cotton. Then the cutwork is joined together to bring the design to life.
HISTORY OF THE PRINT Print embroidery has a rich heritage and has moved from one generation to the next. It is resilient as the women of Sierra Leone. The Cotton fabrics utilized for the dress called “kabbalah slot” were printed in Europe. A well-known firm in Manchester was manufacturing the fabrics. During the height of the fashion in the 1950s, the company sent representatives with specimens to Freetown to research the preferences of women and then created the favourite designs for the Krio market women. Some of the design chosen was called “Birds Eating Rice.” “Bananas.” “Flowers” and so forth.
HISTORY OF THE CREOLE PEOPLE OF SIERRA LEONE The Sierra Leone Creole people (Krio people) are descendants of freed African American, West Indian, Jamaican Maroons, NovaScotians, Recaptives, and Liberated African Slaves. They settled in the Western Area of Sierra Leone between 1787 and about 1885. The colony was founded by the British, supported by abolitionists, under the Sierra Leone Company as a place for freedmen. The settlers called their new settlement Freetown. Today. The Sierra Leone Creoles comprise 1.3% of the population of Sierra Leone. The Creoles went on to become some of Africa’s first professionals and experts, becoming physicians, solicitors, managers, supervisors and pioneers. Some of them would later move through the course of their work to go settle in Ghana, Gambia, and Nigeria as important actors in the business and public service.
Sierra Leone is as blessed as they come. Check out this beautiful waterfall at Grafton. My country people, nature is fair and has shared this between the East and the West part of Freetown. I hope everyone can now enjoy theirs in peace (pun intended).
According to Alpha Mansaray, a young resident of Grafton around the Zion area, the falls had always been there. He had childhood memories of going up there with his friends in search of Apple and other fruits. As children, then, they knew neither the value nor the beauty of the fall and the view up there was much more different from what it is now.
Presently, due to human interference and development, a lot of new infrastructures are springing along the stream where the fall is located. This has affected the force and speed of the fall, and this is especially so during the dry season. He advised that the best time to enjoy the view of the falls is during the rains. As it is only then one can enjoy the magical and enchanting glory of the fall.
Amidst all this, there are still opportunities for Sierra Leoneans to explore and discover our beloved country Sierra Leone. Grafton and then environs around the fall still have large palm fruits, cashew, and other fruit farms along the way to the fall, a beautiful place to enjoy sunrise and sunset, Alpha explained.
The road network along that area is deplorable as most of the hilly roads in this country. It is motorable only to a certain point, where cars can Park and the rest of the journey would be on foot.
We say this to our children all the time. So definitely you must have heard a family or friend say this to their child(ren) multiple times as a punitive measure, especially if they are out of line behavior-wise. These kids will be crying, saddened because they hated it. They are not programmed to sit still or not to do anything. They are kids, and those years are the only time they got to be the children they are. Yet, we cheat them into taking time out everynow and then.
DO THEY REALLY NEED TIMEOUT?
Yes! Time out is the word. When in essence adults do need these time out sessions than the children in our lives. As an adult, we go through a lot of everything, work, home, family, friends, and finally, society. As all of these things do come with their own level of stress. Stress over a period of time can derail our mental, physical, and spiritual wellness. This will take a toll on the body in diverse ways; some may lose weight, some may gain, some will experience hair loss, some early grey hair but most significantly many might experience a breakdown.
MENTAL AILMENT IN SIERRALEONE
In a country with a single psychiatric hospital and few doctors. You will be amazed at how much Sierra Leoneans don’t know about mental illness. How many of us go through this ailment without realizing it. Is it because our society has only one name for a complex disease like this? Crase! My people will call it. Crazy, Madness these negative adjectives has left more fear in the minds of people. Mental Illness is not all about madness and craziness, is it? There are several symptoms of mental health that are less severe and more common among people. Yet, I have come to realize how people will just gaslight your symptoms through their words, actions, or inactions. You will hear them asked, are you really sure that is what you are experiencing? Just because they don’t want to agree that you are actually suffering from mental illness or they’ll just dismiss you, claiming black people do not go through such ordeal. Black people, don’t get other types of mental illnesses except for the blanket one, CRASE.At least that what most Salone people think.
THE DEVIL HAS A HAND INEVERYTHING
The notion of mental ailment in a culture like ours is a complex one, and it is mostly treated as a curse or something associated with the devil, sorcery, witchcraft, or some other superstitious myth. Most times people who have mental health issues are ridiculed and left on the street to tend/fend for themselves. They are left to live with their struggles alone. For this reason and more people are not willing to talk about their mental state. Depending on their faith or background we almost always advise them to seek God. Through the church or man of God for their mental state. Which in itself is not bad if some of them can figure out what you are suffering from and can offer help through counseling. In cases where they feel it is beyond their control refer the victims for professional medical help as fast as possible. Some are even taken to shrines for charms and other diabolical stuff used to drive these assumed evil spirits that have possessed these victims and causing the madness. I don’t know if it is possible to drive evil with evil or maybe there are levels to these evil powers, but that we will leave for another day.
For the purposes of this Time Out article let’s try to answer some of these questions; What is a mental health illness? What are the types of mental illness? What causes mental illness? What are some of the signs of mental illness?
MENTAL ILLNESS-is a health condition encompassing changes in attitude, thinking, or behavior (or a combination of these). Mental illnesses are related to discomfort and difficulties functioning in social, work, or family activities. Mental illness is common. Numerous people have mental health problems from time to time. But a mental health problem comes to be a mental illness when continuous signs and symptoms result in periodic stress and influence your capacity to function. Mental illness is common. About 1 in 5 adults has a mental illness in any given year. Mental illness can begin at any age, from childhood through later adult years, but most cases begin earlier in life. The effects of mental illness can be temporary or long-lasting. You also can have more than one mental health disorder at the same time. For example, you may have depression and a substance use disorder.
COMMON TYPES OF MENTAL ILLNESS
A mental health ailment characterized by a never-ending unhappy mood. It can also be the loss of interest in recreations, causing notable suffering in one’s daily life.
A mental health disorder that is considered to be the feeling of worry, anxiety, or fears that is adequately strong enough to obstruct one’s daily activities.
This is characterized by events of attitude swings differing from depressive lows to manic highs.
A group of thinking and social symptoms that interferes with daily functioning.
A persistent situation involving attention difficulty, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness.
An ailment that influences a person’s ability to think, feel, and function clearly.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
Unreasonable thoughts (obsessions) that lead to repetitive behaviors (compulsions).
EARLY SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
1. Feeling sad or down 2. confused thinking or reduced ability to concentrate 3. excessive fears or worries, or extreme feelings of guilt, 4. extreme mood changes of highs and lows, 5. withdrawal from friends and activities. 6. Significant tiredness, low energy, or problems sleeping. 7. Detachment from reality and trouble understanding and relating to situations and to people. 8. Problems with alcohol or drug use. 9. Excessive anger, hostility or violence, and suicidal thinking.
1. Inherited traits. Mental illness is more common in people whose blood relatives also have a mental illness. Certain genes may increase your risk of developing a mental illness, and your life situation may trigger it.
2. Environmental exposures before birth. Exposure to environmental stressors, inflammatory conditions, toxins, alcohol, or drugs while in the womb can sometimes be linked to mental illness.
3. Brain chemistry. Neurotransmitters are generally existing brain chemicals that transmit clues to other parts of your brain and body.
There’s no certain path to avoid mental illness. However, if you have a mental illness, taking steps to control stress, to increase your resilience, and to stimulate low self-esteem may help keep your symptoms under control. Follow these steps: • Pay attention to warning signs • Get routine medical care • Get help when you need it. • Take good care of yourself and your sanity.
Learn to take time out for yourself, it is very important to treat yourself, even if that means some alone time to reenergize. If you are becoming overwhelmed with things. Take a step back and breathe, go to the beach, take the kids out, and go to the park, walk your dog around if you have any, visit family and friends. Learn ways to calm yourself and relax. Learn to identify your triggers and take the necessary steps to bring yourself to sanity.
This article is for information purposes only. Consult your local medical authority for advice or your mental health services provider(s).
Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoy your time here. Don’t forget to say hello and follow me on all my social media handles. Dasalonetiti232 on Twitter, dasalone-titi on Instagram, and Facebook.
I wished to jot something down So I took my pen and a slab In my head juxtapose of thoughts, My unexpressed emotions rallied As perceptions fought their way through My ink dried up leaving my pen thirsty, desperateto write more Ultimately, my pen kissed the pages With every stroke a lifeline Handwriting like a sloppy artwork My mouth yearned to speak All that my pen wanted to write Yet, it couldn’t, my lips refused to open As I struggled to question What could have gone wrong?
I rubbed my pen to the right Then to the left I rubbed it upwards Then downwards I rubbed it some more But nothing stayed
Deception of ink’s reflection It is still full or that’s what I felt No visions, no characters Just like the movies the director yelled, cut! I paused, as I looked down All that I saw were marks Of what could have been A fine print for the history makers
But for those who are hungry for more Glad I got to pen this down Before my ink expired.
Love and light from my sides to yours❤💡 and have a pleasant week ahead
Life’s too cruel to live, yet we refuse to die. Lips too saddened to curve up in a smile, yet we laugh. Heart shattered into pieces, no way it can’t be fixed. We can only hope, as humans there is only one way home.
The turmoil of the mind Where is it coming from?
The universe aligns and breathes down judgement. A connection between light and gloom I am always in the middle. The courtroom is where frenemies abode with a heart as black as their frock. Life can be either black or white, no time for grey except for the wigs Evidence in my memory, not document by my defence. My life is proof, yet they did erase it like writings on a chalkboard Karma is on a journey that has made me the destination. On my hands are not blood but the weight of my fingers. I am not guilty is on a replay musical note to the mind.
“I put it to you” an angered voice screamed in my head. My thoughts aimlessly on handcuffed Muffled tone from my doppelganger The scorned voice shouts “you deserve it bitch” Against my spirit, the gavel lands with screams that jolted my realities. When the accused becomes the accuser, I am who I am not built for the orange suit. Prosecutors build their belief on my doubt but I swear to say the truth and nothing but the truth. My mind drifts to dark thoughts that need cleansing with my acidic tears. Where are the lords when I am being condemned? Are they not supposed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt? But the gavel came down again this time too loud for me to listen. GUILTY!! the Judge says I am You are not INNOCENT either my mind said My head cries out you have been FRAMED
Early this morning, sitting on my bed pondering, my thoughts drifted to where I was last weekend. You might be thinking where that was, right? There is a discovery around the Freetown Peninsula deep in the hills of Mambo, a waterfall that has been attracting a lot of local tourists even amidst the Pandemic. In fact scratch ‘discovery’, this waterfall has always been there. Hidden, untouched, pure, mystical, a secret that was known to only but a few in the Mambo neighbourhood. Even though its voice can be heard from miles away in a slow rush as it falls on black rocks as if it were cleansing them, the irony is this voice is lost on most of its people. Its voice can only be heard by those who dare to listen. Human interventions and deforestations happening around the peninsula has brought this mystery place to the knowledge of Freetownians, it is no longer a secret. In fact, it seems as if all the lands around that territory are now in the hands of private individuals. Stones marked with white paints and tiny aluminium structures depicting ownership are the views along the way. My friend asked me, what if someone comes to claim this waterfall as his/her property? We had a great laugh about it, but deep down we know this is Sierra Leone where anything can happen, especially when it seems all the landmark around it are now privately owned.
I asked myself questions: Who own these lands, the community or the government? Who are selling these lands? Why are people buying these lands? Those who are claiming to own these lands in the Mambo community, how did they come about it? If not for anything but we have seen, how building structures on these hills can be disastrous. Lessons that Sierra Leoneans are refusing to learn. When shall we start to care about our safety and that of others, these are not easy terrain. These lands should be preserved, the whole ecosystem up there had been altered. You can see the damage, as exposed land stand naked in the cold heat of the July evening asking the passersby for a blanket. We are not listening to their pleas and these hills had long stopped to re-echo our cries likewise.
I was not expecting to go to Mambo waterfall that day, but I am pleased I did. After what seemed like broken arrangements with friends. I got a call from one saying let’s do this, “I am leaving now, let’s meet at your junction”. As a lover of adventure, I jumped right in. It was about 5:00 pm in the evening when we left my junction. The road to that place is the worst I have ever experienced in Freetown. Steep hill, sharp rocks, slippery slopes, sharp edges of fallen trees for coal burning, and land clearing that require every bit of your mental and physical energies. The climb is not for the faint-hearted, I can assure you.
The amazing detail is that the trip to the waterfall is unexplainably eventful; this came as a shock to me as I was not expecting the crowd, especially in this pandemic. People moved in groups; community members as well as others who just want to see the great waterfall: those who want to take pictures for social media, couples, friends, pregnant women, teenagers, kids all in anticipation. Some in the deep conversation of what government should do, how countries in the west would have turned this into some money. The usual ‘Salone man’ talk of the knows and the know not, the haves and the have not. How we all have an opinion, yet nothing seems to be working properly in the country.
No! I didn’t see a single person in a mask. The climb did force me to take mine off so I can breathe properly, maybe the same thing happened to others too. I thought it was a national holiday or some other festivities. My people will never disappoint when it comes to having a good time. Musical sets, Bluetooth speakers all through the walk, great ambience, young guys intoxicated from alcohol, and others on some kind of high. Young girls clad in bikinis and short. I turned and looked at my friend we smiled at each other with the understanding that we were definitely not dressed for the occasion. My long turn jeans and Jesus print T-shirt on Sunday was definitely out of place, I guess. Her long black jumper seemed to have no place either. We were like, duh! who made the rules?
The view from up there is to die for, I can’t even lie. Freshwater which I was made to understand by the locals is from Guma dam waste running through their community. The fall is soothing to the soul as it will take your mind off everything else. Magical spring falling with so much grace at a pace enticing to the eyes. Romancing with the wind and creating a mist in the air just above the water. The birds chirping was music to my worried soul, I was lost on the climb but immediately found myself, only to get lost again in awe of the view.
As we left the falls trying to brave the walk back to where we were dropped off by the bike riders, I can’t help but felt sick to my stomach. Other questions came running through my mind. What is the Environmental Protection Agency doing to protect that area? I am afraid human activities will cause the water to dry out someday. What is the Ministry of Tourism doing to see how best they can build our local tourism? Can they work with other government Ministries like Lands and Works? Can they make the roads? Bring solar light and set up structures around the waterfall? Imagine if cars could get really close to the waterfall? Eventually, we reached where we were dropped off by the bikes and not a single bike in sight. This was the most painful part of it all because at this point our feet were shaking and aching. Don’t these bikers saw the crowd coming to these hills? Why can’t they see it as an opportunity to make money by doing multiple trips? In my frustration, I forgot it was dark and no one will risk himself or his bike for a thousand five. That’s how we walk from the waterfall to Mambo Junction on our way back. Lesson Learned “one might never climb down the way you went up, be humble”
Tips For First-Timers:
• Be on flat (Sneakers, Sandals or Slippers) • Get a backpack • Pack food and water if you don’t want to drink the water from the fall. • Pack your Bikinis, one-piece, minis and short or extra clothing • Best time to climb is Morning or the early evening. • Prepare your mind, be ready and be fit.
A lot has changed for women in the 21st century, so much so that a lot of women do have a career which they will choose any day over societal stereotypes. Women do have careers and plans that are well thought out. Nowadays, a lot of us strive for financial and economic independence. Sometimes this might pose a challenge to other social needs like having a family and raising kids. Some women, therefore, choose to pursue their dreams first and postpone childbearing to a later age compared to our mother’s generation. Even though fertility issues concern everyone but for the purpose of this article, we are going to concentrate on the women
Women are increasingly embracing the idea of harvesting and saving their eggs for when they will need it. In this fast-paced life of ours, women can only rely on these procedures to help them have children when and how they choose, and when they are done chasing their dreams. Such procedures, include IVF and surrogacy. IVF and surrogacy have given hope to more women in the world, to not worry about societal and biological pressures. Yet, society has placed so much importance on the idea that pregnancy and childbearing can only be complete when the woman/mother carries the embryo in her womb for nine or ten months and give birth to the baby. The question here is does it always have to be this way?
