#Top7 Things To Do in Freetown in June 2020: #COVID19 Edition
Hello, hello, hello, hello...HELLO readers!
Wow, aren't these just fun times that we are living in? 😃 Just when we had the audacity to think things in the world were picking up or to project hope - then the universe said:
It's official...2020 is completely beyond redemption. It just sucks.
...but then I ask myself, go home to where? I definitely feel the Karate kid's sentiments, I totally hate it here but here is indeed our home and we have to make the best of it.
We are officially in the sixth month of the year, we have "made" it to the mid year mark. As my twin says "better days are coming". Trust and believe it. Internalize it until it is a part of you, make it your mantra if you need to because surely and truly this too shall pass. Petit à petit (little by little [French]).
As we have it, the past few days in Sierra Leone we have reported lower cases and today no new death, yay! We will continue to hope for the better as other countries are preparing to open their borders again, we can only expect with time and lowered cases ours will too. As it stands as of today - Monday, June 1 2020 at 11:0am:
Comme d'habitude (as usual [French]) it is my #Top7 duty to bring to YOU all things to do in our beloved Freetown irrespective of the circumstances or the "climate" (that's the recent lingo I see being thrown around, I wonder who officially gives license to these terms -- The Association of Lingo Uses?) we find ourselves in.
1. Masks ON 😷
As 👏🏾 of 👏🏾 today 👏🏾 o 👏🏾👏🏾 Monday, June 1 2020 the Government of Sierra Leone has made it mandatory for all to wear face masks in public spaces.
I mean...this is for our own good.
The fact that the Government has to make this mandatory fo leh una yeri wod (in order for you all to abide to it [Krio]) is wild. But here we are en na d wod dat (and that's the final say [Krio]).
Please #StaySafe and don't be a Covidiot - wear your mask when in a public place.
2. Gratitude List 📝
I KNOW this year has been moving M-A-D, but there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for.
Spend some time making a list of what you DO have rather than what you do not. Acknowledge your blessings, your saving graces, the opportunities afforded to you and yes...your privilege . Because not many can. Of course it is is ok to complain and feel down but through it all be mindful that there is something to be grateful for.
Gratitude. Changes. Everything.
3. Salone Flavor ! 🥘
FOODIES UNITE! ✊
On June 18 2020 Sustainable Gastronomy Day, yours truly will be hosting an Instagram Live entitled Salone Flavor.
Sustainable Gastronomy Day, adopted in 2016 by the United Nations and recognized as of 2017 emphasizes the need to focus the world’s attention on the role that sustainable gastronomy can play. It also reaffirms that all cultures and civilizations are contributors and crucial enablers of sustainable development and additionally recognizes cultural expression related to the natural and cultural diversity of the world.
On this day as your knowledgeable and shady host, I will bring the context of gastronomy to Sierra Leone and discuss our cash crops, agriculture and food security and two featured guests will discuss how Salone food is an expression of culture at home and abroad.
One of our guests is our very own Sierra Leonean based Food vlogger and blogger - Latoya Gerber. Formerly known as "The Fat Bastard SL", Latoya has taken up the new moniker and now goes by TightKrioStew.
TightKrioStew will be letting viewers know all the trendy places to eat at and deliver from in Freetown and what it's like being a Food Blogger and Vlogger in Sierra Leone.
Our second guest is a Sierra Leonean film maker based in the United Kingdom - he is Abu B. Yillah. Abu goes by the moniker Black Supahero. Abu is a fellow Twitterhead such as myself and he appears to have gained some strides in [micro] mainstreaming a what he refers to as a "stigmatized" Salone dish - #PastavaLeaves. Pastava Leaves (as you may have guessed) is the combination of pasta + Cassava Leaves. Cassava Leaves is a popular Salone dish traditionally served with rice and Abu insists the dish blends well with Pasta and has gone as far as to state that he is "Pro-Pasta and not not anti-rice".
Join Abu's antics on Instagram Live with me, Mina Bilkis on Thursday, June 18 2020 at 7pm GMT (Sierra Leonean time).
4. #BlackLivesMatter ✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿
BLACK LIVES MATTER !!!
Everyday I wonder if the world I entered is much better or worse off than when it was before. Human beings have overcome and conquered amazing feats. We've created airplanes that allow passengers to leave New York, United States and arrive in Johannesburg, South Africa in 24 hours, we have created the internet wherein a split second a message is sent from Jakarta, Indonesia to Bo, Sierra Leone and we have literally made lemonade out of lemons -- but the white supremacist social construct of race continues to tear nations apart. Why? How? In the year of 2020, the color of someone's skin continues to be a systemic discriminatory factor that undermines a person's right to freedom, education, livelihood, social standing and the list goes on.
On Monday, May 25 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, George Floyd was murdered by ex police officer Derek Chauvin who kneed him in the neck to death for 8 minutes and 46 seconds during an arrest for a suspected $20 counterfeit bill complaint. George Floyd was African-American, and Chauvin is white.
This has spurred protests across the United States and the world in solidarity for not just George Floyd but for all the other black human lives taken by an unjust hierarchal system of institutionalized racism.
For white allies of the #BlackLivesMatter movement and non-whites, it is integral to lend your voice and have these "difficult" conversations with the company you keep that use micro aggressive racist undertones under the guise of tolerance and equality. Having a "black" friend doesn't mean you're not racist. And by saying #BlackLivesMatter doesn't diminish the lives of other people, it means treating black people as HUMAN BEINGS because if black lives mattered there wouldn't be a need for the hashtag to exist in the first place. What are you doing to change the behavior and mentality of others?
We are tired. We are done. A luta continua.
5. Take A Social Media Break 🔌
Admit it. Social media can become so draining and tiresome too.
Take a break. I recently took a break from WhatsApp back in May and now I'm looking to take a Twitter break believe it or not.
Sometimes you just need to unplug and instead of upload statuses feed your soul with other stimulants.
6. Girl Up Vine Club Sierra Leone campaign 👧🏾🩸
Girl Up Vine Club Sierra Leone (Girl Up) is a community based organization that promotes the health, safety, leadership and education of adolescent girls in Sierra Leone. Founded in 2016, Girl Up operates at Vine Memorial Secondary School for Girls (VMSSG) at the Junior Secondary School (JSS) level at Congo Cross in Freetown. Their main projects implemented through public speaking workshops, advocacy and community engagement and trainings are Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR)/Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM), digital rights and Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV).
Last week Girl Up commemorated Menstrual Hygiene Day on May 28 and are taking it a step further by launching their Rainy Season Dignity Kit Campaign on June 5 2020 to raise funds to support 1000 girls in Sierra Leone with dignity kits to support them during the rainy season. With COVID19 and the economic hardships it has brought on families, Girl Up Vine Club Sierra Leone's campaign is targeting communities that would encounter difficulties in accessing menstrual hygiene products to keep girls safe and healthy during this period.
7. Donate don't dump! 👚
Do you have any spare clothing, shoes or just junk laying around?
Remember, one person's trash is another person's treasure. Why not donate them to persons in need?
Check in your community for people who may want what you do not want. Sharing is caring!
And that's it folks!
What are you doing on the #Top7 list? Let me know.
Thanks for reading, as usual the #Top7 things list will be back next month!
ergo sum cogito