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There are two types of businesses, those that plan for sales and those that hope for them. Whichever you are, our marketing ideas will make selling easier for you. www.vrcmarketing.com

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Ghana: +233 24 649 2214 www.vrcmarketing.com

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GOContents GOWOMAN MAGAZINE 2017

ON THE SCENE Beam Talks DIASPORA NGO SPOTLIGHTBEAM Mariama Oni (Smiling Through the Light), Janice Williams (SLEN), Peagie Foday (PWSF) FOOD Nyamu Café with Chef Binta START SMALL Business Spotlight – IGRO, Miss Nak Designs

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FOOD

BEAUTY Sierra Leone’s first time at the Miss Universe pageant PLACES TO HANG OUT ADVERTORIAL Onlime

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START SMALL

BOOKS TO BUY Princess Sheba (Dr Fatu Sesay) Biggest Little Brother (Aminata Jalloh) SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS DO IT FOR YOURSELF! Vickie Remoe

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HEALTH Small changes for health Muriel Valentina SAFE ABORTION ACT

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GOWOMAN BUZZ

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Originator and Oga Madame of Awkward Black Girls everywhere was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series for Insecure. The first season of Insecure aired on HBO. You can watch it free online and for those of us on the continent you can catch it on DSTV. Issa Rae is smart, and funny but above all else this Senegalese American sistren is authentic.

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A fashion designer in the UK originally from Kono has opened her very first store for her brand Izelia. Every body wants to claim they’re a designer but opening a retail store to sell your designs in London of all places is no small feat. Are we surprised at Isatu’s growth though? Not at all! This GoWoman started cleaning homes just to fund her fashion dream. There is no stopping Isatu!

............................................... Luvvie Ajayi of the blog, tweets, and blacknecious quirks of Awesomely Luvvie published her first book last year, “I am Judging you: The Do Better Manual”, which made it on to the NY Times and Washington Post Bestseller lists among others. She had an amazing year and gives hope to all up and coming bloggers out there that if you stick it out, and keep pushing, and stay true to your own self that you will win.

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............................................... Serena Williams got engaged, when we didn’t even know that the Queen was dating. We assumed she was so busy winning and grandslamming that she didn’t have time for boys but boy oh boy were we wrong. Serena the greatest athlete of our generation is engaged and she announced it on her boyfriend Olexis Ohanian’s website. To every GoWoman who has ever been told that she will not marry because she is too educated or too focused on her career we say please see Serena.

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Cherry Berry Marshall has launched Donerry a cosmetics line, starting off with a line of lipsticks, eye shadow, perfume for men and women, and makeup brushes. Using a combination of social media only she is churning out content across various channels to promote and sell her products. While some people might be side eyeing Mrs Marshall, this is exactly the kind of determination and commitment that makes a startup and small business grow. We love what you’re doing Donerry, keep going!

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Do it for yourself is not a call to action for you to do it alone. It is a revelation that you are enough of a reason to start, to change, to want more, to want better; and not necessarily about going solo. Although, when you are starting out or trying to do something new or take the path less traveled you will most likely be going at it alone. And that’s okay too. You’ll find that if you make yourself the reason that even when you’re alone, and times are hard, you will be able to continue on your path. If you’re constantly relying on external factors; people and things to validate you and your dreams, you’ll never find enough satisfaction in what you’re doing.

COVER PHOTO

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Do It For Yourself I remember when I first started producing a TV show 9 years ago. I didn’t have much support; moral or financial but I kept going because I was doing it for myself. The work brought me joy and satisfaction so in the absence of sponsorship and support, I still found a reason to continue on. I am a single mother. It wasn’t my plan but it is my life now. Be that as it is, when I decided to get pregnant, it was by choice. Yes I made a decision to have a child with someone but I wasn’t having a child for him. I was having a child for me. When I was a little girl my granny used to say, “way uman bon pikin na foh in sef” – when a woman has a child, she does so for her self. You may be married and have the full financial support of your husband but the day-today of raising that child is on you as a woman. When my son was born and my relationship went sour, I didn’t feel a hint of regret. I had given birth for me. I had done it for myself; I had a child because I wanted a child. It wasn’t to prove my womanhood or to join

a club or worse yet to keep a man. You are enough of a reason to do what ever you want. In 2012 when I started making plans for GoWoman Magazine, I didn’t have the funds, or the experience. I merely sought to tell stories to highlight and applaud girls and women who were starting unconventional things from scratch. I didn’t know how it would be received or how far I would go but I did it because it was what I wanted to do. Even when ebola hit and we couldn’t meet our commitments, and later on our Editor-In-Chief (and still very good friend) resigned from her post with GoWoman I knew we could weather the storm. We may not be able grow as fast as I have hoped but we are still here because I started this journey for me. I can not stress enough the importance of owning your decisions and your life. Whether its your personal life; friendships, family, and relationships, or at work; your business or your job. You have to make sure that you know that the reason for everything is you, and that is a reason that needs

no validation. What I hate to see is a woman doing things to seek approval or setting milestones and feeling inadequate because they’re trying to meet a standard set by someone else. You are the center of the world. Everything in your life should positively reaffirm you and when something doesn’t, you have the right to get up and walk away. Do it for yourself, because you’re worthy, and deserving. At the end of the day we are all here on this earth for a very short while. We’re all just passing through. That journey though will be much more fulfilling if the path you take is one you make for yourself and on your own terms. Now I’m not saying that other people don’t matter. What I am saying is that YOU matter the most, even more than your parents, your husband, friends, and your children. No matter where you find yourself today, if you find yourself making a decision to say yes, make sure you do so for yourself. Gowoman Magazine

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GOWOMAN ISSUE 4

Peagie foday has been running the pwsf to support teen moms in sierra leone but she makes her home in the diaspora in sweden. How does she do it?

DOING IT FOR HERSELF -Peagie Foday

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GOWOMAN ISSUE 4

Social Media

Connect with - Peagie Woobay Scholarship Fund on Facebook

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STYLE & GLAMOURE

Fashion

IZELIA SPRING LOOKS 2 017

Off the shoulder has more of an edge when worn low on one shoulder to show a flash of skin. 10

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STYLE & GLAMOURE

Sunglasses

SUMMER STYLE WHILE THE DARK SHADES WILL ALWAYS BE A YEAR LONG STAPLE, ROSE-COLORED SUNGLASSES ARE THE TREND THIS SUMMER. WEAR WITH NUDE OR PASTEL LIPS AND STILETTOS AND LET THEM WATCH YOU WERK!

