Six months ago in June, Vickie Remoe, founder and managing editor of Switsalone.com made a call for new contributors. She said she would train bloggers and pay them up to NLE. 100 per published story. One hundred people responded via email to register their interest in blogging. Of those, just twelve completed the assignment to submit two writing samples for review. They were shortlisted for the SwitSalone Freelance Training Program, a four-week intensive multimedia masterclass on blogging, content creation, photography, and news publication. The training was hosted at the VR&C Marketing Company headquarters in Freetown and was led by Communications Manager, Frankvin Bob McEwen.
“I was happy when I was asked to lead the freelance program because it meant I get to train the participants on the importance of acquiring digital skills, I am a benefactor of such training so I know firsthand what it means to have digital skills, and that is why I always strive to give back what was given to me,” said Frankvin Bob McEwen, Communications Manager at VR&C Marketing Company.
During their training, participants were evaluated based on their participation, communication skills, and output. They were taught the basics of WordPress, photography, how to conduct an interview, and the importance of blogging. The sessions were done virtually during the week and in person on weekends.
At the end of the program three participants Daniel Mansama Kargbo, Ibrahim Mansaray, and Amidu Kallon were chosen to be contributors to SwitSalone.com. They will earn nLe 100 for each story that gets published on SwitSalone.com.
Daniel Mansama Kargbo explained how the training had boosted his confidence.
“The training taught me modern-day skills in writing, how to validate my stories, fact check and so many other professional tips including photography,” Daniel Mansakama Kargbo, 23 years old university student at the Fourah Bay College.
All three new contributors are university students in different fields of study who have never blogged professionally. A couple of them had written short pieces shared on their Facebook feeds and WhatsApp groups. Now each one has published multiple stories on SwitSalone.com ranging from human interest, sports, education, and entertainment.
“I felt really great. I was in my hostel room when I saw my first story on the WhatsApp group. I shouted till everyone around noticed me. It was a dream accomplished, I always wanted my stories to be recognized by a media firm, and there I was! SwitSalone.com made that happen,” said Daniel Mansakama Kargbo, 23 years old university student at Fourah Bay College.
Ibrahim Mansaray, a 22-year-old university student at Fourah Bay College, shared the same excitement.
“The feeling was just great. I shared my post all over with my friends.”
Daniel Mansakama Kargbo – is 23 years old he was born and raised in Kabala, Koinadugu District. Kargbo is currently a fourth-year student at the University of Sierra Leone, pursuing a BSc. Chemistry and a minor in Statistics. He likes social media and wants to be professional media personnel. He was assigned as a peace ambassador to Koinadugu District by Sierra Leone International Model United Nations.
Ibrahim Mansaray – was born in Lungi, Northern Sierra Leone, where he did primary and high school education, and worked as a teaching assistant for two academic years. Now he is a second-year student of the Faculty of Communication, Media and Information Studies, Fourah Bay College. Mansaray is interested in news, politics, leadership, law, and education. His qualifications include certificates in Community Leadership, awarded by the Learnaholics Academy Africa, and Personal Safety and Security, awarded by Cornerstone onDemand Foundation. He also holds a certificate in English proficiency, certified by Duolingo. Now he is regarded as a freelance blogger and a creative writer
Amidu Kallon – a Sierra Leonean-Guinean born in Kenema, Eastern Sierra Leone where he did both his primary and secondary school education. He is a first-year Mass Communication student, at the University of Makeni (UNIMAK). Kallon is a creative writer, blogger, content creator, and advocate. He is the CEO of Falana’s Column, a nongovernmental youth-led organization that provides guidance and mentorship for the upcoming generation. Kallon is passionate about politics, news, entertainment, education, leadership, and law.