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Emannuel Bangura: The 20-Year-Old Sierra Leonean Entrepreneur Giving The Traditional Salone Black Soap A New Face

Emannuel Bangura: The 20-Year-Old Sierra Leonean Entrepreneur Giving The Traditional Salone Black Soap A New Face

Emmanuel Bangura is a Sierra Leonean entrepreneur and innovator of the Melanated Pure Scented Salone Black Soap. Born in 2000, in Kamakwe, a town in the North West Province of Sierra Leone. He started his educational journey in 2003 at the Ebenezer Preparatory School, Brookfields. Emmanuel later got enrolled at the Hope Preparatory School, Waterloo, where he did his primary five and six. He sat to the National Primary School Examination in 2012. In the 2012/2013 academic year, he got admission to the Sierra Leone Grammar School, where he started his junior secondary school and later senior secondary school. In 2019, Emmanuel Bangura sat to the West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination, which he got a requirement to the university in his first sitting. In the 2019/2020 academic year, he got enrolled at Njala University, Njala Campus. He is a second-year student currently studying a degree program in Agricultural Extension and Rural Sociology.

Emmanuel is taking us back to our roots by improvising the traditional Sierra Leone black soap to a modern soap with natural and organic ingredients. He named the black soap ‘Melanated Pure Scented Salone Black Soap.’ The soap can treat the following: Pimples, stretch marks, it reduces dark spots and hyperpigmentation, it prevents razor bumps, it treats skin dryness, and finally, it treats scalp (dandruff)

picture: Salone Messenger and Emmanuel Bangura

Black soap is an African traditional soap that is known to have originated from West Africa, specifically the Yoruba people of Nigeria, the Temne and Mende people of Sierra Leone, and Togo and Benin. Although there are no records of when African black soap was invented, we do know the African black soap was in used by Africans before the Atlantic slave-trade and colonization of West Africa. The black soap became popular when female Yoruba traders and tribes from Sierra Leone and Ghana engaged in regional trade.

In an interview I had with him, Emmanuel told me “The inspiration behind the Melanated Pure Scented Salone Black Soap is that Africans have a lot of natural resources, and organic herbs that are beneficial to our skin and well-being, but the main problem is we’re failing to utilize what we have. As a kid growing up, I always thought of using our local herbs and resources, utilize them into finished products, and give them value to be used by us (Africans) and the world at large. Most of the imported soaps that we are using in Sierra Leone lack organic materials, thus affecting our melanin. So I decided to improve on our traditional black soap and give it more value to encourage Sierra Leoneans to use locally made soap. I gave it the name ‘Melanated’ because the African skin is made up of melanin, thus protecting us from UV rays and protecting us from skin cancer – so I gave it the name so people will appreciate the melanin.” The Melanated Pure Scented Salone Black Soap is purposely for cleaning and nourishing your skin, face, and hair. The Melanated Pure Scented Salone Black Soap is made with palm kernel oil (Elaeis guineensis), lye, and charcoal, sucrose, salt, and pineapple fragrance. Most Sierra Leoneans prefer imported soaps like the Irish Spring, Juliet, Fan, Dove, etc…I asked Emmanuel what the reason is and what is special about his Melanated Pure Scented Salone Black Soap, and he said,  “The reason why most Sierra Leoneans are opting for imported soaps is that our black soap has this odd smell that is displeasing to some people, even though our black soap is more organic and natural than the Irish Spring, Juliet, Fan, Dove, and other imported/Westernized soaps. So I decided to do a little bit of creativity with my Melanated Pure Scented Salone Black Soap by adding pineapple fragrance to it, thus giving it a refreshing smell.”

Testing the Melanated pure scented Salone Black Soap with Sponge

There is a wide range of locally made products in Sierra Leone, but these products are not accepted by Sierra Leoneans generally, thus discouraging the efforts of the entrepreneurs and innovators. I asked Emmanuel what’s his message to Sierra Leoneans and this is what he had to say: “Let’s support what we have and make it our own. If we don’t support our locally made products, our locally made products will not make it big in the international market.”

If you want to buy the Melanated Pure Scented Salone Black Soap in retail and wholesale, contact these numbers: Call +23278362384 OR WhatsApp +23279518433

What do you think?

Written by Abu Bakarr Jalloh

Abu Bakarr Jalloh is a writer, editor, and storyteller. He was born in Bo, Southern Sierra Leone. Started his primary school at the Bo District Educational Council Primary School, Abu Bakarr Jalloh was the top pupil from primary one to three. In 2005, his family relocated to the capital Freetown where he furthered his primary education at the Holy Trinity Primary School, Kissy Road. Abu Bakarr Jalloh became a force to reckon with throughout his primary 4-6 at the Holy Trinity Primary School. In 2008/2009, he enrolled at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Junior Secondary School where he started his JSS 1-3 and he went on to top the list of the best student in the 2011 Basic Education Certificate Examination and also 7th best student in the whole of Port Loko District.

In 2011/2012 he attended the Government Municipal Senior Secondary School where he attained his West Africa Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination in 2015. Abu Bakarr Jalloh is now a student of the Njala University, Njala Campus pursuing a degree in Bsc Agricultural Economics.

He is a very brilliant writer, editor, and storyteller that is passionate about telling Sierra Leonean stories undiluted using a mobile phone. He is also keen on highlighting national issues affecting Sierra Leoneans.

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