The NOUGHTIES AND ME

I left Sierra Leone for Europe in 2000, and here I am 20 years later. It’s been a life changing even life-saving experience. After a brief but very important stay in Germany I came to London. I was made in Sierra Leone but found my true self in England, particularly in London. I fled the war I grew to love the city that gave me refuge, safety and opportunities. I’m thankful. My first five years were intense. I had clearly defined goals and was determined to achieve them and I did. I had to overcome many challenges. First in Germany, where I had language barriers and then England which was a culture shock Firstly, there was the weather. Although I’ve   acclimatized and learnt to live with a cold I am an African child and  sunshine makes me happy. Europeans reverence for alcohol still intrigues me.

My life in London has been one of step changes, new beginnings and bouncing back again. I became a citizen, got my first home and started a career that I enjoyed. It didn’t happen overnight I had some bumpy start some health challenges from day one and I still do.

I was a babysitter, changing room assistant, private tutor and worked in call centres whilst studying for the professional I really wanted. Each move was a step change upward. I was continuously learning, meeting new challenges and adapting along the way. After all, I am a strong African woman who knows where she comes from and where she wants to go. The steps didn’t always move upwards I also had to take some downward steps.

In 20 years in London, I became a chartered accountant, Life coach and project manager. I also got married and divorced. After a while I left accountancy to follow my passion and become an entrepreneur and activist. I started an independent publishing company. In 2015, I took a steep downward step when I had a stroke that completely changed my life.

 In Sierra Leone I was born into a home, but in London I made one. A kingdom, sanctuary, and space for me.

Each step, which ever direction brought new challenges, insights enlightenment. As a result, I’ve been constantly evolving.

During this time, I’ve met some wonderful people and made lifelong friends who have enriched my life and helped me grow. I also lost people and walked away from toxic situations and had to let some people go. Thankfully I’m too unimportant to have enemies but I am aware that’s not everybody understand my values, principles and me are not approve of my choices but that’s okay.

I’ve made mistakes and some very bad choices but I’ve learnt from them and I continue to seek enlightenment.

One thing that has remained constant as I always be true to myself and try to do the right thing. That’s not always easy straightforward but I do my best.

The last two decades have been a rollercoaster. I’ve had some wonderful adventures as well as some horrible experiences. There’s been laughter and sadness but I remain thankful, grateful and faithful.

©Khadijatu Mansaray

Author: Khadijatu Mansaray

Entrepreneur, Publisher, Activist.Born and raised in Sierra Leone.Formerly an accountant is passionate about Africa, Literature and social justice.

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