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Sunday, 10 March 2019

Y SQUARE POD: S01E05 Padi Padi Biznes & #SaloneMenDontCheat

In the fifth episode of YSquare Podcast we open with an interesting fact about Sierra Leone, this week we share the wildlife animals that are to be found in Sierra Leone. Yasmin and Yasmine discuss the multiple meanings of the term ‘Padi’. One word has many meanings here in Freetown Sierra Leone, however it is traditionally translated as ‘friend’ in Krio, the local language spoken in Salone. We talk about friendship groups and the current climate and trends we both have observed and experienced when it comes to dating and relationships. Y square even the comparisons of what dating is like in Sierra Leone compared to the West, alongside what we believe are the contributing factors to toxic relations and cheating. For more on this episode, give it a listen here! If you have already listened to this episode when would love to hear your thoughts! Join in the conversation using the hashtag #YSquarePod.

Join in on the Y Square Pod fun!
Podcast: https://soundcloud.com/ysquarepod/s01e05-padi-padi-biznes-salonemendontcheat
Twitter: @ysquarepod
Instagram: @ysquarepod

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Wednesday, 6 March 2019


Happy 62nd Independence Day to Ghana! In celebration of the Independence Day, Yasmin TELLS are collaborating with another Ghanaian brand ‘The African Accent’. I first came across The African Accent during my first visit to Ghana in December 2017. I met with curator and founder Michelle Konadu at The Shop Accra where I discovered their vibrantly patterned headbands, that I was rocking in during my most recent trip to Cuba. The African Accent sells fashion items made by creatives in Ghana, Cuba and Morocco. The platform aims to give you the best from African artisans. For Yasmin TELLS subcribers/followers we have a 20% discount on The African Accent items to celebrate Ghana’s 62nd year of independence. The discount code is available until the 30th March. Check out the shop and enjoy!

Discount Code: YTGHANA62

Havana, Cuba - with my The African Accent headband

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Tuesday, 5 March 2019


Ouakam, Dakar Senegal 2018 - Photo of Yasmin TELLS
The 'What Not To Miss' series are back on Yasmin TELLS! Here are a few events from across the globe I don't think you should miss out on (if you are local). The reason I chose this picture I took in Dakar, Senegal as the front image is because well, you will find out in a moment when you read this post. Enjoy!


Taste The Culture: Senegal Edition | London| 23rd March 2019


On the 23rd of March MelaninTravel will present their first event called “Taste the Culture: Senegalese Edition”. The event aims to bring Senegal to the UK promoting its tourism to new and familiar audiences with an evening of food, art and culture, not to forget the panel discussions. If you know anything about my blog, you would know I also spent some time in Dakar, Senegal – and I loved it! So I was more than honoured when asked to join their panel for the event. Don’t miss this if you are interested in exploring West African countries like this gem. For more information and tickets click here.

  St. Patrick’s Day | Ireland | 17th March 2019

The cultural and religious holiday marks a day of celebration to the life of Saint Patrick. He was a Romano-British Christian and bishop in Ireland. The day is usually celebrated in street parades or festivals not only in Dublin, Ireland but in multiple countries especially locations with a large amount of Irish disporans such as North America and the States.

The Krio Kanteen: Supper Club | London| 24th March 2019

The Krio Kanteen are a West African cuisine catering company inspired by dishes from Sierra Leone, West Africa. If you are based in London and you have never tried Sierra Leonean food before then here is your perfect opportunity. On Sunday the 24th March their Supper club is back where Krio Kanteen will serve an African 3-course meal alongside music and poetry on the night. Don’t miss out! Get your tickets here.

Womxn in Design - International Women's Day | London | 9th March 2019

Celebrate Women’s Day with a group inspiring and talented designers. Hosted by new platform ‘ Life of a Designer’ by Abi Wright. The event puts the spotlight on Black and Brown women across creative industries such as graphic design, UX, branding, architecture, print design etc. – you name it! The aim of the event is to expand your network and get advice from a credible panel of founders. Register here if this is of interest to you


-       Freetown Music Festival | Freetown, Sierra Leone | 30-31st March 2019

The Freetown Music Festival is returning to Sierra Leone’s capital for a third run. Showcasing music, dance and design in Sierra Leone, West Africa. The festival is located alongside the beachside, promoting both locally established and upcoming artists at the end of March. For more information check out the website.

Women in Tech Africa | Cape Town, South Africa| 18th-19th March

If you are into tech and live on the continent of Africa or have an interest in the future of tech in Africa, then this event is for you! Cape town will host The Women in Tech Africa conference mid March, join over three hundred tech leaders and professionals in the discussion of tech trends and business strategy. The two-day conference will have seventy speakers, career development sectors and network opportunities.


Singapore Design Week | Singapore| 4th – 17th March

Singapore Design Week returns to the National Design Centre for its sixth edition. The weeklong event will feature trade shows, exhibitions and conferences of what Singapore’s design sector have to offer. Check out the website for more information.

Spend Easter elsewhere!

Make the most of the Easter Bank Holidays and spend Easter somewhere new. Find out how a new destination to celebrate the public holiday. Last year I spent Easter in Malta. Also check out the Croatia Diaries for ideas if you are considering spending the Easter away.

Valetta,Malta - Easter 2018 - Photo of Yasmin TELLS

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Saturday, 2 March 2019

Y SQUARE POD: S01E04 Jus Cam (JC) & Homebase (HB)

In this episode of Y square podcast, the podcast opens and closes with a poem dedicated to the land that we love, Sierra Leone. The poem is called "Mama We Are Waiting" by Yasmine Bilks Ibrahim in production with film maker Abu Yillah of The Young Sierra Leonean, find the video here. In episode four we discuss the terms 'JC' and 'Homebase'. JC stands for 'Jus Cam' usually the term used by local Sierra Leoneans to describe visitors from abroad. Homebase is someone who is born and bred in Sierra Leone. The pair discuss the diaspora, discrimination and define the status of someone who is no longer a JC but neither Homebase, however they live in Sierra Leone. Don't miss our JC starter pack and visitor's guide in S01E04 Jus Cam (JC) & Homebase (HB).

