Having just returned from Sierra Leone two days prior, I was still in the Salone frame of mind, and walking into SLACfest immediately transported me back home.
I bought some homemade ginger beer from one of the stalls and made my way around the room. The temperature was above 25 degrees, I could smell the jollof and akara cooking and the warm reception from the hosts and fellow guests set the tone for the evening.
As we sat down to various performances from poets, singers and entertainers, there was one thing reoccurring in my mind,
I can’t believe there are so many young Sierra Leoneans in London.
I had first come to the conclusion that this wasn’t the case over a year ago and so desperately scoured the internet, looking for young Salone groups. My parents had been part of numerous Salone associations and I’d always seen young collectives for Countries such as Nigeria and Ghana, but never for Sierra Leone.
To my surprise I came across Siana Bangura’s Salone Collective and became an avid follower, keeping up to date with any events and projects they were doing.
Attending SLACfest was a must for me, as I believe in the importance of community support and togetherness. We laughed together, we ate together, we consoled each other through heart wrenching poetry and together we brought the “energy energy, stamina stamina.”
See you all next year!