While Sierra Leoneans are arguably the most resilient people in Africa, if not the world, I would also argue that we might be the most traumatized. So much happened mentally to Sierra Leoneans both in Sierra Leone and abroad. If you know a Sierra Leonean, then you may have heard the most devastating stories that a human being could tell you. However, there are a lot of great stories that came from that time as well. Have you ever entered into the home of someone who just found out that that immigration approved their applications that will allow a mother to bring her child to live with her? She had to leave her child with a grandparent… for eight years and the paperwork has been filed for the past 3 years. All of the tears of joy occur in her kitchen, along with a fresh pot of Cassava Leaves and ice cold Vimto to celebrate!
Regardless of the scenario, there is still trauma that lasts beyond the high and low moments. Deaths occurred and family members abroad were not always able to attend and experience closure. Kids raised by grandparents arrived and began living in a stranger’s house… even though it’s their parent’s house. Ask this same kid how easy it was to adjust to school in the new country with a thick accent and the “look” of an African that just landed five minutes ago. More often than not, these traumatic events are not counseled by professionals (if at all) and traumatized children become traumatized adults.
Mental health and self-care is something that is rarely discussed among West Africans, especially Sierra Leoneans. We need to change that. Every positive event helps to reverse the damage.
FUN EVENTS THAT PROMOTE TOGETHERNESS = BETTER MENTAL HEALTH
Recently, I attended/vended at a soccer tournament in Virginia, USA, between Sierra Leoneans from over eight different states that promoted camaraderie and togetherness. It was pretty nice to witness first-hand. My hope is that as this event continues to grow each year, I can play apart in helping the organizers make the event successful and productive in the coming years.
Let’s really talk to each other, network, and build connections that will promote progress among those in the community as well as celebrate the Sierra Leonean community for years to come.
We owe it to ourselves to become more unified as a people.
We can celebrate and support the accomplishments and endeavors of Sierra Leoneans like Shady Baby (pictured left) for sharing his musical gifts with the world and positively representing Sierra Leone.
#Blackgirlmagic is happening amongst us.
Culture Curator | Entreprenuer.
Fashion Designer | Branding Consultant.
Assistant Manager |Social Media Strategist.
Three daughters of Sierra Leone supporting each other.
Musicians. Culture Curators. Fashion Creatives. Media Mavens and More. Sierra Leoneans are thriving in various spaces while walking down the same street as you. Let’s connect and support Sierra Leoneans globally.
Ar lek mi people dem bad. Sum wae dae read dis go sae, “Hmmm… Salone nor betteh. Den nor go change. Wi nor lek wisef tiday. Wi nor geht foh lek wisef tumara.”
Una wae dae memba so, ar nor blame yu. Ow long wi go dae sidom dae hate wisef? Ar dae beg una, nor dae pa di side wae dae cause division. Ar dae invite una foh join mi pa di side wae unity dae!
~xo Miss GK~