Foday Dumbuya, a UK based Sierra Leonean Designer and Creative Director of LABRUM LONDON is the latest recipient of the prestigious Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design.

It comes in the wake of an ongoing national resurgence which has seen Sierra Leoneans gradually putting behind us that long darkness of negative international news and working assiduously to scrape away the sticky stigma of disabling stereotypical misrepresentation.

Under HE President Julius Maada Bio, the task of national rebranding may take time but it will surely work out well enough.

At long last, Sierra Leoneans are once again standing up and shinning bright in places that truly matter and for reasons that are highly commendable!

From sports to education, from music to fashion, we are slowly but surely emerging to be recognised and counted for who we truly are!

The SIERRA LEONEAN STORY is being retold in the brightest truest colours on the best of stages.

Thursday 18/05/2023 was just another brilliant example of a heart warming spectacle! An occasion organised around the success of one man and his team. An event with one awardee out of a multitude of so many potentials!

That event at The Strand, in the heart of London, was simply amazing. Even to the point of mesmerising.

This was a glitz and glam occasion in a class of its own, elevated to the highest levels of British society.

The British Fashion Industry is one of those strong underpinnings that gives the country its unique identity, showcased on an international stage. For anyone or group to be awarded an award at this level, is not just a dream come true but it is a dream on which to build many more dreams. And that dream becomes even more tantalising when you stand alone on the stage of success, where the next person in line is a year away.

When Foday LABRUM Dumbuya received this exclusive award for his work in The Strand, London, he created history in so many ways. Not the least for being the first black designer to secure this annually awarded accolade.

As he stood on that stage and choked back his tears, one could feel the emotions streaming through his soul. “This is not something that happens to people where I’m coming from”, he stuttered. It is poignant that an encouraging scream from one of the members of the audience (his own little toddler) willing Foday to “go on daddy!”, spurred him to articulate his feelings and express his gratitude . Foday went on to speak  about his long journey, his many challenges and the remarkable progress that brought him to that impressive stage. He told the audience his dreams about connecting people and creating platforms of understanding where many more can excel.

When HM King Charles III presented that award to Foday LABRUM Dumbuya, the cinematic scenario captured a heart warming occasion from which all Sierra Leoneans should proudly take a share.

For Foday’s story is our story. It is a story of struggle, of resilience and of hope. It is a story of success, borne out of odds, and built from the resolve of a people who strive to see good rise and triumph.

Those who crawl in the shadows of evil and bask in the notoriety of negativity should learn so much from people who stand on the honoured stage of glory and attract real love and the brightest smiles. People who sometimes succeed in getting their crowns of recognition from kings and earn their places at the highest level of genuine admiration. The world is better and brighter because of the struggles and successes of men (and women) like Foday LABRUM Dumbuya, a Sierra Leonean immigrant who came to the UK and has taken the exclusive British fashion world by storm.