Enough! preamble already. Now let’s dive into the topic proper. Questions; What is surrogacy? or who is a surrogate mother? If faced with infertility as a Sierra Leonean parents would you try surrogacy? I know we have neither the laws nor the clinics in Sierra Leone. But, I also think it’s about time we have a discourse about this and at least bring the information closer to the people. To let them know they have choices, and that there are so many ways women can be mothers and surrogacy is one of the options.
WHAT IS SURROGACY?
Surrogacy is a procedure of aided reproduction where planned parents work with gestational carriers(GC) or surrogate who will carry and care for their baby(ies) until birth. Intended parents use surrogacy to start or grow their families when they can’t do so on their own. In another word, surrogacy is the process where an individual (woman) will willingly decide to carry a baby(ies) for another through the duration of the pregnancy, sometimes for financial gain but most importantly to help other parents enjoy the fruits of the womb.
Some types of surrogacy enable parents who are incapable of having children fulfil this desire. It’s a procedure that mandates medical and legal knowledge, as well as a healthy support method throughout the journey.
HOW SURROGACY WORKS
Through In Vitro Fertilization(IVF), embryos are created in a lab at a fertility clinic. Sometimes the intended parents use their own egg and sperm material. Other times, an egg or sperm benefactor is employed. At a fertility clinic, one or more embryos are implanted into a womb of the surrogate, who carries the baby(ies) to term.
Who Is a Surrogate Mother?
There are four kinds:
Traditional surrogate: Here a woman gets artificially inseminated with the father’s sperm. What we should understand is, with traditional surrogacy the surrogate also provides her egg to create the embryo, so the surrogate is biologically connected to the offspring and may assert in the court of law to contend the parental rights of the child. This type is certainly not recommended due to the lack of lawful defence for the parents seeking the service. She then carries the baby and delivers it for the parent in question to raise. It can also be a situation where both husband and wife want a baby but the wife’s egg is not viable, they can get a surrogate whose egg would be fertilized by the husband’s sperm. Note also that a donor sperm can be used
Gestational Surrogate. A procedure named “in vitro fertilization” (IVF) now makes it possible to gather eggs and sperm from a donor or the spouse that are requiring the service. Fertilize them, and place the embryo into the uterus of a surrogate mother.
The surrogate then carries the baby until birth. This type is free from most of the legal issues present in the traditional surrogacy. As the surrogate does not have any genetic ties to the child because it wasn’t her egg that was used.
Altruistic Surrogacy: In these arrangements, the surrogate doesn’t receive any monetary compensation. Here the intended parents will cover all the medical and legal expenses incurred during the process, including those directly derived from the pregnancy and the wellbeing of the surrogate, such as maternity clothes, special foods, vitamins and antenatal.
Commercial Surrogacy:Here the surrogate earns a financial dividend for the enormous bodily and emotional change she makes, as being pregnant brings a major change in a woman’s life. But the amount is restricted by law in order to deter the commodification of the woman’s body and surrogacy from becoming abusiness. This amount should not be an encouragement for women living in poverty to become surrogate. It should be a symbolic amount that rewards her solidarity and intention to help others and not for profit.
IMPORTANCE OF SURROGACY
1. It helps parents who have struggled with infertility to have a child(ren). 2. Makes it easy for women who are unable to physically carry a baby to have one. 3. It can help parents who have some form of genetic deformity, deficiency or health situation that is hereditary to have healthy babies. 4. It helps people who are in a same-sex marriage that want to have a baby that they are genetically connected with have one. 5. Women who had gone through vasectomy and their wombs were removed. 6. Conditions that make pregnancy impossible or too risky to carry by the wife such as terrible heart ailment.
HOW TO SELECT A SURROGATE?
Right now there aren’t any regulations about who can be a surrogate mother. But experts agree on a few points about how to select. You should choose a surrogate who: 1. Who is at least 21 years old.
2. A woman that gives birth to at least one healthy child, so she knows firsthand the medical threats of pregnancy, childbearing and other sentimental matters related to not bonding with the baby.
3. She must have been approved by psychologists to ensure that there are no underlying mental health issues, especially, issues such as giving up the baby after birth.
4. Signs an agreement about her role and obligations in the pregnancy, such as prenatal care and agreeing to give you the baby after birth.
We don’t have fertility clinics here and so we are not privy to some information on this matter. What we do know is how our societies most time make a woman who is unable to birth her own child(ren) feels less than or not much of a woman. Other countries in West Africa are at the forefront of fertility options, especially with options like IVF, countries like Ghana and Nigeria. There are people who have gone there with infertility problems and were able to have children. I also know that there will be a time in the not too distant future when surrogacy, will be a way of life for most women, irrespective of where they are in the world. Especially, those who can afford it, and are frightened of the birthing process and what pregnancy can sometimes do to the female body.
Some of the questions we should be asking ourselves are; Are there local forms of surrogacy happening in our societies already, but we don’t have a name for it? If not, the next question should be; Are we there yet as a nation? Are we ready for surrogacy and all its entanglements? If we do have fertility clinics here, would you opt for these measures to have a child? If you have the right information and resources as a woman would you go for surrogacy? Are our men open and ready to have these conversations? If you are a man with infertility would you be willing to use donor sperm? Since we don’t have laws that cover this particular problem. How are we going to handle the legal aspects of this process? If you are a woman with fertility issues would you be willing to use a surrogate? If you are a young fertile woman, would you be inclined to be a surrogate? If you were to be paid to be a surrogate how much would you accept as a fee? If you were to pay for these services, how much would you be willing to part with?
Bear in mind that surrogacy is a complex topic and do have some ethical and moral issues surrounding gender, labour, exploitation, and inequality.
As a nation that claims to have an interest in women, these are the issues we should start discussing. I think it’s about time, Sierra Leone starts thinking about the health of the citizens, as infertility affects both genders. In the light of establishing fertility clinics in Sierra Leone that will be providing safe and affordable answers to infertility. This is the time we look at what is important to us and map out ways to achieve them. These are topics we need to discuss as a proactive nation that takes the health of its citizens seriously. Till my next curiosity and write up peace!! and take care of yourself.
This article is for information purpose only. Kindly, seek adequate information on this topic from your health professionals.
Originally published by SiERRAEYE Magazine and news
BASITA MICHAEL, LLM, BL
“Not Guilty.” Two powerful words spoken by the foreman of the jury that brought a sense of relief and feelings of vindication to three accused persons in the recently concluded treason trial. In the case of the first accused, Alfred Palo Conteh, those words were uttered fourteen times. He was found guilty on two counts, viz keeping a greater number of small arms than is specified in a licence and having a loaded small arm in a public place. Although he was sentenced to 24 months in prison, this was a stunning victory for the defence team. In a country where the government rarely lose any cases, the jury’s verdict left many shocked and flabbergasted. The decision made many lawyers who were critical of jury trials rethink their position.
From the onset, it was clear to many that charging Palo Conteh for treason was an overkill. Many felt that partisan political considerations tainted the prosecution. This is by no means new in Sierra Leone. One only needs to read Aminata Forna’s ‘The Devil That Danced on the Water’ to get a firsthand account of how her father, Mohamed Sorie Forna, was framed, tried and executed on trumped up charges of treason. Our history is littered with many highly questionable convictions for treason. Many continue to ask and deliberate upon what needs to be done to prevent a recurrence of this sad, unfortunate and tragic practice.
A question posed to me the other day by a layman was whether the two accused persons, Saa Anthony Sinah and Prince George Hughes, who were found not guilty on all counts would be compensated. Article 9(5) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (“ICCPR”) provides, “Anyone who has been the victim of unlawful arrest or detention shall have an enforceable right to compensation.” Article 14(6) of the ICCPR confers a right on victims of wrongful conviction, which is subsequently reversed or pardoned on the discovery of facts establishing conclusively that there has been a miscarriage of justice, to be compensated according to law. Sierra Leone ratified the ICCPR in August 1996, yet we have failed to provide any domestic legislation for rehabilitation and compensation of victims of wrongful/ malicious prosecution and incarceration. Instead, we still have in force the Law Officers Act 1965 as amended in 1972 deems that the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice and all Law Officers are deemed to be acting in good faith unless the contrary is proved.
There are a number of key questions that need to be considered. What principles guide the discretionary powers to prosecute a case? What measures can be put in place to ensure accountability in the use of prosecutorial discretion? Should the exercise of prosecutorial discretion be subject to judicial review to protect it from abuse and political interference? What checks and balances can be put in place to avoid abuse by the office of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice? It is clear that the Attorney-General and the DPP need to enjoy prosecutorial discretion. It is necessary and important. However, such discretion must be exercised judiciously and not in an arbitrary, fanciful, oppressive, malicious or vexatious manner.
Separation of the office of the Attorney-General from the Minister of Justice
An meaningful way to address the issue regardless of who occupies the office is to ensure that the Attorney-General is insulated from partisan political interference. As the principal legal adviser to the Government, the Attorney-General is expected to be the guardian of the public interest. He does not and should not represent the Presidency or a political party. He should be independent. He must act independently of partisan interest in the exercise of their functions to initiate, continue or terminate prosecutions. In addition, section 66(6) provides that the Director of Public Prosecutions shall, in all matters including his powers under this Constitution or any other law, be subject to the general or special direction of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice. The DPP institutes, conducts and supervises criminal prosecutions and related proceedings. S/he must always act with fairness with the objectives of establishing the whole truth and ensuring a fair trial. He prosecutes and not persecute. In other jurisdictions, the DPP is completely independent, but in Sierra Leone, since the office of the DPP is subject to the direction and control of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, this could be a source of political control that interferes with the office’s independence and undermines its impartiality.
To enhance the independence of the office, the Attorney-General’s Office should be separated from that of the Minister of Justice consistent with the recommendation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC). As the TRC notes, ‘the Attorney General should be the Chief Law Officer of the state and should enjoy security of tenure of office.” In its final report, the TRC recommended that ‘the prosecuting authority must exercise its functions without fear, favour or prejudice. The rule of law requires that prosecutions on behalf of the state be conducted fairly and reasonably. The decision to prosecute or not must not be motivated by improper and political considerations, but by the public interest and the need for justice. The Attorney General acts as the “guardian of the public interest” and has extensive powers with regard to the initiation, prosecution and discontinuance of criminal proceedings. The Attorney General must also provide legal advice on matters of public administration and government to the executive. Clearly, the Attorney General must exercise his or her functions impartially and be free from political influences. While the Office of the Attorney General and that of the Ministry of Justice remains merged, the incumbent can never be expected to act independently.’ Nothing could be more dangerous to our democracy and bring greater disrepute to the administration of criminal justice than to see politics playing a dominant role in the handling of criminal prosecutions. In addition, the appointment of the Attorney-General must also be depoliticized.
Subjecting prosecutorial discretion and the Attorney-General’s nolle prosequi power to judicial review could also be another reliable safeguard against abuse and even mistakes by the Attorney-General and the DPP. Many ordinary citizens caught up in the criminal justice system, and who become victims of negligent or deliberate decisions by the Prosecution must be protected from abuse and deserve to seek redress in court to hold those responsible for the abuse and arbitrary exercise of their powers if they can prove that it was done in bad faith.
Vesting the courts with such power will serve not just the interests of the individual affected but also the public interest to ensure that cases are appropriately instituted and prosecuted. No one is and must be above the law. The Attorney-General, the DPP and all other Prosecutors are no exception. The continuous lack of accountability for their actions or inactions must end if the office is to regain public trust and confidence in their impartiality. Shielding them from accountability and liability for abuse strikes at the very fundamental principle of equality under the law.
Adoption and Publication of Guidelines
Currently, the prosecutorial function by the office of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice and other Law Officers and the Police is shrouded with secrecy lack of transparency and accountability. We are, however, leaving in an era where secrecy in public affairs is no longer the vogue. Greater transparency and accountability are the order of the day. The adoption and publication of the rules and regulations that guide discretion will be a valuable step to render the exercise of prosecutorial discretion open transparent and accountable. The UN Guidelines on the Role of Prosecutors provides that ‘In countries where prosecutors are vested with discretionary functions, the law or published rules or regulations shall provide guidelines to enhance fairness and consistency in taking decisions, including institution or waiver of prosecution.’ The current code of conduct for law officers must also be reviewed and brought in line with the UN Guidelines.
As the principal legal adviser to the Government, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice plays a critical role in ensuring impartiality and fairness of the administration of criminal justice. The UN Guidelines urges them to “perform their duties fairly, consistently and expeditiously, and respect and protect human dignity and uphold human rights, thus contributing to ensuring due process and the smooth functioning of the criminal justice system.” It is high time that the State stopped disregarding the plight of such victims of wrongful prosecution. An important legal maxim is ‘Ubi jus, ibi remedium’ – where there is a right, there is a remedy. In other words, there is no wrong without a remedy. The State must provide compensation and rehabilitative measures for victims of wrongful or malicious prosecution. Although the new Attorney-General and Minister of Justice has his work cut out for him, he should institute the constitutional, legal and institutional reforms needed to make this happen. Fīat jūstitia ruat cælum (Let justice be done though the heavens fall.)
Women of Sierra Leone lets us have our first health talk today on this platform. Women’s health education is such a huge and daunting task, and in a country like ours, where societal/ cultural ideals do not favour women this has made it even difficult to access some of the information we need. Women are left at the mercies of quacks and quick fixes which usually result in so many irreversible consequences. Sexual and reproductive health for women needs more attention in this country. Women go through a lot of issues, and most times we don’t have absolutely any idea of what our symptoms are. Even though its incidence ratio is lower when compared with the early decades. It is still the main reasons for maternal morbidity and mortality in the first trimester of pregnancy, especially in developing countries. These are some of the reason why we should not be in awe when there are discussions about high maternal morbidity and mortality in Sierra Leone. There is little or no access to information that will help women of this country make informed decisions and seek proper help from the experts.
Today, we will be looking at ectopic pregnancy. Have you heard of ectopic pregnancy before now? Has your gynaecologist ever mentioned the word ectopic to you before? Have you experienced it? If you have, what were your signs and symptoms? How was it diagnosed and treated? Did you confide in anyone about your condition? By the way, I am not a health practitioner and I am just here to share some of my experience, research and curiosity with you.
WHAT IS ECTOPIC PREGNANCY?
Otherwise known as extrauterine pregnancy or tubal pregnancy is when a fertilized egg grows somewhere outside the uterus, precisely, the egg attached itself on the fallopian tube. Because the egg is not inferred to develop outside the womb if left to grow, can damage nearby organs and cause life-threatening conditions. For the understanding of the layman, an ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy that happens out of the womb. It is a condition wherein the fertilized egg attached itself on the fallopian tubes, where it will start to grow and develop instead of the womb which is the safest place for it to develop. This condition is life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated immediately. We don’t have the statistics here in Sierra Leone but according to other sources, 1 out of every 50 pregnancy is ectopic.
CAUSES OF ECTOPIC PREGNANCY
Ectopic Pregnancy more often than not is caused by damage to the fallopian tubes. A fertilized embryo may have a problem passing through a distress tube resulting in the egg attaching and thriving in the tube. Some may happen without any perceived cause. Ectopic Pregnancy can cause your fallopian tube to rupture which can lead to drastic inside bleeding that if not treated with quickness might lead to death. The causes are not clear but here are some; • Smoking- women who smoke or use to have higher chances of getting ectopic pregnancy. • Women older than 35 • Hormones • Genetic irregularities • A previous Ectopic pregnancy • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)- such as some form of chlamydia, and gonorrhoea as they can create scar tissues in the fallopian tubes. • If you have an Endometriosis history. • Fertility drugs and In vitro fertilization. • Pelvic Surgery. • Tubal Ligation and Reverse Tubal Ligation as it causes damaging.
