SEE YOU ELSEWHERE: GOODBYE FROM THEFATOUBLOG

_MG_2016

About four years ago I returned ‘home’ to the place I was born – Sierra Leone. A year later I started this blog – theFatoublog. It has been my online diary; documenting my thoughts, fears, concerns, successes and generally the process of processing a new place & space physically, spiritually and emotionally. 3 years of exposing my inner-most, of giving parts of self to complete strangers, to friends, to family. To giving and giving because I did not know what else to do but GIVE.
In the habit of g I v I n g, I also received from a higher energetic force – the u n I v e r se – hard sought knowledge and grounding. For that, there is earthed gratitude.

This is going to be short because I am FULL and in that I am choosing to express and share this fullness on different platforms through a variety of mediums – elsewhere…
This digital space was my cathartic release, my mind’s way of organizing information and experiences for three years. It is now time to m o v e ON…I will no longer be blogging at TheFatouBlog.

Its purpose has been complete – the circle filled. Thank you for reading this blog, thank you for connecting with it, thank you for critiquing it, thank you for enjoying and perhaps not enjoying it, thank you if you felt inspired by it. It is in the G I V I N G that we receive.

I have also learned that I do not need to give this much of self….I and you, owe no one our stories, our time, our energy….we give because we can where and when we can.
Fambul dem, Una Tenki for the L O V e.
See Below my favourite BLOGS to this day.
This is how we do…
X
1. YO BLACKIE YOU FREE?
2. AFRICA ISN’T POOR JUST MISMANAGED
3 MY BOUGIE WEEKEND
4. NOVEMBER – PAGE 2012
5. FREETOWN CHRONICLES: BARIES & WHAT IFS
6. DECEMBER – PAGE 2013
7. THREE THINGS – MOURNING
8 EBOLA RANT FROM A LAYMAN’S PERSPECTIVE
9. THE GUARDIAN REMOVES CHIMAMANDA ADICHIE’S ARTICLE ON DEPRESSION
10. FREETOWN CHRONICLES – THE SET OF ARTICLES

YOU CAN HIT ME UP AT: CONTACT@THEFATOUBLOG.COM

&

THE BLOG WILL CONTINUE TO ACT AS AN ARCHIVE TO THIS JOURNEY.

To the Women Whose Lives Are Not Love Stories

An Excerpt from a Powerful post on Thought Catalog

 

” Here’s to the women who fought to become their own saviors, their own heroes, the fierce protagonists of their own triumphant stories. Here’s to the damsels who pulled themselves out of distress and to the heroines who didn’t wait around to be saved. This is a tribute to the women who appreciate romance but who know that it alone is not the happy ever after they’ve been searching for. That their story will end once they’ve seen all they wanted to see, learned all they wanted to know and accomplished all the goals that they set for themselves as children.”

 

So my love life has been anything but a love story….this article i guess reminds us/me to celebrate the small acts of defiance, fierceness, self trust, love and ambition that i/we may have all engaged in. Yet, as much as i may celebrate those truths, the fairy tale doctrine runs through my veins – the idealist that i am believes in love love. The type of love where liberation happens, where someone else helps you carry the load once in awhile, the kind of love where to someone else you are simply…Magic…..but like i said, my life has been anything but a love story.

If you have love stories please do share them with me : contact@thefatoublog.com

Nayyirah Waheed

 

Fambul dem, this is how we do…

Continuing the Conversation: Pregnant Girls in Sierra Leone

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS MY RESPONSE TO SOME OF THE BLACK LASH MY INTERVIEW(WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO CONSIDER ‘CONSTRUCTIVE CRITIQUE’)  RECEIVED ON POPULAR RADIO DEMOCRACY 98.1 ON GOVERNMENT’S ‘BAN’ OF PREGNANT GIRLS TAKING NATIONAL EXAMS. YOU CAN LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW HERE! THIS ARTICLE WAS PUBLISHED ON LOCAL NEWSPAPER STANDARD TIMES:

A good number of my fellow Sierra Leoneans have cited my interview on Radio Democracy last week Thursday as disingenuous and predominately ‘Western influenced’.  Additionally some have also accused my perspective as being anti-African or anti-Sierra Leonean culture.  My intention was never to offend, but rather to cultivate a wider discussion around the issue of pregnant teenage girls being banned from taking their national exams which allows for them to continue secondary school and in turn attend university.

