From Being Homeless In Singapore to Founder of The First Sierra Leonean Clothing Brand In Malaysia “ Neeks Fashion “ The Story Of Ishmael Brima Koroma

Sallu Kamuskay Sallu
Sallu Kamuskay Sallu
7 Min Read
From Being Homeless In Singapore to Founder of The First Sierra Leonean Clothing Brand In Malaysia “ Neeks Fashion “ The Story Of Ishmael Brima Koroma

Born in Freetown, Ishmael Brima Koroma is a Sierra Leonean entrepreneur, philanthropist, CEO, and FOUNDER of Neeks fashion, an emerging fashion brand. Ishmael Brima Koroma grew up in Sierra Leone, He did his primary education at the Kankaylay Islamic Primary school, Kissy mess mess and later moved to the Sierra Leone Muslim Congress boys senior secondary school Kissy mess mess where he did his Secondary and senior secondary school education.

Ishmael pictured on the right hand side with his friends during school days

Born and raised to an extended family, Ishmael’s father married 4 wives and his mother was the third wife. Ishmael’s mother gave birth to 6 male children including him. All five of them past away, Ishmael was the only child left, In Ishmael’s village, during an interview with Salone Messenger, Ishamael disclosed why he was the only survivor, “According to traditional believes, male children will be the successful children in my family, so that was the reason why the village people “ witch craft “ can’t allow male child to exist in my family”

At the age of 3 years, Ishamael’s step brother took him from the village to the capital city where he was raised, since then he never set eyes on his two parents. Ishmael had lot of difficulties living with his elder brother due to one of the three wives of his brother who was very aggressive to him.

“I remember at one time I was denied food for failing to wake up early to fetch water in the morning before going to school to take my West Africa Examination Council examination so I have to eat tooth paste to change saliva. After encountering those challenges, I decided to leave my elder brother’s house to search for a better life in the western part of the country.

Due to his obedient and submission, Ishmael had the opportunity to meet with a lady who changed his life,  Withsunnette Ayor decided to helped him with a job as freelance to make a living where he worked for two years and decided to  travel out of Sierra Leone to search for  better opportunities.

Ishmael left for Singapore in few days. Ishmael ran out of money and became homeless for 27 days struggling and surviving by the left-over of customers that come to buy food at the restaurants. Ishamael never lose hope, walking along little India in Singapore. Ishamael came across two Cameroonians football players who helped him buy a ticket to Malaysia where he could further his studies, Not knowing anyone in Malaysia, Ishmael became homeless for few days. At bukit bintag called “ reggae bar “ Ishmael met some Africans where he was fortunate to meet with one of his Sierra Leonean brother who took him to his house for few months and he later started working in an African mini mart

Despite of all these challenges he gone through growing up, fashion has always been his passion. It comes to him naturally. As a kid, growing up, Ishmael used to spice up clothing with his own design using scissors and needles to redesign. Today He intend to use fashion and his brand to create opportunities for people who are creative in the field of fashion and to spice up the existing fashion designs. Ishmael’s goal is to redefine the world of fashion with unique and authentic designs.

In 2011, Ishmael took up a job as a Clearing and Forwarding Officer at a logistics company. After a while, He was not sure if that was what he wanted to do with his life. Besides, He was not sure how quickly that path will take him to the top. Ishmael then considered that setting up his own business would enable him achieve greater success much faster than working for someone else. He then ventured out to start his own business and brand.

During an interview with blogprocess, Ishmael for the first time disclosed the secret behind his brand name

“This is a huge trade secret, and I am humbled to share it publicly for the first time. The name NEEKS is an abbreviation of my kid’s names Nathaniel, Emily, Emela, Koroma, and Shagbay “Neeks”. My kids are bold, loving, and cheerful people. These unique and amiable attributes are what I try to depict in my fashion statements. It is my belief that through this initiative, other young people will find their identity and fulfill their dreams and aspirations.” He noted

As way of giving back to his country, Ishmael give his contribution through donations, among his many donations. As a former pupil of the Sierra Leone Muslim Congress secondary school, he donated football kids to the pupils of the school.


Ishmael has also involved in cleaning exercise in the country at the Lumley police station by supporting the police officers in cleaning the Lumley community, He is embarking on such activities to raise awareness to Sierra Leoneans living abroad to do the same when they visit home


“Never quit! Believe in your dreams and pursue it with focus and discipline. Success requires perseverance and hard work. With dedication, every dream can be a reality. So, dreamlike “crazy”; work like a “bull” to make it come to pass. Aspire to leave a footprint.” Ishamael advice young people.


Follow the brand on social media


Personal Instagram: Ishmael Brima Koroma

Business Instagram: Neek Fashion

Twitter: Neeks Fashion


Website: Neek Fashion


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