SIGNS OF ECTOPIC PREGNANCY
• Not too heavy vaginal bleeding • Sharp abdominal pain • Severe one-sided abdominal pain • Throwing up • Dizziness • Weakness • Shoulder and neck pain • Passing out • Pelvic pain • Rectal pressure • Severe cramps
DIAGNOSIS FOR ECTOPIC PREGNANCY
This can be done by a gynaecologist or specialist through tests such as pregnancy test, pelvic examination, a transvaginal ultrasound, ultrasound of the uterus and fallopian tubes. After an Ectopic pregnancy has been diagnosed, below are the two ways it could be rectified;
If your Fallopian tubes are fine and the pregnancy isn’t up to twelve-weeks, the specialists can give you methotrexate (trexall). This shot can stop the cells(embryo) from enlarging and your body will eventually absorb them.
SURGERY AND TYPES
There are two types of Ectopic surgery known as Laparoscopy and Laparotomy. Laparoscopy is further divided into two; Salpingostomy A small opening will be made in your lower abdomen and a flexible and thin tube will be used to extract the embryo when it ruptures and the tube is left to heal on it own. On the other hand, Salpingectomyis where the embryo and the tube are both removed. The procedure you will have will depend on the amount of bleeding and damage and whether the tubes are ruptured. The second factor is whether your other tube is normal or show signs of prior damage.
Laparotomy– Here the doctor might perform emergency surgery, and a much larger opening will be made to remove both the embryo and the fallopian tube. If there is heavy bleeding, This can be done laparoscopically or through an abdominal tear. In some circumstances, the fallopian tube can be preserved. Typically, however, a ruptured tube must be removed.
But if the fallopian tube is damaged. Prompt treatment lessens the danger of developing difficulties from an ectopic pregnancy. Its also improves your likelihood for future successful pregnancies and lessens prospective health complications.
POST ECTOPIC PREGNANCY
After ectopic medication or surgery, consider talking to your gynaecologist or fertility specialist, if you want to have a child or have more children especially if your tube(s) was removed. Try to also know how long to wait before you try again though, some expert has suggested at least twelve weeks, as this will allow your body to heal adequately. The important thing also at this stage is to know that one ectopic pregnancy can increase the risk of another. Therefore, one should be mindful of how your body changes until you can get your doctor’s confirmation the pregnancy is in its natural rightful place.
Deterrence is not possible in most cases. You can reduce your risk through good sexual and reproductive health education and maintenance. Use protection during sex to avoid sexually transmitted diseases/infections that may inflame or scar your fallopian tubes. A regular visit to your gynaecologist for examination and screening. If you are a smoker quit smoking and take care of your personal health.
If you are a woman in Sierra Leone who had suffered quietly from miscarriage(s) due to ectopic, feeling alone and not having the correct information my heart goes out to you. Look for a professional, a trusted family or friend you can confide in. Your mental health is as important as your physical health. Stay strong and I hope this helps.
I am so thrilled right now guys. Guess what?! Your girl got nominated for the Liebster Award, and Yes!! I consider this big so I can’t keep calm. 😂 This is my first nomination ever.
On a more formal note, I was very stunned when I received the notification. Super thanks to you, Lauren I. Mugabi, for nominating me, you can check her out here. She is an amazing writer. Her perspective to things are eye-opening and there is just something about the way she tells her stories. I say to you, get to know her and you can’t help but love her. The Liebster Award is an online honour given to bloggers by other bloggers. It acknowledges emerging bloggers and even those who are well established. It is a strategy for bloggers to be able to connect, support, and promote other bloggers within the writing community.
• Thank the Blogger who nominated you
• Answer the 11 questions given to you
• Nominate 11 Bloggers
• Notify your nominees once you have uploaded your post
What is your favourite book and why
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Why? “Is it your real hair?” strangers would ask, and then reach out to touch it reverently. Others would say “Are you from Jamaica?” as though only foreign blood could explain such bounteous hair that did not thin at the temples.” For me, the African hair, in her book became a symbol of the complexities, struggles and dynamics for black people in America. It highlights the battles Africans go through to fit into this new world. Consequently, even after spending so much time in the Americas and Europe, those who chose to return are never prepared for the shock and the struggle to fit right back into a place they had always called home. It’s a scuffle between two worlds.
What songs do I currently have on repeat
Freetown by Natasha Swadu Beckley, known as Tasha baby -well, I can’t miss a chance to represent my city now, can I?
Which season [ Autumn, Spring, Summer or Winter ] best describes you
Being a Piscean. I am a very extreme person, some may argue I am an introvert, others will definitely use an extrovert to describe me. I can best describe myself as a bit of all the seasons. I can be as cold as winter and hot like the sun in summer. I can be in-between like spring and Autumn. But my mood or reactions depend mostly on the attitude of next person. Give me a good vibe you get a better vibe in return.
In the event of an emergency home evacuation, what is the first item you grab
Hmmm!🤔 I will get all of my daughter’s baby pictures. I lost all my baby pictures during the war, every bit of it. I still yarn to take a trip to who I was then, but could not and it hurts real bad. I would not want her to go through the same experience.
Which historical figures would you like to meet and why
I would like to meet Ella Koblo Gulama. My opinion is she was way ahead of her time. The way she unconsciously fought for women’s right and leadership before the Internet and the hashtags. She championed women’s causes so much so, that women who came after her can find it just a little bit better than women in her time. Especially, in a man’s country like Sierra Leone. She was a genuine trailblazer for other women.
What makes a good blog
How a blogger is able to capture the attention of her readers and followers, for those few minutes. How inviting and welcoming the blog is can do it for me, as well. As it is known, people don’t like reading nowadays. Therefore, how a blogger is able to consistently grab the reader’s attention over time, can be paramount. Let us don’t forget, there are many other things that can make a good blog.
Back to the past or forward to the future
The future! certainly the future for me. I love mysteries and I definitely would not want to relive my past😂. The past should just stay where it belongs. There is just something about the future; the fear of the unknown that is frightening and exciting at the same time.
Your dream Vacation
Seychelles and Mauritius. For now, I’ll keep dreaming maybe one day I will wake up to the reality of it all.
The greatest movie of all time
The Shawshank Redemption by Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins.
Wealth or Health
Can I have both? Why can’t I have both? Okay, health then, if I have to choose one.
Your proudest moment
When I gave birth, as a first-time mom. Fam!! labour really did scare me. Couldn’t watch movies with a labour scene or even news, I did not listen to conversations about labour. I was fearful, period. Then when it was time, I became the strongest woman I know. There!! She was after three big push crying and throwing fists. I felt so much pride and better afterwards.
Are you thinking of switching or spicing up your evening snack? Are you tired of eating rice three times a day? Let me introduce you to something I bumped into earlier today for a snack. You can actually use any of our staples in Sierra Leone such as cassava, sweet potato, yam and plantain as a base. By the way, I am neither a chef nor a cook. I just love trying things out when I have time😊.
Boneless fish or chicken
Few sweet potatoes
One tablespoon of Cayenne pepper
Or any other vegetable pepper
One tablespoon of knor season
A teaspoon of black pepper
A teaspoon of thyme
A cube of Onga Maggie
Three garlic cloves
A sprinkle of salt
Breadcrumbs of your choice
First, you season your fish or chicken and steam over low heat. Allow it to cool and mashed after.
Next, boil your sweet potato and leave it to cool off. After cooling you can blend, pound or grate, whatever you prefer to get it to a mashed state.
Then, you pour a few drops of olive oil or whatever vegetable oil you have in your kitchen into a frying pan. Set your frying pan or pot over low heat. Pour the cabbage and onion into the heated oil and stir add garlic and the rest of the seasons and keep stirring. You don’t need to use my exact seasons, you can use any seasons of your choice. Leave to simmer for five minutes and add your mashed fish or chicken and your potato, stir until completely blended. Remove from the fire and dish in a bowl. Set it aside as it cools down.
Whisk your egg and pour your crumbs in an open bowl. Use your clean hands to flatten or ball your potato fish cabbage into your desire size. Dip into the whisked egg and finally into your crumbs and fry as desire.
This episode is dedicated to Mariama Bassama my muse when it comes to food. Hope this will motivate you to write your first food blog post. I know you can do it and I am proud of you.😊
If you did try this at home, kindly tag me on any of my social media platforms on Twitter @dasalonetiti232, Facebook @dasalone-titi, Instagram @dasalone-titi
To grow up in Sierra Leone as a girl child through adulthood without being molested, abused, sexually harassed or raped is a privilege, a big flex actually. It seems as if women are meer sheep among wolves and this sick notion is only getting worse, even after the presidential proclamation about rape. My heart weeps for myself, my heart weeps for Khadija Madinatu Saccoh, and for all the Khadijas who died through this inhumane act without anyone knowing. For those who lived to tell their stories, yet no one believed them. For those who told their stories but were gaslighted and blamed for being raped.
I see no justification for this sick act of rape, none at all. It is just selfishness and cowardice in the first degree by those who commit rape. But, then the most distasteful part is the hypocrisy of some of our leaders. They will come out and shout with the people, meanwhile, not making the necessary decisions that will help us see a downward spiral of these cases. They know the longest these shouting will last for is a week. After that, life will go back to normal and Sierra Leoneans will forget or pretend this never happened. They feign to be oblivious to how much of a problem RAPE is in a small nation like ours. Rape culture is deeply embedded in our society, and most times perpetrated by people the victims know. Most times these are people with power or people that are associated with power; traditionally, socially, religiously and politically.Rape is prevalent in Sierra Leone and mostly committed by family members, family friends and neighbours, but this does not mean strangers don’t commit these crimes.
We grew up hearing stories of fathers raping their daughters and people manufacturing phrases like “udat cook soup na ein first de taste am.” Interpreted as the cook is the first to taste his sauce. Instead of bringing them to book, these stories are humourized by our communities. We grew up in a society where men see a day-old girl child as a potential wife. We grew up in a society where men think it is normal to touch the woman’s body inappropriately in offices and other public spaces. A society wherein male bosses use sexual advances as a tool to intimidate female employees. A society where women are seen first as an object before anything else. A society where neighbours observe these happenings but turn a blind eye, in the guise of minding their businesses. A society where people would birth a child and think it’s the responsibilities of others to train them. A society where parents think it is the responsibility of the children to fend for them. A society filled with rapists and paedophiles preying on vulnerable young girls. They are known in these communities yet community members chose to ignore them, why? A society where children are giving out to family members, acquaintances, friends to train (referred to in Sierra Leone as “menh Pekin”). These children suffer the brunt of this barbaric act.
We all have failed ourselves, we have failed this generation, our leaders have failed us, those in decision making positions have failed us, especially, the rape apologists who by their actions or inactions are normalizing rape and the rape culture. Now let look at what rape is and the other things that can be classified as such;
RAPE– is a form of sexual aggression involving violent penetration without personal consent.
SEXUAL ASSAULT is a form of rape– it is when a man knowingly touches a girl/woman in a sexually motivated manner without the girl/woman consent. This can include intimidation or causing the woman to engage in sexual activity when she will rather not.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT is a form of rape– it is making undesirable and improper sexual comments or advances in any situation. We all have seen the recurring topic here is CONSENT. Now, what is consent? For every literate woman or man reading this;
CONSENT here means actively agreeing or accepting to be sexual with a man. But bear in mind, consent cannot be given by a child, a minor, a girl below eighteen years. Consent cannot be given by an individual who has an intellectual disability. Consent cannot be given by a girl/woman who is challenged or intoxicated. Consent cannot be given by a girl/woman who is unconscious.
So sleeping with a woman who is drunk is rape. Sleeping with a girl below eighteen is rape. Touching a girl/woman’s vagina while she is asleep isrape. Compelling a girl/womanafter she has said no, is rape.
Even though this happens less often than with girls and women. The Boychild can be raped as well, by a fellow man or woman. Someone who is married can be raped, A person in a relationship can be rape by the partner. No man has the right to force a woman to have sex without her consent.
Meanwhile, there are some actions that are not rape but are still forms of sexual abuse and add to promoting the rape culture, such as;
1. Rape Apologist: A rape apologist can be of any gender that endorses the acts of rape, usually by arguing that rape is not a significant crime or that people do not need to give approval before sex. Any individual who indicates that women may be able to take precautions to reduce their chances of being raped, such as carrying a hidden weapon for self-protection or avoiding places where a rape crime is likely while alone at night.
2. Victim Shaming/Blaming 3. Jokes about rape 4. Catcalling Women 5. Nonconsensual removal of condoms 6. Revenge Porn
There is a lot of advocacy and social work on rape and other gender-based violence in Sierra Leone. What I have not seen is engaging the men in our communities of their actions and to create awareness, education, and engagement targeted at them on thegrassroots level.
What I have not seen is mothers/ women paying more attention to their daughters and learning to listen to them, they should try to investigate their every concern. Teaching them to know about their bodies, having the sex talk with them, teach them to be comfortable with their Vaginas, train them on how to look for the signs of rape or abuse, such as what’s appropriate and inappropriate touches by the opposite sex is our best bet.
What I have not seen is the creation of programs directed at teaching parents, the village elders and community members about rape, its effect on the victims and it’s implications on the society as a whole. The criminality of the act and the punitive measures for those who commit these offences and those that may try to sweep it under the carpet.
What I have not seen is teaching girls that rape is not normal, and to speak up and speak out to someone, when they are faced with such situations. Girls mostly, cannot defend themselves against these perpetrators who are likely to be physically stronger than them.
What I have not seen is the forming of women groups and training them on how to detect the signs of rape and abuse and how to look out for these signs among girls within their communities. They could be young women who have taken a leadership position in our communities. They may also act as a medium with whom these victims may feel safe to report or open up to about these incidents. If they are afraid or frightened to talk to anyone else at home. These women will then forward these casesto the appropriate law institutions.
What I have not seen is Providing community health workers with the training on how to diagnose and treat rape cases, provide rape kits for community health centres. The government or NGOs should try to establish more Rainbow centres all around the country. Whose job will not only be to treat rape victims, but also to engage in awareness and educational activities in these communities. Develop laws, reform outdated laws, empowering law institutions and law officers especially, on rape cases. Develop proper punitive measures, charged rape cases to court, monitor and make sure that the courts treat rape cases with the required urgency they need. Set examples with guilty perpetrators and see theactual result.
Are we not tired of merely giving lip service to rape issues in the country? Are we not tired of not getting the answers we need? Are we not tired of protesting with no much result? Are we not tired of seeing culprits walking freely after a short period of time? We need actual results, weneedanswersandweneeditnow.
Her name is Adama Koroma. She lives at Yams Farm, Waterloo Highway. She attended Wesleyan Primary Sch Grassfield and The Annie Walsh Memorial School(class of 2008), for her primary and secondary school education respectively. She graduated from Njala University with a Bachelor of Science with Honors in Public Health in 2015, and she was crowned Miss Njala Bo Campus in 2012. She is also into modelling for clothing brands.
In 2014 she started volunteering with the Ebola Response Team at Portloko District Ebola Response Center as an ambulance nurse. She excelled in that position and was later recommended to Partners in Health where she started working as the Psychosocial Coordinator under the Community Health Workers program in 2015 and was promoted six months after to the position of Acting Program Officer. In 2016 she received a scholarship to pursue a Master’s Degree in Public Health at Southeast University, Nanjing, China. She graduated in 2018 and came back to Sierra Leone. She is very vocal and never skips the opportunity to express herself. Her Mandarin-speaking can be rated as fair.
Adama is Unique in so many ways. The way she is able to switch characters is amazing. It is no brainer she can be the good girl with a bookworm attitude one minute and can be a social butterfly the next. She can hold her own in any discourse and contribute meaningfully. Adama is what is missing in Sierra Leone’s reality TV show. She will bring the extra to your ordinary television screens; she is unscripted with a great sense of humour. She is very relatable; her story is in most of us. A simple girl from a humble background that is thriving to change her situation through hard work.
In June of 2019, she established her own business (GlamDivaBeauty) at Hastings Junction and recruited five Sierra Leoneans as full-time staff. She also runs an online Health Education program on Facebook (WalkieTalkie). All of these have shaped her life to be someone viewers will relate to. Running her own business over the years have helped her to develop her human relationship skills and has taught her that trust is the glue in any human relationship. She will be the housemate that other housemates will easily confide in, as she is down to earth and very easy to talk to. Don’t expect anything less from her,she is purposeful and intentional. She does not fake it to make it, but rather, She works it to make it.She promised to be the spiciest character and she will bring the necessary drama to the show this season.