To recap, I found government’s position to ‘ban’ pregnant school going girls from taking exams so as not to influence their ‘innocent’ peers, quite problematic of an approach. This is a belief I continue to hold on to because there are many assumptions been made here – the burden unfairly rests solely on the shoulders of these young pregnant girls. It is imperative that we stop addressing young girl’s issues in a vacuum. Pregnant teenage girls don’t just become pregnant because they are simply promiscuous, or sexually deviant or ‘un-childlike’. There exist social, political, and economic factors that influence how young girls get pregnant. This means we must not only focus on the visible symptom of the problem, which in this case is the pregnancy, but rather the root of the problem, our socioeconomic systems. To address this issue from a wider social paradigm angle can provide a more holistic understanding, if we are truly committed to reducing teenage pregnancy and gestating a generation of young, educated and empowered women and men in our society.

Let us take a step back, historically, we know that pregnant school attending girls were naturally expected to drop out of school; a conversation contrary to that expectation was never even possible.  It was just expected that if a young girl got pregnant while attending school, she had brought shame upon herself and her family and could no longer continue her education. If she is lucky enough to have a family willing to help take care of the child, she could attend school. If not, then the consequence of her engaging in ‘grown up’ business was disruption and at times complete eradication of her potential to become a resource to the country. Historically this is how Sierra Leone and many parts of the world have handled ‘teenage pregnancy’. A larger part of the problem also comes from fear. As parents, it is fearful to think that one’s child may be sexually active at such a young age. Fear is a legitimate emotion, however it also breeds stigma.

My whole point on Thursday’s interview is that we as a society can do better; furthermore it does not have to be this way for young girls in Sierra Leone. Culture as we know it evolves with time. As Sierra Leone evolves into a more democratic and forward-thinking country, key aspects of our society should also evolve. This does not mean discarding our cultural beliefs; it simply means appreciating and empowering our pivotal assets in our country, the young and women. In a country where 49% of the population is under the age of 18, and more than half of the country constitutes of women, it is all of our responsibility to ensure that every single young girl in Sierra Leone reaches her potential. For this to happen, we need to re-examine our deeply held cultural values and our tightly held fear that may hinder the growth of our youth and our women.

In my interview I talked at length about the need to have more honest conversations around sexual health. This may be an uncomfortable topic for many especially parents, yet one third of all pregnancies in Sierra Leone are by teenagers. This simply means that our young are sexually active. It is a fact we must face, and in our struggle to lower teenage pregnancy we must begin by having open and honest conversations about sex particularly in a country that still sits at the bottom of the development index –social and economic infrastructures within a poor setting tend to see higher rates of transactional sex practices.  Part of our growth requires a cultural and social revolution where transparency, openness and support is provided to our youth who are the next generation of Sierra Leonean leaders.

To come back to the ban, I maintain that the approach could have been better and that these types of policy indictments cannot be made in isolation. There must be a horizontal approach to policies that affect the well being of young women in our country. We should have consulted young girls and co-developed a solution that is not only culturally appropriate but also life saving for our young girls. This approach would have demonstrated our commitment to lowering teenage pregnancy in Sierra Leone and more importantly, the value we place on the bodies and psyche of Sierra Leonean girls and women.

I know that many may continue to not share my view and it is quite all right by me as long as we continue to engage in a healthy debate. This is not about politicking; in fact it must be beyond that. This is about securing the well being of our future generations to come, I am sure that in a country where 60% of our country’s population is illiterate, we ALL agree that EDUCATION is a premium solution to structural poverty alleviation if we are to become global contenders with a sustainable economy. Young girls who can fulfill their potential can be powerful agents of social, cultural, political and economic change – qualities Sierra Leone desperately needs.

Fambul dem, this is how we do….

