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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 flavour Click! click! click! A sound left behind by echos As 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?
“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 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.
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👄😍
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 afterward.
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. I was into traveling out of the country and buying clothing and accessories which I would bring home and sell on cash and credit basis, but as we all know some of the issues with that sort of business, most of my capital was in the hands of people, which was very challenging to recover and I lost most of my money. Now back to why I choose fashion designing. I was thinking about what next to do with my life after my business went bad. I knew I wanted to be a designer, I have always loved designing but wanted to go get some basic education in some vocational institute or someplace else. I told my friends about it and they laugh me off; saying I should get prepared to be an errand girl for the bosses or masters. The thought of me going for the skill training was too amusing for them. One day a sister of mine, that is living abroad sends me a photo of something she wants me to get for her. I was too embarrassed to let her know I was broke and could not afford to send her that piece. I was able to raise some money so I went to town and bought the fabric, I went home but was too scared to spoil her fabric so I decided to try it on something I owned. I get on to YouTube and downloaded how to cut a piece of fabric for a kaftan design and the rest is history they say.
Dasalonetiti: How did the name come about?
Zara: Well my brand name is basically me, as it is a combination of my middle and first names. Liz is short for Elizabeth, the kaftan, for me is a reminder of where I started, Kaftan was the first thing I ever design that why I added that to my brand name ZARALIZ KAFTAN.
Dasalonetiti: What are some of the things your brand is known for?
Zara: I am into designing kaftans, kimonos, palazzo pants, blazers and suits for women.
Dasalonetiti: what is your favorite part of being a designer?
Zara: shopping for great fabrics, blending vibrant colors and seeing the finished product on happy clients are my favorite parts of my job.
Dasalonetiti: what are some of your lows?
Zara: Some of the downside of this business from my experience had been some people putting orders with you for a week, sometimes as long as a month and not paying anything. Another one for me is that people do send you a picture or idea of what they want and after designing it, they will return and complain that it is not what they ask for. But I know it comes with the territory and if there is one virtue I have been amazingly doing well at is patience. I thank God for my clients though, they had been good and keeping me busy.
Dasalonetiti: where do you see your business in the near future?
Zara: In the next few years, I see myself growing and enlarging my customer base. Opening a designing school is a long term dream of mine, teaching young people the skills and art of making kaftan is the ultimate plan.
Dasalonetiti: Give us a few names of the designers you admire both locally and internationally.
Zara: Locally I will say Jenneh Amara Bangalie, Sai Sankoh, Abdel Mumini and Kadiatu Kamara. Internationally I admire Marc Jacobs, Elizabeth Arden, and Kate Spady.
Dasalonetiti: Tell readers one pet peeve of yours.
Zara: I hate when someone chews gum loudly especially in public.
Dasalonetiti: What’s your advice to young Sierra Leoneans?
Zara: My advice to young people especially those who want to enter the fashion industry is to stay calm and be ready to put the hard work. They should try to look for what they are better at in the industry and focus on that particular stuff and create a niche as the fashion industry is a huge one.
I hope we all are inspired by her story. She started with just one sewing machine now she has four and had created employment for two others. The youth of Sierra Leone just be committed to whatever you are doing now, with hard work and dedication it will pay off in due time. ✌peace
It is important we take Sierra Leone with us, where ever we may find ourselves. Let allow Sierra Leone to shine through us. Let it be the glow that lights our path as we find our way in the universe. @dasalonetitiquote
This week we are looking at a young woman in the United States making strides in building the image of Sierra Leone through clothing, fashion, and other accessories from sierra leone and other parts of Africa. We had an interview with her and we are excited to share it with you. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did. You can reach her on https://www.etsy.com/shop/Leoneculture Facebook/Instagram/Twitter@LeoneCulture
Dasalonetiti- Tell readers about yourself.
Fatime: My name is Isata Fatime Gbakamara, I was born and raised in Sierra Leone West Africa. I travel to the United States at age sixteen. Went to high school and graduated in 2012. Enroll in a two years community college right after high school for an associate degree in health science. I started my career in healthcare with a big company in Virginia that provides internship training for new graduates. I had the opportunity to brush up my skills and was offered a job within the first week of my training. As a new employee I was excited because the company had so many opportunities for growth and scholarship programs for staff that want to continue their education.
Dasalonetiti- Tell us about your life as a nurse?
Fatime; I enjoy working as a nurse. It’s giving me the chance to make a change in someone’s life and create wonderful relationships as well with patients, coworkers, and families of patients.
Dasalonetiti- what brings about the thought of entrepreneurship?
Fatime: Five years into my career as a nurse I met my husband Vincent Philip Ames. He is intelligent and career-oriented, always looking for ways we can improve our careers and lives. He had a collection of books about business especially ones that talked about becoming your own boss. I picked up my first book from his collection and I have never stopped reading. After three reads of different books, I grew interested in doing business. Some months into our courtship, he was willing to share his passion for business with me. It was an eye-opening experience because he has so many great ideas and he self-educated himself on many things. He was also part of an organization called the World Financial Group. He took me to one of their meetings, giving me the platform to meet with wonderful people, young entrepreneurs that are making millions of dollars not working a nine-to-five job. They own their businesses and schedules. At that point, my mindset changed.
Dasalonetiti – how did Leone Culture came about?
Fatime: On our way home from that meeting. We discuss what I learned from the sessions. But there was a change in life situation for us when we have to relocate to Florida. That process of moving stalled us a bit. Upon getting to Florida, we both attended our first business meeting in Miami Florida, 10x by Grant Cardone ” Powerful tool”. At the end of the conference, we got back on the road from Miami Florida to Pensacola Florida which was a nine-hour drive. We talked about different business options and business names, and that, eventually help me to figure out what type of business I would like to embark on. That’s how LEONE CULTURE was born. I wanted to give back to my country by helping our local artisans. After we locked down the business name that same week, my sister, who is also part of the business, Zainab Sandi introduces two business ideas to me. We ended up going with the first idea which we thought was great and bought our first product from Sierra Leone.
Dasalonetiti- How is Leone Culture doing sales wise?
Fatime: Well we can’t complain. Our first inventory from sierra leone sold out in a week. Mostly our buyers were family and friends. More orders keep coming in and we took the next step by opening an Esty Shop and get on all social media platforms. This venture was the scariest of them all for me. As there are so many ads about buying all sorts of things online. How would I survive? Was all I could think of, but I did not let it weigh me down. I started doing research about, who are my competitors. I realized each of them is fully established with a massive following, eye-catching products, perfect pictures, so many positive reviews in their comment sections. ‘I don’t stand a chance’ I said to my self. I started educating myself about advertisements and other details I needed if I should survive in this business. My husband decided to take photography courses, while my Sister in Sierra Leone Zainab Sandi was meeting artisans in Freetown and gathering more information about their products.
Dasalonetiti- What are some of the Ups and down so far in the business?
Fatime: When we first made our social media appearance our sales initially went down and I kept wondering what was the problem because I was doing everything possible to get a kickstart on sales through social media. The thought of giving up came creeping in my mind. I decided to replace all these negative thoughts with positive proclamation over my business, by doing the self-talk like Leone Culture will rise to the top. I put my worries in prayers, follow a lot of business account on social media. Study their roadmap from their beginnings to where they are now. Within three months of being on social media, we receive our first sales. We started gaining more followers, messages started coming in about prices and shipping. We are on our way and will continue the hard work until Leone Culture is recognized the world over. That’s how big our dream is.
Dasalonetiti- What’s your advice for fellow Sierra Leoneans in the diaspora and at home?
Fatime: ”My advice to fellow Sierra Leoneans is to never give up on ourselves and our country. Let learn to work together and help support one another. Let not allow negativity to become the center of our lives, our story, and our journey to rebrand Sierra Leone. Negativity is what hurting our beloved nation’s performance and drive to go forward. If we as Sierra Leoneans make this commitment to work hard and become champions of helping one another, we would set something powerful in motion and Sierra Leone will rise again”.
Dasalonetiti- Share one of your guilty pleasure with readers.
Fatime: My guilty pleasure is me wanting to keep all the beautiful jewelry and neckpieces for myself (laugh)
Fellow Sierra Leoneans and readers, we have heard from the CEO of Leone Culture, who is flying the Sierra Leone flag in the USA. In the end, we have no excuse, you can be anywhere and lift the flag high. Change starts with ourselves. Please if you are in the United States and want items and accessories from Sierra Leone please contact her and get the total Salone experience.@ dasalonetiti
Meet miss Mahawa Rachel Lahai. A graduate from Njala University with B.Sc Hons Business and information technology. She is an accountant in one of Sierra Leone’s leading accounting and audit firms. She is the CEO of chelma’s Design, a go-getter, and risk-taker.
Chelma’s design is made in Sierra Leone and an African inspired fashion brand that is into; kids’ clothing, bridal accessories, African accessories for both sexes and home decor. Chelma is a combination of two names; the last four letters of Rachel and the first two letters of Mahawa. The idea of Chelma started from her desire to participate in the AYV Annual Miss University Contest. Her friend was the reigning queen in 2012/2013 and she wanted her to enter the competition the following year 2013. So she went ahead and bought the form, filled it and returned it. After submitting her application form for the competition, she was discussing and sharing her excitement with her friend when her friend told her that beyond the catwalk, which she will coach her, she will need to prepare to display a particular talent as part of the competition. The statement baffled her and she replied, I don’t have a talent. Her friend then told her you better be looking out there for something you are good at and will display for the audience.