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STYLE & GLAMOURE

Make-Up

CHECK OUT

www.donerry.com

TO ORDER THE LATEST SELECTION OF MATTE LIPSTICKS, BRUSHES, AND COSMETICS. THE DONERRY TRADEMARK BLACK AND WHITE FOR HIM AND FOR HER PERFUME AND COLOGNE IS ALSO AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE. CONNECT WITH DONERRY ON FACEBOOK: DonerryB&W

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GOWOMAN ISSUE 4 FOOD

DOING IT FOR HERSELF -Janice Williams

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR EXPERIENCE AS A SIERRA LEONEAN WORKING IN THE US? Well I grew up in the U.S. I started middle school and went all the way to achieve my Masters. The years I worked in the U.S. were interesting. The focus has mostly been with youth, nonprofits and working for the city and federal government. I have learnt a lot about different cities and states in the U.S. and a lot about how things run. WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU FACED IN TERMS OF YOUR JOB AND LIVING IN THE US AND HOW DO YOU STAY MOTIVATED? My biggest challenge is the amount of debt accrued in the U.S. Everything is on a credit system and by the time you graduate with your first degree you have on average $50,000 in loans. My biggest challenge was trying to work enough to pay for all my bills and loans and still save for the future. It was like I could never stay afloat. I stay motivated by letting myself 14

wallow when I do need to, but always keeping in mind what I want to accomplish and knowing that being an ambitious person, I will reach my goals. WOULD YOU SAY THAT YOU HAVE HAD A REWARDING CAREER SO FAR? EXAMPLE OF AN ACCOMPLISHMENT. I have had a most fulfilling career. One thing I can say is that I have never been someone that said they hated their job/ career and was just doing it just to do it or to earn money. Anywhere I have worked for a long period, I thoroughly enjoyed and gave me a lot of experience. I always had my goals and vision in mind and so always looked at job opportunities through that lens of one step closer to my dreams. My Peace Corps work from 2010 to 2012, especially the work I did with young people in Guinea with youth workforce development, will have to be one of the biggest accomplishments. Also returning back to my country in 2014 to launch a program with Innovate Salone, called Inlabs (Innovation Lab), something that has not been seen

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GOWOMAN ISSUE 4 FOOD

in Sierra Leone, really continues to make me feel that I am on the right path. Seeing what young people can produce and the potential they have, gives me all the encouragement I need to con-tinue doing what I have been doing. WHAT INSPIRED YOUR CAREER CHOICE? I have always had an interest to return back to Africa to work, I just didn’t know in what capacity and looked at different options. When I graduated with my Bachelors, since I was interested in international work, I actually did my Masters a little different than most. I enrolled in the Masters International Peace Corps program. This allowed me to combine both education and experience. I did a year of schooling in the U.S. and went abroad for two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger and Guinea. This really opened my eyes to international development work and tested whether this was something I really wanted to do. It also solidified in me my passion for work with young people and so when I returned in 2012, I focused solely on that type of work.

LASTLY, WHAT IS ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’D GIVE TO YOUNG LADIES WANTING TO GET THEIR FOOT IN THE DOOR TO WORK FOR AN NGO?

IF YOU ARE JUST STARTING OUT, DON’T CHASE MONEY, CHASE EXPERIENCE. FIND SOMETHING THAT YOU LOVE DOING AND CAN DEDICATE AT LEAST TWO YEARS AND GET SOLID EXPERIENCE. YOU HAVE TO START SOMEWHERE, ALTHOUGH YOU DON’T HAVE TO COMPROMISE YOUR MORALS FOR IT.

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FOOD

WELCOME TO

NYAMU CAFÉ With

Chef Binta

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F

FOOD

ood is love made visible and as Africans food is central to our culture and traditions. It is what binds each family and the community. As such food plays a major role in how Africans from the four corners of the continent celebrate love; be it welcoming a new born; at naming ceremonies, birthdays, weddings, rites of passage ceremonies, and even in mourning. It is my belief that food is love that drives my passion for cuisine. My goal with Nyamu Cafe is to bring Africans together; make the continent a little smaller with my food. My love affair for food goes all the way back to when I was five years old and I have the scars to prove it. You may ask scars? How can food give you scars? When I was five, like many others at that age I often didn’t follow instructions (especially from my mom). I was intent on showing everyone that I knew my way around the kitchen. I had to learn the hard way. I got second-degree burns from falling hands first into a hot pot of oil. Let’s be honest, most people would have a phobia of the kitchen after such an incident, but not me. I fell even deeper in love with cooking even after that scary accident. When I was eight I went to live with my granny and she appointed me head of customer service of her cookery-baffa. To be honest the role was pretty much a glorified steward, washing all the dishes and pots; pots that I could probably fit into. Do not get me wrong I still do not enjoy washing dishes but the experience gave me a deeper respect for food.

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Later in life when the war drove us away from home, it was the food that reminded us of our shared humanity. Wars and civil unrest often reveal the strength of the human spirit to overcome hate and prejudice. During many episodes of Sierra Leone’s civil conflict, food was probably the second most important ally for residents of Freetown. There were several times during the conflict when no one could go out to buy food. For days and some times weeks at a time, food was not available at shops and markets either because of an embargo or scarcity. Food or the lack thereof brought communities and neighborhoods together. I saw my neighbors contribute and share ingredients to prepare meals that would be shared with everyone who had contributed. This is what I call creating food for sustenance. The food we could afford like rice had loads of cockroaches which we had to hand pick and repeatedly wash and then blend with bulgur in order to get enough to share for everyone. I believe knowing how to blend and create totally new dishes with a handful of ingredients saved many during the war. When things got really bad in Freetown we fled to my ancestral home, a village in Guinea where I lived for a year which allowed me to learn a lot more about food and farming.

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FOOD

WELCOME TO

NYAMU CAFÉ

Chef Binta

With

Even though we had only the basics; no electricity, no pipe borne water, it was an adventure and the experience helped shape my perspective about food, family and love. The way food was shared in the village was beautiful for its simplicity and inclusiveness. You eat in one big bowl and you have to use one hand to hold the bowl while eating, you don’t talk when you have food in your mouth, elders share meat and most importantly food never went to waste. My journey like any others has its own set of sub-plots, for me these have mainly been pursuing other careers that society or family have felt were best suited for. From starting as a TV presenter, then as an IT sales person, then studying international relations, to working in marketing one common thread exist across all which was a lack of fulfillment. It wasn’t till I was living in Madrid, Spain that I finally heard the call of food. As the saying goes when your back is against the wall you discover your true talent. And that was what happened to me when I lost my job as a private 18

English tutor and had to find a way to make money quick; selling sandwiches to MBA students. The response was surprising but encouraging, the students always seemed to want more. The sandwiches would finish within an hour of delivery. For once I finally believed all those friends and family members that had said “Binta you sabi cook”. When I left Spain for Ghana the confidence to answer the call for food left me, I felt that I needed a “respectable” African woman career. It didn’t occur to me that being a chef was such a career until I sunk into a deep depression that left me feeling empty and without purpose. For over a year I was lost trying to figure out what to do until I finally decided that I was going to go study culinary arts. I found a school in Kenya and I applied and got accepted and off I went to Nairobi to finally start my journey living my fullest life focused on my one true passion. Today I know what it means to wake up everyday full of joy and a kind of zeal and bravado that no matter how tired, beaten, and exhausted I may feel, I can

always find enough strength to make one more dish, try a my recipe, discover a taste, or a flavor. I feel absolutely blessed to be able to plate a dish and say welcome to NyamuCafé.