Adama Koroma has so many dreams and aspirations for herself and Sierra Leone, she grew up feeling the need to create a healthy environment for everyone. Health should be a priority for every nation, she stated. At the moment, she’s planning on starting a Dental Health Campaign as this aspect of health has long been sidelined. She is with the philosophy of showing the woman how to fish rather than giving her fish every day. That’s why she is using her Facebook live, to bring her health talk program called Walkie- Talkie, to young people as they are the active users of social media. Imagine what this young woman will do if she is given such a huge platform like big sister Sierra Leone.
Big Sister Salone Season two reality television series had shortlisted Adama as housemate seventeen. This will give her the platform she needs to reach more people and touch so many lives in her health journey and talk show. More importantly, this will give her the wings she needs to take flights and explore other things that she is passionate about. she will need your vote to stay in the house come October and to be there till the finale. She will need all of us to bring her aspirations to life. Be part of this young woman’s dream and journey, be part of her success story. Adama is no superhuman, expect her to lose it sometimes, expect her to snap sometimes, expect her to be tired sometimes, expect her to not want to mingle sometimes, expect her not to say the right things sometimes, or rub viewers the wrong way sometimes, expect her to fail or fall sometimes, but then expect her to rise up like she never stumbles before, don’t ever expect her to not be herself, lastly, don‘t ever underestimate what she can bring to the show.
As this year’s season will commence soon, she is soliciting your support in any way possible; financially or otherwise, but more so to vote for her. She urges Sierra Leoneans to follow her journey to the end. Keep her in your mind, remember her name, remember her struggle and remember to support her. She is Adama Koroma because you all are.
@By Rahima Vandy Kargbo known as dasalonetiti Rahima
Our featured entrepreneur this weekend is the founder and owner of a gara clothing brand in Freetown. Her name is Salmata Nimata Onikehpoh Alghali. The third child to her parents. She has two older siblings and a younger one. Her family is her happy place and her constant motivation, she said. She is in her final year studying Business Administration and Entrepreneurship at the Institute of Public Administration and Management, University of Sierra Leone. Currently rounding up with her dissertation.
Nimata had always loved business since her early school days, she has always been independent and this had triggered her sense of responsibility. She is shy and dislikes to be in the position to ask for things she needed. She knew then she needs to find alternative ways to supplement whatever she is getting from her parents. She loves to be fashionable and has a high taste for fashion. She is into wearing t-shirts, especially the white ones. At some point, she became tired with the plain white t-shirts.
It was in April and she was looking forward to something that has our national colours. She was not going to get the stencilled green white and blue t-shirt, she was tired of using those as well. Then the idea of getting a plain white t-shirt and dyeing it came to her mind. She loves colours, so she thought of the idea of tie-dyeing something that could bring her taste to life and at the same time something that says Sierra Leonean without saying a word. In 2019, a few weeks before our country’s independence she bought three t-shirts, which she dyed into our national colours with the help of a friend. Even though the t-shirts were lovely, The end product did not come out as perfect as she was expecting. She did not allow that small hurdle to deter her optimism.
She wore it and took some pictures, strangely, she got a lot of request from friends who were interested and were asking if she can make some and sell to them. That’s how the whole idea of doing this professionally started for her. Financially, she was not in the place to actually start a business and this made her procrastinate the viability of what she was getting herself into, and some of the risk involved in starting a business. She confided in her mother who had encouraged her to do it and to always be optimistic. So that’s how her clothing line started.
“I am very spiritual and sensitive; I overthink things and sometimes they end up in my subconscious and will dream about them when I sleep,” she said. After the talk with her mother, she took everything seriously and kept thinking about what she might need to start small. One night she had a dream, where she was already doing this professionally, and a lady came to buy from her. In the dream, the lady asked her how much she was selling her Makara wear? She usually forgets her dreams, but with this one, she remembered every detail of it. That’s how the name MAKARA wear came about. She held on to the name and the rest they say is history.
Her main challenge has been the capital to finance her business. She lacks the required funds to acquire some of the raw materials needed to effectively start her kind of business. Getting and maintaining clientele has been an issue as well, as few constantly try to negotiate the price of her products to the point that eventually diminishes her profit margins. Lastly, a lot of people prefer clothes from overseas because of the idea that these products are better made than that of our local contents.
Consistency in doing what she does and saving her little profit has been her key to success. Making sure her products meet all the quality standards of her clientele. She tries to efficiently produce her products, so she can be able to price them in a way that could be affordable to the average Sierra Leonean. She wore her heart on her sleeve as she persistently strives to meet her goals business-wise. Because of her spirituality, she prays a lot about everything in her life and speaks positively to herself and into her business. Even though she is not where she wants to be, she knows she has started a promising path that will eventually lead to her business blossoming and flourishing in the near future.
“The compliment I got from clients and people around me has been my highlight, especially, when they realized I made them with my sweat and tears,” Nimata said proudly with a beaming smile. “The fact that Makara wear has attracted a lot of people who use to not love the gara tie-dye to wear my gara tie-dye products and they keep coming to patronize me is enough highlights for me” she continued.
She wants to see Makara Tie Dye Wears grow as a well-known brand in Sierra Leone, West Africa and the world at large. ” I want Makara Wear to be known like other well known international brands, such as Gucci, Dolce and Gabbana etc. A girl is allowed to dream. It’s never too young or old to dream and to dream big”, she said. She believes if she continues to work hard there’s nothing she can’t achieve in this world.
Her advice to others is for them to have goals and focus on them. They should try to take advantage of every opportunity given to them. As young people, they should not overthink their dreams as everyone’s dream is valid. Young people should be optimistic about life and build a positive mindset. They should be the change they want to see in the world. It is better to do something and fail; learn from the process than not doing anything at all.
Her life philosophy is “link with the right people, move with the right crowd, people who will teach you so many things by just been closer to them. People who may notice your mistakes and correct you” she said. “This is the kind of energy we need as young people, for us to achieve positive things in our lives. We should not feel terrible when we are criticised or corrected, rather we should learn from it and make the necessary change to better our lives” Nimata continued.
When asked for her last words, Nimata replied “As an owner of a small business, one thing l have learned so far is to always control my attitude when faced with difficult customers as there will always be that one person that will trigger you to react unprofessionally, but maintaining your composure is the key in such situations. Bear in mind that most times these are the people if treated right, will bring the most clients to your business. As entrepreneurs we are our brands, therefore, we should always be on our guard to be the best version of ourselves as CEO, bosses or founders. Finally, when you fall, make sure you get up, dust yourself and continue the journey. The road is not easy but very satisfying and fulfilling when one reaches at the end”. Ending her statement with a smile.
For more information on Makara Wear and how to put in orders. You can reach her on her business page on Facebook@ Makara Tie-Dye Wears On the following numbers: Mobile line……..+23276993821 WhatsApp line- +23230252390
“Perseverance and resilience are key. One should also try to remain true to the vision. The idea is to create go-to pieces for a woman’s wardrobe and her life—beautifully crafted pieces that a woman will love today, in two months, in two years, in five years—and to do that for as many women as possible.” —Narciso Rodriguez
This quote right here depicts all that this young woman is about. Readers, please, meet Mariama Ena Kanneh (nee Kamara). A fashion entrepreneur and the proud owner of Amena’s Haute Couture, which she runs alongside her uncle. She takes her inspiration from the colourful and vibrant African fabrics, prints and turns them into beautiful ready to wear pieces for the everyday woman. Hope you will enjoy reading this interview and be inspired by her story to start something no matter how small.
DS: Give readers a brief background about yourself
MK: I graduated from IPAM with an honours degree in Financial Services. I later pursued a Masters degree in Business Administration at Anglia Ruskin University, where I majored in International Business. After returning in 2016, I started working for a reputable Bank whilst looking out for a business idea. I am very passionate about fashion and had a keen sense of fashion since I was a kid. So it was easy for me to partner with my uncle, who had the expertise but lack the funds to establish a viable business. Starting this business has helped me to learn, change, adapt, get tough and as I continue to improve every other day.
DS: What motivates you as a Fashion Entrepreneur and why Fashion Entrepreneurship?
MK: Most people think, that entrepreneurs are primarily motivated by making money. For me, I derive my business power from knowing that I am helping people gain employment to cater for their families. There is a strong demand for fashion clothing in Sierra Leone and we have the right staff with creative minds to change the narrative.
DS: Who are your target audience?
MK: Our target audience is composed of men and women, within the ages of 18-35 years, with mid-range income. Amena’s Haute Couture customers are mostly based in Freetown and therefore, are able to keep up with the latest fashion trends.
DS: Fashion changes so fast how do you stay up to date with the trends?
MK: With fashion trends constantly changing; I try to stay ahead by watching fashion shows, visiting fashion websites, blogs and always keep an eye out for celebrity styles.
DS: What is the most rewarding part of being a Fashion Entrepreneur?
MK: The best part of being an entrepreneur is contributing to something larger than yourself. Solving problems by bringing a product that people need, giving livelihood to others and crafting the world you want to see, as this is way more fulfilling and the most rewarding forme.
DS: What is the most difficult part of being a fashion entrepreneur and how are you managing it?
MK: The availability of Fabrics- It is very difficult to get hold of a fabric that is affordable, high quality and unique. This is why you see most fashion houses using the same fabrics. It’s not lack of imagination, it’s because that’s all they can find. I mostly try to source fabrics from neighbouring countries in order to get unique prints.
DS: Where do you see yourself in the near future?
MK: Our plans are in God’s hands, we shall take one day at a time, for now, I am just trying to build a brand and get my business name out there.
DS: What is your pet peeve?
MK: I cannot stand it when people wear overly tight clothes; wear something that is your size, that would eventually look fabulous on you.
DS: Who are your favourite designers locally and Internationally?
MK: Madam Wokie has a very good taste in fashion. Frederica(J&F) is also great. Internationally, I love Lisa Folawiyo (Jewels by Lisa), Folake Folarin-Coker (Tiffany Amber and Mai Atafo.
DS: How and where can people locate you in case they need your service?
MK: Our store is located at 27 Bailey Street, Brookfields. On Instagram as Amena Haute Couture. You can also call us on the following numbers; 078242851/075004009.
From pageantry, fashion, poetry, to politics and now music. The one thing, you will have to agree with me on, is that Natasha Swadu Beckley is a piece of art, in short, she is an art itself. That is why we believe she is going to dominate the music industry soon. Our girl is super talented, a hard worker, a go-getter, with a brave heart. A philanthropist; founder of the Natasha Beckley Foundation. She has been providing scholarships to young girls in schools within Freetown, building and renovating primary schools in Port Loko through her charity projects. She is also the founder of an all-female organization known as the Sisters Supporting Sisters; which is a vehicle she uses to promote sanitation and mentorship to under privilege girls in Sierra Leone.One thing we know for sure is she is not afraid to walk on uncharted waters.
Natasha is a Sierra Leonean, based in the United States. She left for the States when she was ten and she never lost herself or the thoughts, to one day return and help rebuild her country. She first came into the limelight when she became the first runner-up at the Miss Africa USA in 2009 held in Maryland, an international platform. She had not slowed down ever since. She went ahead and won Miss Sierra Leone title in 2011. Subsequently, she went on to represent Sierra Leone at this Miss World stage in London that same year. She became a strong advocate for women and girls in Sierra Leone and has never looked back. She is the owner of International Ambassadors of Sierra Leone (IAMSL) Pageant. The IAMSL Pageant is a body that has the Franchise to the Sierra Leone Miss Universe; Mr World, Miss International and other pageantry platforms, that promote the youths, and help them to discover themselves and become ambassadors for Sierra Leone. They train and chaperone young people who are aspiring to enter into the pageantry world with the skills and confidence needed to excel.
She is also a renown poet with over two hundred poems to her name. Amongst which, is the popular Mama Salone at 56 poem; a spoken word poetry which she did and recited in commemoration of Sierra Leone’s fifty-sixth year independence anniversary.
She went into politics in 2017/2018 and became a councilwoman for ward 234 in the Port Loko district council with 69% of the votes, as she hails from that part of the country. She is devoted and committed to bringing change and hope for the people of her constituent and eventually, for the people of Sierra Leone. She had bagged a lot of recognition and awards for her contributions to the development of Sierra Leone.
Furthermore, she has hosted several shows and concerts in Freetown and the diaspora. She is still honing her skills as MC, presenter and host. Tasha is currently in the studio working with popular international stars in Nigeria. She has been dropping singles and freestyles on her Instagram and YouTube accounts; like Dreams and Nightmares, Korlay, Tasha 2wam for Salone and Issa Fact. Recently, Tasha has been trending for all the right reasons, since she drops her single “Freetown”. The Freetown challenge has gained momentum and a lot of other artists and none artist alike had come out with their version or cover of the song. Her fans can’t wait to get the album and hear what she has to offer. But there is no doubt that Tasha baby is here and she is here to stay. We believe she is gonna give the music industry a run for their money. Once a queen always a queen they say, and this queen is going to reign for a longstretch of time.
Black is the absence of colour Yet, when they see us, they see colour Why is something that is not, can be so much? Why is there so much hate, when love is never enough? Why does everyone hate black, a few times, even blacks? More so, they say, it is the absence of.
He was the absence of; when he begged please, I can’t breathe. He was the absence of; when so defenceless and cuffed. He was the absence of; on bloody tarmac from his nostril, flat on his face helpless in broad daylight. He was the absence of; when he called out, I need water, please or something. He was the absence of; when he cried out for his mama. He was the absence of; when two knees squeezed hard and sucked the life out of him.
When the full four, couldn’t resist the full force on the full floor. When the protector becomes the murderer. When the law becomes the perpetrator
He was the absence of; when injustice breeds resentment, frustration, and revolt. He was the absence of; when the wolf of slavery is wrapped in sheep fur, under the guise of freedom.
Four big white bears went straight home, a sigh of achievement for a day’s work; when a good job is done badly. The absence of one is still progress for the agenda Heads on their pillows, they smiled God must have loved us more; so, he made us white, he caused this divide, not us. Black is the absence of colour, but they see colour when they see us, we are not colourless. We will get rid of them a day at a time, all lives matter, except black. Turn off the light and it becomes the absence of; Yet, when they see us they see colour and now I can’t breathe because he can’t breathe.
US $38,000 (SLL 380M) RAISED TO HELP FRONTLINE HEALTH WORKERS PROVIDE ESSENTIAL PATIENT CARE IN 3 WEEKS
284 COVID-19 BEDS IN 7 HOSPITALS HAVE BENEFITED FROM VITAL EQUIPMENT, MEDICATION, AND HYGIENE SUPPLIES DELIVERED TO ISOLATION UNITS AND TREATMENT CENTERS RUN BY THE GOVERNMENT.
SIERRA LEONE’S HEALTH CARE SYSTEM REMAINS WEAK. IT HAS A SHORTAGE OF APPROXIMATELY 32,000 DOCTORS, NURSES, AND MIDWIVES, WITH JUST 1.4 PER 10,000 POPULATION COMPARED TO THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL THRESHOLD OF 44.5. LIFE EXPECTANCY IS 51.3 YEARS AND UNDER 5 MORTALITY IS BETWEEN 120 AND 156 PER 1000 LIVE BIRTHS. IT ALSO HAS THE HIGHEST MATERNAL MORTALITY RATE IN THE WORLD.*
Freetown, Sierra Leone – An initiative set up just three weeks ago to support Sierra Leone’s frontline health workers in the fight against COVID-19 has delivered more than SLL185m worth of vital equipment, medication and hygiene supplies to hospitals and treatment centers.
The C19 Dignity Project, a 100% volunteer, and citizen-led community mobilization COVID-19 relief effort was set up by TV host and journalist Vickie Remoe in response to a Facebook post by doctors seeking urgent help for the isolation unit in Connaught Hospital.