Sierra Leone: The Pregnant Girl Debate that does NOT actually bring pregnant girls into the conversation

Part of my new job consists of ensuring that women’s participation in the Zero Ebola National Campaign kicks off. When it comes to campaign development, goal setting is the foundation. Why does this campaign matter? Who is it for? What are we trying to ask for? What are we trying to achieve? While thinking through these questions, a consultation with key women’s groups and women advocates enhances the process – in fact, it is the process itself that constructs the campaign. In the midst of these consultative meetings, speaking with women and coordinating big institutions is like trying to walk through a landmine; everyone needs to feel and be involved, everyone’s opinion, voice and experience matter and must be included. Yet, not everyone’s idea is going to work, and often times in Sierra Leone when we talk about ‘women’s’ groups, the big forces are usually older more experienced women who are the drivers. Young women are often simply just ‘engaged’. The complexity in organizing women is layered – age and class – determine how the organizing will manifest. As a young woman, amidst ensuring that that women’s leadership and engagement is enhanced and highlighted more poignantly in the fight against Ebola in Sierra Leone, I am also privy to the plethora of mix messages, declarations and policies that are been made on behalf of young girls who are pregnant in the country. Schools are to re-open – check, funding for the re-opening of schools is secured – check, messaging around health safety and hygiene are developed and ready for dissemination – check. What to do with a large number of pregnant school girls? – not so sure, ban them from going to school seems to be the go to solution.

“Minister of Education Minkailu Bah announced the ban last week, explaining that “innocent girls” could be negatively affected by their pregnant peers. The ban would prevent seniors from taking the exams needed to graduate and attend college”. To make matters worse, there are reports about teachers ‘checking’ girls who came to sit their exams last week to see whether or not female students are pregnant. Inappropriate methods of pregnancy checking have been sited. There is public outcry across advocacy groups, women’s groups and the media. Pregnant girls should go back to school; pregnant girls should have the right to go to school. I whole hardheartedly agree that every girl, pregnant or not, has the right to go back to school, BUT, has anyone asked pregnant girls in Sierra Leone what they want? As I write this, I do not think so….

bloggg
Let us rewind and go back to my work with women’s leadership and engagement in Zero Ebola National Campaign, a campaign focused on community ownership and re-energizing all Sierra Leoneans to continue to make choices that will see Zero Ebola cases in the country. When developing 3 main ‘ASKs’ for women’s groups, that is what are the 3 main goals of women’s mobilization in driving Zero Ebola in Sierra Leone, a part of me wanted to push hard for the advocacy of pregnant girls back to school. My boss then questioned my thinking. “Fatou, have you really thought about what a pregnant teenage girl really wants”? I hadn’t, I simply joined the choir, assuming that because I have been taught that pregnancy + young women = horrible and possibly life destroying without immense social support, social paranoia became the norm.

Here is the thing; we have not really engaged pregnant young girls. We don’t know who their partners are, surely if the father is a young man he too should be penalized and not go to school right? However, if the father of their baby is an older man this complicates the situation, how is he penalized? What if the pregnancy is from rape? How did this young girl come to be pregnant is important to the solution because it will convey the complication and multiplicity of each and every pregnant girl’s situation. This is because women’s bodies, their sexuality, their reproductive health is complicated, individual and dependent on a plethora of factors – ‘pregnant girls’ is too expansive of category. Secondly, does she have the social and cultural support needed to thrive in school? What does her stigma look like? Thirdly, have we looked into alternatives for continued education for pregnant women or is going to ‘normal’ school when her young life is no longer ‘normal’ the only choice we think she may have?

There are options and alternatives that must be explored with ‘pregnant girls’ and every pregnant young girl has her own story, thus they must be the drivers and constructors of their own lives, all of us concerned citizens must then support that vision instead of giving into the social paranoia. We cannot also accept the decisions from male dominated leadership, as per example the Minister of Education; we must reject the objectification of young women’s bodies. However, we must be real allies to our young girls, amplifying their voices, being sensitive to their biological needs as they go through pregnancy, and for God sake, apply creativity and support in the HOW we ensure that every young Sierra Leonean girl have access to not only good education but a safe childbirth despite the social pressures she may face – pregnant.

This was the thinking my awesome female boss encouraged me to engage with.

Fambul dem, this is how we do…

Bruce Aylward: Humanity vs. Ebola | A TED Talk

“Ebola threatens everything that makes us human,” says Bruce Aylward of the World Health Organization. With calm measure, he walks us through how the Ebola epidemic exploded — and how international alarm only fed the exponential growth of the problem. He shares four strategies critical to beating Ebola — and how they are succeeding, starting in Lofa County, Liberia, which was at the center of the outbreak but where no new case has been registered in weeks. The fight against Ebola is not won, he underscores, but if we do things right, we can look optimistically at our ability to fight back against epidemics.”

