• Mina Bilkis

Top 7 Things To Have DONE in June & July: Highlights Edition 😉

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaack!



Have you missed me? 🥰 I know you have...I have missed you all too! 🤗


Thank you for all the messages, DMs and emails about "When is the next #Top7 dropping?".

These past two months I decided to switch it up a bit and offer highlights instead for the rainy months of June and July. I make no apologies for the radio silence🙃. Sometimes it's good to be missed 😌. I also took this time away to rest my chakras and create more content for you all. Hope you're ready...


Anyways, #Top7 is here and back! And be sure to check out #Top7 for August tomorrow!


Highlights edition!


So many great events happened in Freetown in June and July, it was hard to pick those to make the list! 😢Here in Freetown it is now Rainy Season and as the name it implies...it rains 😂☔️... ALOT 🙄. Us Freetownians do enjoy great events and if something can take us away from our piping hot tea and pepper soup at home then it's a good event!

So let's start with June and the move to July, it's only fitting. 🙃

By popular demand, the highlights of June (and in no particular order) are:


June Highlights

1. Vicky The Poet's Inspirational Film Show and Poetry Concert 🎙

June 16 2019

If you are anyone who is anyone who loves poetry, arts and culture then Vicky the Poet should be on your radar!

This incredibly young and talented artist curated this socially conscious & interactive event on African Child's Day at Golden Tulip Hotel, Aberdeen. The night entailed a viewing of a motivational film, dancing, poetry recitation, dancing and miming!


In addition to being a poet, Vicky prides herself on being a girls' rights activist. The evening discussed social issues that affect girls and women in Sierra Leone such as Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C), child marriage and gender inequality.



For more of Vicky the Poet's work, click here.


2. KK Afrique's Fashion Show and Launch 💃🏾

June 15 2019

La mode or Fashion is a way of life. Whether you like it or not. Kadija Kanu a.k.a KK definitely believes it is a lifestyle.

KK is a British Born Designer of Sierra Leonean decent. She came to Freetown in May 2019 to launch her Lydia'Marie Collection in June. KK Afriqué specializes in Bespoke Women's Modern African Fashion.



The launch took place at Country Lodge Complex in Hillstation.


For more of KK Afrique's work, click here.

3. Power Women 232's Puberty Party! 🎊

June 21 2019

I can guarantee you this wasn't your average party, it was 10x better!

May 28 marks Menstrual Hygiene Day which raises awareness for all us menstruating folk across the world and sensitizes those (but not limited to) of lower socioeconomic backgrounds, displaced/stateless persons and rural &/or remote inhabitants of the importance of good menstrual hygiene practices.




On this day, Power Women 232 hosted a Puberty Party to remove the stigma and shame associated with girls when they mature and see their first menses. The evening included a talk from gynecologist and author Dr. Fatu Forna Sesay, games, a toilet paper fashion show, quizzes and more.

#MenstruationMatters


4. Sunday Brunches at Swiss Spirits Hotel 🥗

Do you love Brunch? I know I do! #Foodies


Every Sunday


Swiss Spirits Hotel invited Y Square Pod for a fabulous brunch at their cozy restaurant on Spur Road where we were absolutely spoilt for choice! Their brunch time is 11am-3pm on Sundays and the menu ranges from African to Continental cuisine. It's truly a treat for yourself, the family, your side bae or your partner! 😉









5. GESL Ignite Series 👩🏿‍👩🏾‍🦱

June 22 2019

The Ignite Lecture Series by Girls Empowerment Sierra Leone (GESL) returned on June 22 2019! And at such a great time as well!


Sierra Leone currently has a ban against [visibly] pregnant school going girls attending classes. Activists, civil society organizations (CSOs), human rights organizations and more are fighting to appeal this discriminatory and sexist law. These dynamic speakers: Miriam Mason-Sesay, Executive Director of Educaid, Nicky Spencer-Coker, activist & lawyer and Agatha Levi of Rainbo Initiative broke down gender stereotypes, societal expectations around gender to an audience of over 100 adolescent girls.


To know more about GESL's work, click here.


6. #TheCatchMeIfYouCan made Sierra Leone her 179th visited country!


June 25 2019


Hosted by Fashion powerhouse Madam Wokie, we had the pleasure of welcoming Jessica Nabongo of The Catch Me If You Can who made Sierra Leone her 179th visited country out of the 195 on her list of United Nations (UN) recognized nations.

For those following Jessica’s journey & love travel understand how momentous this was for us. Jessica is on the quest to be the first black woman to travel to all the countries in the world.

The night included a Q&A session with Jessica, a cocktail reception where our mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr gave a welcoming address.



7. Talk With Ria Fundraising & Cocktail 🍹

June 28 2019

At this intimate soirée, Florianna Thomas of the online talk show Talk with Ria shared with her audience her journey embarking on journalism and launching her platform.

The purpose of the evening was to solicit funds to continue her ongoing projects such as Talk With Ria Show and the Talk with Ria Creative Hub project. The latter focuses on empowering young women through skills training leading them to financial independence.

A motivational talk was given by Sidi Saccoh; a Senior Project and Empowerment Coordinator of McDaan Ltd who discussed the importance of formal education but highlighted the value in nurturing skillsets and changing mindsets about job paradigms in an African context. There was also a fashion show by Twiss SL.