One day she was watching Ebony life TV on DSTV when a particular program came on and a young entrepreneur was teaching viewers how to make the button necklace DIY. She was so caught up into it and was inspired by it. She instantly called her friend and tell her that she had discovered her talent. The next day she used her lunch money to buy some of the items she needed to make the necklace to try out what she learned on TV. The finished product was great and she wore it to campus. She received so many compliments and reviews and got her friends and colleagues requesting she made the same for them. She started doing research, going to YouTube and making different types of neckpieces. For some personal reasons, she did not take part in the Miss University Pageantry as planned. But that process changed her life forever. She discovered she can work with her hands and that process has led her to where she is today.
She took a break from the craftwork in 2014, as she wanted to focus on her academics. Just after her final exams, then came the Ebola and she was at home doing nothing. She started her craftwork again producing for families, friends and the general public. She finally registered it as a business in March 2015, and immediately started expanding her accessory line, making different earrings. At that point, she made up her mind to add one new item to her collection every year. The need to move into bridal accessories came when she wanted to make some of the items for her aunts’ wedding. She was her first client. ‘Taking a look at the pictures now, I realize I have evolved and grow a lot’, she said. Since then she has done over twenty weddings so far.
She also has an eight to five job, fully employed with a leading accounting firm in town. Her craftwork is mostly done at night after her full-time job and mostly on weekends.
She has a training school for people within the Goderich community, where she trains young people the bulk of whom are women. Last year, she had a fundraising dinner which was organise for the sole purpose of raising funds to acquire a piece of land where she will erect a building that will serve as an Art and Craft training center, where they will train deprived women in the community (especially those who are involved in the hard labor of breaking and selling granite as monies from this source goes right back into their hospital bills) so that they can be empowered to start their own business.
Chelma designs are into the following she said; kids’ clothing, teddy bears, hair broaches and accessories, Ankara peplum belts, earrings, and necklaces. Wedding accessories; bridal bouquet, bridesmaids bouquet, a bouquet for flower girls, clothing for flower girls and page boys, bow ties and neckties. Home decorations such as Ankara wall hangings and flower stands.
She was a recipient of a grant from UN women. A grant given to startups and business enterprises owned by women. She was going through her Facebook one day when she saw this flier about the grant available for women, so she applied and was shortlisted. After rigorous selection processes which included a verification visit from the organization, she was approved for the grant. ‘I had to go through several weeks of training and coaching, where we were taught how to prepare a sustainable business plan and how to do our financials’ Miss Lahai proudly stated. She said she is extremely grateful to God and to the UN Women for the grant.
She used the grant to expand her business to get more sewing machines, had increased her number of trainees and have employed three staff. One that handles the Finance part of her business, one for public relations and the other for marketing and sales. ‘With the grant, we were also able to get more materials and tools to make our work easy and so far we have been doing well and we are grateful for the opportunity’, she stated.
Miss Lahai hopes in the next five years Chelma would be a known brand locally and internationally with branches in the neighboring countries. She would want to be involved in exporting her brands. She had tried exporting before but was too expensive and not favorable for a young business like hers. She would also want to open her physical store downtown in the central business district area and an online store. ‘I would want to grow my team of designers, seamstresses and other skilled people needed’ she stated.
Ms. Lahai further stated that one of her greatest satisfaction and pleasure is to put smiles on the faces of her customers as a sign of appreciation and satisfaction for the services they receive from us. ‘Nothing beats that feeling’ she said.
Her advice is for young Sierra Leoneans to believe in themselves and their abilities. They should not allow anything to stand in their way in their pursuit of self-development and empowerment. Nobody is too young or too old to dream, to start their own business, or to be rich. So they should believe in themselves and know that failure is part of the process. If they fail the first time they should see it as a learning curve and basis to acquire experience; they should dust themselves and get back up and move on with it. They should be passionate about whatever they want to do as that is what will push them if they hit a wall along the way. Young people should be with likeminded friends that will push them and give them the support system they might need one way or the other. Finally, they should always ask themselves this question, what’s next?
We are looking at Sierra Leone’s beauty Industry this week. A beautiful, hard-working, young woman is making tremendous strides within the beauty business. She is an epitome of Black girl magic and a promoter of what’s the BBB is about; beautiful, brilliant and business-minded. I know you are already intrigued, so let us just delve right into it. For the ultimate bridal makeovers and beauty quick fixes please contact her on Facebook and Instagram @ GlamDivaBeauty19, call or send her SMS on this number +23275012258. You can also send her an email- firstname.lastname@example.org
Readers please meet, Adama Koroma, the first of four children. She lost her mother three years ago. She has not let the passing of her mother deter her from pursuing her dreams. Her father has been a great pillar of support for her. She attended the Annie Walsh Memorial School where she sat to the wassce and proceeded to Njala University where she attained a B.Sc degree in Public Health. She also has a Master’s degree in Public health from the Southeast University, Nanjing, China. She is owner of the GLAM DIVA BEAUTY which is a beauty shop that is fully registered with all appropriate bodies. One of the few beauty shops at the very east of Freetown. Glam Diva Beauty can be found At Hastings Junction, Main Waterloo Highway close to the toll gate.
She offers a range of services at Glam Diva Beauty; Manicure and Pedicure, Bridal Make up; For both traditional and white weddings, casual makeovers for event and parties, Hair services are also available as they do braids, hair extensions, weave/ weft, and wigs. She also offers treatment and styling for those with natural hair.
She said, the leap from her field of study to the beauty industry came out of the need to have her own business and be her own boss and at the same time help others feel beautiful about themselves. Her business provides job for young people, particularly young women who want to make a career in the beauty industry. She says her job as a beautician helps to lift the spirits of others, make them feel good about themselves, gain confidence and feel comfortable in their skin. Beauty enhancement is very important nowadays not just in Sierra Leone but the world at large. “If i can help people feel good about themselves, provide jobs and empower others and still be able to make money, nothing can beat that feeling”, a glamorous Miss Koroma stated.
Her biggest achievement, she said, has been providing jobs for others. She had been able to employ four people to be specific. That has been possible because she dares to dream and make it a reality. She is building her clientele base through recommendations and referrals and has been getting a lot of positive reviews and feedbacks which she has been using constantly to upgrade herself. She explained, that in this industry one should never be complacent. Like fashion, beauty feeds on trends and trend feeds on time. So, as someone with that knowledge, she constantly upgrades herself and her products with what’s trending in the beauty industry. Ms. Koroma emphasizes that her contribution to national development gives her satisfactiion.
One of her major challenges has been getting clients and maintaining them. She is extremely grateful to her family, friends, and acquaintances for helping spread the word about her business and location. She has also been using social media to let people know of her work as it is one of the cheapest forms of advertising. She tries to get her clients to involve in discussions of fashion and trends in other for her to know what their thoughts and expectations are.
Another challenge is competition, even though the beauty industry is a young one in Sierra Leone. The competition is intensive, as trends are changing every day. She needs to constantly be on her A-game all the time, to update herself and her store with the latest nails and nail products, hair and hair products. Hiring beauticians with thorough experience of beauty and the industry, as their service will have a great impact on her business.
Finally, the maintenance of her shop. She knows no one would want to be in an unhygienic place to get a beauty service. So, her shop has to be attractive all the time for her clientele from her lighting’s, chairs and fresh diffusers to create a fresh and welcoming ambiance for her customer. Teaching her employees and training them on the importance of great customer service. However, the real issues have been getting a balance between the aforementioned challenges and making a decent profit. So far, she has been coping.
She was asked to tell readers one secret about herself. She replied, I don’t know if this is a secret but I am a very ambitious and competitive person, but the secret is I don’t hate on others for their progress. What I do is challenge myself to be the better version of myself. Seeing the amazing work of others keep me on my toes, although I know my limits. I admire hard-working people and that has been the fuel that pushes me to go get what I want and to achieve great things.
Her advice to fellow youth is that they should be aware that to start anything good is not easy. There are so many challenges that are holding young people back, but they should know these challenges are inevitable. They should accept these obstacles and work to surpass them and never give up. Whatever little corner they find themselves, they should always know that they as youth have the capacity to be the change they want to see in Sierra Leone. Be their own cheerleader, motivation, and competition. Never settle for less but always thrive to be the best of themselves. Life is full of amazing opportunities, they just have to tap into their potential and not let other people’s opinion limit their ideas and aspirations. Whatever they admire in others they have the capability to be and do themselves. Finally, nothing good comes easy, so they should trust the process of hard work and growth to get to their desired destinations.
So, that’s it readers, Sierra Leone you heard it here first. Our aim of doing this is to bring these risk-takers to the knowledge of Sierra Leoneans and to motivate others out here to keep on pushing. It’s never too late to start something beneficial for yourself and your communities. While we are at it please let’s not forget to patronize this young woman who has done tremendously well and is still doing a lot to keep her business alive. If you are in the east part of Freetown, the wedding season is just around the corner. Book now and secure a place so you won’t get disappointed. If you need that quick makeover for parties and event just stop by her shop and support her you won’t regret it. ✌@dasalonetiti
I am super excited😀😊readers, and can you guess why? yes I know, I know, I like food but I am not a foodie. I am thrilled because this is my first food blog post. So, this week I am going to serve you this very young student entrepreneur on a platter. Get all your cutleries ready. Now let’s dig into it. Bon appetite!