Fambul dem, this is how we do….

IVORY COAST CHILD RITUAL KIDNAPPING

2529EB6D00000578-0-image-m-64_1422543176539

Mutilated bodies of children have turned up recently in Ivory Coast, as a “wave” of child ritual killings has been occurring. About 20 have been abducted and killed, and some like Souleymane pictured, narrowly escaped with their lives. Ten year old Souleymane was attacked with a machete while trying to fetch water in a suburb of Abijan. His attacker said: “God told me to do this. God told me to cut off children’s heads and bring them to him and then I would be made king.” I remember watching a documentary on this issue and the reason for these unspeakable acts was explained as stemming from the idea that children are the reason/sources of bad luck or they have bad spirits. Sometimes if parents are going through hard times, they believe it is because of the children. Unfortunately, the belief in black magic/evil spirits in African society has lead to inhumane acts against the innocent. The murders/amputating of albinos in Tanzania is a prime example. Even though African states have signed onto to every human rights treaty imaginable, that does little to educate those on the ground about the ills of black magic and these beliefs. I often wonder how far Africa can progress when such practices are taking place at the expense of innocent lives. A grassroots effort to educate communities should be mobilized in the village, the bush, and remote areas where these beliefs are alive and well. There is often NO trickle down effect that reaches the most marginalized people when government signs a human rights treaty. Though the government should address these issues forcefully and be held accountable, local and grassroots communities are the agents to try and reverse such backwards thinking.| PHOTO: ©AFP  

Part-PAR-Par8084616-1-1-0

 Read More…HERE

Fambul dem, this is how we do…

The Guardian Removes Chimamanda Adichie’s Article on Depression

I sourced this paragraph from Chimamanda Adichie’s article on depression from Go Woman, i guess the editors’s smartly copied pieces of her article before it got pulled down from The Guardia’s website with an apology. Adichie describes depression as :

” But depression is different. To accept that I have it is to be reduced to a common cliche: I become yet another writer who has depression. To accept that I have it is to give up the uniqueness of my own experience, the way I start, in the middle of breathing, to sense on the margins the threat of emptiness. Time blurs. Days pass in a fog. It is morning and then suddenly it is evening and there is nothing in between. I am frightened of contemplating time itself: the thought of tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, the endless emptiness of time. I long to sleep and forget. Yet I am afraid of waking up, in terror of a new day. Mornings are dark, and I lie in bed, wrapped in fatigue. I cry often. My crying puzzles me, surprises me, because there is no cause. I open a book but the words form no meaning. Writing is impossible. My limbs are heavy, my brain is slow. Everything requires effort. To consider eating, showering, talking brings to me a great and listless fatigue. Why bother? What’s the point of it all? And why, by the way, are we here? What is it I know of myself? I mourn the days that have passed, the wasted days, and yet more days are wasted.

The doctor calls these symptoms but they do not feel like symptoms. They feel like personal failures, like defects. I am normally full of mischievous humour, full of passion, whether in joy or in rage, capable of an active, crackling energy, quick to respond and rebuke, but with this strangeness, I do not even remember what it means to feel. My mind is in mute. I normally like people, I am deeply curious about the lives of others, but with this strangeness comes misanthropy. A cold misanthropy. I am normally the nurturer, worrying about everyone I love, but suddenly I am detached. It frightens me, this sense of slipping out of my normal self. It cannot be an illness. It feels like a metaphysical failure, which I cannot explain but for which I am still responsible. –”

27662347-ae23-4e24-bf8e-679693197c3c-1020x612

I don’t know if it was truly a misguided judgement from The Guardian to publish this piece without Adichie’s permission or if it is because Adichie herself did not want the entire world to become privy to her innermost processes – she is after all dubbed as an exciting, young, vibrant, poised and articulate African author who has gotten the attention and understanding from celebrities like Beyonce, further pushing her into mainstream consumption.

