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Reading: Digital Creator and Strategist Yasmine Bilkis Ibrahim’s achievements in 2023
Reading: Digital Creator and Strategist Yasmine Bilkis Ibrahim’s achievements in 2023

Digital Creator and Strategist Yasmine Bilkis Ibrahim’s achievements in 2023

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Sallu Kamuskay
By Sallu Kamuskay 4 Min Read
4 Min Read

Yasmine Bilkis Ibrahim, a digital creator and strategist, had a breakthrough year in 2023. She launched her two-year idea, #MinaMeetups, which aims to build communities via responsible digital storytelling to contribute to sustainable and transformative gender change. She also challenged herself as a media professional by being a Chevening FCDO Africa Media Freedom Fellow. In addition, she picked up the camera again to do social impact photography.

In tweet she said “2023 was my breakthrough year for #creativity and #innovation. To launching my two year idea: #MinaMeetups, challenging myself as a media professional by being a @CheveningFCDO Africa Media Freedom Fellow and picking up the camera again to do #socialimpact photography.”

Mina Bilkis (full name: Yasmine Bilkis Ibrahim) coaches, trains and helps individuals, institutions and brands in Communications + Content Creation, Business Strategy and Personal Development. 

Mina is the Founder + Director of an adolescent safe space for girls called Girl Up Vine Club Sierra Leone and is also the Founder of the social enterprise Ori from Sierra Leone. From February 2019 – March 2021 Mina co-produced and co-hosted the podcast Y Square POD.

Mina has been recognized for her work by the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust (QCT) in 2019 and is a QCT Scholar and presented at One Young World in London, United Kingdom, a Tedx Speaker (2018) and is an African Women Entrepreneurship Cooperative (AWEC) Alumna (2020).

Born and raised in Normal, Illinois, USA, Mina graduated from Fourah Bay College (FBC) – University of Sierra Leone (USL) and holds a Division I bachelor’s degree in French with a certificate in Global Health from College of Medical Allied and Health Sciences (COMAHS) – University of Sierra Leone (USL).

 

 Mina is a professional troublemaker as she is always shaking tables when necessary (and sometimes when not), she is unapologetically feminist and the self-appointed ambassador of the Salone Jollof Lives Matter Movement.

When Mina returned to Sierra Leone in 2014 right before the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak, she tutored and taught at various schools in Freetown. It wasn’t until 2016, Mina decided to embrace entrepreneurship and pursue it full-time. From 2016-2019 Mina taught and trained Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) and International NGO (INGO) staff in French and Krio (our lingua franca) and translated documents from English-French/French-English and Krio-English/English-Krio. 

Digital Storytelling + Content Creation Takeover

However, Mina’s passion for digital storytelling and content creation consumed her and she decided to pursue podcasting and communication projects in 2019. 

In 2018, Mina met fellow digital creator Yasmin Metz-Johnson and Y Square POD was formed in January 2019. Y Square POD is a podcast and content creation collective by two young women who returned to Sierra Leone from the diaspora and share their experiences of living and working in Sierra Leone from a millennial lens. The podcast has produced 40 episodes and was featured in two international documentaries;  Why Are So Many British Millennials Starting A New Life In Africa? by Jannine Battis and in Michaela Guzy’s of Oh The People You Meet’s documentary on world renowned primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall.  

With Mina’s love for talking, she had the privilege of being a Tedx Speaker in 2018 at the TedxYouth@Kingtom in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Mina has also been invited to speak at international conferences in Kenya, Ireland and Nigeria in the areas of digital inclusion, feminism and global health. 