Let’s get serious now, can we? enough with the distractions. You all meet our very own young student entrepreneur, Miss Sonia Haja Koroma. Owner and Founder of Sonisha’s Kitchen. A law student at the Fourah Bay College, currently in year three. Oooo yes! aspiring lawyers can cook too.
She said, as a kid, she hated the kitchen, she thought then it was too much of a work. Washing all those plates and pot, the sweeping and cleaning to tidy up the kitchen after cooking was too much for her. That was her image and understanding of the kitchen. Children in Africa can relate. But as she grew up in her teenage years, her interest in food increases and the same for her love for the kitchen.
She is a foodie and her passion for cooking started with her trying out various recipes for herself. She then started cooking for family and friends and they were intrigued by how good and tasty her food was. She got a lot of compliments and feedback from people of all ages and different background. That’s when she started paying close attention to this talent of hers and the thought of doing it commercially was born.
She said cooking has helped her a lot and has open a lot of opportunities for her, as she cooks and caters for a lot of people and events. She constantly tries to upgrade herself by learning new recipes on and offline, by trying out new ways to make old foods. Cooking helps her financially, and has provided her with lunch money, transportation to and fro college and other basic needs she has as a young woman. Cooking keeps her going, she said.
I asked her, how she is able to balance her school work and her catering business? She smiled and replied; previously if by any chance my catering work collides with my exams or any other important academic programs I won’t take the job. That is no longer a problem as I have a very hard-working assistant, who is able to hold the fort in my absence. As a result, I am now able to balance my academics and catering services more efficiently.
Her advice to her fellow students is that they should not limit themselves to just academics. There are skills they could be talented with and they should not be afraid to explore those skills. To fellow young Sierra Leoneans, she said: “let not be mentally or physically lazy, let our mind be as active as possible, we can do anything we set our hearts to do”. There are so many other things we could do, as young people to uplift our selves economically and it starts with our minds.
She needs all the support she can get from us Sierra Leoneans. She really cooks well, does nice foods and her prices are very affordable. For inquiries about her services please contact her on Facebook@Sonia Haja Koroma, or you can call her on the following numbers; +23278607275/ +23299381090. ✌peace @dasalonetiti
When you see the average Sierra Leonean, what comes to mind? I know, I know;
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. This is just a sneak peek into what’s popping in the Salone Fashion scene in terms of Ankara (Africana). Take a look at these beautiful people below from Sierra Leone, and tell me your perception of what our fashion is? By the way, Kaftan is back, it is the ish and it’s trending presently in Freetown. These styles you can get from the beautiful stores around town. Courtesy of Mumini Fashion Empire, Rainbow boutique and Zara Designs, your personal designers or tailor wey u trust😂😜😊
Beauty and Modesty are the Keyword here. Hope you all enjoy this and thanks to everyone that graced this episode✌peace out@dasalonetiti
This week we have the pleasure of interviewing a young woman, who is doing incredibly well in the lives of so many children, while she continues to change the narrative of women can’t do it all. She is no less a person but our very own Kaata Minah, owner of JNAP Ventures, a strong feminist and a champion for gender equality…she said, of course, women can do it and they do it better. Sit, relax, enjoy and be inspired as you read along. For inquiries about all her programs please contact her on +23230218336 or the following social media handles; JNAP Ventures @facebook, twitter and on Instagram
Dasalonetiti-Rahyma: Please tell readers about yourself
Katta Minah: I am Kaata Minah, a graduate of Fourah Bay College. I have a degree BA (Hons) in political science. I am a wife and a mother to an incredible four-year-old daughter.
Dasalonetiti_Rahyma: You study political science why entrepreneurship and why kids in particular?
Kaata Minah: So JNAP Ventures started about three years ago and we started with our holiday activities. Basically, JNAP ventures we are engaged in providing extracurricular activities for children. We are also into party planning and coordination. JNAP Ventures was born because I believe there are so many things kids can do beyond their conventional academic course of study. I noticed most kids only have their heads in their school books and most often because there are limited activities in Sierra Leone that kids could be engaged in; things they have an interest in or are passionate about which they could possibly do in the future. For me, I wanted my child to have all of that so she could be well-grounded in different areas including academics. Yeah, so that’s how JNAP came about. We started initially with just the holiday activities that we do every year when schools are closed. We do different activities from cooking, sewing, karate, dancing, swimming, excursions; for them to see historical sites and relics, keep them occupy and to also ensure they learn something from the experience.
Dasalonetiti-Rahyma: How is it for you as a wife, mother, nine to five employee and a business owner?
Kaata Minah: Well running JNAP has not been easy. My husband and my sister had been my backbones in running the business. I handle the finance and administrative aspect of the business through them and we make decisions together. They are basically the brains behind everything. I have also managed to put together an incredible team. I have had the same people as staff for the past two years or thereabout. Some had been with me from the very start, they’ve given me all the support I could need. When we started, there were three caregivers; Agnes, Veronica, and Aminata they started the whole holiday activities. It’s just this year they’ve all gotten full employment someplace else, and they cannot be part of us. They had been very good with us and had helped structured our programs. Currently, I have Edwarda, who has been with me for a year, she has been amazing. She basically helped me run everything since I have a full time nine to five job.
Dasalonetiti-Rahyma: How do you scale through? We all know to joggle all this, is not an easy thing.
Kaata Minah: As a wife, a mother, a full-time employee, and a purposeful businesswoman, I would like to say it has been very challenging and had also been fun. The support I have or my support system has been incredible. It just makes it a whole lot easier for me. I have my Parents that are wonderful and help a lot with our daughter. My husband also understands that I am doing the things I love to do, so he supports me anyway he could. My awesome sister has also been good and one of my strongest support system. I think the support system for me, is the reason why I am able to do all the things I’m doing. The support system makes it very easy for me to do what I want to do.
Dasalonetiti-Rahyma: What has been your biggest achievements?
Kaata Minah: I would say my biggest achievement so far has been establishing my business. It has not been easy for the past three years; trying to get a clientele base, to create awareness about our business, and literally trying to get parents to know the importance of these extra-curricula activities. Now I can gladly say we have like a fair exposure in terms of the business. We have been doing the holiday activities for the past three years and I can proudly say the client we have now, know us for this and now they call to ask about all our programs. There are some clients who had been with us for the past three years, each year they send their children to be part of our holiday activities for which we are grateful. We started our games festival last year and we will be having it for the second time this year, as parents are excited and are asking we do it twice in a year. But I always tell them, we are taking it slowly, getting to know our markets, our strengths, and weaknesses and to further work on our weaknesses. We’ve managed to build a strong relationship of trust amongst our client base on the fact that, when it comes to their kid’s, their wellbeing is our utmost priority. For party events, it is not just about decorations for us. We plan with the parents, help them source things, we help them get vendors for different things that we cannot provide. So we basically taking the stress off our clients by doing everything for them whilst they get to relax, free their minds and enjoy the rest of the event. The party planning is another aspect, that people are mostly reaching out for nowadays. In all this, so far, I will say my biggest achievement would be establishing JNAP Ventures.
Dasalonetiti-Rahyma: Tell readers about some of your challenges.
Kaata Minah: I would say some of the challenges had been the constant increase in prices of things. Things are really expensive and some of the things we use such as party supplies and essentials are not even in the country so that means we have to outsource them. For us, our business is for the middle-class Sierra Leoneans. So, we are very considerate in pricing and charging our client bearing in mind the economic status of our clientele. As we all know the status of the economy right now is not pleasing and the fact that prices of things are constantly on the rise is very alarming. Our biggest challenge had been finding that balance between being reasonable and actually making a profit. Apart from making a profit, another challenge has been the process of delivering quality and giving our customers value for their money. This means going for quality items; that means buying things with prices a little bit on the high side, which further means a price increase for your customers. So, finding a balance in all this has been challenging.
Dasalonetiti-Rahyma: Your advice to other women who think women can’t do it all.
Kaata Minah: My advice to other women with the thought or idea that a woman cannot do it all. I think that statement in itself is flawed and they need to get out of their heads. I think every human once you are determined to do something you will be able to do it. You just have to be passionate about it and pursue your dreams and just know there is no success without hard work. Whether you are a man or a woman you have to push, you have to work hard and you have to continue pushing to achieve what you want. I believe we all could do it.
Dasalonetiti-Rahyma: Your general advice to the youth of this our beloved Nation Sierra Leone.
Kaata Minah: My advice to the youth of Sierra Leone generally would be; first of all you have to be determined to do the things you love to do. You also have to realize that in achieving certain things you have to think out of the box. Don’t just confine yourself and your thoughts to the traditional ideas or what people think. So, for instance, if you want to start a business, you need money to start such business, right? So hold on to your nine to five and save towards your goal. Don’t leave your job, because if you do, how would you raise money to start your business? As we all know financial institutions don’t favor startups in this country. I also want them to know that they should have their priorities in order. It’s okay to have fun! it’s okay to work hard you know. Just get a balance and get your priorities straight in life.