I would like to think The Guardian messed up, yet, as a closeted being that endures boughs of depression, i also know that it is a scary place to be. This sort of vulnerability means all defences are dropped, your innermost darkness revealed for the rest of the world to peak in. As out going and social as i may seem, and many may assume,  those who come to know me closely know that i am also incredibly quiet, incredibly careful about just how much vulnerability i will share and just how much ‘giving of myself’ leaves me depleted, weak, scared and still…the type of stillness she describes i subscribe to as well. And NO, the rest of the world does not need to be privy to this experience, to this stillness, to this dark space where time means everything and nothing all at once.

She is brave indeed for writing her experiences with battling depression, to some degree or another we all do, we all have our demons that come out and play – sometimes it is with the most nurturing and open of people that the demons are the loudest. It is not weakness, it is not due to a lack of confidence, or in my case many people assume (friends and family alike) that perhaps if i ‘lost weight’ i would feel more fulfilled in my life. It has very little to do with that, and everything to do with our hearts and minds and how we give, create and provide with our hands. As Africans, and particularly African women (black women) the people, things, places, dreams, curses, fears, and stories we carry are far to heavy for it to ever be encapsulated and digested. We not only carry our own load, we carry that of our families, our partners, our culture and our society. Our hands are consistently working, playing, nurturing, creating, fighting, loving – often bruised and then soothed to cover the scars. So this ‘darkness’  and loss of ‘time’ that we must process and many times do not have the luxury of history, capacity and time to ‘process’ leaves as awake,  feeling every inch of every sensation.

In the morning, we go back to restoring and saving the lives of those around us.

May Your Week Be Filled With the Delight of Life’s abundant gifts as we give respect to one another traveling through this divine experience called LIFE. 

Fambul dem, this is how we do…

LUNCH BOX GIFT

Lunch Box Gift is gaining great media press and here is the wonderful thing! It is totally deserving of the press and support it is receiving. Lunch Box Gift is locally owned and operated – proudly Sierra Leonean. I  first heard about Lunch Box Gift through a colleague of mine and did not pay much attention until I read that the founder of Lunch Box Gift made the list of 52 Diaspora You Should Know About, as a fellow Sierra Leonean i was proud of Memuna Janneh’s work. Lunch Box Gift is quietly making massive change in the lives of Ebola patients and frontline workers in 34 Military Hospital, Jui and Hastings Ebola treatment centres. This story gets better, it is well packaged food delivered fresh and hot directly to its recipients. To know that there exists the provision of quality food for patients and frontline health workers by a Sierra Leonean company has to be one of the most inspiring projects to come out of the Ebola Relief Efforts in my humble opinion. I appreciate quiet yet high quality producing change agents and to me, Lunch Box Gift represents that. Here are some images from my time at Lunch Box Gift this morning. To learn more about the project and GIVE BACK, visit HERE. 

IMG_4117

IMG_4123

IMG_4133

IMG_4139

IMG_4144

IMG_4156

IMG_4163

IMG_4165

IMG_4168

IMG_4185

IMG_4194

IMG_4199

IMG_4204

IMG_4207

IMG_4230

IMG_4234

Fambul dem, this is how we do…

BEARING WITNESS: EBOLA IN SIERRA LEONE

A colleague said to me, ‘ you know you are living through something very historic right now, you are bearing witness’. Her words resonated boom box loud within. Indeed, a witness. Sometimes so overwhelmed that I become passive curving inwards, self-absorbed with internal demons. Other times so enraged that I turn into flame – harsh, hot, sparked and spreading energy everywhere. Committing to many projects, over working because it is easier to be on autopilot. The alternative can be incredibly draining – emotionally. It is the injustice and lack of trust in all parallel ‘systems’ government and development partners that is most heavy.

The last couple of weeks in Parliament this was read:

 “Minimum Wage in Government

  1. Mr. Speaker, these ambitious targets will be meaningless unless they translate into more money in the pockets of our workers and people. Hence, our desire to translate growth of the economy into improved living standards for all Sierra Leoneans remains our major objective. In this regard, Government is committing itself to paying a living wage to all its workers by the end of 2017.
  1. As a first step, I am today announcing a minimum wage in Government of Le 480,000 with effect from January 2014 for all public sector workers. The tax brackets would be adjusted to ensure that workers are not worse-off as a result of this increase. We will encourage the private sector and other stakeholders to explore the possibility of a catchup in the short to medium term.”

