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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?
“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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 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 be 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 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.