Nyamu Café Spin on Local Chop: a. The perfect Groundnut Soup must be kept simple, use only a tiny amount of the spice as this allows the groundnut paste flavour to stand out. b. My signature dish, which I call Nyamujohdoh, a combination of boiled cassava (the tuber), cow butter, brown sugar, and mint herbs. c. Finally, my best-kept secret recipe, which I call shea-butter, chicken. This is a recipe I cannot wait to share with the world.

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HEALTH

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HEALTH

EAT BETTER by Muriel Valentina

For a better quality, longer life, our current eating patterns must be altered, especially given the conditions of our health care system, to enable enjoyment of the fruits of the activities that dominate a majority of our time. So what gives? What do we do? What can we do? What tactics can we employ to address the diet health gap on a personal level. Distilled to its essence, we first acknowledge that while daily life can be hectic, nothing is quite as hectic, debilitating AND timeconsuming as the demands of illness. In putting healthy diet concepts into action, we can adopt a ‘Preventitude’ or Preventive Attitude Code. Perhaps the thought of transitioning to a healthier lifestyle seems intimidating and exhausting, but please realize that the following five small adjustments require minimal effort and will never compromise taste. In fact, in the hands of the right cook, flavors intensify and meals are even more delicious. If consistently practiced using the correct information and techniques, these codes can be effective in developing long-term habits that provide more energy to support us on our health and wellness journey.

PREVENTITUDE CODE #1

Hydrate. Constantly. Involved in all metabolic processes, water (pure, beverages or foods) transports nutrients and messages, regulates temperature, eliminates waste and much more for proper bodily function.As it makes up about 60-75% of our body mass, its absence causes our cells to wither and perish manifesting in immediatesymptoms of fatigue, headaches, constipation, cramps and quickly snowballing to include an alarming number of serious illnesses. This essence literally gives us life. 20

Action Tips:

Always carry a large bottle filled with clean, pure water that you drink throughout the day. Add lime as it alkalizes the body. Add different fruits to flavor and sweeten. Consumefruits with high liquid content like young coconut/jelly or watermelon. At first sign of fatigue or headache, drink water. If you’re drinking alcohol, also drink equal amounts of water. Consult your general health care practitioner to determine you optimal water intake.

PREVENTITUDE CODE #2

Eat more fresh, local, seasonal, whole, real, unprocessed, unrefined foods as they are more nutrient dense and beneficial for most individuals. Foods eaten closer to their original form in the environment they were harvested/caught/slaughtered provide greater nourishment. For fruits and vegetables, they’re at maximum nutritional power and flavor during their peak season and should ideally be eaten immediately after harvest.

Action Tips:

Buy more from markets than the supermarkets (freshly cut, juiced or blended fruits nutritionally superior to canned/boxed fruit juice; country fowl is superior to frozen imported Brazilian chicken.) Eat whole grain instead of refined (rough/red rice is superior to white rice for most who aren’t grain-sensitive). Real instead of fake food (butter is superior to margarine; salt, fresh herbs and MSG-free spices are superior to maggi). Eat local foods (all fruits locally

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HEALTH ed complements to fruits and vegetables increasing absorption of a variety of nutrients. The wrong types of oils/fats can do severe damage to organs and create diseases so knowing the difference is vital.

grown and in season are superior to iported fruits like roseapple.)

PREVENTITUDE CODE #3

Eat balanced meals determined by your age, body type, physical activity levels, current condition and goals. Every food group is important as each serves a necessary purpose and every individual’s unique needs and preferences must be factored in to achieve desired sustainable results.

Action Tips:

Action Tips:

ENJOY (in small portions): Red palm oil, pure coconut oil, olive oil, fruits (avocado), nuts(cashews), seeds (sesame/benny), fatty fishes (herring), REAL butter LIMIT: Saturated Fat (red meat, lamb); AVOID: Margarine, processed meats (luncheonmeat)

For generally healthy individuals, make 50% of your plate a variety of colorful fibrous fruits & vegetables which include greens/plassas. The other 50% shared between lean protein (seafood, beans, eggs, country chicken etc) and starch (whole grains, root vegetables, etc..) depending on your current needs. Eat 75% of the vegetables first before enjoying the rest of the meal. Eat fruits/nuts as snacks throughout the day, before meals, for dessert. Eat more seafood, especially fatty fish and legumes and less chicken and meat. Pay attention to your body’s response and adjust accordingly based on your dietary goals.

PREVENTITUDE CODE #5

PREVENTITUDE CODE #4

Eat the right quality oils & fats and avoid the wrong ones. The right types of oils and fats in appropriate quantities are crucial in protecting vital organs and orchestrating proper physiological functions including regulating metabolic processes and providing cellular structure. They add deliciousness by carrying the flavor in foods and help us feel fuller for longer periods, making them critical for weight loss when used correctly. They are also the suggest-

Unless under the advice of a diet or health practitioner, start using the 80/20 rule when it comes to cooking/eating methods Eat 80% of nutrient-dense foods prepared using healthy techniques and 20% indulgence for favorites.Some preparation methods enhance the nutritional content of foods, others deplete and actually add harmful toxins to the meals.Knowing the difference makes the difference in the quality of your meals.