How will this work out when…Rising domestic prices means that less are able to access essential/basic items required to survive, a slowed economic growth has lead to increased fiscal deficits, financial instability and increased gap in the financing of payments coupled with the depreciation of the local currency (our Leones). The human face to this is the imposed curfew. All businesses (the basis of economic growth) must abide to the imposed curfew which mandates all businesses from Monday – Friday to close at 6:00pm, on Saturdays 12:00pm and NO business or trading on Sundays. So if businesses are subject to a decrease in their bottom line with no end date for the curfew provided, how are they suppose to successfully adhere to increased minimum wages for their employees, this goes for government workers too…I am merely asking here.

The Good news is this….

Ebola cases in Sierra Leonean seem to be on a decline and the government of Sierra Leone announced yesterday that schools will re-open on March, 8 Months after official declaration of Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. It is our understanding that precautionary measures will be put in place to ensure the safety of students and teachers alike…GREAT NEWS, yet what about the schools across the country that have been converted into holding or treatment centers. What happens to students within those communities?

The Inspiring…

Through one of my client’s I was asked to work with the burial teams in Freetown and capture how my client’s contribution to the burial teams supports their work. It was an incredibly enlightening experience. Most of the burial team workers are young men, with a very small number of women. They are mostly young to middle aged men. They are strong, funny, quiet, often inebriated, but incredibly meticulous with their work. They thoroughly understand the risks and are diligent about protecting themselves. One of the men from the burial teams in Freetown said “ you journalist, tell people that we are educated okay! We aren’t just lazing youth, we have being told to make a sacrifice for our country and we have, but I have a master’s degree and unable to find work. So I am making a sacrifice to help my country, make sure people know that. Make sure they remember us post Ebola, they need to provide jobs for us”. I simply stared at him. I am now passing the information on.

Beyond acknowledging that the burial teams are hero’s and heroines who are under tremendous psychological pressure, systems – real systems – must be put in place to ensure that their livelihoods are secured and the sacrifices that they’ve made during this difficult time in Sierra Leone are not only acknowledged, but compensated. Compensation not only monetarily with the provision of employment, but also with respect for the work they do and have done.

IMG_3584

IMG_3319

The initial misconception and fear held by many is that their loved ones are buried in mass graves; this is not the case. On the day I went to about 3-4 cemeteries, the sun was harsh. I went to see a young man bury his still born who was placed in an Ebola body bag – the newborn and mother did not have Ebola, regular procedure in Sierra Leone at the moment is that the burial team make all burials. At the cemetery, I saw pre-dug graves, 4 ft deep of all sizes. The young man and I walked for 10 minutes across the newly expanded cemetery, passing freshly dug graves waiting for burial and the  already buried to reach the new born section. The young man stood and watched as the burial team fully dressed in protective gear, laid his newborn into the grave. Everyone became silent, giving the father a couple of minutes of silence. Respectfully, we all walked way. The sun was harsh, the protective gear the burial team had on hot and sticky, the father after burying his new born, quiet – graves all around us, some open and many closed. This is as respectful as this process was going to be at a time like this. The burial team, they understand the delicate balance between emotive expression and sterile precision required to successfully and safely bury the hundreds of people they pick up and take to the cemetery. My heart was fully – my mind worked on autopilot. I was bearing witness.

IMG_3703

As a Sierra Leonean, a concerned citizen and one who is truly not interested in the politics or sudden ‘Ebola expert’ recognition or status that now entitles most Sierra Leoneans – I will tell you this much, I am bearing witness and it is in this process that I have learned to appreciate life and living. Self-care practices are much more paramount in my life today than they have ever been. Instead of constructing a semi-sincere activism during the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, I have re-routed energy to…at times just bearing witness. Meaning empathising, hoping that we do not forget what we did, they did, who did during the Ebola Outbreak. We must bear witness for those who we’ve lost…we must.

The People: AFRICAN PIXIE

This post is long over due. I have wanted to share AFRICAN PIXIE on Thefatoublog for awhile now. Not only because do i have a deep appreciation for the co-owner and creative director Suzy, but also because of the artistry in African Pixie products. Each piece is a blend, a tapestry that intertwines cultures – Europe meets the Middle East meets West Africa. The pieces are made with fresh water pearls, second grad Swarovski, semi-precious stone and any other element that enhances creativity.  Each piece a statement, a story – comfortable and complimentary to the woman. 

