How I met Alexander Pemberton: One of the men who helped push my dream and one of the key people behind The African Dream

In 2020, I started The African Dream in a bid to promote African stories via social media and the internet. After two months since founding The African Dream, Hassan Hafiz Bakarr-Kanu Sr. created Supfrica, a social messaging platform similar to WhatsApp. I was fascinated by Mr Hafiz’s Innovation and being the first Sierra Leonean to do such. At that time, I was only running The African Dream as a Facebook page and not a website. So I decided to download the WordPress.com app from PlayStore and create a website with WordPress free plan. That was the start of The African Dream website (https://www.theafricandreamsl.com)

So, after creating the website, I wrote and published the story of Mr Hafiz’s Supfrica. The story caught the attention of thousands of Africans across the continent, the Caribbean, America, and Europe. The story was viewed and read by 100,000+ people from all corners of the world, and it became the most-read and trending story from Sierra Leone by a website/blog. The story also got the attention of Twitter users and it became a trending topic on Twitter. The story gave Supfrica the attention it was looking for and helped the app to amass over a hundred thousand downloads on Google PlayStore.

This story gave me the opportunity to connect with African-Americans, Africans in Europe and Africans in other African countries. That was how I came in contact with Alexander Pemberton, a Caribbean man living in the United Kingdom. Alexander Pemberton is the founder of Tecric Hosting company, a company that provides domain names and hosting for blogs/websites/businesses.

After reading the story of Hafiz and Supfrica on the website which I had created, Alexander Pemberton sent me a message on WhatsApp which reads: “Hello. I am Alexander Pemberton. I have a hosting and domain website which I would love for you to host your website on”. Alexander Pemberton and I started conversing on WhatsApp and we started exchanging the history of our motherland. I told him about my country Sierra Leone and also spoke about my ambition to make The African Dream a media platform for African stories.

After a series of WhatsApp conversations, Alex asked me how the both of us could work together. I told him I’m hosting my website on WordPress and I’m not making money from it because it’s on a free plan. So Alex offered me something that would change my life and dreams. He offered to build a new and professional website for us, pay for the hosting and domain name, design a professional logo for us, and help us monetize our work; which he did. And that’s the start of a new beginning for The African Dream! Since then, The African Dream got a fully paid domain name, hosting, a new professional logo, and many more. Alexander Pemberton has been one of the key people behind The African Dream’s little successes. He has been a mentor, business adviser, marketing strategist for The African Dream, et al.

With just a TECNO Mobile smartphone; I was able to start my own online media platform; I’m able to tell the stories of change-makers in Sierra Leone and Africa as a whole; I have put together a team of young and hardworking young people to write and publish African stories via our website and various social media platforms, and I was able to connect with dozens of black people of African ancestry living in the diaspora.

I, together with my team, hope to transform from using smartphones to tell African stories to using sophisticated storytelling gadgets. One day, The African Dream will be realized.

PS: Alex visited Sierra Leone this year and held a one-day Entrepreneur Masterclass at IPAM, and that’s how we took this photo.

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