Tag Archives: travelnoire

Travel diaries -Discovering Africa Sierra Leone – Independence day weekend (lantern Parade)

Am thrilled to be celebrating independence day with my Sierra Leonean friends.  It’s a long weekend and celebrations start with watching the Lanterns at the city centre.

I was not sure what to expect but my host made  a fuss about not taking our phones or valuable’s with us. This made me wonder about the safety. 

I was advised to wear covered shoes to avoid having my toe’s stepped on and to dress down and blend in. No problem! Am 6ft tall and blending is what I do. Lol. 

I kept my dressing simple and put on minimal makeup.

The lantwen show was supposed to start at the Cutting Tree. I am told that this used to be the location of the slave trade. Slaves were taken from Sierra Leone to Banana Island.

The streets were hiving with people. Its like the whole of Freetown was gathered on the street. I would liken this to Nottinghill Carnival except it was in the middle of the night(11pm), there was mess music and more people milling around being very loud. 

I felt very unsettled and just couldn’t get into the grove of things.  I saw lots of kids and was so concerned about there safety. 

After much waiting around we saw 2 poorly constructed floats pass by. ….😩😕😯.

I couldn’t decide if I was more disappointed or confused. At this point I was ready to go.   I was told that through the night various other lanterns/floats would pass and there would be a price for the best float. 

We headed home at approximately 1.30am. The worse part of the night is that I couldn’t take any pictures while out and we came home to NO light !😭😭😭😭

This is a very tired and reluctant Ijay. Nonetheless, I can say I experienced watching the lantern on SL independance day. 

My outfit is pretty basic 

Basic Tee – Primark 

Black high waisted jeans – Dorothy Perkins 

Trainers- Nike 

Kimono -Zara
Thanks for reading to the end. Be sure to follow me on Instagram for regular updates @ijayheavens I post there regularly. 

See you soon. 

X❤

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Travel diaries -Discovering Africa Sierra Leone lookbook -day 4

I have noticed that most of the lovely venues and restaurants that I have been to are owned by foreigners.  I am pleasee that foreigners want to invest in Africa as it’s brings growth.   However my prayer is that my people (Africa as a whole) will be united and achieve greater heights. 
We started the day very late and made our way to Lakka Beach.  I have never been to the beach so late. We arrived at approximately 9pm.

 I am glad that I didn’the let my fears and worries get the better of me because I was able to experience the wonderful breeze. I listened to the waves and enjoyed the feel of the cool sand on my feet. 

We ended up at the palm Lakka beach. The owners Peter and Abby were so welcoming. I had my first grilled fish here. It was tasty and well worth the wait.

 My only wish is to return here during the day. My eyes can’t wait to take in all the beauty.

This maxi dress was purchased from Asos Tall.  I Love the fit and grecian style. The long side split adds a little character to it.  Tall girls want there maxi dresses long but this dress was incredibly long. I had to hold it up most of the night. 

Thanks for reading to the end. Be sure to follow me on Instagram for regular updates @ijayheavens I post there regularly. 

See you soon. 

X❤

Travel diaries -Discovering Africa Sierra Leone lookbook -day 3 pt2

There is no doubt on my mind that Sierra Leoneans love to live and enjoy life.  This country has so much history.  From the war that took place approx 17 years ago to the Ebola crisis. I was shock to hear a local say that the Ebola crisis was more devastating than the war. 

My heart bleeds for the people here. I don’t know where they get their resilience from after so many set backs.

My host was keen to show me how they dance their stress and worries away. 

So we hit the night Club 232! 

Apparently, this venue has only been opened a few month. It’s located along the beach front at Lumley.  

We managed to pull some strings, jumped some queues and landed in the VIP area. 

The DJ played a great selection of music.  I heard lots of Nigerian music so I felt right at home  😊.

We danced till our feet couldn’t anymore. I loved this experience, however if there is one thing I could change…. it would be for there to be no smoking in the club 😥. 

I am wearing the following 

Velvet dress- River Island 

Black Shoes – Primark 

Handbag – Tory Birch 

Thanks for reading to the end. Be sure to follow me on Instagram for regular updates @ijayheavens I post there regularly. 

See you soon. 

X❤

Travel diaries -Discovering Africa Sierra Leone lookbook -day 3 pt 1

Hey guys… things have been pretty non stop.  My host has been so fabulous and her friends and family have gone the extra mile to ensure that am having a great time.  

I was so tired from the concert.  Am begining to understand that Sierra Leoneans like to party till the early hours of the morning. 

After a very lazy morning we headed out to a place called Family Kingdom for a kiddies party. Not sure how to describe this place.  It is almost like a hybrid resort with guest houses, pool,  function areas and kids play areas. 

I really should never have worn this dress. The neck line is wayyy too high for the heat. But you live and you learn, plus I liked the low back.

Dress- Marks and Spencer 

Mules – Primark 

Handbag – Zara

Thanks for reading to the end. Be sure to follow me on Instagram for regular updates @ijayheavens I post there regularly. 

See you soon. 

X❤

Travel diaries -Discovering Africa Sierra Leone lookbook -day 2 pt 2

I still can’t get over how nice people here have been.  In some countries I have found the people to be very hostile.  That is far from the truth here.

I was offered a ticket to the Alonzo concert, a Sierra Leone artist. Who am I refuse such an offer.  I have never heard of Alonzo and don’t listen to much Salone music, but while here I really wanted to support the ‘made in Sierra Leone’ campaign. 

The concert took place at the Bintumani Hotel. This is currently the best hotel I have seen in Freetown. From talking to the locals it was built by the government’s but following the war it’s been redeveloped and it is currently being managed my foreigners.

The little that I got to see of the hotel looked impressive. Marble finish, swimming pool and great outdoor space.

OK back to the reason why I was at this venue.

When it comes to afrobeats, there is no doubt in my mind that Nigerian and Ghanaian music has dominated the scene. However, I love to see other countries partake in this genre of music. 

I had absolutely no expecting for the night and I thing that’s what allowed me to enjoy the evening all the more.  I gave great for the artists here, particularly Alonzo who owed the stage and did his thing. 

I was most impressed by the fact that he was performing with a live band.  

Before I sign out for the day. Of course am going to share my outfit.  This dress was an unexpected find. It fitted like a glove and I loved every minute wearing it. 

My feet wear a little swollen from the heat and travels, but it did not stop me from wearing these gorgeous shoes.
Thanks for reading to the end. Be sure to follow me on Instagram for regular updates @ijayheavens I post there regularly. 

See you soon. 

X❤

Dress- Newlook 

Shoes-Steve Madden 

Handbag- River Island