Interesting Fact: Sierra Leone is 1 out of the 5 Anglophone countries in West Africa.
African Proverb:"If you want to go quickly go alone, if you want to go far go together." - Old African Proverb.

Join in on the Y Square Pod fun!
Podcast: https://soundcloud.com/ysquarepod/s01e04-jus-cam-jc-homebase-hb
Twitter: @ysquarepod
Instagram: @ysquarepod

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Thursday, 28 February 2019

10 February Highlights from Freetown, Sierra Leone

Fambul Makit 2019 
Here are a few highlights of what I got up to this month in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Enjoy the post!

1.    Travel L’afrique Takeover 

At the beginning of the month I had the opportunity to showcase Sierra Leone to Travel L’afrique’s Instagram audience as I took over their Instagram account for the first two days of the month. It sparked a lot of great conversations about Sierra Leone and put the West African country on the map. Travel L'afrique are a platform that encourages potential tourists and visitor to go and explore the continent of Africa through visuals. Thanks again Travel L’afrique! Check out their website and Instagram page.

2.    Blogging Salone

Earlier this month Sierra Leonean blogger and host of the Vickie Remoe show Vickie Remoe hosted a free blogging master class for local and inspiring content creators at The Africanus Hotel. The three-hour course was insightful and a great opportunity to meet with like-minded people. I loved the emphasis on Sierra Leonean citizens taking control of their own narrative and to manifest #localcontent. Check out her show and blog, SwitSalone.

Blogging Salone - Photo by Vickie Remoe

3.    Fambul Makit

Fambul Makit by Emily Fanday presented a meet and eat school carnival at Vine School, Congo Cross. The event was like any carnival meets market event with multiple vendors, face painting and activities for children, I was not there for very long but it seemed to be a nice way to spend the Saturday. 

4.   The V Monologues

Without a doubt this was the best event I attended this month. Femme Collective of Sierra Leone organised the first V monologues in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The event was a fundraiser for Rainbo Initiative with the ticket proceeds going to their cause as The Rainbo Initiative are one of the few organisations that offer free medical and psychosocial services to survivors of gender based violence in Sierra Leone. The V monologues inspired by Eva Ensler episodic play, has started an incredible dialogue and created many renditions of the Vagina Monologues around the world. This was the first one of it's kind to be hosted in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The production of poetry and spoken word by various female Sierra Leonean poets and performers explored the relationship, the highs and the lows with our female parts. The night was very entertaining, with raffles and vagina cupcakes, just in case we forgot the theme of the night. It really was like no other. I am looking forward to what Femme Collective has planned next!
The V Monologues 13/02/2019 - photo from Twitter

5.    Pivital Salone 

I was invited to take part in a panel for Pivital Salone alongside four phenomenal women doing amazing work in Freetown. Pivital Salone launched on 15th February at the British Council in Sierra Leone. With the platform already being established in the UK. The founders were persistent on launching the movement in Salone also. The aim of Pivital Salone is to encourage young girls to consider STEM career choices. Also to bridge the gap between students and professionals, creating a platform where school girls can access the information they need to make the right and next step.

6.    Trying Foodbly

 I tried Foodbly for the first time this month. I ordered the Milano Chicken which came with rice and vegetables. It was delicious, a solid eight out of ten from me. However, I must try the local dishes from Foodbly first to give it an honest approval. Foodbly offer daily menus and healthy snacks at reasonable prices, alongside homemade juices such as ginger beer and bissap. Keep up to date with their offers and appetising food images here.

7.    Tok U Tok 

Tok U Tok Is a monthly event that takes place at Two Guys Restaurant in Freetown is curated by Marco Koroma. The Thursday night event allows anybody and everybody to showcase their talent at the open mic event accompanied by live music. Most people who participate usually perform a spoken word/poetry piece or perform a song.  It’s the perfect social setting if you want to get out but not necessarily reach Lumely.

8.    Climb Salone

Climb Salone is leisure activity offering indoor climbing. They are located in Hill Station within the compound of the German Embassy, it’s easy to find as the logo is painted on the gate, (its huge, you can’t miss it!). I went recently for the first time with my @ysquarepod co-host, Yasmine and we had such a blast. It’s fair to say the bespoke made wall obstacles are not as easy as they appear. Climb Salone provide climbing shoes then you are good to go once you have paid your day pass fee or monthly membership fee. Climb Salone is exactly the kind of activities we need in the city! They also have climbing walls for kids and do private bookings. For more information about Climb Salone, click here.

 9.    Ethiopian Cuisine

The last weekend of February Yidu and co prepared an authentic buffet of Ethiopian food at Toma Boutique Hotel. This was my first time trying the Ethiopian Cuisine and it did not disappoint! That being said, I'm not a fussy eater. The buffet included a variation of stews. The event cost 160,000 Le per person excluding drinks.

 10.     Young in Freetown – The Table 

Last but not least, Abu and I were asked to join the Young In Freetown discussion series The Table, as we discussed our likes and dislikes, aspirations and time spent in Sierra Leone with Elaine of Young in Freetown. This was recorded at the end of January but the clip aired early this week. Here is the video clip below! Enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed February's highlights from Freetown, Sierra Leone. Do you want to know what events to discover next month in the city? Check out Yasmine of minabilkis.com blog, she has a post that will keep you busy this March! Take a look at 7 things to do in Freetown in March.

For more and the latest blog posts keep it touch! 


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