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Message From Afro Arts Productions

“In all my years in the U.K., yesterday’s (28/9/19) event is the best I have attended” - Her Excellency Mrs Agnes Dugba-Macauley, Acting Sierra Leonean High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.

The Honours for Outstanding Contributions 2019 was by some distance our most successful event as a production. For good measure, we must also point out that it was our most well-attended show ever. Which gratifies us beyond words. It means the community approves our work, and appreciates and shares our belief that Sierra Leone and Sierra Leoneans deserve, and can do better.

Our insistence, always, is that Afro Arts Productions is not a club but a collection of individuals from the community, working on the community’s behalf. Therefore, no successes are ours alone. We are indebted to a whole lot of people, without whom our efforts are impossible. In fact, it is quite possible, no group of people receive the degree of support and generosity leaders in the community give to Afro Arts Productions.

We are most grateful to the Acting Sierra Leonean High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, H. E. Mrs Agnes Dugba-Macauley and her team. We are thankful to Sierra Leone’s representative to the United Nations in Geneva and High Commissioner to Switzerland, Dr Lans Gberie for his time and generosity. We are grateful to the businessman, Mr Reginald Reggie Cole for his unflinching support. We are humbled by Dr Fouad Sheriff of Cotton Tree Pharmacy, and Mr Mustapha Barby Sesay, both of whom flew all the way from America to grace our occasion as award-recipients.

We want to extend our sincerest appreciation to Miss Alice Caulker, Mr Akmed Akie Conteh, Mr Jaffa Sahid Kamara, Mr Abu Mansaray, Mr Ibrahim Tejan Jalloh of IBB’s Restaurant, and the Management and staff at Cool & Cozy Restaurant for their support. All of these people are unsung lynchpins of the community - dynamos.

A debt of gratitude is owed our colleague, Lans Omar of Winnipeg, Canada. Thank you for your loyalty and sacrifices in making Afro Arts Productions international. Mohamed Bolo Afigu Bah from Philadelphia, USA. Thank you for taking the time to support the fraternity. To our big sister, Mrs Fatmata Bogebjerg from Denmark, thank you for coming and for all that you have done for us over the years.

We are immensely grateful to all our performers: Anita, you are amazing; Soraya Sesay, you are Afro Arts Productions!; Kamby Kamara, you made the night yours. We wish you the best of luck for your career.

To the energetic Innocent. You blew us away. Thank you for adding that extra oomph to the event.

To the legend, Steady Bongo. You were a perfect fit for the event. We are immensely glad that you were able to introduce yourself to a new generation of music lovers. Thank you for your attendance.

Miss Betty Kamara of Kroo Town Road Market store, thank you for always being there for us. Mrs Mariatu Kargbo, you have been amazing over the years. Thank you ever so much.

To the honourees. You are perhaps the most important component of the event. Your achievements on behalf of our great country necessitated the gathering in the first place. Thank you, for all that you do.

To the hundreds who attended, showcasing Sierra Leonean diversity of style, purpose and panache. To say we are proud of you is inadequate. You lend not just moral and financial support, but put paid to the lazy view promoted by some, that our community is disunited. Thank you for coming. The event is yours, and we are just executors of your expectations.

We want to thank our Trustees, Mrs Sukaina Sesay, Mr Alan Smith, Mr Sorious Samura and Mr Mohamed Haji Kella for their guidance and support in making Afro Arts Productions what it is today, four years after its introduction: a community interest. To a vital muscle in the community, Miss Petrina Kamara. Thank you for all that you are to us.

It is never lost on us that every year, varying obstacles, seen and unforeseen, prevent a chunk of our supporters from coming to the event. We do understand, and wish you better luck of circumstances next time. Please know that while we prefer your presence at the event, we are heartened by knowledge that you always wished us well. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Finally, Afro Arts Productions is five years old next year. Our promise to you remains our commitment to better our shortcomings to achieve your expectations in 21st century organising. So the Honours for Outstanding Contributions 2020 is on Saturday 26th September at tthe Royal Regency Hall, London E12 6TH. We hope to see you come to occupy your roles as audience, objective critics, award recipients and revellers, all, in aid of the Ola During Children’s Hospital in Freetown. And as is tradition, our menu will be mainstreaming another of Sierra Leone’s iconic dishes, unapologetically!
From the chairwoman and everyone at Afro Arts Productions, thank you for your support this year.