A walk through the streets of Freetown on any given day and you are bound to run into a cute old man. The COM is a popular genre in this vibrant capital and god knows you can find plenty of them on this blog – check it here, here and here, just as a few examples. Yep I do have a thing for seniors of the male variety, especially when they are as finely turned out as local councillor Saidu Kamara.
Saidu is one of the sweetest COMs I know, his sartorial preferences swing between suits and jalabas, but one thing he won’t leave home without are his trademark shades. “I just want to look decent and respectable, the glasses are good though. Many people have paid me a compliment for them but this is the first time anyone has taken my photo.”
Bumping into the Rev.Emmanuel Benson Palmer is always a treat, because you can be guaranteed he will knock you out with his special flavour of churchy swag. On his way to a funeral (RIP good friend Sorie) our Fashpack regular opted for a jazzed up version of his standard church robe.
‘Today is important because we will be saying good bye to my good friend Sorie*, so I wear stripes’ says the Rev. The punk rock chain is an added extra worn typically by the Rev. while on the job.
*Sorie was buried with a ‘safe and dignified medical burial’, it’s the way all burials have taken place in Sierra Leone since the Ebola outbreak. It means that the burial team must wear full PPE and loved one’s must remain a safe distance from the body. It’s not easy for a culture that farewells their loved one’s by touching and kissing bodies. Sadly this has been one of the main causes of transmission. The tentative good news is that Sierra Leone has now gone 8 days with no Ebola cases. It’s too early to pop the Palm Wine but we all remain tentatively optimistic that this heathen little virus has finally taken the hint and is out the door.