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SIERRA LEONEANS ROCKED THE STAGE AT FOLKLORAMA 2016

By Abu Bakarr Biggie Kamara

Young boys and girls from Winnipeg's Sierra Leone Community proudly represented Sierra Leone at the Africa Pavilion for this year’s Folklorama, held at the Holy Cross Gym in Winnipeg from Sunday, August 7, and ended on Saturday, August 13, 2016. These young performers, known as SALNAM Dancers, impressed and cheered the crowd, and made their parents, fellow Sierra Leoneans and supporters proud with the outstanding performances they put on throughout the week.

Indeed, their determination for successful participation in the festival, and their commitment to practice almost everyday for about two months, paid off, as shown by their display of dazzling and breathtaking performances throughout the week of Folklorama.

These dynamic and outstanding young people, Sia and Leticia Yamba, Fatimah and Halimah Koroma, Halima Casimo, Abi Kamara, Bettina Shyllon, Saffi Sheriff, Trisha Kanu, Hawa Bangura, Fatima Kamara, Umu Senesie, Hassan Kamara and Gbassay Koroma, are worth commending for their dedication and commitment to represent their community as reliable volunteers. What a way for one to perform their civic duties or to show good citizenship. The girls performed Sweet Africa, Da Bondo, I am a Woman, African Culture, Hold me Tight, and King Masco’s Sweet Salone, all beautiful tunes from Sierra Leone.

Also performing for a good part of the week, was Sierra Leonean born solo artiste, Idrissa Alaska Turay who also cheered the crowd with a live performance of his hit song ‘Africa’.

The Sierra Leone Nationals Association of Manitoba (SALNAM) wishes to thank all community members who supported this year's Folklorama in one way or another.
SALNAM would especially like to thank the performers, and all those who provided outstanding and generous support with food, drinks and rides for the dancers. SALNAM would like to thank the Sierra Ambassadors of Manitoba (The Golden Conclave), Mrs. Zainab Koroma, Nancy Sam Hunter, Fatu Mansaray, Halimatu Kamara, Yeanoh Kamara, Mariatu Kamara, Abdul Kanu, Kambi Mansaray, Martha Moses, Juliet Mondeh, Banjugu Marah, and all those who helped to make SALNAM’s participation at Folklorama 2016 a very successful one.



For your information, Folklorama is a two week multicultural extravaganza held every year in Winnipeg. It runs every August, and visitors to the festival are invited to sample cuisine and celebrate the cultural and ethnic heritage of people from dozens of countries who have made Winnipeg their home. 

Folklorama began in 1970 as a celebration of Manitoba’s centennial, and today it is the world's largest and longest-running multicultural festival. Each country, region or culture has an assigned venue, known as a pavilion. Typically there are over 40 pavilions presented throughout the city, with half operating in week one and half in week two of the festival. Each pavilion or country presents a show featuring the song and dance of their culture, along with trademark ethnic cuisine and a cultural display. Most pavilions also provide imported alcohol from their feature country/culture.

Folklorama provides exposure to cultural groups and brings in thousands of tourists each year, adding to the city's economy. It is the largest and longest-running festival of its kind in the world (determined by the International Council of Organizations for Folklore Festivals and Folk Art, also known as CIOFF). The Folk Arts Council of Winnipeg is the organizing body of Folklorama.