Since then, she and her team have raised in excess of USD$38,000 and provided supplies to support 284 beds in COVID-19 Isolation Units and Treatment Centers at Connaught, Jui, 34 Military, and Lungi hospitals, Community Treatment Center at Fourah Bay College (FBC), for mild and moderate cases, and the Treatment Center at the Correctional Facility.
Prior to receiving medical supplies, these centers lacked the basics – machines to monitor blood oxygen levels, glucose, and blood pressure.
A lack of cleaning supplies for sanitization at a facility housing 150 patients increased tensions between frontline health workers and patients.
“You have really saved us,” said Major Patricia Briama, coordinator of the Government’s community treatment center at FBC. “We had not been able to clean the bathrooms for several days because we ran out of supplies.” She added that the long wait for supplies put female nurses on duty at risk. “There have been incidents of verbal and physical assault from irate patients frustrated with conditions at the center.”
This week, Remoe and the C19 team aim to deliver urgent equipment and medication supplies to treatment centers in the South and Eastern Provinces of Sierra Leone.
“All Sierra Leoneans deserve to be treated in facilities that are clean, and well equipped. And all of our front liners need to be able to work with the peace of mind that comes with
knowing they have all the tools and medication they need to save lives,” said Remoe. “Right now, they don’t have that.”
Lungi Government Hospital in Port Loko, which has a 20-bed COVID treatment center, received medication, hygiene supplies, medical equipment, and funds to repair the generator from the project.
Dr. Yillah, Medical Superintendent and Lungi Treatment Center Lead, said: “Our treatment center has received a lot of support from C19, including helping us restore electricity supply to the entire hospital. It has greatly reduced the burden on staff, helped us improve patient care and, along with the supply of essential drugs, will lead to better patient outcomes.”
Entirely financed by private and business donations, both online and in cash in Sierra Leone, the project provides isolation units and treatment centers with vital equipment, medication and hygiene supplies, much of which is not even available in other hospital wards.
All goods have so far been sourced locally from traders at reasonable prices, including pulse oximeters, digital thermometers, and glucose machines, and everything supplied is in direct response to urgent frontline needs, including medication.
“If a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patient has an underlying medical condition such as diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension and they can’t provide their own medication, doctors cannot treat them. By giving doctors access to a stock of common medications, we enable them to do everything they can to treat those who are most vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19,” Remoe continued.
One of the main principles behind the fundraiser was to provide full accountability. “We want to make sure everyone who has donated their hard-earned cash to the C19 Project knows exactly where it has gone,” said Remoe.
As a result, despite only operating for three weeks, the C19 Dignity Project has already published three statements of accounts detailing funds received, funds spent and what it was spent on, and the accumulative value of supplies delivered to hospitals and when.
In addition, the lead doctor at each isolation unit or treatment center is asked to check and sign for deliveries. Signed delivery notes are then sent to the Case Management Pillar leads within Sierra Leone’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to ensure efforts are not duplicated.
How to donate
Remoe initially set up the fundraiser expecting to bridge the gap until the EOC was up to full speed. But as COVID-19 spreads, the project has continued to receive requests for urgent support from doctors across the country who are still struggling to access supplies to treat confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients.
To donate visit vickieremoe.com/mission to view online donation options or send Orange money to +232 79 16 46 41.
– Ends –
About the C19 Dignity Project
The C19 Dignity Project is a 100% volunteer and citizen-led relief effort mobilizing emergency medical supplies for frontline healthcare workers at COVID-19 treatment centers and isolation units. We fundraise to purchase medicine, medical tools, cleaning supplies, and food requested by doctors at facilities providing care to COVID patients. C19 Dignity Project Statement of Accounts 24 May 2020
All the contents of this article are the intellectual property of Vickieremoe’s blog. Dasalone-titi Rahima is just using her platform to help spread the message.
Sierra Leoneans, we only got ourselves at a time like this. By sponsoring a bed you are helping a brother, a sister, a family. Donate now to the C19 Dignity Project and help restore dignity in the lives of those in treatment centres. No amount is too small to help.
Another year and our Muslim brothers and sisters are celebrating Eid Mubarak after observing the month of Ramadan. One might think the COVID19 pandemonium will dampen their spirits to show up on our timelines. But no, the Sierra Leone in them won’t let COVID19 overshadowed their celebration, resilient people, right? They showed up and showed out in terms of Fashion. As per dasalonetiti tradition, we won’t let all these fashion statements slide by and go to waste. We decided to document them and bless your timelines with what we called the Eid Fashion Show Out. Bear in mind that modesty is the key for our Muslim boujee fashion statement makers. This year, we are served with a lot of Abayas and the few Kaftans. Enjoy, eat, drink and be merry in the comfort of your home and stay safe as you do so. Don’t forget to wash your hands, use your masks, maintain some distance, and stay home #asalamualaikum#covid19ishere#covidisreal#
A desert comes to mind, the beauty of mothers lay in wait. The waste of mortal coil that breathes the unending smell of weight. Sluggish thought of what was once there but only a sign of water. The vast land of grains of sand cluster together like a mortar. Death, the roughness of terrain is only brought to a kind. When struggles warmed up the ordinary eyes is, but blinded. Permanent shortage and occasional spring. Moisture and light inform us it’s time to build another threshing. The sprinters of Marathon, bringing forth the Sahara love grass, a purine. An average of over a hundred Fahrenheit, we are still not barren.
Life’s fruitfulness dried up completely erasing any trace of our existence. God’s greatest invention is made to store enough nourishment to survive the length of a lifelessness. Hope, that contradicts a world without end. Women are the rose of Jericho, the baby toes of Namibia. Adaptation, a freewill to protect ourselves from bloodthirsty callers. Not to be susceptible like the cauliflower, a mastery we unlearn as walers. We generate so much beauty in the midst of misogynistic ugliness. Cradle of civilization a prior dream of man’s world lustiness. Yet, reality has no significant bearing as we take each step. A footprint left for those after us, a clue of the struggles we outstep. Toughest of all species, symbol of fertility, of continuity, of tomorrow, that all is not mislaid.
As the tenere tree of Niger, the loneliness of the cosmos has not defined us. We represent the symbol of life in the middle of the disarray as we hold discourse. Our roots are tentatively buried deep into the netherworld. As we mine our source of spring, drawing from the lake of being curved. Sand torrent pushes us in every direction blinded. We hold on to the cactus that reminds us of how to flourish, bear fruits, multiply and spread out tentacles. Optimistic that the annual stranger of the wasteland. Will bring about a few dips of a downpour, reasonable to bring out the scent in our muscles. The strongest vessels ever made, our mothers’ daughters. Resilient with mystical super-powers, we are unapologetically who we are.
Cueing those who have relinquished hope; That beauty can be created anywhere, We are the Sahara desert flowers.
Called out Must you always blunder? Talked down upon Oh, You are so dumb Shouted at Echoes but little never excite him High pitched tone Your voice lost over the waves Drown in his ugliness leave your delicate words unspoken Judged of Nothing good will bear fruits from you Slapped Daily occurrence the hitting escalate Scrutiny of friends your family’s next Stalking, the shadow lurking in the dark Never good enough a feeling The smile becomes an indulgence She can afford no longer A bad girlfriend, wife, mother, daughter The trigger an enabler His words are razor-sharp cut through the flesh like a laser beam Jealousy a monster he nurtured His insecurities your burden to endure Throbbing nuclear explosion Influence a total assertion Eyes on your every action Dignity bear minimum Been pushed into a rigid nook Remember oh daughter of Zion You are scarred but never damaged Ignore the sword and near metals Hold the balance scale in the lady justice statue You are always the problem You are always the reason All is bad that ends badly
Get out Run now Never look back
If you are suffering silently from any form of SGBV, please speak up. You are not alone, seek help or make a report by dialling 116 on all networks in Sierra Leone 🇸🇱 .
Aaaah! aaaaah! aaaah! Her scream goes, But drown by even louder drums Flat on her back She struggles to break free From the clutches of tradition Hmmm! hmmm! hmmm! As the gag goes Stopping the scream Suffocating the life out of her Her feet wide apart Cling! cling! cling! Unsterilized metals celebrate The loudest of screams No one could hear her in silence Drip! drip! drip! Like rain, only her tear could flow Tick tock! tick tock! tick rock! Time to a standstill it came Eyes popping wideout, a gaze of terror As everything froze into a pillar of salt When life has lost its flavor Click! click! click! A sound left behind by echos And there goes her clitoris
She is left with nothing But pain and scar For her pleasure.
Amidu was a nine-year-old boy that lived with his parent at Downy Street, in Freetown. Like all nine-year-olds, Amidu liked to play outside his house, and because most of the houses in the area were clustered and not fenced, they mostly ended up playing on the streets. Downy street can sometimes be busy depending on the traffic on the highway. These boys will play whether it is busy or not.
On a normal day, you would see Amidu and his friends running around in groups. Sometimes in groups of five, other times there would be more, as other boys from the neighbouring streets would come and join in the games. They’d all have fun together.
They would dance under the rain during the rainy season and play street football, chase after cars, push and chase after old car tyres, or play local golf game with empty tins during the dry season. They enjoyed playing these games. Periodically, they would play hide and seek under the moonlight.
On several occasions, Amidu’s parents warned him about the dangers of playing out on the streets and how risky that could be. As cars and trucks plied these routes on a daily basis but being the kid he was, he never listened, especially since his parents were away most times. He would join his friends out on the streets and play after school. He knew the time his parents would be home. So whenever his parents were away, he would play for long hours; and shortly before his parents returned home, he would quickly wash up, get dressed, sit down quietly with his books – all the while acting as though never left the house.
One Saturday morning his father left for town and he was left alone with his mother. His mother told him to go indoors to study and finish up his school assignments for the weekend. She left for the backyard kitchen so she could fix lunch for the family before her husband returned from his half-day work. It was that moment that Amidu sneaked out of the house leaving his books on the dining table, to go join his friends. They were busy playing street football with no care in the world.
A cab driver who was coming down the street from the opposite direction noticed his brake had stopped working. He tried his best to manoeuvre the car but it became uncontrollable. The fact he was going down the hill just worsened his fears of a slippery slope, as the car picked up speed from that point. Amidu was busy playing and had his back to the cab driver – so much so that even the shouting of his friends to get out of the way was not heeded by him. By the time he noticed that something was wrong behind him, it was too late. The car knocked him down and hit a nearby pole as the engine came to a halt.
The outcry by the kids and neighbours was thunderous. Amidu’s mom was still cooking at the back of the house. She had no idea of what had just happened on their street. Suddenly, she heard the cries and ran outside. To her greatest shock, she found her beloved son, her only son, in a pool of his own blood. She tried to wake his lifeless body, as she shook him and started pushing and pulling on her son. Amidu was not breathing but she would not accept It. Her son would not die and leave her. It was not supposed to be this way. It should have been the other way round. Her Amidu should bury her, so no! She won’t accept it, her son could not be dead. Abruptly, she became still and looked paralysed. She was crying inside; you could see the tears flowing down her face but she was not giving out any sound. She was in a trance. She stayed in that position for a brief while when an on-looker noticed that something was not right with her. She was gasping for breath as she clutched her chest while, still, firmly holding her son. She had no plan to let go. Amidu’s mother was having a heart attack. Some onlookers ran towards her and held her back as they tried to get her grips off her dead son. She was reluctant to let go, as she stretched her hand towards her son. All of a sudden she went numb and slowly became heavy and cold.
Amidu’s father came and no sooner he grasped what had happened to his wife and son, he lost his mind. The taxi came a minute too late, Amidu and his mom were both dead. They were covered and taken to the mortuary leaving the pool of blood behind, as a reminder of what had happened to the people of Downy street that evening. The children never went out to play from that day; they lost their innocence ever since, their once blissful childhood gone up in smokes due to the events of that fateful day. Indeed, when the sun went down it never really did come up again on Downy street.
Comes in different heights, but never out of style. Sexy to the feet, power to the sole. Click-clack, click-clack, click-clack. The confident woman with poise, hips swaying. Chin-up and eyes straight ahead, she takes every step with precision. Every head her direction turned, the aura of the 21st-century woman. click clack, click clack, click- clack Elongated strides, with a gait like a cat. She got nerves, how can she be this bold? Not afraid to rudely interrupt. An armour that can be used as a weapon, but she feels taller. Pained ankle, lumbar and spine-flattening, couldn’t stop this. Click-clack, click-clack, click-clack
Boss pose with a tailored suit, clutch hanging from her elbow. As she flips her hair, and there she goes again with her click-clack.
O’er the green Mountain sits a lion watching over tableland and creeks. Set dew on peaks like Bintumani and Loma so unclear it cubs can not tell the difference between myth and verity. The realm of the free almost an island of rocky hills, and deepwater harbour, with green vegetation she beats her chest about in glory.
Dishonour and shame they sometimes bring, like teens desperate for their parent’s attention. Freetown is as tight now like it was never meant to be. Harsh hills and cliff are silent over their abuse, as they continue to strip them naked for their pastime. The mud and rain in their confusion cannot work together, they slide into the inhabitants. White sand peninsula beaches reshape by sand mining, they lose their accentuate curves. A cotton tree in the middle that bears witness to history, a lesson as old as itself but cannot teach, as we gather as usual at King Jimmy Market. Sanctuary bearing memories of Bruno and its kind. Estuaries holding firm on to mangroves morasses. She looks lustily over the vast blue ocean, seducing all those who are caught in her gaze. But the sarcasm of freedom is lost on its people.
The land is known for its generosity and hospitality. Sweet Bo a place that processes garri that surges like the sun in the morning. Training the sons of elites, raising intellectual, and a hallmark of academia till this day.
The rivers of Bonthe firmly united ever they flow, with ease stronger than the clasped of their past, yet they are not captives to the future. The land is known to produce tubers of cassava as big as their heart. The fresh scent of coconut oil filled the air, Seafood like oysters held onto the mangroves growing along the rivers that caress its terrain.
The bravery that seeped from the milk of mother Ella Koblo Gulama that flows through their linage. Planters working hard to produce enough to send their girls to Harford School in Moyamba. The land of noble and strong women, the land of the first. The land of equals, where women lead with their heart and not the spear. Nations they led became mightier.
As they match like soldiers into the land of pepper, a resting place; Pujehun is known for palm nut fruits redder than their heritage, richer than the strength that drives them to thrive like the wanjama river, feeding eras yet to come. Enough to know their past is history but the future of the south looks bright.
From blood diamonds to peace diamonds, this land had left the world in awe. Trench everywhere holding stories of child soldiers. The shining stones of Kono stored the blasting outcry from the Kimberlite, a magnet that draws even the ghost of our present.
Kenema, like its forest reserve for all its splendour and misery. The chirping of the birds reminding us of the Eden Gola forest is, with coffee and cocoa reserve for the next generation. A melting pot of species unique to only their line. Endangered mammals are the fantasies born of nightmares. easy to showcase its ego and chivalry.
Black beans melanated from a fruitful land that bestows life to anything buried in Kailahun soil. Cocoa peels reflect on their skin, as clear and soft as the butter of shea. Chocolate flavours of life are mislaid on the children of Kailondo. They crave and stretches their hands but could not touch. Undiscovered beauty, a reality lost on the wise people from the east.
Hope is the only colour as brilliant as their gara tie-dye as usual. landscape like boli which hold water when it rains; that makes the sweet in potato, but too much of it in the Bombali cassava it could hardly boil.
The aroma of pepper spices fresh and scented like the Neneh Koroh yet burns the eye. Cow breast in the hands of their mothers as they squeeze for more milk and butter. The wara wara mountain with cold heat that sends fog all year round in Koinadugu.
The warrior spirit of Bai Bureh is still seen today in the nuclear bulbs of tiny mighty onions of the Port of Loko, the ore is as shiny and black like their gum in abundant that keep their smiles from never fading.
As the tonkolili streams drain into the valley of Kangari, which create an illusion that Makali and Baomahun are siblings. A land of gold, and Bunbuna waterfalls that stores energy that could light up our world.