Action Tips:

ENJOY foods prepared using healthier methods like oven or electrical grilling (do not eat the charred areas), steaming, boiling (do not waste the leftover water, rather use the now nutrient-rich water as stock, to make soup or sauces etc), pressure cooking (preserves nutrients Gowoman Magazine

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HEALTH and decreases cooking time), poaching, sautéing, baking/roasting, broiling, raw (proper washing techniques vigilantly applied) etc. LIMIT/AVOID frying—shallow and deep, charcoal grilling (smoke can be carcingenic and of course, we should not eat charred or burnt areas), microwaving (depletes nutrients) etc Discipline yourself to begin with one of these codes and you’re on our way. Once you’re comfortable with one code and it becomes a habit, add another. These carefully chosen incremental changes can encourage both painless transition AND substantial results. We must pay keen attention to our bodies’ responses to inspire continuity and track any changes that may be specific to our bodies, if desired. There is no deprivation or suffering in this transition and as often proven to clients, nourishing meals can be intensely flavorful. While these first five

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codes can be very helpful, please followup and see the appropriate health care practitioner who can work with you and/or you can do research from trusted sources to begin the process of restoring and/or managing health. While I underscore the importance of eating well, by no means is it the only component for a healthy life. If you’re in generally good health, you still need, to name a few, moderate levels of physical activity, genuine friends and relationships, great sleep, relaxation and stress relief, sunshine and a purpose of some sort to operate at optimal levels. Just begin…Start today, right now—drink water. Even if you miss a day, or eat poorly, don’t stop…try again. In each instance, we have the power to make a better decision so in the words Goethe, “Choose well. Your choice is brief, and yet endless.” To good health! In the next article, we will deconstruct our deep and enduring affection for OTC (overthe-counter) medications. Fun times.

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DOWNLOAD FREE

LIMEYSL OR LIMEYPRO NOW FROM The editor of GoWoman spoke to Mr Foday Sankoh, Managing Director of Onlime SL Limited, the communications company that has been one of the most respected Internet Service Providers in Sierra Leone for over a decade. Q1. Please tell us about Onlime Onlime (formerly Limeline (SL) Ltd.) is one of Sierra Leone’s premier Internet Service Providers since 2005. Onlime SL Limited is licensed VoIP operator and a founder/ shareholder of the newly privatised SALCAB. Onlime is the only Sierra Leone’s licensed operator and owner of voice and data capacity on the ACE (Africa Coast to Europe) submarine communications cable. Onlime owns dedicated capacity on ACE and delivers Internet and Voice services to its customers through its state-of-the-art wireless network covering all of greater Freetown and has recently started to roll out high capacity wireless backhaul links into the provinces. In the past two years we have undertaken a complete modernisation of our network infrastructure to deliver higher bandwidth speeds to customers. The members of the team that formed Limeline Group in 2005 have considerable experience

in many areas of the developing world, having set up successful businesses in Germany, UK, Gibraltar, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Argentina, Brazil and built up operations in some 26 countries in Africa. This in-depth knowledge has been a key factor in the growth of Onlime and the development of the philosophy of being “closer to the customer”. Q2. Please give us a brief overview about Onlime’s new voice service Onlime launches its all-new and exciting VoIP service for Enterprise and Consumers. At Onlime we believe in the power of creativity and technology that empower business operations, increase efficiency, while reducing cost. That is why we executed an extensive research to understand the needs of the market and develop voice solutions to salvage these gaps faced by businesses and individuals. Businesses are rapidly growing and they need a secure connectivity and holistic communication solution to support their growth trajectory. We took our time to underscore these points and developed a one-stop-shop enterprise voice proposition that gives businesses the flexibility to connect multiply branches with

rock-solid data connectivity and unlimited free calls via our IPPBX and desk-phones solution. The good news is individual customers can now benefit from the same innovation by downloading our LimeySL App. The LimeySL App is a free download from Google Play or Apple Store for use on your Smartphone and it works for everybody. The icing on the cake is that calls between Onlime subscribers in Sierra Leone are free you only need a good Internet connection, and you are unlimited. As with all Onlime services we aim to deliver a quality to satisfy the most critical business customer and the good news is the home user can now benefit from the same quality at very competitive rates. Q3. I am already thrilled by your enterprise solutions. Can you please help me understand the value that comes with this package and how do I sign-up for it? Wouldn’t it be great if every business had a central point of contact for telephone calls? Mobile phones are terrific but without a central point of contact your customers and Gowoman Magazine

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suppliers need to know the individual telephone numbers of each of your staff, but then your accountant moves to a new job and your customers have to jump through hoops to find his replacement, or worse, your top salesmen departs and all your customers only have his or her mobile number to contact and you risk losing those customers to his new company. The risks aside, a central office telephone number gives your business that professional image your customers expect. Onlime delivers the complete business communication package, from a single phone at a remote location to a centralized multi-site solution for voice, video conferencing, and even smart phone apps for users on the go. We can provide a system for you to manage and control or have it all managed for you through our 24/7 Network Operations Centre. Our business communication solution connects your branches nationwide with unlimited free calls, free video and voice conferencing, interactive voice response system that will interact with your customers even when you are offline. So you wouldn’t have to miss out on any business interactions. Our in-built IVR functionality enables your business to upload preloaded business information, products and service info, or marketing campaigns/promotions in multiple languages to service your customer 24/7 at no operational extra cost. If you are still wondering why we should switch over to Onlime as a Business Communications provider, let me tell you why. We offer a full communications solution - Internet via fibre, satellite and wireless, as well as voice, creating a complete package. You also have a choice to use as many or as few of the functions of the fully featured Onlime voice platform. We give the 24

full flexibility and full access to online account management portal with real-time billing. Our easy to use solution is suitable for businesses of all sizes to help increase productivity and reduce the cost. Signing up is simple, talk to any of Onlime’s corporate account managers to support you with our brand of desk-phones, PBX, enterprise short code for internal dialing, and DID on 066 for external communication with unbeatable local and international rates in the market. Please visit www.onlime.sl to check out our phone catalogue or call us on +232 66 303030 or email sales@onlime.com Q4. Can you please tell us more about the Limey App? LimeySL is a free mobile application that combines the new and old ways of mobile calling. Smartphone users can download this app to make local and international calls at very competitive rates. Calls from Onlime are connected through the Internet (Wi-Fi or 3G/4G) to other Onlime customers or to any traditional telephone network. Making calls with this app is simple, affordable and enjoyable for everyone, irrespective of who you want to call or where. That’s why all calls between subscribers on the Onlime network are free of charge in Sierra Leone. If all your friends and family are Onlime VoIP customers too you won’t have to pay to speak to them just like on Viber and WhatsApp, but more flexible. With Onlime VoIP you are not limited to calls to and from Onlime customers. You can call any fixed lines and mobiles in Sierra Leone as well as international fixed line and mobile customers at very competitive rates by purchasing Onlime credits. Each customer will have a unique Sierra Leone number (+232 66 xxxxxx) free of charge. Customers can also match their existing numbers on

other networks on our 066 number range i.e. 076 123456 matches 066 123456 (subject to availability). Q5. How do I get the App? LimeySL is available on Google Play and App Store. Download LimeySL for free and get instant 066 number, no SIM, no additional phone. You will also enjoy unlimited Free calls to all 066 numbers in Sierra Leone, unbeatable tariff of SLL 599 to call any network in SL, and whooping international rates for as low as SLL 399 to call USA, Canada, UK, China, India, Australia and others destinations in the world for mind blowing tariff. You can see our full tariff plan on our website www.onlime.sl Q6. What is the benefit of Onlime’s new proposition to the Economy? Our story of innovation is not just limited to revenue growth and striving a sustainable business model. We believe in the future of this economy and that is why we are building a business that is positioned as a partner for growth in all sectors. The power of connectivity and affordable communication is the backbone for resilience and diversify economic growth.

