Freetown City Council releases calendar of events

Freetown City Council has released a calendar of events happening in Freetown this December for residents and guests to enjoy. While it doesn’t encompass all the events as December is a festive time in Sierra Leone and there are many events, this calendar certainly is a good place to start. See below for the calendar and you can also check it out here.

Zainab Sheriff Calls out AYV and Africell for Big Brother Housemates

This was the image shared on Instagram today by Zainab Sheriff among witb the following caption below. As noted below, Zainab aired out grievances against Africell Sierra Leone and AYV for their seeming refusal to help her develop her hugely successful Big Sister Salone show but instead focusing on their own show Big Brother Housemates. Zainab developed and aired the Big Sister Salone show with AYV and Africell Sierra Leone and she is even brand ambassador for Africell. So for her to do this is taking a big risk but a risk that Zainab obviously feels is important. As reported yesterday Zainab also has another reality TV competition show which she is working on. What television channel will that show air on? This matter certainly brings a lot into question.

People were surprised that soon after Big Sister Salone ended AYV announced that there will be a new show premiering with a similar concept but no mention of whether this new show would be in  partnership with Zainab Sheriff. AYV and Africell has yet to respond but this is a first and very significant airing out of business grievances in Sierra Leone. All three parties are key players in the Sierra Leone business environment and entertainment industry so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.A4EBFD70-3CAD-4F73-87BD-B80BAAF47EC7

Our take is that competition is ok and it is not wrong for AYV and Africell to work on a competing show despite the obvious conflict of interests present. But Zainab’s accusations that they are now trying to sabotage and neglect the Big Sister Salone show which put reality TV on the map in Sierra Leone and focus on Big Brother Housemates definitely raises some ethical concerns. Zainab also alludes to how this whole matter could be because she is a woman; which obviously is wrong if that’s the case.

So far there has been encouraging comments and many references that God will handle the situation and the hashtag #istandwithbigsister used on social media. However many have been quiet perhaps because they do not want to appear to take sides until they know more about the situation? Or because AYV and Africell are important sponsors and business partners and they do not want to jeopardize their business interest.

One thought which has occurred to us is that their should be exploration by Zainab and other television stations in Sierra Leone to see if Big Sister Salone could be aired on another channel. AYV has dominated the television platform in Sierra Leone since their fairly recent arrival but there are other stations such as Star, FTN, SLBC and KTV Sierra Leone. Big Sister Salone would certainly increase viewership of these other channels. But do they have the resources and infrastructure to take on Big Sister Salone, a 24/7 reality TV show? More to come on this one. Please comment below and let us know what you think.

Plan your trip this December with VisitSierraLeone

December is fast approaching. A popular time for Sierra Leoneans to visit and partake in all the festivities of the month. Many times this involves showing up home with suitcases, gifts and money but with little preparation elsewise. You want to have fun and expect to have fun but you’ve not done any research or planning before hand. Perhaps that was because in the past there wasn’t much information available online but that is increasingly changing. There is a lot of information online that you can use to plan your trip and thanks to VisitSierraLeone Travel “VSL”  this information is contained in one place. This travel company offers many services for all travelers to Sierra Leone. We selected a handful to highlight in that you can use to plan your trip this December.

Visa- Travellers to Sierra Leone require a visa unless if you have an ECOWAS passport. You can obtain your visa through the US embassy closest to you which may not be so close depending on where you reside. Or you can obtain your visa through VisitSierraLeone. According to their website visas can be ready in as little as 1-2 business days. Click here to check out their visa service.

Airport Transfer- When I travelled back home for the first time a few years ago I was a bit nervous to be traveling on my own. And unsure of what to expect. Any airport experience can feel daunting with the airport being such a busy place. If you are traveling to Sierra Leone and would like your transfer from the airport to your destination to be less daunting click here to check out VSL Travel’s airport transfer service. If you would like to transfer from Lungui (where the airport is located) to Aberdeen by sea coach (a popular option) purchase your ticket in advance with VSL Travel. On arrival you will find someone waiting for you with your name on a sign and your tickets ready. This person will even assist you with your currency transfer and SIM card purchase. If you need transfer to your hotel, they will set up a private vehicle to transfer you to your hotel. What’s even great is that VSL has identified who their airport liaison is that should be there to greet all guests, so there should be no guesswork.

Car rental- Once you get to Sierra Leone how do you plan to get around. There are taxis and other forms of travel. You can also rely on the person you’re visiting to help you navigate getting around. Or you can also check out VSL’s vehicle rental service. They have a number of vehicles (mostly SUVs which is appropriate for Sierra Leone) that you can check out in advance by clicking here and then inquire about.

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Hotels all over the country- As we mentioned there increasingly there is more available online but if you would like to find out information about hotels all over Sierra Leone, see photos and get an idea about pricing and similar hotels you can also check out VSL Travel. Unfortunately you are not able to book online but you can send an inquiry or obtain contact information which you can use to quickly book your hotel. Click here to check out some hotels in the Western Area of Sierra Leone.

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Tours and attractions- Sierra Leone has a lot of fun and sights to offer. This December if you would like to plan some excursions in advance you can use VSL Travel to research and even book some activities in advance. Depending on your interest I.e. the beach, historical, nature/wildlife, VSL has a lot of useful information that you can use to make sure that you’re getting the best out of your trip. Click here to check out some tours and attraction information.

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To learn more about what VSL Travel can do for your trip to Sierra Leone visit them on their website, Instagram, and Twitter.

 

 

 

Opinion: For Sierra Leone business to prosper, it must become all of our business.

When was the last time that you in the diaspora went out of your way to patronize a Sierra Leone owned business? Or sat down and watched an hour of Sierra Leone TV? Or listened to some Sierra Leonean artists music? When was the last time that you instead thought negatively about Sierra Leone music, TV and businesses? Chances are you are more likely to have done the latter more recently than the former. The truth is we all decry that Sierra Leone business is mediocre but we don’t go out of our way to help make it better.

Continue reading “Opinion: For Sierra Leone business to prosper, it must become all of our business.”

MakeUp Artist: Yabom Sesay

Yabom V. Sesay (pictured) is a make up artist based in the U.K. She was the recent winner of the SLEA awards for best makeup artist. Yabom not only does makeup she also does the more creative and avant-garde makeup. You can check out Yabom’s work and obtain booking information by checking out her Instagram page by clicking here.

Yabom also has a YouTube channel which she recently started. Check out her videos by clicking here and subscribe to her channel.

Business Spotlight: Prince Zamira

Prince Zamira is a contemporary fashion brand with clothing and accessories for men, women and children. The brand describes itself as clothing for young professionals who “work hard and play hard”. Owned by Alhaji Sallu Kargbo the brand features classic and stylish pieces such as polos, suits, belts and other accessories with rich colors, fine cuts, and tailoring. Their pricing ranges from affordable to the more investment pieces.

Continue reading “Business Spotlight: Prince Zamira”