Kambia carries the burden of providing the staple for its children. Life’s trouble and abuse very obvious on her body, turmoils have altered her shape, but she covered her face with dignity and pride as she carries and held all her children with a promise as constant as the northern star.
She is fifty-nine but looks twice her age. Life has dealt with her. She weeps but this time the hills and valleys refuse to re-echo her cries. Her riches plunder in reckless abandonment. She beseeches no harm on her offspring may fall, even when her they cannot feed. Discord of colours had scattered her children upon the face of the earth. Their Pledges of devotion with the speed of a lightening relinquish. Her only strive is for them to remember their way into her warm embrace as she hopelessly lay in wait. She had taught them well, she trained them well, her children are strong and resilient with a Kindred spirit bearing souls of those before them. She understands, her crypt will not be the only thing that will bring them together again, in the Land that they all love.
Are you out there looking for local breed organic frozen chicken? Look no further Conira Frozen Chicken is here with the solution you need. You can reach her on the following telephone numbers; +23279689010/ +23233 721333/ +23231 102902 or on her Facebook business page @organic frozen chicken.
Readers meet Ms Conira Siaka of Organic Frozen Chicken. She decided to start her frozen business with local chicken when she found out that most people are getting tired of the imported chicken and some of it associated health issues. So much so, the demand for our local chicken and its meat is on the rise. As most people prefer them to imported chickens because they lack chemicals that are harmful to humans when too much of it is consuming over time.
These chemicals can include but not limited to: those put into the chicken feeds or those injected into them to get them to grow and breed faster to meet the consumption demand, and the preservatives used on the chicken meat after they are slaughtered to increase their shelf life. Some of these chemicals can predispose humans to cancer, hypertension, liver and kidney diseases. They can also result in antibiotic resistance in man. The desire to produce more chicken by some farmers – especially those abroad – within the shortest possible time at a modest cost, is the reason for such indiscriminate practice of injecting antimicrobial drugs in birds, including arsenicals, formalin, antibiotics, and other compounds. Similarly, even though people now prefer local chickens, most of them have neither the time nor the patience to clean and get them ready for use.
Having graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Accounting 2019 with no permanent job except for a few contracts, she decided to take matters in her hands and start her own business. After some research, she saw the gap in this particular market and she took the risk of venturing into it so she can help fill the gap by providing organic chicken for people within Freetown and its environs. She has identified a few local breeders and poultry Farmers that she buys these healthy birds from.
She said what set her apart from competitors in the same business is her processing, packaging and flexibility. Since she buys the live birds from local breeders, the processes of killing and cleaning the birds are entirely hers. The fact that she knows the importance of hygiene to her clients, gave birth to her setting some procedure for herself so that her products meet the quality standard of the imported chickens. She smokes them a bit to give them the brownish colour most Sierra Leoneans prefer before she washes, cleans, wraps and refrigerates them. She sometimes receives a special request from her customers such as cutting the chicken meat into pieces as some of them lack the know-how. She makes sure she packages all the parts of the chicken, no matter how tiny that part is. She also offers delivery services to offices and homes for which she charges a small fee.
At this time when the world is fighting a pandemic and most of us are advised to stay home and be safe. Your best bet for the supply of country fowl as commonly called here is Organic frozen chicken. She is practising all the preventive measures in her processes. You don’t need to go to crowdy market just to buy a local chicken. Call her business lines and put in your orders, it will be delivered right in front of your doorstep.
Her advice to young people and to women in particular; is to never be afraid to take a risk or to fail. Failure is part of the learning process. If they fail, they should get up, dust themselves and try again. Using their oversights and experiences as benchmarks, and to avoid those same pitfalls that prompt them in the first place. They should never be ashamed of their hustle, or their humble beginnings and they should always trust the process of time and growth.
Once upon a time in a small town called Sunflower. A young girl lives with her mother. The village was so beautiful; with hills and valleys covered in trees and colourful flowers, but mostly the yellow sunflowers and that’s how it got the name. The town has only one main street that cut across it and divides it into two. The houses stand opposite each other, painted with colours as bright as the butterflies.
Every day in the evening, the mother and daughter duo will walk down the lane with their dog holding hands, as they explore the world around them. They would go around the small town visiting all the beautiful places and they will end at the town’s park. This small town attracts a lot of different species of birds and butterflies because of the flowers. The little girl likes chasing butterflies down the street as they go, most times she and her dog will chase these colourful butterflies together. She sometimes asks her mother for the names of the birds they encounter on their trips, which her mother will gladly teach her, she never forgets their names afterwards.
One faithful day as they were walking. The little girl asks her mother. Why can’t we fly, mama? And her mother replied because we don’t have wings like birds. The wings are features that let these birds propel and glide forward as they move in the sky. Can we grow wings, mama? The little girl asks again. No! her mother answered back. But I want wings mama, I wish I can fly, the little girl lamented. The mother saw the disappointment on her daughter’s face and that broke her heart.
She stops, grabs her face with both hands and slightly lifts it upwards as they lock gaze she said, my daughter, you are my sunflower; you are brilliant, warm, smart and with that beautiful smile of yours, you can do anything you want in this life. You can fly if you want too, just that as human we fly differently. You will keep flying as you grow, all you need my daughter are determination, perseverance, love and a heart. These are what will propel you towards your goals in life. As you grow; never forget mama’s word of wisdom, never forget your wings are in your heart. Whenever you feel down and low as life is a roller coaster of these things. Think of this moment, think of these words and take flight. Don’t let anything stop you. Determination, perseverance, love and above all your heart, these are your wings, my child.
For all your provisions and other household items, do not hesitate to check their store at 108 Soldier Street Freetown.
As you all are aware, these are not normal times, and that we need to stay home as much as we can to end the spread of COVID19. The best place to guarantee your safety is in your home. Social distancing is still a fantasy in some public places such as market place and shops in town. Your safety and that of your family lies in your hand.
If you need provisions like Sugar, Milk, Rice, Vegetable Oil, Soap, Paste, Cereals, Spaghetti, Ketchup, Sardine, Peanut Butter, Mayonnaise, Luncheon Meat, Noodles, Couscous, Detergent, Biscuits, Kitchen and Toilet Papers, Arrivo Wafers, Drinks, Juices, Caprisun & Kool-Aid for kids, Diet Coke, Garlic Cloves, Onions and other household essentials for affordable prices within Freetown and it environs, dial the following numbers +23279734278 or +23230747808 and get all you want at your doorstep as they offer delivery services.
Remember, shopping made easy with blossom’s convenient store. If you are looking for ease and comfort, convenience and safety, more so during this pandemic then Blossom’s Convenient Store is the right place and they are just a phone call away. Minimum order is a hundred thousand leones (Le 100,000.00) and ten thousand leones (Le 10,000.00) for delivery.
A Conversation with Key Private and Public Sector Leaders
As we continue to move through a period of great uncertainty, the impact of COVID-19 on lives, livelihoods, and economies around the world continues. Our Government, industries, along with our development partners are working together to understand and address the numerous challenges. Business Leaders are having to act promptly on how to protect their employees, customers, supply chains and finances.
To support Businesses during this time, we at Freetown Business School hosted a _Conversation with 30 Key Leaders_ from across the private and public sector on *Leading and Managing through a Crisis* on 26th March. The objective of the event was to discuss and find solutions for businesses in Sierra Leone. A survey was also administered. The recommended solutions from the event and the survey are shared in our paper which we hope businesses will be able to use as a guide to tackle the pressing issues that the pandemic poses. Click here to read the full preparedness response plan for businesses.
Are you looking for organic and fresh homegrown Mushroom in town? Are you into the hotel and restaurant business? Please, look no further Ndolegbeh Integrated Agricultural Company in Kenema, is here for you. With there one in town organic goodness. Adequately process and package mushroom, healthy and affordable, rich in vitamins, minerals, and other antioxidants that are good for the skin, going for Le 40,000 for 250g. Call these numbers and put in your orders now +23279529291/+23276636881 @ Freetown, Sierra Leone.
It rises from the east She brought along the beast With the speed of a lightening Amongst us, the fear heightened It pushes through the green zone It spits and spreads and groans Along it way turning everything dark Poisonous to the lungs it attacks The earth cannot breathe it wears a mask Quick to snatched the aged and frail Oh, it covers everything with dust & ashes
The stranger from the east Came unexpected to destroy, kill and to feast. To a halt on mankind actions She swore to reach the four corners and causes extinction In this race, she is faster Dynasties crumbling without an heir Hunger is greeted with chills and aches Cough and sneeze the appetite forsakes Skyscrapers and empty streets are all we see Cover under the sheet of materialism is the vanity we cheat.
She rises from the east And everyone retreats into the safety of their cave Afraid of her wrath, a name ahead engrave A darkness has fallen upon us The happy new year they say but never told us that the queen is worse. Everyone has dropped their phones She has all the attention she wants as she sits on her throne. Washing of hands is never enough The elbow holding droplets is tough How fresh can the air be yet we are terrified to take it in. Surfaces are all infected we are all afraid to touch the bin.
The sun will rise from the east again Daylight and rays our faces it stains Waters are cleaner, the sky is clearer Animals are out with a torchbearer This earth belongs to us all We have to stop with the brawl. We are in this together Yet, social distancing is a bother. As mankind go back to his selfish ways What the queen’s name again? We blaze, Corona they all call out, while we gaze. The only question that needs an answer now is, are we really the Victim or the Virus?
Stay Safe everyone! Cough or sneeze inside your elbow, wash your hands regularly and practice social distancing. That is the only cure you have right now.
“The greatest sweetener of human life is friendship. To raise this to the highest pitch of enjoyment is a secret which only but a few discover”- Joseph Addison.
Friendship is the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person or persons that trust, understand and respect you irrespective of all your flaws and never judge you.
A company of seven and eight intelligent women with strong characters and persona can seem intimidating, energy-draining for most people. But we have been together for over twelve years and still counting. The most frequently asked question is; How do you do it? How do you manage to stay together?
We have been together since our first year at the university and have managed to stay inseparable ever since. Over the years we have seen ourselves metamorphose into a better version of ourselves educationally, economically, socially and spiritually – As we seek the innate desire to find our true selves.
Like every relationship, we have thrived. Initially, there were the expected personality clashes, bickering and fussing about each other but we have always succeeded in getting our heads above water. We have always honored the silent girl’s code by respecting each other space and privacy. We have all been there through graduation parties, job celebrations, engagements, weddings, pregnancies, naming ceremonies, birthday parties, and anniversaries. We have been together through losses, heartbreaks, break ups, deaths, and grief over loved ones. We have been each other’s shrink as and when the need arises.
” Ours is a relationship built on genuine love, trust and mutual respect for each other. As we understand the unique dynamics of this thing called friendship”
We have the geeks, the divas, the ladies, and the straight-up ratchet. Some fit into two or more categories. Others fit into all. There is no better feeling than talking to a friend for long hours after a long absence (usually caused by our individually busy schedules).
There is always an endless list of things to do with your girlfriends; who else is going, to be honest with you when you wear the wrong clothes or have a bad hair day? Who will mock the hell out of you if you have a wardrobe malfunction but still help to save the day? Who would stop you from that impulse buying and tell you how you need to save? Who would celebrate you even when you messed up? Who would listen to all your ranting after a bad day’s work? Who would listen to you and pass you the tissue paper when you are heartbroken? Who would listen to your goals and cheer you harder? Who would laugh the fun out of you for no good reason? Who would you rather unrepentantly let your guard down with, throw your wig at and eat together in a pot with your hands?
What I have noticed about female friendship is, girls are competitive as though there’s only one spot in the world for everything and that’s not true. The sky is big for every woman out there to fly. We do have competition, healthy competition. One which is more about us evolving into better versions of ourselves with each passing day, than the toxicity I see among many other female groups. As women, we are frequently put against each other, left to battle over who is the best in mundane or petty things that are really irrelevant. But this sisterhood does so much more than just help each other look or feel good. We are one another’s cheerleader and support system through every weather.
We need to stick together and open our hearts to see that there is more to life than competing for a spot or to please men. It’s important not to cut yourself off from your female friends. We are not perfect, nor are we the best of girlfriends to each other. But we task ourselves to put the individual effort required to make the whole group work and that’s all we ask of each other.
Finally, as we go along this path with the awareness and the idea that our children are getting bigger. There is no intense pressure on them to be friends. We believe they will find their own true path to friendship and happiness. We just pray and hope that in the course of their existence they will get to experience a friendship like ours.
Hey, it’s understandable not everyone will get it, some might tag you negatively, or called you names. Some might pretend to dislike all you stand for because they want a friendship like yours. Guard your female friendships and enjoy every bit of it. It doesn’t come easy.
Finally, It was a weekend getaway with Lyoa Honey. It helps sweeten the precious moments, try it and thank me later😊😍
“Honey consumption (as compared to refined sugar or HFCS) leads directly to the formation of liver glycogen, thus stabilizing blood sugar levels. Honey thereby reduces metabolic stress and improves fat metabolism and disposal, thus combating two of the key parameters of the metabolic syndrome, Type 2 Diabetes, and obesity.” -Dr. Ron Fessenden
This week we have the pleasure of talking to a young social entrepreneur, resilient and strong in her drive to bring pure undiluted honey to the people of Sierra Leone and beyond. She is into the agribusiness to make a difference. She packages and sells the best honey in Sierra Leone, source from the interiors of Kabala, Koinadugu District. So readers, please meet the owner and founder of Lyoasourced Company Limited. Ms. Juliana Thambie Sesay. You can reach her through her social media pages on Facebook and Instagram @ Lyoasourced. Co or you can send her an email to email@example.com
Raised in the Central District of Freetown. She attended the all-mighty Annie Walsh Memorial School and then proceeded to the Institute of Public Administration and Management, the University of Sierra Leone, where she bagged a honors degree in Financial Services. We hope you enjoy this week’s read as much as we did.
DS: Why did you choose to go into the honey business?
LS: When I started this company twenty months ago, there was a need to add value to our local produce, to brand them and display them in shops and supermarkets in Sierra Leone. There was so much local produce I was looking at before I started, with the intent to add value to them. But I needed to start with something and honey it was.
DS: How local is the honey?
LS: Lyoa Sourced Company is a small value-adding Agribusiness Company that started in July 2018. We source Honey and Beeswax from multiple bee hunters in the wild forests around Koinadugu District, Northern Sierra Leone. This supports sustainable beekeeping livelihoods in those communities. We do not heat or blend our honey to keep it in its raw state. This allows the natural enzymes and pollen particles to remain in the honey. As a result, it is not uncommon to occasionally find a spec of wax orpollen in the honey. By not overheating the micro-crystals or pollen, the honey may crystalize rapidly. This is perfectly normal. Our honey is always unpasteurized and minimally filtered retaining its natural properties.
DS: Have you tried to collaborate with the hospitality industry?
LS: Yes,! I have contacted many hotels in the country to supply them honey but a lot of them really prefer to buy it in gallons rather than the jars we sell. So far we supply Radisson blu, family kingdom, Wusum hotel in Makeni and a few others on and off.
DS: What are some of your challenges?
LS: The challenges are numerous for small startups in Sierra Leone, the major one for me is the lack of packaging industry in Sierra Leone. We have to source everything from Overseas and most of the time that triples our cost of production.Considering the devaluation of our currency to other foreign currencies used to buy overseas, every day we need to get more leones to be able to make a purchase of the same quantity of material previously bought at a certain price. The time and cost factors of transporting those things from suppliers around the world to Sierra Leone is another challenge. The business environment getsdepressed over time due to the economic situation in the country. Quite recently, I became a first-time mom and combining doing business and motherhood has also been challenging, especially for a small start-up like mine, without fix staff.
DS:Do you produce other things aside honey? LS: Yes I do produce Beeswax scented candles. We also do favors for special occasions and tons of gift ideas.
DS: What are some of your highlights? LS: Well in July we will be celebrating our second anniversary, we have been able to survive for two years. We also have contact buyers who will use nothing else but Lyoa Honey, our souvenir line is also growing. For instance, recently I realized that we can also customize the big jars for people when one of our customers required it. And I have recently been nominated for an award as an entrepreneur of the year (even though I have my reservations about that considering the difficult year I have had in my personal life I feel I could have done better this year)
DS: What are your goals for the next five years?