Mr. Fodey Sankoh MD, Onlime SL

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BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

START SMALL

– Melford Marah’s IGro

Two years ago, I had to cut my hair in what people refer to as the ‘big chop’. My hair was really damaged from heat processing and relaxers. So I had to cut off all my hair. When I did, I struggled to find the right products for my hair. At that time, the natural hair community was not too big in Sierra Leone, so I had to do a lot of research. I turned to the Internet, YouTube specifically. I did extensive research I came about the fact that shea butter is very good for natural hair, as well as various essential oils, like coconut and avocado oil. I actually went in search of them, but they weren’t here. The ones I saw online weren’t available here, so I was trying to get it locally. That’s when I found out that we produce Coconut Oil in Sierra Leone as well as Olive oil. I got them and that’s when I started doing my mixtures. The recipe for my hair worked really well. I saw a lot of growth and volume added to my hair. Seeing my progress friends started to ask that I produce the mixture for them, and when they got good results, they came back. That’s how IGRO started. So I got a little startup capital, I made 5 tubs of the mixture, promoted it on my Facebook page, and more people became interested and soon I was in steady production. IGRO works well with all kinds of hair; relaxed, natural, or transitioning.

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BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT While I don’t currently have a retail shop or outlet the product is currently on sale at various hair salons in Freetown. You can find it at Head Master on Lumley, Medis on Beach Road, Leks Textiles at Campbell Street. I also have my sister in England, Dini Cole and my sister in the US who assist me with sales to those in the diaspora who want to order IGRO. My next target is to establish points of sale in the Provinces. I often get asked what exactly goes into the IGRO mixture but the specific combination is a trade secret. What my customers should know however is that IGRO has Shea Butter what we call Ori or Ma Doni and other essential oils that support hair growth and volume. The IGRO Hair Recipe comes in one size and retails for SLL 60,000 but I recently launched a smaller tub upon request from High School students that I made it more affordable for them. I launched the smaller tub at ‘Ankara Night’ which was held at O’Caseys on the Beach. From that experience I learned that having the two sizes will means I get to reach more people with varying incomes, so that’s exciting. In the near future I hope I can have IGRO retailing in countries across Africa and in Europe. I want to grow to a point where I can manufacture IGRO from my own factory and export it out of Sierra Leone. For now however, I’ve started small. I make about 50 tubs of IGRO a day and that can take up to 5 hours. I don’t have any employees right now but one day soon as we grow, I will. I have already overcome some challenges that made it difficult to sell initially. When it all started, many people didn’t want to buy IGRO and those who did had many questions. “How can it be effective if it’s made in Sierra Leone? “Are you sure this won’t negatively affect 26

my hair?’ I actually learnt a lot about customer service and patience in those early days. And now that I have many customers and the product speaks for itself, I don’t have to answer as many questions. My current customers become brand ambassadors and with word of mouth I get new customers. The other challenge was with the retailers, when I started marketing my product they didn’t really believe in it. One guy on Howe Street said that my packaging was not the best, and he was right. But little by little it’s getting better, because he called me and said he would like to have my product now on his shelves. There are also those who have been surprised and wondered why a Law student was starting a hair business. The truth is that hair is my passion. I read a lot of books on business, on success and many people that are successful in their businesses have passion and love what they do. So based on that, the love you have for it, you keep on moving. Balancing the business has its challenges but its all about time management. As a second year Law student I study at night. I don’t produce IGRO every day. The 50 tubs last 2-3 days. That’s why I aim for 50, so it can see me through a few days. For now College is closed, and we reopen in January, so I have a lot of time on my hands. I am working on making a larger quantity to store in my house. Our dining rooms is my unofficial IGRO factory. So far the highlight of making IGRO has been having satisfied customers come back to say how well the product has worked for them. They send me photos of their hair growth and they leave me in awe.

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BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT I even have customers who suffer from alopecia and in 2-3 weeks, they call happy and satisfied that my product has worked. It gives me the kind of joy that money can’t buy. To those who are curious about IGRO I’ll ask them to check out our Facebook page and see the client testimonials. For those who doubt that a product made in Sierra Leone can bring them hair growth I say give us a try. Today I’m selling IGRO at shops, but also on Whatsapp. I use mobile money to accept the payments and then I tell them to collect their IGRO from one of our retailers. There is a widely held myth that black African hair doesn’t or can’t grow but I totally disagree. Our hair can, and does grow, and IGRO is helping make that possible not just for myself but for our customers.

Connect With I-Gro On Facebook

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BUSINESS TIPS

TEN SOCIAL MEDIA BUSINESS TIPS

INVEST IN A PHONE WITH A GOOD CAMERA AND LEARN HOW TO USE IT Social media for business is a daily, multiple times a day commitment. You are not going to be able to hire a photographer or have a camera on hand every day to do the posts (if you can great), so investing in a phone with a good camera, that works well in low light conditions especially is going to set you up for success. Taking the photos on a camera will mean, that you need a computer to upload the files. This will create more work for you and put more barriers between you and the instant gratification of a mobile phone. 2

EVERY SINGLE PRODUCT POST (I.E. STUFF YOU WANT TO SELL) SHOULD HAVE INFORMATION ON HOW CUSTOMERS CAN CONTACT YOU TO MAKE A PURCHASE OR HIRE YOUR SERVICE Never assume that just because you posted your contact details yesterday that the person seeing your post today already has your address. Ideally post a number that is 28

Whatsapp activated because for most people these days telephone calls are so 2014. MIX IT UP EVER SO OFTEN Don’t just post about you and your products. Try to follow what I like to call the 70-30 rule when it comes to posts, that is to make 70% of the content about your products and 30% can be cool stuff you find online that is related to what you do or that is trending and people are talking about. Clearly you want to make sure you’re not sharing any lewd content or jokes on your business page unless of course that’s in line with the kind of business and customers you want to attract. Look for quotes, images, jokes, and industry links that are already trending to share as part of your feed or pages content. 4 LET YOUR CUSTOMERS TALK FOR YOU Ask your customers who found you on social media and did business with you to kindly post about their experience doing business with you and to tag you. Repost your satisfied customer posts and thank them for their business on your feed. IF YOU ARE ON FACEBOOK MAKE SURE YOU SELECT “LOCAL BUSINESS’ in the business type so that you can enter your business’s physical address. When you do this Facebook generates a map that customers can use to locate you. Also don’t forget to put your number on your Facebook page,

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BUSINESS TIPS this makes it way easier for customers to reach you because if they are on a phone they can just call directly from Facebook by clicking on the phone number.