To know more about Talk with Ria, click here.


The purpose of the evening was to solicit funds to continue her ongoing projects such as Talk With Ria Show and the Talk with Ria Creative Hub project. The latter focuses on empowering young women through skills training leading them to financial independence.

A motivational talk was given by Sidi Saccoh; a Senior Project and Empowerment Coordinator of McDaan Ltd who discussed the importance of formal education but highlighted the value in nurturing skillsets and changing mindsets about job paradigms in an African context. There was also a fashion show by Twiss SL.


To know more about Talk with Ria, click here.


July Highlights

1. BRAC Book Launch 📚

July 9 2019


BRAC is an international non-governmental organization (INGO) that has been operating in Sierra Leone since 2008 currently implements programs in Empowerment & Livelihood for Adolescents (ELA), Agriculture, Food Security & Livelihoods, Health, Microfinance & Emergency Preparedness & Response.

BRAC’s ELA works to improve the lives of all categories of girls between ages 10-19 years by establishing safe spaces to develop resilience against all forms of abuse & violence & nurture them to be self-confident, empowerment & self-reliant individuals who can contribute to change in their families & communities.

In line with this, BRAC held their book release today with a series of 11 beautiful books with life skills for young readers developed from true stories.

The keynote address was given by Dr. Alpheus Koroma from INGRADOC (The Institute of Gender Research & Documentation Center), Fourah Bay College (FBC) - University of Sierra Leone (USL). Many powerful readings by BRAC beneficiaries were given and an uplifting speech delivered by Chernor Bah; Executive Director of Purposeful.


2. Infinity Glow Grand Opening 🧖🏾‍♀️🧖🏾‍♂️

July 12 2019


Infinity Glow Salon which offers nail, spa and facial treatments had their grand opening on Friday, July 12 2019 at 88 Sir Samuel Lewis Road, Aberdeen.

A day filled with joyous and infectious smiles. More women in business and plenty of supportive men and women were there to cheer on a Sierra Leonean woman winning!

For bookings, call/text +23288001999 or +23275001999.










3. Salone Movers & Shakers 🗣

July 26 2019


Hosted by Sensi Tech Hub in Aberdeen. This fashion charged event featured fashion houses of Freetown to showcase their respective clothing lines and share their journey and how they view the fashion revolution in Sierra Leone.

This even was moderated by Diaka Koroma of Salenaz by Diaka. Speakers included Mohamed Barrie of Fashion One, Abie Sesay of Abie's Fashion and Ma'Hawa Lahai of Chelma's Design.

Do you have a passion for fashion? (Too cheesy?) learn more about these fashion houses here.





4. Izelia Sip & Shop 🍹 👛

July 26 2019


Another round for fashion!

Izelia is a Freetown and London based fashion brand that specializes in tie dye couture. With the spirit of reviving the rich culture and connection Sierra Leone has with tie dye, Founder & Fashion Designer Ms. Isatu Harrison is here to tell us that she's bringing tie dye back!

Ms. Harrison puts a modern twist on our traditional fabric and wears. The Sip & Shop was an intimate affair at 8D Sir Samuel Lewis that showcased her vibrant and breathtaking designs.


To learn more about Izelia, click here.





5. Warehouse turns 3!🎂

July 26 2019


The Warehouse by Evoque opened its doors to Freetown on July 26 2019 for their third anniversary.

The night gave nostalgic vibes as many throwbacks were played and there was a photobooth by Scream outside.


Congratulations Warehouse on your third year of business in Freetown!





6. Y Square Pod returns! 👩🏾👩🏾‍🦱🎙

July 29 2019

After going on a 7+ week hiatus, Y Square Pod is back!

Y Square Pod is a podcast co-hosted by travel blogger & interior designer Yasmin Metz-Johnson of Yasmin TELLS and yours truly; educator and entrepreneur Mina Bilkis. The podcast centers on two young diasporas who have returned to Sierra Leone and share their experiences on relocation, working and living in Freetown.



Check out our last episode S02E05 entitled Taking Breaks & Rainy Season.


We are found on Soundcloud and episodes are released every other Monday!


Catch up or start listening to us here.


7. Hepatitis Screening 🏥💉

July 27 2019

Didn't see this one coming did ya? Though it may not be the first thing you'd put on calendar of social event but health is wealth as the saying goes and it is important to know your status!

"Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is considered highly prevalent in West Africa. However, major gaps in surveillance exist in Sierra Leone. Although healthcare workers (HCWs) are at high risk for HBV infection, little is known about the prevalence and knowledge of hepatitis B among HCWs in Sierra Leone." according to BMC Infectious Diseases.


This free screening was supported by Rotary, Rotaract Sierra Leone, World Health Organization (WHO), Partners In Health, Ecomed, the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone and more.


Do you know your status? I did my test in December 2018 (yes it came back negative lol). But I need to do one for this year and I hope those of you reading who haven't would as well.

So that's it for #Top7 highlights edition of #June AND #July! Hope you enjoyed this read! Keep an eye out for #Top7 things to do in Freetown in August tomorrow!


To have your brand, business, organization or yourself featured on Mina Bilkis, kindly send us an email at info@minabilkis.com. Also, don't forget to subscribe!


What event(s) did you attend in June or July that were on this list (or that weren't featured)?


Feel free to share in the comment section below!


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