10723459_10154660506945300_850877211_n

Suzy says her mother is the designer with hands of magic, creating and weaving stories into each piece. Suzy shares the vision and inspiration behind African Pixie stating:

“Since a young age I’ve always had this innate need to create. I had no desire to work for other people and wanted something to call me own. So my mother and me started to put our thoughts together, we just knew that with my wild imagination and her magic hands we couldn’t go wrong.”

TheFatouBlog: Tell us about your new 2014 collection

Suzy of African Pixie: The new collection is all about attitude; I believe we have a piece to represent every single woman out there. Our designs can adapt to fit you, your likes, and your wants & needs, they basically represent your personality, as if they were custom made with YOU in mind.

TheFatouBlog: Tell us a bit more about African Pixie and where as a brand it stands

Suzy of African Pixie: I really take pride in African Pixie because I believe that we’ve come a long way since this idea started almost two years ago, and we have progressed so much. Capturing nature, getting inspiration from everything around us, and while we upgrade and get better with both designs and quality, we did not allow ourselves to lose our main inspiration which is Sierra Leone our home land, and to keep it alive we decided to introduce a special line called “ The Freetown Titi Collection” using everything from beads, to gem stones to African Fabrics and combining ideas with our artisan friends on the ground back home in Freetown we’ve been able to bring to life this amazing selection of necklaces, bags, Earrings etc. Also if I may add that 10% of sales from “The Freetowntiti Collection goes to the families of these artisans because without their thoughts and positive attitude where would we be today.

TheFatouBlog: Do you work from Freetown, Sierra Leone?

Suzy of African Pixie: I am now in United Kingdom, London to be exact. I came here few months ago and unfortunately because of the situation back home, I have extended my stay here, and have decided to use this extra time and chance to properly introduce African pixie to people here and around Europe. We have started working on the website and soon God’s willing, it will be much easier for much more of our lovely fans to get access to our designs.

TheFatoublog: Where would you like African Pixie to be, say in the next 5 years?

Suzy of African Pixie:  Where do I see us in the future, hmmm I would say hopefully first and foremost the aim is to take African pixie back to Freetown because Sierra Leone is the main inspiration behind our designs. Success is indeed in our mind but allow me to say I believe we already became successful when my sisters in Sierra Leone started falling in love with our work, I seriously can’t tell you the feeling to see them embrace our work and speak so highly of it. Even if we didn’t take one step after that I would sincerely say I was already satisfied, firstly I made sure my mother’s talent did not go to waste and it was shared amongst many who appreciated handmade and know the worth of having an individual work with their hands and pour so much of themselves into every single piece. Secondly we inspired a lot of young girls who were writing to both me and my mum saying that they would love to work with us and even if they didn’t get paid, they just wanted to learn because they appreciate talent, that touched me in a lot of levels.

The African Pixie Collection History

_

The Eden collection:  Made with Argentinean beads because of their perfect cuts and precision, this flower has the ability turn anyone’s frown into a smile.

10715972_10154660399300300_1151583827_n

Irena Jewels: Bling is the right word here! This fantastic eye catching necklace is made with Argentinean beads, and second grade Swarovski crystals.

10711640_10154660420035300_1396864393_n

10715825_10154660529700300_903761680_n

ZURI: Making a silent sexy statement is what modern women are all about. Zuri is one of our favorite designs because of it’s ability to turn heads for all the right reasons!

10723503_10154660450245300_1221479938_n

SITI: This year we are bringing you SITI, a name which means respected woman in Swahili. This name was chosen because of it’s great meaning that we so support. Indeed all women should be rightfully treated and well respected. Made with Semi-precious stones, Argentinian beads and 2nd grade Swarovski crystals, the Siti design is sure to get you noticed, and oh yes RESPECTED as The Woman you were born to be!

10719153_10154660464855300_1926405167_n

And of course TheFatouBlog Favourite Collection – SALONE TITI (meaning Sierra Leonean Girl).

10723065_10154660506935300_2008249645_n

LIKE AFRICAN PIXIE ON FACEBOOK! FAMBUL DEM, THIS IS HOW WE DO…

Theme by Blogmilk + Coded by Brandi Bernoskie