So here, you have it, readers. I hope we have been inspired by this strong hardworking woman. We all can do it irrespective of our gender. If Salone should go forward then we as citizens have to wake up and take the wheels of the economy and the country. It all starts with our mindset and thought process. Peace out ✌ and long live Mama Salone
As we celebrate International breastfeeding week. I know the percentage of women who don’t breastfeed in this country is small, but notwithstanding we still need to create more awareness of the importance of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months in the child’s life. Women in this country take pride in breastfeeding their children. Some women breastfeed for more than eighteen to twenty-four months. Our problems are how nutritious are these breastmilk for the development of the infant? Since most women in Sierra Leone do not have access to a well- balanced diet, this might be the reason for the high malnutrition rate in Sierra Leone. But this is a story for another day. Now let’s debunk some of this myth
Myth 1. The idea that too much breastfeeding can make a child dumb. “You go make dis Pekin fool oooo” “e go turn efulefu” they will tell you. This is totally false and a myth as this has never been proven scientifically by research as there is no correlation between this two, that too much breastmilk can make an infant dumb. This sometimes can scare the mothers and some will listen and stop breastfeeding instantly.
Myth 2. That having sex with another man different from your husband can affect the child and causes Malnourishment or as we called it in Sierra Leone “Bahnfa d Pekin”. This is totally wrong some men had divorced their wives base on these assumptions. I am not promoting promiscuity in any way, but this idea is totally untrue. Malnourishment or diarrhea of the baby might happen because the mother is not eating a balanced diet or might be eating food that is totally affecting the baby bowel but the lack of awareness in our societies had led to many homes been destroyed or women stigmatized.
Myth 3. That having sex with your husband can contaminate the breast milk for the baby. Young mothers, please ignore this as there is no connection between the virgina and the breasts. Breast milk is determined by what you eat as a suckling mother and how you eat them. You can still be breastfeeding and having a great sex life.
Myth 4. Cassava leaf can bring out the milk. Our people will give nothing to a new mother but cassava saying ” na for d Bobi wata” its for the breastmilk. Cassava leaf is just a vegetable. Which when cooked with other ingredients can be very tasty but it cannot directly increase the flow of the mother’s milk.
Myth 5. That if you are breastfeeding and sexually active you can’t get pregnant, This is not true my fellow women if you are a suckling mother and you are sexually active but do not want to get pregnant again so soon practice safe sex, use condoms or other family planning method. Otherwise, there is no guarantee you won’t get pregnant again.
Myth 6. That only starchy foods are good for suckling mothers. Sierra Leoneans everybody needs a balanced diet especially suckling mothers as they need all the nutrients for their babies development.
Myth 7. If a suckling mom is sick she should not breastfeed. This is totally untrue, you can be sick and still breastfeed as long as you are able to eat you can breastfeed. But take note; always informed your physician that you are a suckling mom to keep him/her in the know, and this will determine the type of medicine he or she will prescribe for you and the dosage. This can be helpful sometimes as the antibodies your system makes will be pass on to your baby, which will also be good for the development of their immune system. Some of the things that can affect the baby are;
1. Chemical characteristic of the drugs
2. Amount of milk the baby consumes at the time.
3. The time period between the moment the drug was taken and the time of the feeding.
But there are specific drugs as suckling mother you should avoid. These areas are as follows; hard drugs, alcohol, and marijuana. Though some type of cannabis is a clinically active substance. The negative side effects of taking these drugs can not be overemphasized. Drug use is on the increase and the same is true for women taking these drugs and alcohol. As mothers or suckling mothers our first priority is to take care of our babies and to make sure they grow healthy and watching what we eat, drink or smoke for six months is a little sacrifice we can pay to see them grow up strong.
Happy International Breastfeeding week my fellow women in SaLone@dasalonetiti
Today we have the chance to meet Mohamed Junior Sesay. A young man born and raised in Sierra Leone. He attended Services Secondary School where he took the Wassce and proceeded to Milton Margai College of Education and Technology. He studied Accounting and Finance. He had just been accepted for a degree program at Saint Monica University, 241 Avon bridge drive, Townsend, DE 19734 USA. And of 31 Bolling street, Kingtom. He wants to study Logistics and Supply Chain Management.
He owns a business named Fishnet Enterprise which he started two years ago in July 2017, but Registered it in October 2018.
He is into growing our home products and vegetables such as; cassava leaves, potato leaves, Krain Krain, pepper, okra, and other foodstuffs like tola, fermented sesame seeds know amongst Sierra Leoneans as ogiri. He leased a four and a half acres of land at lungi which he uses for his farming.
This is the only thing he is doing and does not have any regular nine to five work. He has few sponsors who actually don’t offer any physical cash to him, but do provide support for him in other areas of his business especially in the agricultural and farming aspect; where he lacks expertise they then come in and offer help to take care of pest and provide control measures in the farming business, so that his products can meet the international standards of the European market. He has a Company from Belgium named “Bergamini Serge Scrl” that are into the supermarket and hyper stores business. They are currently sponsoring him through a project called “Fit For Market” that trains and teaches them; himself and his staffs to produce goods that meet all international standards and regulation, for European and United State market.
There are times, like now when the rainy season is at its peak he sources some of his vegetables from out-growers if he does not have enough to supply from his farmland. As his land is swampy and too much rain can lead to water covering most of his leased land. It is during a time like this, he buys from out-growers that also produce under the same international standards
He ships his good to the United Kingdom and Belgium for now. But most of his shipment is for the UK. He has Sierra Leonean Vendors in UK like; Sabinah Food Store, of 8 Choument Road, Peckham, London SE154SE. He ships once every week to them. For Belgium, he ships supply as per request and they are foreign vendors; Germans that buy his products.
He is currently using his mum’s place at waterloo as his factory site. Where is packaged all his goods and get them frozen? He then brings them to his place at Murray Town where he will continue to store them in the refrigerator until his next shipment. That is when he will take them to the airport, get them checked through customs and other bodies responsible for that. After this process, and when his goods had been approved he will then send to the appropriate countries.
Presently, he does not ship fish to the UK and Belgium, but fishes do go to America. So he is looking for strong vendors From USA that he might work with to be sending smoked stockfish. He gets his Fishes from the different wharves in Freetown such as; Goderich, Funkia, Sussex, Lakka, Bawbaw, Tombo and Mamah beach. He has local dryers in all these places who smoked the fishes for him following all standards and as we all know, smoking is a form of preservation too.
Mohamed Junior Sesay is looking for competent, committed and reliable vendors to partner with or sponsors to promote him in his business. Anyone interested in working with him should do so by sending him an email.on email@example.com or on his mobile phone +23276449222 for further information and discussion. He currently employs eight Sierra Leoneans and with more vendors, he would be able to employ more hands. As it is, he ships only once or twice a week if the weather is favorable as it is summertime, in most western countries sometimes he ships on Wednesdays and Sundays. If the weather is not favorable he ships only on Sundays. That is why he wants to get more vendors so he could possibly be able to ship thrice a week, expand and create more jobs for the youth of this country.
Salone youth be like Mohamed Junior Sesay. Don’t just sit there and wait for hand out, hand me down or Bra you borbor de. Get on your feet and start something, no matter how small. It is never too late to turn over and challenge yourself. Let’s keep the spirit of the lion in us intact and take pride in what ours. ✌peace out
Today’s feature of Sierra Leone young entrepreneurs; is our very own Miss Jeneba Ruth Silvalie. Who actually turns her passion into a business. As a young girl, she loved beads and as she sees people around her doing beadwork she will stop, stare and observe. She had never gone through any formal bead training. It’s her gift, her talent, she said! so she started doing the beadwork for herself and some of her friends if there is an event they need to attend. Until she sat to the wassce and was unable to get the requirement; the five credit needed to enter university. She finally started looking at the business side of her passion for the first time. She does all her bead and craftwork herself and sells on wholesale to other retailers. She is not outsourcing any of her work and that why she takes pride in what she does.
She watches a lot of you tubes videos to look for what’s trending in the bead world and will incorporate that into her beadwork. She says her line of business needs a constant update of herself and her work. She sells her items to her fellow student for competitive prices to attract them and to get them to keep buying from her and give referrals. As a student, she needs her transport and upkeep money and that strategy has been working for her. Most of her plans had been stalled or put on hold, so she can concentrate on her school work, after which she will focus on what next for her business.
Coming from a humble background, she had no one to help her pay for a re-sit of the wassce. She had to make the decision to turn her beadwork into a business. She went to the market with just Le 10,000 bought some beads and start her business, as she needed money to take care of herself and see herself through school. With just Le 10,000 she had been able to pay for herself to retake the wassce, this time she got her five credit and she is currently at The Fourah Bay College University of Sierra Leone studying.
She buys most of her input materials in Freetown, few times she had bought materials online and she had made friends who are in the same business that helps her out if she needs any material that is not found in Freetown. These networks of people in the bead business had worked for her, and her relationships with them had been yielding fruits. Some of these friends will bring the gift of beads for her when they traveled out of the country to source raw materials. This has been a major blessing to her and her business. One major drawback is the accessibility to original or quality attachment and lockers for her necklaces, sandals, bracelet to give them that fine finish. Any counterfeit material can cause damage to the business as they might; react on the client skin, fade easily and lose their shine, or cause skin rash and allergies. So far she has been sourcing good materials to avoid these issues but it has not been easy.
