Sierra Leoneons in London. What an interesting, under-known yet well established community across the UK and London. Commonly identified (at first thoughts) for their language (Krio), common surnames such as are Sesay, Kamara, Quartey and Bangura, and ‘that country’ where Idris Elba is from.
“Aw yu du?” means ‘How are you?’ in Krio by the way. In Temne it’s “To pɛ mu-a?” or Mende it’s “Gbככ bi gaahu?”. Amazing languages are also complimented by the good food scene you can get your tastebuds to assert. And Yes – there are a handful of Sierra Leoneon restaurants and food pop-ups in London: Krio Kitchen being one of them (as seen above). I’m not too sure whether Mym’s Taste of Sierra Leone and Intercontinental is still open in Peckham whilst the Nivla Restaurant on 51 Camberwell Road has closed.
Cham Cham (a Liberian and Sierra Leoneon London Food Joint) and part of Nim’s Din still run their supper clubs. That is next on my list. Looking forward to the next one now that i’m back in the country. I do know that they have a selection of food available to order also. Checkout their website for more details.
Sierra Leoneans are mostly based in South and North London. Bermondsey, New Cross and Lewisham have pockets of Sierra Leonean communities based in the borough of Southwark. You can also find some in Newham, Barking and Dagenham, Hastings and Slough. Do feel Free to Tweet at: AdamaJMunu, AlimKamara, AfriNaturality, Andrew Ockendon, Florence Baingana, Maddison Dukes, RawDaMixtape, Sianarrgh, OfficialKabzz, TFMSalone, SierraLeoneinfo, Sahr O Fasuluku, SwitSalone, Kamzzy_UK, Abdul Rashid Thomas, Frederick Peters, Makoni Times and KrioKanteen for more info about what’s going on with Sierra Leoneons in London – both young and old alike.
Sierra Leone talent includes Edris Elba, Nigel Reo-Coker, Curtis Davis and music band ‘The Dualers’. Many Liberians arrived in the UK and London in the early 1990s and have been granted after previously appealing for asylum.
A few ‘Leoneon’ Londoners you should get to know:
Humble Award-Winning #GoodLady is a respected and blessed photographer that I don’t feel I need to say much about – Her Gift is making room for her as this lady is an Exceptional Talent.
Well. It’s certainly not a competition as to who is one of the foremost Black Feminist Writers, Social Critics and Creative Entrepreneurs in London; but even though Siana Bangura is one of them; it’s her Sierra Leoneon heritage that has distinguished her to feature in this article =) I don’t know where to start with this fiercely talented social woman – but goodness me she is good at what she does. “There really isn’t anything that Siana doesn’t do but most importantly she is one of the biggest advocates of the power of Black women” – These are the words of The 10 Black British Women Who Are Killing It In Their Fields article from Buzzed made over a year ago! But a year on; amongst the many achievements and awards of the No Fly on The Wall Writer and Poet, I can say you won’t be disappointed in checking out some of her thought-provoking work!
An invaluable member of the Sierra Leone UK Diaspora. Seriously Focused and proven commitment Sierra Leoneon affairs. Director of Yengema Secondary School Old Students and Friends Association, Trustee at Kono District Development Association UK amongst other organisations and actively involved in the SLUKDERT (Sierra LeoneUK Diaspora Ebola Response Taskforce), Mr. Fasuluku was a strategic partner and consultant of the organisation’s & individual’s ability to respond effectively the Ebola crisis in early 2015. I mean I don’t know what else needs to be said. Maybe a hashtag #AllThingsLeone should be created for him – in simple English: he is a very good go-to consultant. Check him out!
‘The Heart of a Warrior’ is his book and it’s probably a very very good of the character of this good gentleman. The now Author, Football Agent and Director was once (and I can testify to this since we went to the same secondary school in South East London) a promising and very gifted footballer before his dreams faded away then in his mid-twenties when I found out about my heart condition. Since then Festus is working directly with young people and talent nurturing the talented young footballers of today to become the stars of tomorrow in various way and engaged in various community work across London. #GoodMan!
Student Motivator, Spoken Word Pro, StoryTeller and Hip Hop Artist is a gifted Sierra Leonean man who came from humble beginnings in the West African Country but grew up in London where his drive to inspire was influenced by society and his African background. Similar to Siana, He wears many hats and is also passionate about helping students develop their passion for learning English.