VIDEOS ARE YOUR FRIEND ESPECIALLY SINCE THE VIDEOS CAN BE WATCHED WITHOUT GOING TO YOUTUBE RIGHT ON FACEBOOK/INSTAGRAM. Use that phone with the great camera that we talked about up top on #1 to record and post short 1mins videos of you making your product, of the product being used as intended, or to show a function that is not easily shown on a still picture. DON’T TAG PEOPLE UNLESS YOU HAVE AN ESTABLISHED RELATIONSHIP WITH THEM, OR HAVE ASKED THEIR PERMISSION. One of the quickest ways to lose followers or to put people off about your brand is tagging them every day on your content. It’s like standing on the roadside and having someone yell “look at me” each time you pass. Annoying isn’t it? Yes. GET ON INSTAGRAM Instagram is actually the fastest growing social media platform (It was in 2014, now its Snapchat but IG is still big). Get an Instagram page, and learn to use #hashtags so that people interested in your type of products can find you easily. Remember the proper way to use a hashtag is like this: #AfricanPrint #AfricanFashion #Fashion #Design

and not like this #AfricanPrint#AfricanFashion#Fashion#Design. WHATSAPP IS YOUR FRIEND If used correctly Whatsapp can be the bridge that turns business leads into actual customers. Share your Whatsapp number on your social media feeds. Have posters and flyers designed and stored on your phone so you can share items on sale with customers. For example a restaurant can create a Whatsapp friendly menu that they can share with customers. And at the actual restaurant visibly promote the Whatsapp number and tell customers that they can order via Whatsapp. The good thing about using Whatsapp to process orders is that you actually have the chat saved to cross check that there are no error. Use your brand logo on the image you use as your DP on Whatsapp. Although joining one too many Whatsapp chat groups can be annoying being in the right group can help you reach out to targeted customers and introduce people to your brand. USE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA BUSINESS PLATFORMS TO HELP PEOPLE If there is one thing to remember that will keep you winning with your business on social media is positioning your brand and posts in a way that they can be useful to others. Your product or service should meet a need. Whether you are a fashion designer, a restaurateur or a photographer your role in your client’s life is to make it better. So in addition to posting your outfits, food, and your latest photo shoots also consider content that provides tips to your customers, opportunities for learning that will make their lives easier and have them feeling like they are part of your brand family.

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BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

NENEH AHMEDA KOROMA – Founder MISSNAK DESIGNS

Neneh Koroma is a third year engineering student at Fouray Bay College, in Freetown. When she is not busy studying she is designing African inspired accessories for her label, MissNak Designs. She has been designing for five years but Miss Nak became official in 2014. What she does best is repurposing using African fabric to cover shoes, bags and purses. She explains that it was a spur of the moment idea, when she decided to re-vamp an old purse with this technique. As a student and an entrepreneur time management is Neneh’s greatest skill. She focuses on school MondaysSaturdays and reserves Sundays for designing. Where does she get her inspiration? From just about anywhere, TV, people she meets, and what she sees on the streets. When something seems interesting, she comes up with her own concept and recreations. Although she started designing in 2012, Neneh says she was initially hesitant to go public with what she did. Imagine an entrepreneur afraid to say hey look at my business, but she had good reason. 30

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BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT Take Facebook for instance; were it not for the encouragement, guidance, and motivation from her elder sister, she may have never created the ‘Missnak Designs’ page to showcase her designing abilities. Although she now has over 6000 followers on the brand’s page she says that once people initially saw what she was doing they didn’t take her seriously. They doubted her and what she was doing because fashion design or making accessories to them couldn’t be serious undertakings because she is also working on her degree. That did not deter her from continuing on and today she has built quite a clientele. She has customers for her range of wrapped rings, chokers, necklaces, sandals, bags, purses, and most recently her easy to wear dresses. Facebook is now the primary place for her to get sales leads. The highlight of her fashion start up so far is the recognition her brand now gets. The more customers she gets, the wider the acclaim for MissNak Designs. In the next year Neneh plans to open a shop for Missnak Designs, as well as a website. She is also considering opening a shop on Etsy, to reach shoppers from around the globe. Her hope is to be able to work with local fashion brand. Madam Wokie in the near future. Not only that, but in the next 10 years, she also has plans to combine her degree with her love for fashion. She plans to go further and study architecture, which will then open doors for her into the field of interior designing. To place an order, customers can reach Neneh via WhatsApp on 076959500, her Facebook Page Missnak Designs, or even on Instagram, using the handle @missnak_ designs.

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MODEL SPOTLIGHT

BLACK IS GLORIOUS!

KOUDIA DIOP 32

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MODEL SPOTLIGHT

Khoudia Diop is a 19 year old Senegalese model living in NY. While she spent most of her childhood insecure about her skin tone, today Miss Diop has embraced her dark, black, and glorious skin. She has taken her throne as the queen of all things melanin and the fashion world is taking notice too. We wish Khoudia plenty of success and want to remind all our melanin rich sisters of the very wise words of the late great Tupac Shakur, “the darker the flesh, the deeper the root�. Shine on @officialmelaningoddess!

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BEAUTY BEAUTY

Miss

HAWA KAMARA SIERRA LEONE’S FIRST TIME AT THE MISS UNIVERSE PAGEANT

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BEAUTY Beauty Pageants can be superficial, and they do objectify women but for many girls around the world they also open doors and have the capacity to transform their lives. This is the case for Sierra Leone’s first ever contestant in the Miss Universe Pageant, Miss Hawa Kamara. Hawa has dreamt of becoming a model for years. She has participated in countless local pageants, and fashion shows. Every time there was an opportunity to model she took it, no matter how small the part, she dressed up, and she showed up. There are zero prospects for girls who want to be models in Sierra Leone. There is no fashion industry, and just one modeling agency. The absence of local brands and no culture of advertising means if you’re a girl who wants to be a model, you dream, you dream some more, you age, and then your dream becomes a distant memory. If you’re really lucky you leave Sierra Leone and then you might be able to model professionally, otherwise it’s just a dream.

