showcasing everything Sierra Leone our young and upcoming entrepreneurs, their products and or services, our fashion, culture, movie, music, food, events, health & fitness, weddings, poems, inspiring write-ups & building change agents
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 neighbors 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 history lost on it 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 before us, 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 favorite 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👄😍