The people behind Fashpack: Freetown (Ep 2)

Episode 2 of Fashpack: Freetown introduces the world to upstanding members of the Freetown community – Great Hero and The Councillor. If you’ve watched the show you may already be in love with these ‘Great Pretenders’, if not press play on your IView now and be blown away by the striking originality of these two darlings.

Real life buddies – The Councillor and Great Hero

While in many ways similar, they each have their own distinct fashion preferences, The Councillor loves a brass button and uniform while Great Hero has an eclectic wardrobe that represents all corners of the globe. What they have in common is widespread adoration from the people of Freetown, they represent the underdog, the everyman, they unite people and give their community hope.

I crossed paths with Great Hero for the first time several years back in downtown Freetown. Dressed in full military garb with flavours of Buffalo Bill (the Cuban heeled boot!), this sartorial dream boat soon became a Fashpack star who was featured regularly on the blog.

The day I introduced him to our film crew we paraded around the streets of PZ market together like Kanye and Kimmy, we were both feeling all kinds of famewhore special. The crowd just couldn’t get enough of ‘EEEERO’ and he couldn’t get enough of the attention. On top of that the camera sent him into high octave performance mode.

IMG_4307Camera man Tony captures yet another moment where Great Hero stands on a chair

In our next meeting we headed back to PZ market for one of Hero’s Friday morning street sermons. Check out this ‘pure theatrical Viagra’
One of Hero’s minions in the middle reading from the Koran, Hero adds his interpretation and another pal recites Hero’s words into a crackly loud hailer. The fans were lapping it up.

We wanted to know more about this ‘administrative colossus*’ and wondered what the private life of this public figure looked like? So we headed back to his digs in Horton St. Expecting to walk into a lavish Robert Mugabe style compound, we soon discovered that Hero’s really not all that different to you and me.

*What the hell is that?

Hero is taking calls. Be sure to add +232 and get rid of the zero when calling from outside of Sierra Leone. 

Hero lives in a humble home with his family, a goat and a vicious caged dog. When he’s not preaching or brokering peace deals he’s driving his delivery van and annoying his wife.

Just your average guy, World Best, that’s our Hero.

But what sets Hero apart from the average man on the street is his unwavering confidence, breathtaking self belief and a wardrobe to match. He wakes up every morning and dresses himself in threads that allow him to live life in a way that is 100% authentic.

Immerse yourself in the magic of Great Hero in Episode 2!

Fashpack: Freetown is a six part short form documentary series that delves into the colourful world of Freetown’s most stylish people. For those in Australia you can watch it on ABC Iview, for everyone else, I’m afraid you just have to be patient. It will be coming your way in about six months.

The people behind Fashpack: Freetown (Ep 1)

The best thing about filming Fashpack was the opportunity to hang with the some of Freetown’s brightest and most entertaining locals and in the upcoming blog posts I’m going to delve deeper into the super stars behind each episode.

Shooting Ep 1 – welcome to the Junks at Kroo Bay

So where did these charismatic characters come from? In Freetown it’s stupidly easy to meet people. If you leave the house and don’t come back with at least 10 new friends, I really have to question your social skills. My phone was jammed with hundreds of names (most of them either Ibrahim or Mohammed), I pretty much had pals on every corner, and half of them had that trademark freestylin flair for fashion that we love. So when it came to weeding out our talent the biggest challenge was deciding who we had to leave out. The majority of stars I’d met previously through the blog, some were old friends and a few we gathered during the shoot. As you see in the show, these people are made for TV, they shine in front of the camera and were all willing to share their story.

In Ep 1 – Welcome to the Junks,  I meet up with two of Freetown’s most discerning shoppers, I.B Love and Mariama who show me around Freetown’s endless second hand clothes market and invite me into their homes to talk style.

I.B Love

I.B Love first came into my life way back in my early days in Freetown, he was part of a running team I supported – the Freetown Fashpack Runners, and was a regular visitor to my home on Sundays. It wasn’t long before I realised his talents extended beyond the 100m dash, he soon charmed our production crew and it became clear that Fashpack: Freetown could not be a fully realised masterpiece without showcasing I.B Love.

I.B is a peacock. He loves to parade his latest look around his hood, he has an eye for style and the confidence to match. He works as a graphic designer downtown but is also focussed on his running career and developing his profile as a ‘fashion man’. His home is what you see in the show, a crowded cupboard with a mattress on the floor that holds a small collection of clothes and some precious keep sakes.

IMG_7016   I can’t get enough of I.B’s trademark inverted comma salute.

IMG_7075 Our director Benn was also hooked

In the show I.B proclaims, “My dreams are so big, they could fill a whole house”. My own selfish dreams for I.B (I.B it’s all about me not you) involve landing him a contract with an ‘easy wear’ label like Tommy Hilfiger or Yeezy or even just Lowes menswear as their international brand ambassador. Not too much to ask right? If anyone out there can make that happen please DM me.


Single mum, bar woman, head of her household and all-round baller, Mariama is one of the first people I photographed on the blog. I noticed her at my local watering hole – the Plum Store, strutting about the bar in a killer outfit, cutting side-eyes at whoever was watching and taking no sh*t from the standard crowd of inebriated middle aged men. She is my kind of girl.

IMG_6926Check it! Matchy-matchy gets the Mariama treatment

But the truly magical thing about Mariama is that she is rarely seen in the same outfit twice. She customises, reinvents and changes things up with different accessories and a revolving door of weaves she gets done every second Saturday.

Mariama accessorises her ass off

At home with her family, Mariama is the boss of her house. And OHHHHH that weave!

Her look is eclectic and original. The jumpsuit with an embedded find-a-word puzzle and matching shoes, sunglasses and bag genuinely left me speechless, as did that reverse mullet dress. This girl has style, she has imagination and she has attitude.

Watch Episode 1 here.

Fashpack: Freetown is a six part short form series that delves into the colourful world of Freetown’s most stylish people. For those in Australia you can watch it on ABC Iview, for everyone else, I’m afraid you just have to be patient. It will be coming your way in about six months.