Sierra Leone on showcase: Jollof and stew, books and entrepreneurship

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 9 March 2022:

Sierra Leonean TV host and digital entrepreneur Vickie Remoe (Photo above) will showcase creatives and entrepreneurs in the DMV. The upcoming Make Sierra Leone Famous event will include culture and history exhibits, a tasting of Sierra Leonean food, and a fireside chat with startup founders and writers.

The showcase gets its name from the hashtag #MakeSierraLeoneFamous which began in 2018 as a crowdfunding campaign. Four years later, #MakeSierraLeoneFamous is a podcast and a community of content producers, creatives, and entrepreneurs. Storytellers in Sierra Leone and in the diaspora use the hashtag to amplify excellence.

“This showcase celebrates Sierra Leonean-Americans who champion Sierra Leone,” said Vickie Remoe.

Creatives participating in the showcase include the author and chef Mai Burnette, founder of Mai’s Kitchen. She will prepare a tasting of jollof and stew, Salone salad, and pepper chicken using recipes from her new cookbook.

“I’m thrilled to be able to join other Sierra Leoneans as we celebrate each other and our culture. Growing up in the diaspora food was how we stayed connected to home. I’m cooking my special Salone jollof recipe for the showcase and yes, it will come with stew,” said Sierra Leonean-American Chef Mai Burnette, of Mai’s Kitchen based in Silver Spring.

Akindele Decker and Adrian Q Labor will present a mini-exhibit from the “Sierra Leoneans Who Shaped Our History” book series. Patrick Beckley, creative director of the ethically sourced fashion brand Finor X will share garments made by Sierra Leonean artisans using indigenous textiles. Aminata Jalloh will read from her book Biggest Little Brother which tells the story of a Sierra Leonean-American family.

Entrepreneurs include Fatima Sesay, Founder, Inside The Diaspora, a PR and Entertainment startup giving Sierra Leonean artists access and publicity.

Dr. Fouad Sheriff, Founder, Cotton Tree Medical Group will share his journey building multiple businesses in Freetown including a pharmacy and now a hospital. Tamba Lamin, Founder, TpISENT another US-based entrepreneur will share his ventures in IT, and most recently prefab housing in Sierra Leone.

Also, joining the showcase for a fireside chat about his philanthropic efforts to make technology and innovation available to youth in Sierra Leone is Grovara CEO, Abu Kamara. Kamara’s Grovara is America’s leading marketplace for wellness and organic brands.

Remoe says that Kamara and others she selected to participate in this showcase embody the African adage if you want to go far go together.

“They’re all invested in Sierra Leone. Through their businesses, they’ve created opportunities for others and they show up for the community,” said Remoe.

The three-hour Make Sierra Leone Famous showcase will take place on the third Saturday of March in Silver Spring, Maryland. Tickets are available online.

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