In the next few years, she would want to establish a school in Sierra Leone for art and craft. Where she would teach the art of bead making or embedding beads into products to other young Salone people. Part of the school will have a showroom of some of the work of the students. She is also interested in working with disabling and beggars, by empowering them so they leave the street and be self-dependant.
Her advice to young people like herself especially young girls is that they should get involved in whatever in their heart that they are passionate about. They should stop procrastinating and take the first step, that eventually everything will fall into place. Sleeping with men, promiscuity is never an option or excuse for poverty and hardship. She presently trains young people who want to learn the bead-making process for free. She said she believes in the quote that says ” from the small beginning comes big end”. Young girls should be content and avoid peer pressures. There are no easy way out or free ride. They should work the talk and be patient.
As a citizen of Sierra Leone, our job is to support young entrepreneurs like Jeneba of Bead Up. Buying from her means we are actually helping her build her dreams and helping Sierra leone economically. That money we spend on her product stays within our country. So let’s make it our obligation to support her and her bead business. She can be reached on the following numbers; +23278882055/ +23277993239
African women, we are the most beautiful being ever to walk on earth. We have had all the features before they are approved by the west; thick thighs, big boobs, thick lips, hourglass shape. We have all these features before the west invaded and turn our world upside down….and we lost everything even Beauty now depends on how “they” perceive it rather than how we perceive ourselves…we have been brainwashed, the mind’s eye of our men have been rewired and reset to ignore us if beauty is the topic of discussion.now we judge ourselves, our esteem is so low they are almost diminishing and we women our own worse enemies. The first to body shame our fellow women, to point their flaws; oooh look at her stretch marks, see her dangling breast, see her Knock knees or bow legs, see how big or thick her lips are, look at her elephant thighs, see her squinted eyes e.t.c just because we see ourselves more as competition/threat rather than sisters.
African women, we have so many barriers and obstacles working against us, so much so, that this above anything else should bring us together in sisterhood. Let fix each other’s crown, let’s build our sisterhood..the bond we share should be stronger than any man, petty jealousy, envy, job rivalry, Business rivalry, politics and some of the other mundane things that divide us as women. There is strength in diversity, all of us can not be the same, we come in different size short, tall, thick, slim, fair, dark, big nose, tiny button nose, big mouth, smallmouth but at the end, we are all beautiful because our foremothers told us so. Because we know so, because we believe so, let embrace our kinky hair, our melanin.
Teach the young sisters to stop bleaching it does not add any value to their beauty rather its takes away the beauty of their true self, self-worth, the radiance and natural glow of the skin. It causes health issues apart from the fact that bleaching does not look good on the eyes at all.
So let me share this story with you:
There was a little girl name Baindu in Lauwa Town. Whenever the parents are leaving for work they will ask her Baindu what can we bring you. she would reply a doll, of course, dolls, are cheap especially the ones we call “dry Memuna” her parent will gladly buy and bring home for Baindu.
She always wonders why are dolls don’t look like her or have the same hair, Baindu’s hair is coarse and sometimes she cries when her hair is been braided but her dolls hair are always so soft and so long that she wonders why hers is always short, curly and shrink down after combing.on top of that Baindu’s aunties, uncles, friends, and neighbors will tease her saying; oooh Baindu your child is way prettier, see her hair is long, yours is short, see how straight her nose is yours is broken, see her waist is so small…Baindu will cry and throw the dolls away. The next day her mother said, Baindu what can I bring you today? she replies nothing! the mother asks her, but Baindu why? She replies I don’t want a doll that is prettier than me or doesn’t look like me. She never asks for a doll again because as little as she is, she does not want to be the judge.
Let teach our kids, that they are beautiful irrespective of the color of their skin or texture of their hair. Let teach our girls self-worth and how to embrace themselves. LOW SELF ESTEEM is real SELF HATE is real..buy them dolls that look like them, don’t compare them with their dolls. Adult, parents are sensitive about to your kids, if our girls/women are healthy emotionally and physically we will have healthy homes, offices, communities because they will be confident to take on the world or any challenges they are faced with and not worry about how they look or how people perceive them. Beauty they say is in the eyes of the beholder. the most beautiful person to you will not be as beautiful to the next person. Let embrace ourselves. women allow other women to lean on your shoulder we all do need a shoulder, fix each other’s crown. Catch them young let build our young girls, let’s start again with their generation, kids learn the most when they are young.
We can do it, if only we believe in ourselves let’s be our sister’s keeper, let’s build a sisterhood stronger than the protein fiber of the spider web, let build us.by the way the Baindu story is fictional😂😉🤩😍Salone Uman unu no una sef#Salone women know thyself
It’s raining hailstone, mother Nature stoning destruction on her tenants. She is so high on anger an addiction it has become. She sends down pain that is icy cold on their backs. The dilapidated house she sees everywhere. what is left of once her glorious home? The Remnant of spoilt and decay is here to stay. She would not listen to all their pleas, not ever again. How wicked can these children be? Good people should be a reflection of the earth, but definitely not these ones.
It’s earthquake time here and there again. She shook them with all her might. They tremble in fear and kneel in obedience before her. These treacherous beings had maimed and raped all her children so. On broken wings and bended knees, they cut them down anyway. Grown children she lost and can’t conceive again. She way past her prime, the heart is broken she swept in silence. The loneliness is her escape. How can all the strong trees be gone? Good people should be a reflection of the earth, but definitely not these ones.
Tornado she brought on them, now she becomes the evil stepmother. Most strong and violent forms funnel of dust in what seems as if she is filtering the dirt of this world from slipping through. Thunderstorm and heavy wind that uproots the tiniest weeds as it clears the path for a new beginning. Good people should be a reflection of the earth but definitely not these ones.
From her smile, you can feel the scourge of heat, as she tries to hide her pain. Rays of the sun that burns through the skin as black as coal. She cannot help herself from feeling lost. She breathes out the inferno wild and erases every greenfield to ashes. Hunger descends on them, the locust came and feed on all their plants. The lesson she teaches is still not learned a fail generation it is. How can her children turn out this way? Good people should be a reflection of the earth, but definitely not these ones.
It’s flooding season here again. No trees left to hold the rains, gutters too shallow and filled with dirt but their mother care less. She is tired of talking already lost her voice. Their actions are way out of this world she doesn’t know what else to do. She will keep sending her tears on them just to get their attention. She get that’s only when their buckets are full and all their exploit has gone. All their cries are that of the crocodile. She wants to forgive but her heart is full of doubt as they will go back to their old ways. Good people should be a reflection of the earth, but definitely not these ones.
Meet today’s dose of Sierra Leone Young vibrant female Entrepreneurs. She is nobody but the dynamic go-getter Ramona Fatunatu Sankoh.
A public Servant and owner/ founder of Monaj24/7. She is a household name in Sierra Leone and abroad and she is into everything Ankara. Using the Ankara to make clothing and accessories with a modern twist to it.
That can be use to spice and posh up the everyday casual look. Which is very appealing to young Sierra Leoneans. She customizes; exercise books, diaries, headbands, hats, straw hat, clothing, earrings, bomber jackets, neckpieces, sandals and slippers for both sexes, that are authentically Sierra Leone. Contact your homegirl for that special Ankara touch to add to your look. You can also use her product for gift on holidays to your bosses, your mothers, fathers, sons e.t.c Let’s continue to support local business and give them the chance to grow and compete. She is on the following Social Media handles; IG-Monaj24/7 FB- RamonaMonaj
bloggerlife#blogginginsierraleone#femalemovement#femaleempowerment#womenonwomenempowerment#youngleaders#localcontent#fempreneur#shepreneur#salonebusiness#startups#empoerweredsierraleone#blogup#dasalonetiti#dasalonetitiblog# @ Freetown, Sierra Leone
There has been a lot of debate about the Bondo/ Sande Society in recent times. Everyone seems to have an opinion; the circumcised, uncircumcised, and our men are in the equation too. Some say its a tradition and should not be abandon. Others say it’s barbaric we should get rid of it. Some say we are only claiming it is barbaric because the west says so. Others have religious views as to why the bondo initiation rite is not good. Amongst women there seems to be a divide also; between those, you have gone through the process and are defending it because they have no side effect or complications. Those who are circumcised and they hate it, because, they had suffered so many complications even through childbirth. Those who are circumcised with no side effect but hate it anyway. Those who have not gone through it but hated it, because the secret has long left the “Bondo Secret Society” now It is just bondo, they are aware of everything about the Bondo society and they don‘t want to be part of it.
