11 August 2017

Sierra Leone: 'Sierra Leoneans Must Embrace Local Product'

A young fashion Designer, and Journalism student at Fourah Bay College, Millicent senava Mannah, has urged Sierra Leoneans to embrace local products so that people like her will see reason in venturing out into fashion business.

Millicent Mannah said in countries like Nigeria and Ghana, people respect and buy their fashion products and wear them in all their formal gathering and occasions.

Speaking to concord Times in an exclusive interview, Mannah disclosed that she started her fashion career in 2014.

"In 2015, I gave full attention to fashion business after designing for someone in the United Kingdom. They appreciated my products so much," Miss Mannah said.

She narrated that her love and passion for fashion was a gift from God and that it has helped her generate some income, especially in the area of covering transportation cost to attend classes on campus, money to photocopy materials among several other benefits.

"I'm actually taking care of myself through this business .I have lessened the burden on my parents," she stated.

She added that she does her fashion job during her free time as her studies sometimes challenged her in doing more.

"I'm working on contract basis as I don't have space or apartment. Through contacts on Facebook and friends, people who see my products usually meet me and ask me to craft some for them. They appreciate me a lot," she said.

"I do design necklace, ear rings, bangles, belts, shoes, bags, purses, sandals, boe-tie which caters for all ages and all sexes."

She expressed facing lots of challenges when it comes to fashion design in Sierra Leone as young designers could not access the needed capital to expand their businesses.

"Fashion design will be nice for the country as it will increase the middleman power and economy of the country," she said.

She added that even her parents initially did not appreciate her fashion business "but they were later convinced after seeing me making some money from the practice.

She cited that most Ghanaians and Nigerians have become rich through fashion design, adding that they have schools where fashion designers are trained and given the requisite skills to change society.

She said she believes that not only law, Mass Communication, and medicine are professions, but fashion itself can also be a profession as it pays a lot.

She appealed to the government and partners to invest in fashion design, so that young designers like her could grow and employ more people, which she observed will help in reducing unemployment in the country.

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