Vickie Remoe Institute of Digital Communications

Sierra Leoneans in the DMV: Meet Uncle Papayzua Afropop Artist

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Sierra Leoneans in the DMV #SaloneDMV is a digital Make Sierra Leone Famous campaign. #SaloneDMV amplifies leaders, entrepreneurs, and professionals in Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV), also known as the heart of the Sierra Leonean community in the United States.

How long have you lived in the DMV area and what brought you here?

Uncle PapayZua: I’ve lived in Virginia for 8 years.

 Please share your background.

Uncle PapayZua: I’m an Afropop artist, born and raised in the east end of Freetown. I went to St Theresa Primary School and St Edward’s Secondary School, oh I was a member of CONWARDS. I started my music journey with a group called Black Snoop and Papayzua, with popular songs like Woke hard ft YOK 7, kata kat ft Ragga Spice and many others. Then I recorded two solo albums with popular songs like look “Nar ein phone”, “hib Am”, and “Sweet Me ft Nega Don”. Before I emigrated, I studied Business Management from IAMTECH.

Share your professional or entrepreneurial journey. 

Uncle PapayZua: After moving to the DMV Area I realize for me to keep doing music I need a way to make money to support my music career. My wife then decided to start a box truck transportation company (GEM101 TRANSPORTATION). We move freight for companies across state lines.

 Tell us what keeps you going when times get tough.

Uncle PapayZua: Family is everything to me. My wife and kids are the reason and the force that keeps me going in every situation.

 How do you stay connected to your Sierra Leonean roots while living in the DMV area?

Uncle PapayZua: Well I still have family back home and also I just moved my mother to the US to help me and my wife look after our son while we handle our day to day business activities. 

What impact or contributions do you hope to make or have made within the Sierra Leoneans in the DMV community or beyond? 

Uncle PapayZua: Me and my family do give out financial assistance to families in need back home and as an artist I do offer my services to issues relating to the country

What do you love the most about being Sierra Leonean in the DMV?

Uncle PapayZua: Our way of life, the people, the way we always make strangers feel love and respect when they visit us. Our rich culture, the food, I can go on and on

What advice would you give to other Sierra Leonean professionals, entrepreneurs, or community leaders in the DMV area?

Uncle PapayZua: Let’s find ways to connect and teach each other what we have learned to spread the ideas. Each one teaches one.

What DMV-based civic, ethnic, or community organizations do you belong to?

Uncle PapayZua: None. I don’t know of any. I would love to be part of it.

What new project, initiative, or goal are you working on that you would like to highlight to other Sierra Leoneans in the DMV?

Uncle PapayZua: I’m currently working on an Album and a Live band concert which is scheduled to take place on the 24th August 2024.

How can we strengthen the Sierra Leonean community in the DMV area?

Uncle PapayZua: By doing things together.

What is your favorite Sierra Leonean-owned business or brand in the DMV? 

Fatima Group of companies owned by the CEO of GOD STAR ENTERTAINMENT.

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Are you a Sierra Leonean in the DMV? Join the community on July 6, for Drizilik Live in Concert at Howard Theatre in DC on July 6. CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS TO THE BIGGEST NIGHT FOR SIERRA LEONE AFROBEATS MUSIC IN THE DMV. 

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