The Fashion and Creative Arts Pitch Night on Wednesday August 21st was more than just entrepreneurs pitching. It was a celebration of ordinary people overcoming challenges to realize their dreams. Read one such story…that of Zainab Sheriff, the founder of Zedzee Agency:
Good evening ladies and gentlemen.
Thanks for attending the fashion pitch nigt .
This event is mostly important because it inspires creative minds and gives room for aspiring creative minds to bloom.
I’m here as Zainab Sheriff, the CEO of ZedZee Modeling Inc but I’m standing here tonight to speak as a model on behalf of the modelling and fashion industry as a whole.
As a little girl growing up on the eastern side of Freetown, people said many things about me, most of them were negative. But if I have to be honest they also said I looked like Naomi Campbell and everytime they had said that I will say to myself I can be her.
At age 18 I found myself at the center of all vulnerabilities, my mom had died, I have given birth to a child and it had died. I was confused and broken, with zero self esteem and no confidence. I found myself most times wondering what I was going to do with my life.
People also said that Education is the key, so I said I will go back to school. But going back to school involved money.
There was a beauty pergeant show happening all the way on the other side of Freetown, it was the biggest pergeant of all, Its was Miss Paddy’s 2004.
I decided to enter the competition to be Miss Paddy’s 2004. They were giving Le 200,000 as consolation prize to all contestants. I needed money to go back to school and Le200,000 was more than enough at the time. Therefore my aim was just to get the Le200,000.
I entered the competition and luckily for me I ended up winning more than I bargained for, the grand prize which was USD1000. The exact equivalent of that is three million leones at the time.
Ladies a gentle men, I want u to close your eyes and picture an 18 years old girl, who had lost her mother, herself and her self-confidence. One who had given birth and lost her child, one who had dropped out of school and had gone through countless abuse. After the crown she had won millions of leones. At that moment she considered herself rich. She had won the crown and certified as the most beautiful girl. Her friends and family are celebrated and cheered her. 15 years on look at that girl now, look at me.
I was saved that day. The people that created that platform for me to bloom, the organisers of that event and the people that participated on that event, saved me.
They gave me the confidence and reassurance; the zeal to become what I’m today and to stand here tonight I preach the importance of platform and support in the fashion industry, which equals to what the organisers of Pitch Night are doing tonight.
What I am pitching for tonight is for the organisers of this event to not stop, to continue. I’m asking and seeking for the organizers of this event to partner with us, me and every model and designers here tonight or in the industry as a whole, to have an official fashion week. We want you to partner with us to have a show, where designer’s, models, makeup artists, cameramen and women, choreographers, international designers, music makers will meet and inspire each other to grow.
What I’m pitching for is for you to partner with us to have a Sierra Leone Fashion Week or something of the sort.
We can invite international designers and they can invite us and in the end growth will prevail for models and designers and everyone who benefits from the growth of entertainment .
Thank you very much