From my personal experience, I went through the bondo society at age eleven. We did not go into any bush. We were taken to someplace at Mends Street a Compound own by one Haja. Of course, they said it was a Sunah bondo whatever that means I don’t even know. Before my initiation, I used to scratch my clitoris a lot. Then it has an awful way of itching most times, not every time though. I was an innocent little girl. That’s the only memory I have of my dear Clitoris. One faithful day, they took me to Mend street in the center of town. I was ushered in a room filled with young confused, nervous, and scared girls. You can tell by just looking at them. It was a waiting room; where we were prepared before the ceremony of slaughtering our clitoris. I guess most of us knew the deal anyways but it’s was too late to run, hide or throw tantrums. When it was my turn I was blindfolded and helped into another room where I was stripped. The odor in the room was something else, some fishy, bloody smell. They laid me on the floor, a giant woman then quickly came on top of me and gagged me. While two other women just stretched my feet wide apart. You can hear the clinging of the unsterilized metal and then boom just like that my clits were snatched from me. The pain was so excruciating actually thought someone just opened my chest and was trying to rip my heart out. I gave out the loudest scream even when gagged. No anesthetic, nothing for the pain, just like that, an operation was done on me and I was wide awake. They took their leafy stuff and sealed the new wound. It seems as if a spice was added to those leaves, it burns like hell. The agony and torture I will never forget.
Some years down the line, I went to the hospital to give birth. According to the doctors, my cervix was not big enough and the baby descended quickly causing vagina tear. That means I needed to be stitched again to close the extra opening to prevent infection and further complications. Imagine the pain, after going through nine to ten hours of labor for a natural birth. It was excruciating, period.
Some might ask, why am I explaining this? Because, many years after my circumcision, I am still questioning, did my initiation gave a course for my vagina tearing during childbirth? if my clitoris were intact, would that have been my fate? If my clitoris was still here would It be still itching? How would it feel like? I would never know the answers to these questions.
Before trying to know these answers after ‘wey water don pass garri’. Can we just try to prevent this torture from our girls at least until they are eighteen? I know we all have different ways our body react or heal, just as pregnancy is to every woman. But we cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that the Bondo process is very hurtful and painful. Why do we want to continue to put our girls through such pain just in the name of keeping a tradition? Apart from the pain, I learned nothing in that place except for a few songs. So let’s stop pretending, some people are acting as if that place teaches us how to cook or train us to perform other chores. Maybe they used to, during our mother’s time, but now nothing like that occurs. Can’t they teach these soweis( those performing the circumcision process) other skills to empower themselves, in other for them to get a constant revenue source? In any case, bondo is mostly done during the long school holiday period in December, or any other time convenient for the soweis. One cannot take care of oneself on revenue that comes in twice or thrice a year.
I know for a fact, with my experiences and all the things I have been through. I will protect my daughter until she is old enough to understand. I will tell her everything there is to know about the Bondo. If she still wants to go, after she turns eighteen it will be on her head and resources. Let give our girls the chance to live, to have choices and options. It does not mean that because our mothers and grandmother went through it, so we cannot question it. To what extent is bondo helping us? Even if the big and long clitoris is a problem for some girls is there no other way it could be fixed? The itching; is there no other way it can be stopped? As for using the promiscuity argument, I totally don’t get it. So this might be a topic for another day. Meanwhile, let us answer this question honestly. Who has female circumcision helped? (Udat bondo help?) The soweis, the girls, or the communities? If e nor help anybody, then why are we holding on to it? Anyway till the next write up peace out✌✌✌#whocuthelp?#
They called her she Beauty undefined, strength unrefined They called her she, clad in grace and honor Power and zest that joggles the world load. She sits perfectly, a golden crown resting on her temples. With glitz and glam, she floats through hard work with ease and persistence, she slays.who said queens don’t?
They called her she, Afraid of her? the beast unchained and fear unleashed. They called her she, covered in divine royalty and regal. She couldn’t stand from violation unkind, on bended knees they tried to break her, subject to the valiant of masculinity, she turns her blood to lipstick unmatted and stains their very heart. She is not broken. Who said queens do?
They called her she Unmoved, unshakeable, she rises from the ashes. The earth cries in her torment. In the belly of the beast, they were formed. With uncommon strength, she labored in pain and pushed them out. Feet of fire first, unusual right? None would be here if not for her. She uses the clay poured on her as her beauty mask; the regimen, the glam, who says Queens Can’t?
Born and raised in Sierra Leone. Abdel Kareem El-sudaise Mumini is the owner and CEO of Mumini Fashion Empire. Which is a brand and a household name in the Sierra Leone fashion industry. He had made a name for himself and a mark in the Fashion business. He is a young hard-working, charismatic gentleman with dreams and aspirations to change the rules of the fashion game.
Coming from a humble family that is known within the central part of Freetown for this type of business. His late father used to own the biggest Tailoring Shop in that part of town, it was a family business; which means his dad and brothers were designers themselves. Even though his parents were not rich, they knew the importance of education, so they were all sent to school. He attended the Saint Edward Secondary School. His parent instilled in him the habit of working hard. For them, being smart means hard work and be determined in whatever field you find yourself. This has been his driving force and motto since he was a kid running around his Father’s shop.
He never gave fashion a thought until his Senior years at St. Edwards Secondary School. That was when his fashion sense just clicked and everything falls perfectly into place. He started caring about what he wears and how he presented himself in public.
Known for a particular traditional style; the Agbada and Dashiki gowns with modern embroidery designs. He had created a niche for himself, as the few places one cannot wear the Agbada to; is the swimming and the night club. Thus there is a huge market for what he does and a lot of growth opportunities. One can never go wrong with the Agbada.
He had worked for a lot of big personalities and dignitaries in Sierra Leone and abroad. His line of work brought him into close contact with people of different social standing and this has broadened his views about life. He has grown to appreciate life itself and he is so much grateful.
His message to young people of this country; is to look for what you love to do and see how you can turn that into a revenue source for yourself. Doing what you are passionate about and making money out of it, is a plus and a blessing in itself. You don’t need to start big, start with the little you have and gradually grow big, reduce unnecessary spending and cut down on your operating cost as much as possible, be persistent, be convincing, believe in yourself because if you don’t no one will.
He hopes to one day see the Sierra Leone fashion industry be as developed as our counterpart in the West African Region, with fashion schools, wherein young people can actually go and enhance their skills.
You can find his shop or showroom at 2 Campbell Street by PWD Junction Pademba Road. Go check out his store, tap into his experience for those who want to follow his steps in the fashion industry. Let’s patronizing local businesses and local content. Peace✌out @dasalone_titi.
Our society is a patriarchal one, which means men are the head and leaders of the home or the family. We grew up in a society where our mothers will do anything to protect our fathers, uncles, and brothers at any cost, even if that means shutting us up or pushing us out to the streets. Rape and other violence against women had been on a constant rise since the year 2000. Even with all the constant cries and intervention of the government, public, NGOs. We have not seen any rape case treated with urgency and actually making the perpetrators felt the true wrath of the law. Neither have we seen any decline in these figures
Rape is prevalent in our society and I believe that these things really do happen every day in our communities, schools, universities, workplaces e.t.c. We just choose to ignore, pay less attention or give a blind eye with the saying ” ar know say e uncle de sleep with am or beat am but nor to me business”. Rape and violence had always been there, but only coming to light now because of the awareness, education, access to social media, etc. As citizens, we all have a part to play to help get rid of the vice for good.
I am not a rape victim but I am a victim of sexual molestation and that happens just when I was about five/six years and those images are locked in my memory. I didn’t understand then and I was manipulated, touched by people who are family and we’re supposed to protect me. They asked me to touched them in places. Up till now just thinking and writing about it I am disgusted. I have shared this story with only shared two people, and one of those two people is my husband. This just goes to show how people don’t talk about these issues becauseof shame and stigmatization.
Firstly, the fear of stigma, shame, and victimization of the victims prevents them from coming forward. It is ironic that sometimes even the older women will not believe the victims, or even if they do will tell them outrightly to keep quiet about it and not to mention to a single soul.
Our girls are been violated by the very people who are supposed to protect them. How can you rape your own daughter, niece, cousin, sister, friend? The feeling of entitlement and the audacity to just look at the opposite sex and think you should force yourself on her and snatch her dignity and pride is what I still cannot wrap around my head. As women and mothers let’s be on the watch for our daughters they deserve a life too. Their bodies are theirs and it is their decision to maintain and keep. Let’s be vigilant, don’t allow your daughters to sit on any man’s lap, don’t send them alone to older men “go and collect money for me ba to Karim”. Go and collect it yourself. Don’t send them at night. Talk with them, let them know it’s inappropriate for them to be touched and it’s also not right if someone asked her to touched them. Above all women must stop covering for their men, fathers, sons at the expense of other women, girls, daughters, etc. Report anything you notice. Let’s get it right with our sons; let’s raise men not rapist; let’s raise men, not boys who raised their hands on women; let’s raise men who will protect our girls and not prey on them. Speak up the Silence must stop!!!
Salone men you can do better. Raping, molesting and hitting the very ones you should guard only goes to show how cowardly and weak some of these perpetrators are. Men who rape lack real self-esteem and so using force on women give them validation rather than satisfaction. They are excited by the rush and the feeling of power and control. Let’s take that control from them by reporting these cases. The government takes that control away from them by treating these cases with urgency and letting the perpetrators face stiff penalties, including life imprisonment or death, will go a long way in sending a message that they mean business. Let’s stop making excuses. These victims are not calling on these men to be raped. When you go to the beach and see women clad in a bikini will you go and rape them? Just because they put on a bikini. Clothing or the lack of it does not warrant someone to be raped. Most times in this household where rape happens the girls are mostly covered.