The Sierra Leone born, London-based angelic voice of reason. Yeah this guy’s music illustrates his talent and well articulates the various experiences he’s been through. He has been a presence in the UK underground for some time and has since logged time in the studio with Kanye West (“Saint Pablo”) and SBTRKT (Save Yourself) recently, his most recent solo material (“Slow Lights”) dates back to 2014. That changes this week, however, as the Brit has re-emerged with a new song called “Timmy’s Prayer”, as well as a note about his return. Definitely an established talent well on the way.
Organisations and Networks:
Dr Edward Cole | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone 1: 07884 476783 | Address: Sierra Leonean Adventists 56A The Crescent, Belmont, Sutton, Surrey, SM2 6BN
The Sierra Leonean Adventists Abroad (SLAA), is a UK registered charity (no 1085936) working to reduce poverty through improved health and better education in the worlds poorest communities. They are part of the Adventist Development Agency UK body. It operates in West African, in Sierra Leone as a registered Non Governmental Organisation (NGO). It was founded by a group of Sierra Leonean Adventist university students in the UK in 1992, initially to provide humanitarian assistance to people affected by war. SLAA jointly operates Masanga Hospital (pictured above) in Sierra Leone and runs education grant program for university and school students from poor background.
General E-mail: email@example.com | E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | Tel/ Mobile: Chair: 07951682074 | Secretary: 0785424226 | Address: 144 Ankerdine Crescent, Shooters Hill, London SE18 3LG
Salone Collective (founded by Siana Bangura) is a collective of young Sierra Leonean creatives, young professionals, entrepreneurs, and doers, who will be rewriting their narrative as children of the Diaspora. I know this group has big plans in 2016 and 2017 – stay tuned and be on the lookout for them!
Phone: 07958 028 715 | Facebook: /KrioDescendantsUnionGlobal | Email: email@example.com
Solid Body that have been around for a while. The purpose and mission of the Krio Descendants Union London Chapter is to provide Krios with a forum for preserving, learning and promoting our history, culture and heritage, which can then be passed on to the next generation. We also want to help towards the development of Sierra Leone as a whole, through fundraising and other projects, whilst raising awareness when and where necessary about Krios.
Facebook: /Sierra-Leone-Friendship-Association | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: 07460 862358
They work with other concerned organisations and communities in the United Kingdom that are set to alleviate poverty, crime, sickness, distress.
SIERRA Update is an independent and non-political pan-Sierra Leonean news magazine, first published in 2009 with a strict editorial policy of highlighting major developments in Sierra Leone as well as highlighting some of the good works of Sierra Leoneans in the Diaspora . In short we serve as a link between Sierra Leone and Sierra Leoneans in the Diaspora.
Phone: 07960642121 | Email: email@example.com
Their events have attracted thousands of Sierra Leoneans with events including promotional nights, independence celebrations and the well known annual Sierra Leonean Outing. The core objective of this organisation is to promote Sierra Leone and Sierra Leonean artists as well as promote recognition of our culture and heritage to the world.
Good Community Charity. The Hastings Sierra Leone Friendship Link connects the peoples of Hastings, UK and Hastings, Sierra Leone to promote reconstruction and friendship. It raises money through events and donations to help rebuild Hastings, SL following its devastation in 1997 during Sierra Leone’s Rebel War. The Link also promotes official twinning, informal exchanges and school-to-school links.
Pretty Straitghforward. The Miss Sierra Leone UK Beauty Pageant is a yearly event that seeks to highlight and promote beauty, talent and diversity in the Sierra Leone diaspora in the UK. The pageant provides a platform for young, aspiring Sierra Leonean women to advance the causes of the Sierra Leone communities in the UK by acting as ambassadors in their various pursuits.
EducAid is a UK registered charity that promotes and provides high quality, holistic education among the underprivileged and war affected young people of Sierra Leone. We believe that the education of young men and women is essential to: unlock human potential, overcome poverty, improve wellbeing, build democracy, and that it is the cornerstone of stable development.
A small circle of childhood friends have got B.O.S.A up and running. This association is formed to unite all the old students in diaspora, support ourselves, raise fund to enhance education in Brotherhood Secondary School/Sierra Leone and help the children to promise them for a better tomorrow, B.O.S.A.(Brotherhood Old Students Association).
Facebook: /kddaUK | Number 1: Tel: 020 8478 8142 / 078 2588 6188 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Email 2: email@example.com
The Kono District Development Association (KDDA), is based in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. It was formed by the descendants of the Kono people, in order to join together and find effective solutions to our diverse problems.
*** Do you know or want to recommend other Sierra Leoneon Entrepreneurs, Stakeholders or organisations that you feel should be present on this list based in London/Greater London that deserve a shoutout? Feel free to comment below or contact me via Twitter: @AfricanCB or Facebook: /AfricanCultureBlog