Read more about her here

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Sallu Kamuskay is a Sierra Leonean communication strategist, fixer, blogger, youth organiser, event manager, spokesperson, and public relations expert. His work has been regularly referenced and published by national and international media and public policy institutions. Sallu Kamuskay was a child during the brutal war in Sierra Leone. Growing up in the midst of conflict, Sallu witnessed unimaginable abuse of children and gross violations of human rights. The horrors he witnessed during the Civil War had a terrible impact on him at a very tender age. But despite the shock of the war, Sallu never lost hope. He started on a journey of recovery, studying, and working for a better future. At age 15, Sallu entered into the world of activism and advocacy. Sallu Kamuskay was the Vice President of the Young Leaders Organisation, a member of the National Youth Council. The Young Leaders is one of the oldest youth-led organisations in West Africa. The organisation was formed by a group of young leaders, and launched by the then Head of State/President of Sierra Leone. Sallu was part of the group of young leaders who participated in and contributed to the establishment of the National Youth Council. The Commonwealth supported the training for trainers programme with line ministries and youth stakeholders in which key, representatives of youth council, student union and civil society/private sector youth platforms were engaged and empowered in the effective engagement and inclusion of youth. Sallu is co-founder and Executive Director of the Salone Messenger, a global multimedia and public relations firm based In Sierra Leone. Sallu has worked on various developmental and policy issues such as Poverty, Climate Change, Human rights, Child Rights, Education, Health, Gender Equality, Civic Engagement, Government policies, Information Communication Technology for Development and the Sustainable Development Goals, and has also been contributing to various global events and advocacy campaigns. Sallu Kamuskay is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Salone Messenger, a global Multimedia and Public Relations Firm based in Sierra Leone with the latest news and information, on top stories, business, politics, entertainment, and more. Sallu is working with a leading technology company in Africa, Techfrica, that has recently developed and launched a social media, messaging Supfrica with over 150,000 downloads on the Google play store in less than 4 days. He is the Adviser and Media coordinator for the App to give people the platform to connect and communicate to help shape their future with a very fast internet that allows users that live in deprived and hard-to-reach areas with poor internet facility to be able to communicate as it allows and stronger on 2 and 3 G network reception. Sallu has over 9 years of experience in youth engagement, inclusion, and coordination both at local and global levels, giving voice to young people and engaging young people to build a better world. He has served as coordinator for the Wave Alliance which brought together youth-led organisations who attended an international training in South Africa organized by the International Organization – Waves for Change. Sallu is working with the MLT, Waves For Change, and the Government to develop safe spaces for young people, with a view to contributing to the overall development goals of young people including health, as well as to community rebuilding. Sallu is currently the Programme Director for the Wave Alliance, which is a coalition of youth-led and community-based organisations that have successfully introduced evidence-based Surf Therapy programs to young people in communities, with a focus on mental health, peace building and sustainable development. Sallu is currently the focal point and face of Africa’s Faces Social media platform which is a global Social media platform that brings together people from across the world to share their moments, connect, share videos, and interact with friends giving more preference to excluded continents like Africa. Sallu Kamuskay has devoted his time to working for or contributing to a number of national and international organizations and companies, including the Techfrica Technology Company, United Nations, ECOWAS, European Union, Commonwealth Africa Initiatives. This work has led him to travel to a number of countries to contribute to global youth platforms. Sallu is the lead Coordinator for Peace Tour programme, an initiative supported by the European Union, Africa Union, ECOWAS focusing on uniting and empowering young people and local communities. Over the years, Sallu Kamuskay has been using his Techno phone to be able to tell stories, the phone he used to tell the story of Gbessay during Ebola who was admitted at one of the Ebola treatment centers after rumors that she had Ebola when the actual sickness was ulcer, she was almost abandoned at the treatment canter with no medication provided to her. She could have died. Sallu told the story via social media and was able to secure funding from the United Sierra Leone to buy her medication and advocated for her. She was later discharged and taken home, He did the same to a patient that died and was abandoned in the street, Sallu Kamuskay used his phone and shared the message across, the corps was later taken and buried. It could have been more disaster without his voice. The story of late America Stress 3-year-old daughter. The hero’s daughter was abandon after his father's death. He shared her sad story and was able to get a sister who has taken the child as her own and is currently providing her with educational support. The article of America Stress can be read on the link below http://ayvnewspaper.com/index.php/k2-categories/item/7350-america-stress-a-hero-to-recognize. Sallu Kamuskay feels the stories of Gbessay, America stress and that of many others need to be told. The media house we have cannot better tell these stories, they are better reporters than telling human interest stories. He created the Salone Messenger platform and brought together passionate storytellers to be able to tell these compelling stories.