Let’s join hands as a nation to eradicate this madness. We need the support of everyone, including our men. If we notice any of these acts in our communities please let’s report it. We all should be vigilant in protecting our young girls. They deserve it, Speak up! the Silence must stop!
Sierra Leone is ours to make. We can only be successful at this if we raise a strong and healthy generation of men and women; physically and mentally they will be able to excel in everything. Let’s heal our mothers, sisters, and daughters. Let’s protect them. Women are the backbone of every society, they multi-task and juggle, they are caregivers. They give so much and ask for nothing in return. All we ask, as mothers are for our men to support us in this journey to eradicate or reduce the rape statistics in Sierra Leone. Speak up! the silence must stop! Lonta✌✌peace out @dasalone_titi
The rate at which young girls at our Universities are in a hurry to get and acquire vanity is alarming. They can do anything for the latest iPhone, and the trendiest, softest, curliest human hair weave/weft or wigs. This is in itself a whole topic. which as citizens of this nation we have failed ourselves and our young girls. Dating older men or dating many men at the same time is the order of the day for them. Going on trips with them, sometimes even out of the country. Some of their parents, of course, are usually unaware of all this especially those from rich backgrounds.
For some of them from poorer homes, their parents sometimes would help pack their bags for such trips, and heartily remind them not to forget to bring gifts. Our girls have so much potential but are in a rush and in competition with their peers for meaningless things that will no longer matter in their lives after university. If only they knew what’s ahead of them, the power they would have as educated women of this country. This trend has been on the increase over the years. It is caused by so many different factors: bad governance and the resulting poor economic situation; neglect of responsibilities by parents; access to the internet and the consumption of everything on it whether fake or not; girls want to look like their favourite celebrities, peer pressure, etc.
Firstly, the failure of government over the years to create the necessary socio-economic environment for citizens to thrive and earn a decent income that meets the basic needs of their families is one of the major factors. Income levels are abysmally low in the country and therefore parents are finding it very difficult to meet the educational and social demands of their children. These girls from poorer homes are forced to fend for themselves
Parents are failing in their responsibilities to cater for their children, especially the girl child who needs so many things to upkeep herself. I know so many girls who are seeing themselves through university because the parents are not economically sound and don’t have the means to pay for them. Most times even members of their family who have the resources won’t help. The only one who would come in to salvage the situation is the boyfriend, fiance or sugar daddy. This is the beginning of most of the problems of our girls, as they are left in the hands of strangers who in some cases would abuse them, knowing fully well that the girl and her family solely depend on him.
Most parents don’t have a clue about some of the challenges their daughters are going through in school; they don’t know how some of these lecturers, teachers and male students are preying on them. Yet still, they will call their daughters for feeding, health care, rent, and even school fees for their younger siblings. These parents know their daughters are in school with no other source of income. Where do they think these girls are getting the money from? Is that even fair to ask your child that you are not paying for through school, for all these things? And some of them really do think this is normal. Asking these girls for help, without an iota of shame and putting them through unnecessary pressure. Parents let learn to question our girls. where are they getting some of the items, resources in their possession, that we did not buy or give to them? Check out their friends, talk to them about college and life after college.
Our girls should also understand that they are not in competition with no one but themselves. Some girls try so hard to keep up with their friends, enrolling in social clubs and putting themselves under pressures financially to meet the demands of these clubs. Don’t get me wrong, social clubs in themselves are not bad, but the demands of some of these clubs are not for girls coming from poor homes. Girls must get their priorities right. If your parents are already struggling to pay your fees and meet your basic social needs why add to your burden by enrolling in a social group that will demand fortunes from you or would require you to dress in a certain way. Most girls, in trying to keep up with such social demands will be forced into having financier, mainly in the form of a sugar daddy who will be footing the bills in addition to their ‘regular’ boyfriends. Ladies be yourselves if you don’t come from a family that can finance your extra social activities stay off some social groups that will force you into ‘student prostitution’. Being at the university is one major milestone of beating poverty. Don’t keep up with the Joneses if you are not a Jones. In a few years all these things you will be able to afford. Some of these men won’t even consider you after a year. They will be looking for the new kid on the block. Some of them you won’t want people to associate you with them, because you would have grown so much. Strive for independence financially, mentally, economically and spiritually. Nobody can take that away from you.
Young girls, this is Sierra Leone your story is not unique. You are just like the rest of us. You taking care of yourself and your family does not warrant you to be flaunting and giving your body to all available men out there. Hardship should not be a trigger to join every orgy or every sexual escapade out there, with men old enough to be your father. Don’t be in a rush to take care of your parents, take care of yourself first and your future. Do you know there are so many things you can do? Look around your campus. What is it that you all need on campus, and cannot access? Look for entrepreneurship gaps within your campus and fill those gaps. Use that wig money you collected from your fiance, boyfriend or sugar daddy and start a business, make use of the opportunities you have now. You know why? These men will definitely be looking for younger, finer and fresher girls that are just entering University. You’re no longer important to them, you’re too old. My sister, you will be dumped, take heed of my advice and take charge of your future.
Salone women be content, be patient, be wise, be brave, above all be strong. Never doubt yourself. You had it in you just search deep and be yourself. You will find all the strength you need to persevere and to break barriers. You are resilient. Peace out✌✌✌@dasalone_titi.
Meet Alusine Petema Sheriff. CEO of Big things Company Limited which is a poultry Farm at Mange Road Mabanta Village Gbanti Chiefdom, Makeni, Bombali District. He is a vibrant hardworking young farmer. He has been a household name in the poultry business in Makeni and its environs for fresh, organic farm eggs for hotels, motels, restaurants, and households. We had a tete a tete discussion with him and we are excited to share that with you all.
Q. Big thing’s give readers a brief background about yourself.
A. I am from a very humble home. Both parents were teachers. I grew up in a rough and impoverish neighborhood know as “Portuguese town” constituency 126 wards 433. As a family, we struggled, as my parent’s meager salaries were never enough to care about us. My mother has to complement their salary by doing petty trading and that requires us to be selling for her just so to make ends meet. I had a nickname in secondary school and university because of my love for music. I was known then as “Don Co”. Upon entering the university I founded the music group INDIGENES with two of my talented friends. Indigenous was one of the best music group in the history of Sierra Leone. Then the music industry was dominated by dropout and been that we were all at the university we were able to change the narratives. Our songs top the chart for weeks leading to indigenes winning all the RnB awards in 2005/2006 music year. I graduated in 2007 Bachelor of Art. That same year the music business and industry lost its momentum and started a steady decline. Owing to poor management and industry pressure we could not hold it together so fall out, went our separate ways. Going solo was never easy, after three years of no record deal or shows I have to make up my mind to leave that dream of mine. So I immediately start looking for a job which was also not easy. So I had to take some IT courses before I was able to secure one as a promotion supervisor. Working for people for me was the best thing that happened to me as I got to learn a lot of things that I am using today to run my poultry. I had worked for two privately owned businesses and one NGO when I decided, its time in 2014 to start my own business. So I resigned and then start the process of establishing Big things poultry.
Q. Why poultry in the first place?
A. I chose poultry after a series of prayer and fasting, this might sound cliche but I am a very prayerful person and the holy spirit dropped it in my heart. Sierra Leone has high infant mortality and malnutrition rates, diseases and low life expectancy; mainly due to low levels of protein in our diets. After a series of research, I realized that eggs are one of the most nutritious food in the world and the fact that they are cheap and affordable make this industry more attractive to me. I thought if I go into this business I can produce large quantities of the egg from mainly organic feed components, it will go a long way in solving some of the aforementioned health-related issues most people encounter from not getting enough protein or from consumption of rotten frozen imported eggs.
Q. Why Makeni?
A. I chose Makeni because of the increasing economic activity in makeni at that time, the increase in the expatriate community around Bombali district due to mining and other industrial activities. Malnutrition is also an issue in the district. In short, there was a massive market for eggs in makeni and its surroundings.
Q. Describe your leadership Skills and experience?
A. I started not knowing anything about poultry or the business aspect of it. I was just fueled by my passion, so by God’s grace, I was taught the principles of business the hard way by employing families and friends I almost lost everything before making the hard decision of letting them go and not mixing business with pleasure. I have also learned to at least get the basic knowledge of any business you want to enter into or invest in. I am a people’s person and a good listener so these are some of the skills that have helped me to this day.
Q. How long have you been in the poultry business?
A. I started in 2014 with relatively small savings and help from my parents. We had to purchase the land, clear and build the structures for the chicks, office, store, mill, procure feeders, drinkers, feed and a day old chicks.
Q. Did you get the support of you parents? As most times our parent want us to be Lawyers, Doctors, or Accountants.
A. Sure! In the first place, the two teachers; my parents out of the little salaries were able to send me through school up to university. They were there for me through my music days and after college when I could not get a job. Even after securing a job they were not bothered about stressing me for money and that was how I was able to save so much to finance my startup, they still support me through prayers and advice. They are the best parents anyone could ask for and I love them.
Q. What your motivation or what keeps you going everyday?
A.this entity was mainly established out of the twin desire to provide fresh farm eggs and affordable food for the people of the Nation and to create jobs for the youths of this country because I know first hands how it is to be jobless, so these are still my motivation for doing what I do.