This is all happening with out any financial support from the state of Sierra Leone. You would think they would assist given the amount of positive exposure this could bring to post ebola Sierra Leone. Nevertheless this is still happening. One girl, Hawa Kamara is representing Sierra Leone at the Miss Universe pageant for the first time ever! No one else could better represent Sierra Leone, as authentically; as the smart, and charismatic Hawa. If Sierra Leone is going to make a debut anywhere this is the standard we deserve. We will remember her long after this pageant is over. although Hawa didn’t bring home the crown, she has already overcome immeasurable odds just by being present at the Miss Universe Pageant. When she walked out on to that stage she showed up for all the Sierra Leonean girls with dreams yet on hold with nowhere to go.

When Hawa heard that former Miss Sierra Leone World, Natasha Beckley’s IAMSL Pageant Agency was scouting for girls to represent Sierra Leone in a variety of pageants she signed up and showed up and she was crowned Miss Universe Sierra Leone. In the 65 years since the pageant was founded, this is the first time that Sierra Leone has participated. It may not seem like a big deal, it is after all just one opportunity for just one girl; but at the end of the day this is a girl who otherwise wouldn’t be there at all. And one girl living her dream, being validated is enough of a reason to cheer on. To someone out there who doesn’t know your story, we are all “just one girl”.

Miss

HAWA KAMARA SIERRA LEONE’S FIRST TIME AT THE MISS UNIVERSE PAGEANT

Furthermore all this is happening because Natasha Beckley put her money on the pageant, and sees value in creating opportunities for others. She has pulled together all her resources put human, and financial to get Hawa to the Philippines. She has coached her, paid for airfare, visas, and done everything in her power often at great sacrifice to make all this happen. She even started a GoFundMe to gather contributions from Sierra Leoneans in the diaspora as well, to help cover costs in the absence of corporate local sponsorship.

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BOOKS TO BUY

PUPPY PRINCESS SHEBA (Fatu Forna) Puppy Princess Sheba is a cute, but naughty Saint Bernard puppy, who lives on a farm with her puppy sisters and brothers. Join Puppy Princess Sheba on her adventures as she finds the human family that she has been wishing for.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Fatu Forna An obstetrician/gynecologist and writer who lives in Atlanta. She is married to a pediatrician and they have four kids. This book is based on the adventures of their dog - Puppy Princess Sheba!

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BOOKS TO BUY

THE BIGGEST LITTLE BROTHER

(Aminata Jalloh) Getting adjusted to a new baby can be tough, however, what happens when a new, older, sibling comes into the family? Sowa is used to being the oldest and always helping his Mom and Dad and his little sister Naiya. But when his big brother, Hindo, moves from Sierra Leone to live with them in Atlanta, Sowa suddenly realizes that he isn’t the oldest anymore. This story touches the ideas of compromising different identities as families grow, nontraditional family structures and multiculturalism.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Aminata Jalloh Lives in Sierra Leone and is an education specialist in the international development field, where she provides technical expertise in the design of literacy curriculums and programs. Aminata’s book The Biggest Little Brother. is a children’s book focusing on sibling relationships and family change of a West African immigrant family. Keep updated on Aminata’s projects at www.aminatawrites.com Gowoman Magazine GOWOMAN 2017

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HEALTH

SMALL CHANGES FOR HEALTH – Muriel Valentina

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HEALTH Like ourour dietary in US, UK, Japan,ship Canada Like all all choices choicesininlife, life, choicbetween our diet and our health. dietary choices have lasting and more because of our whatpersonal gives? What do es have lasting consequences. Each food Each individual So taking responsiconsequences. Eacheither food nourishes access to fresh fruits and we do? What abiding can we do? selection we make or debility, beyond this regional love selection makeofeither vegetables, meats ANDuse What tactics can we employ prives ourwe bodies requirements for opti- lean and liberal of OTC (over-the-counter) nourishes or deprives our distinctlimited access tomedications, processed is needed to address diet us health mal functioning, forging pathways as the it frees from bodies of requirements for foods. Although there have gap on a personal level. toward wellness or illness. I work as a Nuthe tyranny of victimhood and gently steers optimal forging been no rigorousour studies tritional functioning, Counselor and Health-Supportive focus from treatment to prevention. distinct pathways toward informed medical Distilled tolife, its essence, Chef and interact with individualsdone, at varying For a better quality, longer our current wellness or illness.who I work as practitioners first that levels of wellness consistently bemoan hypothesize eating patterns we must beacknowledge altered, especiala Nutritional Counselor that as thethe deluge of while daily life health can becare their busy schedules andand lack of time ly health given the conditions of our Health-Supportive and issues lifestyle diseases hectic, nothingofisthe quite as deterrent to eatingChef well despite knowledge system, to enable enjoyment fruits interact with individuals at a lot of(diabetes, debilitating AND of the ramifications. With concern, hypertension, of the activitieshectic, that dominate a majority varying of wellness cholesterol, of our time. Sotimeconsuming as the I marvellevels at our priorities at thehigh marginal what gives? What do we who bemoandiets and cardiovascular diseases etc)can we demands of tactics illness.can we valueconsistently placed on healthy the supdo? What do? What their schedules anddespite deaths of relatively port busy we withhold from ourselves employ to address the diet health gap on and lack of time the constantyoung the miracle of theasbody’s effortsindividuals at a (25-45) personal level. Distilled to its essence, healing and itself. we first acknowledge that while daily deterrent to restoring eating well that persist in plaguing life we can be hectic, nothinghealthy is quitediet as hecdespite knowledge of the our society indicate In putting Good health isWith the unsung activdebilitatingconcepts AND timeconsuming ramifications. a lot of hero in areallnot using thistic, access into action, we as can ities and its absence interrupts every plan; foods wisely. the demands ofadopt illness. In putting healthy concern, I marvel at our to quality a ‘Preventitude’ or therefore atour of theall beendiet concepts into action, we can adopt priorities thecapacity marginalin this part We have invited Preventive Attitude Code.a world to disregard, diminish ortoatwitness times, the horror ‘Preventitude’ orPerhaps Preventive value placed on healthy of the Attitude thought Code. of mock and its importance to‘unexplained’ astound. Perhaps the thought of transitioning diets the supportcontinues we illnesses and transitioning to a healthier It is undisputed that “when it ‘surprising’ comes to deaths to and a healthier lifestyle withhold from ourselves of lifestyle seems seems intimidating intimidating premature and what we eat and exhausting,and but exhausting, please realize that the despite thedeath miracle of disease, the course, in such moments, but please ranks the single most following require body’sasconstant efforts at important our factor” focus is on our grief. five small realizeadjustments that the according a recentitself. study in the minimal effort and will never compromise healing andtorestoring ButJournal instead of surrendering, following five small of American Medical Association, taste. we joining have to change our adjustments require a battalion other studies echoing Good healthof is the unsung nationalthe conversation by minimal effort and will never same. Ironically, another 2015 publishedthe power In fact, in the hands of the right hero in all activities and its admitting of our compromise taste.cook, flaCambridge funded every study in vors intensify absence interrupts role and the strength of the and meals are even more delicious. If consistently using the plan; therefore our capacity cause&effect relationship In fact, practiced in the hands of the The Lancet Global Health celebrated Westour dietcorrect information and techniques, these in this part of the world to between and our right cook, flavors intensify Africa, naming Sierra Leone, as having one codes can be effective in developing longdisregard, diminish or atdiets in comparison health. meals more are even moreto of the healthiest quality term habits thatand provide energy times, mock its importance delicious. to counterparts in US, UK, Japan, Canada support us on our health and wellness jourcontinues astound. is access Each taking If consistently practiced and more to because ofItour to individual fresh ney. undisputed that “whenlean it meatspersonal using the correct information fruits and vegetables, AND lim-responsibility, comes to premature death beyond this regional abiding and coconut/jelly techniques, these codes ited access to processed foods. content like young or waterand disease, whathave we eat and liberal use of At first sign can of befatigue or headache, Although there been nolove rigorous melon. ranks asdone, the single most medical OTC (over-the-counter) effective in developing longstudies informed practitiondrink water. If you’re drinking alcohol, also important factor”that according term habits that provide ers hypothesize the delugemedications, of health is needed as to a recent studydiseases in the (diabetes, it frees us from the tyranny more energy to support us issues lifestyle hyperJournal American Medical cardiovascular of victimhood and gently on our health and wellness tension, ofhigh cholesterol, Association, a steers our focus from journey. diseases etc)joining and deaths of relatively young battalion other studies individualof(25-45) that persist intreatment plaguing to prevention. For echoing the indicate same. Ironically, betterthis quality, our society we are not ausing another published longer access to2015 quality foods wisely. We havelife, all our current Cambridge studythe in horror eating patterns must be been invitedfunded to witness of ‘unThe Lancet illnesses Global Health altered, especially given the explained’ and surprising’ deaths and of course, in Africa, such moments,conditions our focus of our health care celebrated West is on ourSierra grief.Leone, But instead naming as of surrendering, system, to enable enjoyment we have to of change conversahaving one the our national of the fruits of the activities tion by admitting the power of our role and healthiest quality diets in that dominate a majority of the strengthtoofcounterparts the cause&effectour relationcomparison time. Gowoman Magazine GOWOMAN 2017

