No prizes for guessing why Abdul caught my eye. For a minute I felt like I was inCronulla Sydney, heartland of Australian flag fashions. Freetown is approximately 18,000km away from Australia (and Cronulla) so it’s not often you spot an over-sized pair of board shorts fashioned from that Union Jack/Southern Cross combo.
I asked Abdul if he knew what country the flag represented and naturally he answered Britain. Correct answer Abdul. After I explained some history and rehashed the details of John Pilger’s Utopia he commented, “Oh I know that country very well, my son is there, I haven’t seen him for more than eight years, he went there just after the war “. A familiar story in Sierra Leone. “I want to visit him but it’s very hard to get into that country. That guy? what is that guy’s name? the President? I heard about him the other day on the radio, he is not a fine man. He is making these people suffer, these people that go to Australia in those boats”. Word is spreading.
Yep, it’s that time of year again, the holy month observed by millions around the world – Ramadan. For those partaking, the next few weeks are in many ways a fun free zone (daily fasting, early morning prayers, steering clear of your boyfriend/girlfriend, staying off the sauce and fags), but that doesn’t mean the fashions have to suffer as well.
While half of Freetown is fasting, the city is certainly not starved of style. Check out government worker Alimamie who will be exercising constraint, discipline and general holiness this month but is also determined to keep his wardrobe up beat. The key to his great outfits are his red hat and matching beads.
“I’m from the Loko tribe, these beads are part of my culture. The hat I wear to the mosque. We are peaceful people and we are known for our style, “says Alimamie.
A different two-piece but same beads and hat, these accessories are a go-anywhere choice.”Loko men are also very nice to women, women like Loko men,” he adds. Call me after Ramadan Alimamie.