LS: My five-year goals are huge: first of all exporting is major, the market in Sierra Leone is very small so to be financially stable to keep business running we are seriously looking at ways to get our product overseas. The first step is getting a website that I hope to get help with very soon. We are also looking at creating varieties, not just honey and candles or souvenirs. There are so many other things we intend to do but will not mention here so as not to give ideas to other people. And the ultimate goal is to have a supermarket of everything made in Sierra Leone.
DS: What’s your advice to young people that wants to venture into the honey industry LS: Business is not easy, you need passion, dedication, and wit to be able to withstand and deliver. In the end, you will have the personal satisfaction of building something from nothing; there are few times when you are pleased with yourself for meeting deadlines and customer’sspecifications but overall it is a very challenging venture and its not for the faint-hearted.
Well, readers, you read it first from here, the full story of Lyoasourced. We want to wish you all a happy International Women’s Day. It’s the Salone way or no way at all. Peace ✌️
This week we have the opportunity to talk to one of the hitmakers, pace-setters, movers, and shakers in the movie industry. A strong woman who has been a force to reckon with, she is the owner of Lema’s Diary which is a movie producing company in Sierra Leone.
She is Alimatu Farakhan Sesay nee Kamara. Hailed from Kenema District with five sisters. She attended the Holy Trinity Primary School and later moved to Government Model Secondary School where she attained the senior school certificate and later moved to Fourah Bay College, the University of Sierra Leone where she bagged a degree in Commerce. She works in the banking industry in Sierra Leone. She has been married for seven years to Umaru Farakhan Deen Sesay who is a lawyer and the executive producer of her movies. They have two boys.
Alimatu has been writing stories since her teenage years, as she grew up taking notes of her surroundings and daily happenings in her diary. In fact, that’s where the name Lema’s Diary comes from. She writes and produces her movies alongside her husband who is the executive producer of her movies. She has received many nominations and awards from different entertainment organizations.
“The movie industry in Sierra Leone is struggling. We do have a long way to go, and as a woman in an industry that is male-dominated like ours, to get the desired result I am getting now, I have to work twice as hard as my male counterparts to tell my stories. This systemic gender imbalance is endemic and extends beyond the movie industry” said Alimatu.
Some of the challenges in the industry are piracy, copyright issues, lack of proper entertainment laws to protect people in the industry, the underdeveloped market for sales and promotions, lack of finance to acquire standard equipment needed to get fine picture effects that meet the standard of other movie industry in the subregion and lack of support for locally produced movies by the public.
The upside to all this is that people are starting to believe in the industry again. The government encourages entertainment and she believes in due time things will fall in place and take shape. She is hoping to get more support from the public. Alimatu wants to keep moving forward using her creativity to support great movies made and produce in Sierra Leone.
Her goal is to keep creating movies that will find a way into people’s minds and subconscious, that viewers would relate with, that reflect on the complexities of human nature, and the interactions with ourselves and with the environment.
Her advice to other women who are hoping to enter into the movie industry be it as an actor, director, writer or producer is that they will be most times faced with prejudice so they should be ready to put in the work if they want to be taken seriously. They should learn about the industry before venturing into it. They should also try to create the change they want to see and build on those changes.
Her last word is that women in the entertainment industry should ignore the stones been thrown at them and use those stones to build their careers. This happens mostly because of the untrue notion that women in the entertainment industry are loose. “Our work is to create good movies, build our careers, build the movie industry and to change this ill notion of us and it is not a day task,” she said
He is all sort of fun and unpredictable. She is all things calm and foreseeably calculated. For his adventurous spirit; she is the anchor he needs. She is the ice to his fire; he is the yang to her ying, and together they are the piece to each other’s puzzle.
Mustapha Kpakra Mansaray also known as Skilla or Juniboy is the last born of four children. He is an accountant and graduate of Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone. An extrovert, very friendly with a buoyant and bubbly persona. He is always the life of a party. He is the president of Da Intelligent Comrades (DIC) and a member of the Power Man Base which are social groups for intellectuals.
Unlike Skilla, Isatu is cool, modest, conservative and an introvert who takes pleasure in her own time and space.
They say opposites attract and this had been absolutely true for this love birds. From the moment they cross paths, they knew they were made for each other.
They met in 2010 when she moved to the UBC Kissy Church branch. On a faithful day as she was leaving the church for home. She met Skilla and his friends and they became acquainted. After some time he got her number from his sister and they started talking. Sometimes they would have those long conversations for hours; but also will go for weeks without talking. Until 2011 they decided it was time to give love a chance and they started dating.
“Skilla has so many good traits that overshadow his weaknesses. He is respectful; he respects me a lot, very nice and caring, he sees the best in me, motivates and advises me. In short, he has been a driving force and a great pillar of support in my life”, said Isatu. As they say, love covers a multitude of sin, this has been true for us as the love we share far exceeds the hurt or pain we’ve been through. I thank God for him every day, she continued
“Isatu is very humble and modest, a woman any man would wish for. Ambitious and pushful, passionate, focus, loyal and she has an extraordinary love for the things of God and that’s is why I love her”, Skilla proudly says of his wife.
“We have been through our own fair share of bad times, there has been a roller coaster of ups and downs like every other relationship. The good thing is that we both know we are flawed and we have always tried to settle our differences between us and hardly ever involve a third party.” said the couple.
They are starting a new leaf, a journey which they are both excited about. They pray what they share will stand the test of time and be an example to others, God is their helper.
It is true that love can make you soft and mushy sometimes, but we all need it at some point in our lives. This young couple has found love, which is a profound thing. Let’s continue to remember them in prayers so that the spark in their marriage will never cease to be. Love is a wonderful & powerful feeling, we hope theirs lasts till eternity.
Soura’s bloom is located at 51 Bai Bureh Road, Shell New Road. You can reach them on this number +23276936280 and on their Facebook page @Soura’s Bloom.
From a personal lense, it’s hard to express oneself if you are not comfortable. As truthful as this statement is, this is what Soura’s Bloom is bringing to the table comfortability, class, and affordability. So that the average woman will be able to express herself as comfortably as possible. I know you might be wondering what Soura’s Bloom is all about. Well, readers let’s cut to the chase and delve into it.
Soura’s Bloom is a fashion boutique that provides comfortability and style for young busy women. It is owned by a fine young lady name Haja Soura Kamara. A graduate from Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone. Soura’s Bloom came about as a result of her passion for fashion. She likes beautiful clothes and accessories and has an eye for good things. She likes to look good and also want others around her to look good.
Soura’s Bloom sells ready-to-wear, fashionable, top quality designs and contemporary clothing and accessories for women of different shapes and sizes. They also vend numerous shoes such as-heels, pumps, platforms, slip-on, flats, sandals, and sneakers. They offer modern lady bags: shoulder bags, handbags, tote bags, backpacks, clutches, and purses. Other accessories like belts, glasses, etc can also be found on display for affordable prices. Their purpose is to help women learn which clothing and style go best with their personalities and lifestyles. The Soura’s Bloom customer is the everyday woman who wants to look more for less, that enjoys high-end fashion and trends but still wants to maintain some financial stability. She also provides services such as personal delivery for her clients and sometimes style assessment.
She chose entrepreneurship because she wants to be her own boss and control her path on a personal front, but also wants to be in a position to provide jobs for others as that’s the ultimate dream.
Her words for other women who want to venture into entrepreneurship is they should not wait for someone to give them permission. They should know that they can do anything if they put their minds to it and they should never give up.
“At Soura’s bloom, we thrive to make our clients’ experience and satisfaction a little better than the average clothing store in Freetown”, said the buoyant Haja Soura.
Our fire shows our strength, they say. Emotions buried deep within us uprooted. Scared of our fears we tried to put it out. They tried to use our candles for themselves and I know the feeling. It is dear to me, closer to my heart but I let my fire burn anyway, give light to those who need it, selfless I guess I am. Energy is taken from me forcefully I wish I could reclaim, selfish right? Internal war with this fair conscience of mine. Good or evil depends on where you stand. An outburst of passion and love as sweet as honey, the apple Adam couldn’t reject is served to us on a platter, and yet, they think they are in control. There is something in my heart the world needs to know, not afraid of their judgment anymore. The inner self I’ve found and the beast is uncaged. Let quench their thirst and hunger with the forbidden fruits. Hide they did inside their alter ego. The other me is like a holy grail I tried to connect with, in my waking life but the unspiritual would not let me. The judgment they levied yet I never said I was perfect. God being the ultimate Attorney sits on His throne as he listens in amusement of man’s foolery and lack of knowledge. The fire in me, his light that guides. Some say it illuminates evil to triumph because they cannot explain grace. They judge yet still, my emotions are purified by new beginnings ain’t afraid of any. I am only fearful of being transparent; the thought of someone looking right through you can make anyone tremble in fear and cold sweat. Even more so if you can see through yourself then you can see all the flaws of others in you.
You have the fire in you that produces the light you need in this dark world. The survival instinct in us has to enlighten our minds to care for thyself, love thyself, save thyself first. Going against the laws of the Son of Man that saith love thy neighbours as thyself. Never the obedient one but always ready to make sacrifices. What’s wrong with this thread being all spiritual? yet the spirit found me, ain’t worthy though, but it got me speaking in tongues so strange to my own ears. Dancing in a trance taking steps like my mother before me and her mother before her. Yes, they did clear the path before us. That anguish in you that flames up in explosion when nothing is working, this needs to be quenched. It leads to self destruct and no soul wants that. The Compulsion element will preserve the warmth of humanity. Not too much but never too little to dominate and shine. Let all relight the fire in us and set the world ablaze with the energy of synergy. A huge power ball that’ll send a wrecking blow upon unbelievers. Let’s light our beliefs, our hopes, our feelings but never our fears as we seek a higher self. Let not burn bridges above all let not overuse others’ lights and energy or burn them with our lights. Let’s our fire be the light that bright others path. I am selfless, so the spirit really chose me, it lights my fire again.
Meet the Adesinas, the engineers who fell in love and later got married amidst so many challenges. The love story of Marilyn Hennie Musa and Moruffdeen Olayinka Adesina.
They met in 2009, at Fourah Bay College through a mutual friend who like Moruffdeen, was a member of the Nigerian student Union at FBC. Moruffdeen was one year ahead of Marylin and he was always willing to help her in her academics with drawings, assignments and her course work. They gradually became friends.
After one to two years of friendship they decided to take the relationship a step further as they agreed to date. Dating was easier with Moruffdeen because of the friendship they had shared. ‘My husband is the nicest man I have ever met, I know this may sound cliche but he is every woman’s dream’, Marilyn stated. ‘He had never pressured me for anything and had always been a strong pillar of support for me physically, mentally and emotionally’, she continued.
When after graduation from the university between 2013 and 2014 they both got jobs. Moruffdeen was working in the provinces while Marylin was working in Freetown, and the long-distance took its toll on the relationship and that affected their plans of settling down.
“Ours is one of a kind relationship,”says the excited and beautiful bride. “We were mentally and emotionally prepared for the challenges we will face because we realize our differences early on and so we were ready to face them when the time was right. We were inclined to learn and unlearn so many things about ourselves and our cultures individually and as a couple. We knew what we wanted and we fought for it”.
In the end, this couple was joined together forever. We pray they experience “happily ever after” as this is every couple’s dream.
What we have seen here is how strong and powerful true love can be. Love does not know demographics and is not a respecter of race. Love does not see religion or skin color. Love breaks barriers and love conquers all. What the Adesinas share is a true testament to that. We wish them well in this journey of theirs and uncommon marital bliss♥.
Of course, we not going to end this if I did not give you my readers a sneak-peek into how the bridal shower went down. Enjoy!
Hearing the love stories of others can inspire and encourage us all, and theirs is no exception. It was a royal wedding between the beautiful and gorgeous fashionista Adama Shaw and the Honorable Osman Abdal Timbo. Different cultures show love and marriage in different ways around the world and the contemporary wedding of this Fullah couple is regal in every aspect. Sierra Leone has beautiful wedding tales and this is just one of them as we start the year 2020.
From the beautiful Civil Registered wedding to the traditional wedding, there was just this flow of awesomeness from it all. The outfits of the bride and groom all spelled taste and class.
The outdoor garden reception decor with rose flowers and petals a breath of fresh spring and warmth, welcoming to guests and wellwishers alike and a cake fit for a king dessert. The ceremony was graced with dignitaries and VIPs in Sierra Leone.
We cannot leave the exquisite cuisine mixed with our local drinks and appetizers, enough food for the guests.
We will not in any way end this without discussing the fashion of the couple and guests alike. It was a show that fits for the runway. But above the glitz and splendor let’s not forget the reason we were there, to celebrate and wish them well in all the days of their lives jointly, as marriage is not an easy journey. We wish them marital bliss till eternity. Indeed love is a beautiful thing♥.
Did I mention bridal shower/hens night earlier? I think I did and that’s where the glam started. Let me allow you to feast on these beautiful pictures below from the hen’s night.
A land far away, isolated, surrounded by water bodies. She stands on her own, filled with a history lost on its inhabitants. As rivers go back and forth on its shores, home for sea creatures. Leaving it marks on the black rocks along its coastal terrain. Voice of the ocean roaring far away, the cries of our forefathers lost in it. But we could still hear their voices, faintly, as it re-echos on the other side. On a wooden boat, the journey to and fro as they sing the song of hope for generations to come.
Mother earth so gentle and her womb so fertile, untouched beaches, sands shining in their innocence, a land so green it could grow anything yet! her children are dying of hunger with their dreams. Dreams that could build this nation. Trees with nail marks left in memorial, a souvenir, as they left a message, a lesson for the future. As if to tell us they were here, they squeezed and gnashed their tooth hoping somebody could hear them, free them from the clutches of slavery. Bloody canes in the hands of the master, soak with sweat and tears, all these trees could do was to bear witness sadly, they could only provide shade under the heat.
The decay, remnants, and relics of what used to be a bustling city, streets are looking straight ahead as if they will foretell the possibilities of tomorrow, but the wreckage of the past is still present and that is all they could see. This land of ours is rich in everything but poor in everything, this land is lost on us, yes! This land has thought us not to be the echo but the voice. This land has brought forth Kings and Queens. This land I carry with me everywhere I go. This land will stay with me forever. This land is me, but yet this land is Bonthe.
“I am not going to invite you to my wedding if you are not going to be there for my marriage” this quote had stuck with me the moments I picked it up from God knows where. Maybe from a movie or tv show but never mind.
Things you should keep in mind for your big day. I am not going to beat around the bush I’m going straight into it.
1. KNOW IT IS YOUR WEDDING: don’t allow anybody to champion the planning of your day if you don’t have a wedding planner. I repeat take charge of your wedding don’t let your parents or inlaws relived their past on your day make your own mistakes, after all, there is nothing like a perfect wedding. We all know how our parents, inlaws, and friends can be in Salone. Everyone wants to have an opinion and be heard; you should do this, you should wear that, if you are not careful or strong to say no to them you will be doing a whole lot of things that you don’t really want to do for your wedding.
2. GET A BUDGET AND STICK WITH IT: there is so much pressure on ourselves to get the best wedding not the best marriage and this is where the misplaced priority starts. Try to keep track of what’s coming in financially as a pre-wedding gift and what’s going out as expense. The wedding is just a day, marriage is supposed to be for eternity. Cut down on bogus spending, don’t spend too much on things you would not use or need after that day, outsource is you can. If you don’t need five-page boys and flower girls, of which use anyway just get one each or two at most. If you do not need seven bridesmaids or best, why not get two? why do you need to put unnecessary pressure on yourself to get them what to wear or to put pressure on people to get themselves what you want them to wear at your wedding?
3. TALK TO BOTH FAMILY: first, this is necessary, to let them know it’s your wedding and you guys are in charge, the type of wedding you want to have and most importantly your budgets and their invitees. Most times our parents will want to hijack our day, and filled the venue with their people; from the same village, town, district, school friends, church/mosques people, and area people. Yes! They will bring a few fowls and five gallons of palm oil but bear in mind, some you will even have to pay their transport fare back to where they are from. All of them will want to eat and take along too.