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HEALTH

Safe Abortion Act

Over twelve months have gone by since Parliament unanimously passed the Safe Abortion Bill, in a show of bipartisanship. In that time the President of Sierra Leone has twice refused to sign the bill on moral grounds. In March 2016 President Ernest Koroma said that in order for the bill to become law it must be put to public vote via referendum. The President’s refusal to sign this bill means many more women and girls in Sierra Leone will continue to die as they try to terminate unwanted pregnancies, and women’s human rights continue to take a backseat in the Republic. The President refused to sign the Safe Abortion Bill after he met with “religious leaders” of the inter-religious Council who argued that the bill goes against the morals of Sierra Leone. The Inter-religious council was formed in 1997 and was instrumental in the July 1999 Sierra Leone peace accord. At its formation the IRCSL’s stated goal and purpose was to “promote cooperation among religious communities of Sierra Leone with the purpose of fostering human rights.” In opposing the passing of the Safe Abortion Bill the IRCSL goes against its own founding principles of being for human rights. While the IRCSL may not consider the right to safe abortion 40

as an important part of ensuring women’s human rights countless human rights organizations from across the world do. The Office of the High Commission of the United Nations Human Rights attests that “International and regional human rights instruments including the CEDAW Convention, the Convención de Belém do Pará and the Maputo Protocol of 2005 have all affirmed that ensuring women’s human rights requires access to safe and quality abortion and post-abortion services and care. The 2016 CESCR General Comment No. 22 also calls for guaranteeing women and girls’ access to safe abortion services and quality post-abortion care to prevent maternal mortality and morbidity. “ Maternal mortality is still a problem for Sierra Leone. The World Bank reports an estimated 1,350 Sierra Leonean women die for every 100,000 births annually, the worst in the world. Furthermore three studies conducted by the Government of Sierra Leone and the International Pregnancy Advisory Services (IPAS) in 2011 found “unwanted pregnancies in all regions of Sierra Leone as a significant problem, contributing to thousands of maternal deaths and injuries, infertility,

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HEALTH

poverty and orphaned children.” They also found 1,632 post-abortion cases, that is women treated in hospitals as a result of having gotten unsafe abortions elsewhere. They estimated that this number could have doubled had all cases been treated in the hospital. As a result, “the Sierra Leonean government spent between U.S. $112,000 (SLL 862,400,00) and U.S. $230,000 (SLL 1,771,000,000) annually in personnel and medical supplies to treat post-abortion cases.” Sierra Leone already falls short when it comes to government spending on health, spending barely 20% of what it needs to spend per person. A health factsheet compiled by Mamaye in 2014 showed that GoSL spent just $13 of the needed $86 needed to provide basic health services for its citizens. This means that because the government refuses to pass the Safe Abortion Bill, it ends up paying an estimated $140 to treat just one post abortion case. These funds could be going elsewhere. All this information presented to the President by human rights activists and organizations were not enough to persuade him to sign the Safe Abortion Bill. And no one expects the Speaker of the Parliament who legally has the power

to sign any bill passed by a two-thirds vote into law, to sign a bill already rejected by his political party’s boss. What frustrates many activists is that the opponents to the safe abortion bill have not proposed an alternate solution to the law currently on the books that makes all form of abortion whether those of rape and or incest illegal. As such the Safe Abortion Bill lies in waiting with the English Offences Against the Person Act of 1861 the only law on the books that governs abortions. Under the English Offences Act abortion is only permissible to save the life of a pregnant woman. In addition anyone who gives consent for an abortion or performs an abortion could be arrested. If as the President has said the act should go to referendum, it will not pass, why? Well because Sierra Leone is one of the most backwards places in the world when it comes to women’s rights, and women’s health. President Koroma has missed an opportunity to create a human rights legacy in Sierra Leone, focusing instead on superficial efforts such as recognizing Women’s Day March 8 as a government holiday, a decision that neither improves nor saves the life of a single Sierra Leonean woman. Tenki Mista President, Yu Rili De Wok. Gowoman Magazine

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GoWoman 2017 v1  
GoWoman 2017 v1  

This is the latest edition of GoWoman Magazine published by VR&C Marketing Company in Accra, Ghana. www.vrcmarketing.com. Cover Girl: @Vicki...

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