Q. How are you able to get and feed the birds?
A. When we started, we got our first 4000-day old chicks locally fromPa Jah and IJ limited Company, but we also do get some from oversea’s companies. Drinkers we get from Guinea and feeders the rest of the drinkers were made locally. To feed the birds we really around farmers who are very supportive. We feed them maize, rice husk, and some seashells. Other components like concentrate and wheat bran we bought from suppliers in Freetown.
Q. How do you keep them healthy and protected from diseases and breakout?
A. Mortality in any farmhouse is inevitable. But notwithstanding it must not rise above certain levels. Any mortality above 2% within 2 days is a cause for concern. In order to reduce the risk of high mortality rate, a strict vaccination schedule has been developed for the sub-region which, we follow to the letter. Vaccination usually starts from a day old at the hatchery and continued in the farmhouse, we treat them with vitamins in their feeds also. We have strict biosecurity measures to totally avert these outbreaks or minimize them as much as we can.
Q. What are some of your personal achievement?
A. I can proudly say through my business I have been able to further my studies. I have just completed my MBA Entrepreneurship Altis Business School, the Sacred Heart Catholic University of Milan and the University of Makeni. I won the 2017 entrepreneurship award organized by Africa and life by design. We also operate an out-grower scheme with a membership of over 100 poultry farmers in the surrounding communities and others within the northern regions. We have also brought electricity in the community making power accessible to over hundreds of households. We have a total of 5.5 acres of land yet to be utilized. I am also the first in the country to run a poultry training course for youths. I have also established the big things entertainment multimedia and advertisement companies that aims at creating a platform for youth and local celebrities to develop and showcase their talents. Big things had also partnered with a young women empowerment group “awakening women/girls the only miss high school north which is personally funded. I have as part of my cooperate social responsibilities a fund that provides egg for children that are under the age of two within my community to fight against malnutrition. Big things poultry is also amongst the first top ten runners in the poultry industry for the year 2018 in Sierra Leone. I am the founder and chairman of the northern region pig and poultry farmers association, Sierra Leone. Finally, I have undergone a series of mentorship and business development and management training from NGO’s like Cordaid Sierra Leone, Adam Smith International SOBA Project, Pum Netherlands, Kepro, Hendrix Genetics e.t.c.
Q. What are your positive Moment or Success stories?
A. When I win awards like the youth entrepreneurship award. When I see my employees coming to work very early and happy and that we all can contribute to national developments. When Ministers and key stakeholders in the Ministry of Agriculture came to see my poultry. When I was asked to represent Sierra Leone in an Ecowas meeting and finally when I get to see every day what’s started in my mind as thought is alive and running that is, the “Big things poultry”.
Q. What are some of your challenges?
A. Increase in feed cost due to a yearly scarcity of main maize during the dry season. Which can effects cash flow and profit margins? Access to reliable suppliers of a day old chicks within the country and the subregion, 95% of poultry farmers get their chicks from holland at a high cost and inconvenient timing because of MOQ policies. Lack of appropriate machinery to conduct effective operation e.g. mixers. Another challenge is also the lack of trained and qualified veterinary personnel and outlets to procure medicines during the time of outbreaks.
Q. Where do you see Bigthings Poultry in the next five years?
A. To be the leading producer of fresh and affordable farm eggs in Sierra Leone, exporting the excesses to neighboring countries and beyond owing to highly organic nature of our products.
Q. Advice to young people readers out there who are anticipating to go into the poultry business like you.
A. Poultry is a very profitable venture and according to statistics $40,000,000.00 is spent anually to import eggs into this country. Meaning for a even if we are able to only take care of the national demand that will be $ 40,000,000.00 in the pockets of Sierra Leoneans. But also just bear in mind that poultry is a capital intensive project so one must be ready not just financial, but mentally and physically ready. And must have some knowledge of how to run a poultry. Lastly talk to people who have been in the business for long, surf the web or better still take hands on training on site in a poultry farm, volunteer or enroll in any poultry training course. At Bigthings we offer full, half and basic training courses on poultry management for starters. You can reach us on the following; email at firstname.lastname@example.org, facebook@bigthings don or call us on +23278882777.
You don’t just sit there because there is no job. Take baby steps in building your dreams so you can be an employer like Alusine. Salone youth be like Alusine Petema Sheriff. There is no job available for the number of graduates leaving university every year. Take charge of your destinies and take charge of Sierra Leone to be self-motivated, go get what you want in life, you can do it just believe in yourself. I am talking to you reading this, yes you! You are in control take the wheels. #itssalonewayornoway# peace✌out.@dasalone_titi
There are about 16 indigenous tribes in Sierra Leone. I stand to be corrected and we have the; Mandingos, Sherbros, Temnes, Mendes, Limbas, Lokos, Fulas, Creoles, Kurankos, Konos, Kissi’s, Yalunkas, Krus, Krims, and lastly Vais. I don’t even know if I have ever heard some of these minor tribes in my life. I don’t know if you have noticed but I have, the alarming rate of which Sierra Leoneans are refusing to speak their native languages or the fact that we’re not teaching a whole new generation of children how to speak these languages. Do you think there is a threat of extinction among these tribes? Why are people losing interest in most of them, especially, our generation and the generation after us? Our parents or elders seem oblivious to this trend or they just don’t care, period. You will hear them joyfully referring to us as British Temne, or British Limba as the case may be. Who told them Britain has native Limba or Mende people? Some of these tribes can only be found within the Mano River Union and for that reason only we should try or use any means possible to preserve them as people.
This trend is not unique to only Sierra Leone but I think ours is worse. The rate at which these languages are dying is very alarming and a cause for concern. Of course, some may argue that it’s the effect of colonialism, which is very true to some extent don’t get me wrong, the effect of bad governance and the economic situation too has also influenced this trend, as people have been migrating to big towns and cities to seek a better life. They move to these urban centers and of course, have to learn the common means of communication which is Krio thereby forgetting to speak their native tongue. They’ll have kids and the struggle of fending for them leads them to leave the house very early and returned very late, no time absolutely to teach this generation of kids their mother tongue, to get them fully rooted in our norms, cultures, and relics.
We use to hear stories of our brothers and sisters in the diaspora, of how they used to teach their children who have never been to Sierra Leone to speak their mother tongues but not anymore. What’s the problem? Where did we get it wrong? To tell you the truth this has lead to most of our troubles in Sierra Leone. There is not that sense of belonging anymore. We are losing the richness in our diversity, the tolerance for it all as Sierra Leoneans. People are losing themselves to modernization we prefer speaking English to our kids, which is good but why not teach them the English and Kru, Vai, or Yalunka at the same time. Instead of just the Krio or English which are just reminders of our troubled pasts, with all due respect to our Creole people. Do you know, to teach a child that early two or three languages play an important role in the child’s brain and intellectual development: such as helping them concentrate and multitask apart from the basic fact of them being bilingual and multilingual and the capability to analyze different ideas and thought at a go.
Another positive of learning this generation of youths our local languages is that it will help us restore or protect them from extinction. They will be able to connect to their roots and ancestors. It will keep them glued to their heritage, as it will serve as a constant reminder of our journey as a nation. Our native languages bring and boost our sense of belonging, which so many of us had lost along the way. We go to the provinces and act as if we all that, and or superior to them just because we speak Krio and they don’t. we don’t bother with learning from them instead we respond in Krio if we are spoken to in our native languages, so much so that people in this hinterland are also picking up the habit of not speaking their dialect. One can only get the aged or those who had never been to these urban towns to speak their tongues. It’s a sad truth but we are all to blame. Diversity is good but the significance of keeping these languages alive can never be overemphasized in terms of the enrichment of our cultures and societies.
To those Sierra Leoneans living abroad please go back to the old method of speaking your native languages to your kids at home. This can help them feel more connected to you as their parents and their relatives in Salone. Give them native names with meanings even if it’s a middle name, rather than all these co-join meaningless names.
So far only a few tribes in Sierra Leone has been able to teach and pass down their tribes from one generation to the other with all the things that it comes with. The Fula’s have really tried in maintaining their rich culture, traditions, and tribe. Some may argue that it is because they are the most enclosed ethnic group in the country. This is true to some extent but we can learn the positive things in keeping our tribes alive from them. The Temnes and the Mendes are slowing struggling behind the Fullas to Keep their native languages. We have so many tribal unions so what are they doing to keep these languages alive?
If we as parents cannot teach our children our native languages because we ourselves cannot speak them. Let not fail this new generation of kids, as our parents did us. Let’s advocates the government and the private schools around, to see how best they can add these languages to the school curriculum. Our kids could be taught in the school system from preschool to high school. Parent with the resources, look for people who could offer home classes in these tribes for your kids, you can even join in if you have the time. Instead of spending all the long school holiday at home this year make plans to send them to the villages to learn. Some of the youth you had finished college or university with no job for the past year’s, yet very fluent in your local language have you thought of starting something in your community in this field. You never know until you try. We all have to work to bring Salone where it was before the war. Salone is ours to nurture and grow and we all must play our part as citizens, it is on our shoulders rest this heavy burden. Peace out.✌✌