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Ngozi Cole


Location icon Sierra Leone

I am a writer, editor and communications professional. As a freelance writer, I cover gender, human rights, culture, and feminism. My articles have been featured on platforms such as Inter Press Service, Culture Trip, and Women's Media Center.

With close to four years of experience in communications for development, my work focuses on creating strategic communications and partnerships, using digital media tools and channels.

I am a FRIDA Young Feminist Fund Media Fellow (2018), a FRIDA Advisor and a Moremi Africa Leadership Fellow.

I am also the founder and editor of Poda-Poda Stories, a digital platform sharing Sierra Leonean literature. I have a personal blog,

Poda-Poda Stories
Never Again: 10 Books That Bear Witness - Poda-Poda Stories

Happy new year to all our readers and literature enthusiasts! On January 6th 1999, rebels invaded Sierra Leone's capital city Freetown, and started a horrific ordeal of rape, torture and murder of innocent civilians. Sierra Leone's civil war began in 1991, and for eleven years, many lives and dream

Publishing Sierra Leone: The Importance of Sharing Our Stories

I interviewed Professor Osman Sankoh (Mallam O) at the Sierra Leone Arts and Culture Festival (SLACfest), organised by The Young Sierra Leonean. Professor Sankoh is the founder and publisher of the Sierra Leone Writers Series, and one pioneer of Sierra Leonean publishing. The interview included discussions on how schools can include more Sierra Leonean books in the curriculum, and tips for anyone who is interested in opening a publishing company in Africa.

Poda-Poda Stories
Ishmael Beah on Storytelling and Activism - Poda-Poda Stories

Ishmael Beah is a Sierra Leonean novelist and human rights activist. His memoir, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier , details his journey from a child soldier during Sierra Leone's brutal civil war, to a new life in the United States.

Poda-Poda Stories
Siana Bangura on Identity and Creative Collaboration - Poda-Poda Stories

Siana Bangura is a writer, producer, performer, and community organiser hailing from South East London, now living, working, and creating between London and the West Midlands. Siana is originally from Sierra Leone and moved to London with her mother when she was two years old. Her creative

Building Sierra Leone's next generation of feminists - Women's Media Center

The next generation of feminists are being nurtured in Sierra Leone, and Moiyattu Banya-Keister, a Sierra Leonean educator and feminist, has created a safe space for this to happen. Along with a small group of volunteers, Banya-Keister founded Girls Empowerment Sierra Leone (GESL), a feminist organization that helps girls become leaders and make positive changes in their communities, in Freetown, the nation's capital.

The Patriotic Vanguard
Of Stories and Trauma

By Ngozi Cole, Special Contributor, Freetown, Sierra Leone I did disappearing acts all the time as a child, and would unintentionally throw my family into a frenzy. "Where is she? Where is she? Where did we leave her this time?" my mother would yell at no one in particular, yet everyone would be nervously alert.

Culture Trip
What You Should Know About Sierra Leone's Bunce Island

Background Arriving on Bunce Island instantly fills visitors with a sense of haunting, as if being transported back in time to 300 years ago. Controlled by the British in the 17 th and 18 th centuries until it was closed in 1808, the fort now lies in ruin and is engulfed by wild forest.

Finding my voice and my identity as a Sierra Leonean feminist

As part of AWID member profile stories, Ngozi Cole tells about her journey and how she found her identity as a feminist. Up until I was five years old I would always jump on her back so that she would patiently wrap me up into a cocoon, even when she would mumble that I was getting "too big" for that.

Disaster Strikes Freetown - over 400 Dead and 600 Still Missing

In the early hours of Monday morning, August 14, torrential rains hit Freetown, Sierra Leone's capital city. Several areas of the city were flooded, as houses were either partially submerged under water or destroyed. In Regent, a mountainous community on the outskirts of Freetown, extreme flooding triggered a mudslide on Mount Sugar Loaf, burying several houses and underneath dirt and rubble.

A Thin Line of Madness: by Ngozi Cole

Sweat dripping everywhere, the mattress was drenched with sacrilegious demons. The black ropes bound and bit into her coarse skin, her bones were now brittle and her tongue hung out lustily, from thirst and exhaustion. Every painful groan, every bellow from the pits of her hollow belly, was interpreted as a message from hell.

Religious leaders thwart abortion rights in Sierra Leone - Women's Media Center

The Safe Abortion Bill For every 100,000 live births in Sierra Leone, 1,360 women die. According to a 2015 World Health Organization report, Sierra Leone has the worst maternal mortality rate in the world, and complications from unsafe abortion procedures contribute to 10 percent of these deaths.

Brittle Paper
The Strangest Thing | by Ngozi Cole | African Poetry

It's hard to get inside my head. Many pendulums of unfinished thoughts Each swiveling recklessly off the edge of a careless charade. Words dripping from an orange amber suckle Succulent metaphors ready to burst from a Fragile nectar. Often, these blobs have become liquefied, And they've seep

Roads & Kingdoms
Home is Where the Deep Fried-Rice Flour and Mashed Bananas Are

Rice, in all its variations, is the foundation of the Sierra Leonean diet. Even when we are not eating a cooked rice dish, we find numerous other ways to sneak rice into our meals. Cook rice flour balls, sugar and water, and you have rice pap, a popular breakfast porridge.

For Harriet | Celebrating the Fullness of Black Womanhood
On Rape, Silence and Power

by Ngozi Cole Sweaty palms and a beating heart that almost bursts out of fear, anxiety, and repulsion... Being in the same space as the rapist can be one of the most disempowering and soul-crushing experiences anyone can face.

The Patriotic Vanguard
The value of the 10%- The urgency of the Safe Abortion Act

Commentary By Ngozi Cole, Freetown, Sierra Leone. 1.7 million -this is the number of women who seek treatment or unsafe abortion complications in sub-Saharan Africa annually. 1360 per 100,000 live births-this is the maternal mortality ratio for women in Sierra Leone. For every 100,000 live births-1360 women die due to severe complications.

Thought Catalog
Just Eat More: For Skinny Girls

"Just eat more!" "Bo you dray o" "Of course you can afford to eat another doughnut, look at you" "Somebody feed her-fufu or a Big Mac " ... The gentle violence. The rib counting started early, when the crooked finger poked at her collar-bone , the grey eyebrows furrowed, and the rice matriarch cast a disapproving glance on her flat chest and flat ass ...

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