4. GIVE YOURSELF THE BEST TREAT: this is for both of you, get the dress or suit of your life, go to the saloon get pampered after all it a once in a lifetime thing. Spoil Yourself the body needs it after the stress of planning a wedding together, you will need to re-energize your body for the big day it is your money; well except the money was contributed for you which in that case you shouldn’t be getting married at all.
5. GET A GOOD DESIGNER/TAILOR: with most weddings now people will prefer to get their gowns designed or customized by home designers. This will enable the couples to contribute to the process, as opposed to going for ready-made wedding dresses and be faced with style and size problems. The key here is to know your designer, start early especially if he/she has to work for your entourage, be consistent, with what you want and your goals for the day, constantly check on them to avoid last-minute setbacks. There are some really good local designers that are good and experience with weddings and bridal couture-like Katie Beauty Touch by Keturah Chanika Harding and Hudson.
6. GET A PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP ARTIST: I have seen how makeup had gone horribly wrong on the wedding day in Salone. Sometimes you wonder if there was no one around these brides or what was the makeup artist thinking? Making a bride looks like a clown on her day. There are few amazing makeup artists in town, that are very good with their craft; in no particular order like Sheilaz Makeover, Beauty by lunique, Bilkis, Glamdiva beauty, and Esterline Touch.
7. PAY ATTENTION TO FOOD AND DRINKS: Make sure you get the best caterer in town, if not talk to your neighborhood aunty that can cook for Sierra Leone to help you out and reach out to various people who are experts in specific delicacies. Tell them exactly what you want and your expectations of their service. Don’t give unclear messages and draw clear lines. serve people hot and fresh food otherwise, you will be the topic of Whatsapp PVs and group chats, and focus on lots of alcoholic drinks as Salone people like to party, after party, after party.
8. PHOTO AND VIDEOGRAPHY: one thing you would not want is to look back at your pictures and realize part of your head or shoe is absent, or most of the cherishable moments were missed. How bad can it be? You may ask. This can be truly bad as these moments cannot be recaptured. They will be lost forever, you can only get blurry bits and pieces from people with techno and other low budget phones. Now don’t get me wrong these phones have helped a lot of people and they are nice. Anyway I digress, my point is to get a professional photographer or studios like Zoom, Envisage concept and the rest, to capture your timeless/ priceless moments you yourself aren’t aware of. That will bring a smile on your face in years to come.
9. GO STRICTLY BY INVITATION: we all know how we are with food as Salone people. So be sure to cater to those who you invite in terms of food, drinks, and seats. How embarrassing can it be to invite someone and him/her had to stand throughout your ceremony or guests having to go home without food or drink? Make sure a neutral person manned the entrance of your venue, with the idea of the invitation and it should be stated whether it’s a single invitation or double. In Sierra Leone, two hundred and fifty people mean five hundred people, get that and always multiply by two when it comes down to figures
10. VENUE: get a venue that is easily accessible for your invitees, give clear directions as we don’t use GPS here in Salone. people, most times are prep and dressy with heels so make sure you tell them prior if the wedding venue is on top of the highest mountain or hill in town or below the steepest valley. so they know what to do in terms of what to wear to avoid accidents and minor mishaps for Freetown mostly, as it can most times be these two because of the landscape.
11. ASK QUESTIONS: they will tell you to eat foofoo it’s tradition, please ask why do you need to eat foofoo? They will tell you you need something borrowed, please ask why do you need to borrow if you can afford to buy it? Don’t fall into any myth trap. If it not important or you do not feel strongly about it, please ignore it.
12. ENJOY YOURSELF: trust me if you do all this on the big day you will surely enjoy yourself and not be thinking about how you going to pay all those you took money from for the wedding. Dance, eat, drink and Merry don’t allow people to steal your spotlight, you have only that day so make the best of it.
Today we have the opportunity to talk to the designer of all things Africana (Ankara). He went to St. Edwards Secondary School and he is currently a year two student at the East Freetown International College studying Procurement and Logistics. He is the Owner and founder of JAL’S DESIGN, Ibrahim Jalloh. You can contact him at 7 Sani Abacha Street opposite First International Bank (FIBank) or on his mobile phone on +23276119806 or +23234139990.
He chose this field because from his early years he has always been creative, as he loves to explore and add his personal touches to everything to make it different. He was, however, drawn into the business side of it by his younger sister. His sister used to buy some items from a local artisan at the Victoria Park and resells them, but during the Ebola period business activities slowed down and she was going through constrains to get these items as most could not produce or decided to stay home, she could no longer get the items she wanted. So one day out of frustration she said to him why can’t you be making these items for me I will purchase the necessary raw materials you need since you are not doing anything currently. He initially didn’t want to do it out of fear, but his sister who believes in his talent encouraged him to try. She gave him all the confidence he needed, but when it comes to her investing in the raw materials she was no longer enthusiastic.
So he took upon himself to start on his own and his sister was blown away. She was surprised to see his handwork was so good. She immediately joined him and that’s how Jal’s design started.
He is making customize contemporary t-shirt with logos and brand names using Africana (Ankara) wax and cotton, slippers, sandals for both men and women, shorts, bum bags, backpacks for children and adults, all types of hats, headbands and other accessories.
His business has been supporting him over the years as he is independent now and does not rely on hand out from people. His business has been a source of financial help and this has led to validate his belief that we all have the power to change our circumstances. Owing to the fact that he is now able to provide for himself, he is using his knowledge, skills, and platform to empower other Sierra Leoneans. He is currently training over ten young people with his artistry and has created jobs for five others as he alone cannot do all the work.
Most of the downside of his business is access to material, especially the hollandaise wax, cotton, and woodin which he uses most of the time. As we all know Sierra Leone is a small market so suppliers most times bring a few pieces of specific designs. Therefore, if you create something out of such material after the first production you cannot find the same material anymore and clients will keep asking for that specific material design. Another constraint is the frequent rise in prices of goods and materials used in production, which can directly lead to an increase in the cost to the client.
In the near future, he wishes to build the appropriate networks and distribution channels for his craft. Get the right connections to be producing and exporting his craft to the rest of the world. He wants to be able to create as much impact as possible, train and influence other youth positively. He wants Jal’s Design to be a household name and a leading brand in the creative fashion industry in Sierra Leone.
His wise words for the youth of this nation is that they should not be discouraged if they are not cut out for the mainstream educational system. They should take advantage of the technical, vocational and skills learning system formally or informally that will help them sustain their lives economically. It is very obvious that the government cannot meet the employment demands of this country. So, it’s about time as youths of this country to look for alternative means of employment, which is entrepreneurship.
So there you go readers, you heard of him first here@dasalonetiti_ryhima. I can honestly confirm that he is one of the best we have when it comes to creative designs. Try him, support small business and support local content. He is open to partnership with Sierra Leoneans entrepreneurs within the industry at home and the diaspora, as only SierraLeoneans can build Sierra Leone.
Is it the heart beating faster when I hear your voice? Is it the ache in my heart and the lump in my throat, or the numbness when I miss him? Is it the skipping of heartbeats and the smile on my face when my phone rings and it’s him calling? Is it the soft stroke of his hands on my face as he tries to caresses or teases me? The whispers of sweet “I love you’s” in my ears, like a melody to my heart, warm breath from his slow breathing causing unending sensations.
Is it the holding of hands, exchange of stares, two eyes lock-in trance and the shy look aways? Like a kid caught stealing candy. Is it the cuddle, smooches, and goodnight forehead kisses when we are together in our own little world we created just for us, free of other human judgment and interventions.
Is it the sharing of t-shirts, the arguments, fussing, fighting, shouting and nagging over everything and nothing. The attitude of not wanting to talk or just us wanting to be in our own spaces, in our own world. Well, I’ve got news for you, you are not going to get rid of me easily, I am going to be in your face and space forever.
You are imperfect but so am I, two imperfections striving to be better, learning from each other every day, helping each other as we move along in this thing called marriage. We know we are humans, and I have seen first hand the conscious effort you are making to be a better person, a better husband, and father but we both have learned over this period to embrace all of each other. I have learned to communicate my feelings more since I used to just bottle them up and explode like a ticking time bomb. It amazing how totally different we are as people yet we complement each other in so many ways.
You are my big gift-wrapped perfectly with a bow on it. God gave you to me and for that I am grateful. He does not make mistakes. You are my best friend, my provider, protector, you guard me jealously which can sometimes be annoying, my mentor, my muse, my favourite human, my editor, my cheerleader, my motivation, the one who sees me at my worse and best and judged me😂😂😂. I love you forever my male version👄😍
In the early hours of the morning Yes! You will hear the cock crow The arzaan of the nearest mosque will be calling our Muslim brother for prayers. If that is not enough, your neighbour sheikh will be shouting salaat! Salaat! By your window, get up, get ready and go serve Allah. You never know the day nor the hour death will come knocking. Seems as if he is talking to you directly. You don’t know when you will die, nobody knows. But the sheikh is my mother’s brother’s cousin ar bin tell una to say salone wi allfambul
The old woman will tie her bum bag Tight around her waist, we call it orjah. Carry her bamboo basket on her head, yes e make the kata Basket weave with our river line scrubs As she got to the junction all she could hear was Eastern police! Eastern police! I don’t have lose change or small denomination. Apprentice, can you please move aside ar wan enter. I am late already, the lady in the blue suits says. Dovecut would be jam packed already the old woman mentioned. Hope today will be a better day for me, the man next to her said with a sigh. Dis driva na wan woman wey wi komot na d same village ein Pekin e marred. Salone wi all fambul yah.
Six o’clock in the morning everybody is out already, the street is packed full With traders hustling whatever goods they have for the day. It is too crowdy here, that man has just been pickpocketed. Ayah make ar go ba make dem nor cam cors mi. That lady’s phone had been snatched. I can’t find my lunch, the school girl cried, how will I even get home. Five-O and clique boys are at work. Can anybody hear anything at Abacha street? music, megaphones with pre-recorded adverts, hey girlfriend, fine girl, baby na Facebook, d Mamie, na WhatsApp they called out to anyone passing. If you touch their goods without buying, wondri buyer bo pass wit u bad luck. What can we do the street is full with our aunts and sisters, I told you earlier wi all fambul
Your nice neighbor has an occasion, she would go around Informing every member or household in the community My daughter is getting married The whole community will be at their compound helping, na awujor start so No one will mind the loud music, the bachelor’s eve e swit. Our throats are dry they call for more alcoholic beverages, we wan Jerry we yai Your parent will be like, na Fatu ein pekin don married so When will you marry, my daughter? Papa, I am still in school. D orkor n d yawo are long-distance cousins, yes Salone wi all fambul.
Every household should bring their own bowl, I don’t have take away bowls to give out, and that’s how I have lost all my decent bowls. About to dish out this cassava leave, the jollof rice will be kept for the guests. No cook that day in the community. Everyone will save that day’s chop money for life’s other troubles. We will eat now, went to the wedding and still create problems if not given food. I was not served at all, they will complain after the wedding. Dem bin de look face. Meanwhile, Mamie Sallay had two black plastic bags filled with food Yet, she sits as if she has not eaten or received any food. Hmmm, do you know who I am? na me pekin ein paddy ein cousin na ein marred so. Salone wi all fambul
The church closer to us had been singing and praying through the night. They did that? Yes! na all net dem get, they justify. Pa Morlai comes out of the house shirtless as he stretches from side to side. He said, whole net mi nor sleep sef, this church with their prayers They will grumbled but never report They are Godly and they fear God’s wrath That’s why when you ask them, how the body? they’ll reply tell God tenki God bless us and bless Sierra Leone. That’s all he can say because his brother’s daughter is the head of the choir unit in the church. Salone wi all fambul
An elderly woman was passing by, when she saw her neighbour’s daughter, standing in a corner with a boy. she came closer and point her touch in their faces, As if, to say is that really you, standing with a boy. Na pipul Pekin u de-squeeze na corner so Let me go and inform your parents, hundred meters is too short a relay for both of them Obviously, she won’t report but will call and advice especially the girl Pay attention in school, komot behen man biznes e nor de pass Next time I won’t hesitate to tell your parents, da borbor de na me paddy ein paddy ein pekin n e nor serious wan When did we lose this again? Wi all fambul
Mama Loko Limba falls in love with papa Sherbro Krio Awor! They gave birth to united nations, which one should I identify as again? No matter what region or tribe you are from We are all related, wi all na wan as granny kin say Even our relatives in the diaspora will say na me Salone Broda Salone blood nor de hide, we love to party and have a good time Is it paddle time yet? Or lantern? we may fight, we may argue Mostly when these politicians try to divide us for their own gains But as our wise people will say; fambul tick de bend but nor de broke Yes! Salone wi all fambul.
Mr Painter paints a life, a baby innocent and free of the world’s troubles, shameless adult, the body shame the chubbiness of thighs and arms. Can you please airbrush this baby, he is not cute, they called out behind them. Oh, in the presence of outsiders they smile and make funny faces, and say oh what a cutie cute baby, how hypocritical? Let their childhood produce the effect of fine lines and a wide sweep. Forcing kisses on their cheeks soak in saliva and a mixture and remnants of whatever they last ate. Life shows itself to us but funny how we cannot make sense of any of it.
Mr painter paints a life, a teenager whose life’s line is not straight. deep voice, big bones, broad chest clearer features. Ooh yeah, breast round like calabash, don’t be in awe the gods approved. please highlight the shapes, waist with a curve that will get you dizzy quickly like new and pure palm wine. Rebellion at its best; what makes you think you’ve grown? Just add texture and the don’ts become dos, dos become don’ts. it’s all hormones uncontrollable a phase and this too shall pass. The taboos, the rush, you think you are all that, right? Yes, you are all that but you are even more just allow the process of time, as everything has a place in time, ask history.
Mr Painter paints a life, as an adult faces a life of hardships and torment, haunted by the past, complicated relationships. Yes! Heard it’s a status now in the virtual world. Does it even exist? A utopia of what life really used to be.hmmm more time for the less important and less time for more important. Just how karma has shown us our parents’ love and sacrifice. Society had planned a path that which if not taken, your journey is truly not successful. Unnecessary pressures our shoulders to bear. How life can be nice and mean at the same time and showed up when we least expect. They call it the Wakanda generation nothing seems real but we hold it in high esteem because it creates a false spirit of unison.
Mr. Painter paints a life, as an old fella! Life has snatched the youths away, the strength, oh how frail and weak. Oil paint all the what-ifs, doubts, and regrets. You hear them say; I could have love harder, run faster, eat slower, exercise more, buy that dress, buy that car, build that house, married the woman or man of my dreams, spent more time with the children, the family. We have all the time or where did it go? An illusion of what seems to be time. How materialistic and vain the human mind can be. Paint how truly short this life could be, what’s borrowed can be taken when we least expect. Please paint my life, give them colors, make it vibrant as a rainbow. Don’t let them know how miserable it was, ain’t we all putting up a front? Give it the life I did not have. Make it a masterpiece not fit for the museum and the gallery, its too priceless. Paint me
Style and confidence requires knowing yourself and wearing what you feel best in –Ariel Kaye
Today we are hitting the streets with an ambitious young woman who is currently making waves in the fashion industry. She is into everything plus size and her hope is to create something out of her imagination for them and to help build their confidence. Facebook@zaralizkaftan, Instagram@zaralizkaftan or call her on +23278646080
Dasalonetiti: Give readers a brief background of yourself.
Zara: I am Elizabeth Zara Sesay, who was born and raised in Wilberforce, Freetown. Coming from a nuclear family, my mom pass away when I was just fourteen and those were the worst days in my life. I was able to grieve and move past the pain of losing her, though it wasn’t easy. I decided to use my time and energy wisely afterwards.
Dasalonetiti: Why Fashion designing for you?
Zara: I chose fashion because of my passion for it. We had a sewing machine at home from which I have learned the basics of doing stitches and patchwork. One day I sat down thinking of what next to do as the business I was into did not work well for me. Let me talk about that a bit.