Why Sierra Leone now? -

Discover why this African nation should be on your travel bucket list.

If you've never been to the African nation or want to learn more, filmmaker-journalist Michaela Guzy leads you on a cultural adventure with her recent film: “Michaela’s Map: Sierra Leone." The short film showcases the beautiful country and the inspiring local people through documenting a chimpanzee sanctuary inspired by Jane Goodall, a local fashion designer, a chef breaking new ground and the sustainable entrepreneurship movement happening on the ground.

After the film, stick around for an interactive conversation with the filmmaker and two of her inspiring interviewees Maryann Kaikai and Hon. Memunatu Pratt .

About Michaela Guzy, Filmmaker & Moderator:
Michaela Guzy is an American media executive, entrepreneur, speaker and on-air show host. She is the executive producer for two original series, Michaela’s Map and OhThePeopleYouMeet. Based in New York City, she is also an adjunct professor at New York University School of Professional Studies, where she teaches a course called, "Travel Storytelling: Creating Video Content". Recently featured on BravoTV’s Tour Group three-part talking head travel series, Michaela is often asked to appear as an industry expert, from curating conversations, moderating panels and conducting interactive workshops to giving inspiring keynote presentations for industry partners. Her Michaela’s Map: Australia series has been featured on American Airlines in-flight entertainment. She has appeared on multiple morning shows across the country sharing her sustainable and immersive expert travel tips, such as on CBS New York, Fox2Now St. Louis, PIX 11 New York, FOX Good Day Baltimore, WJLA Good Morning Washington DC, WTNH Good Morning Connecticut, Houston Life and KTNV The Morning Blend Las Vegas.

About Maryann Kaikai:
Maryann Kaikai is the Chief Executive Officer and Creative Director behind ‘Madam Wokie’, a Sierra Leone leading fashion brand and social enterprise founded in 2009. The Madam Wokie brand blends contemporary fashion esthetic with traditional African inspiration and is an example of the entrepreneurial innovation Sierra Leone is becoming increasingly known for. The brands name is inspired by Marynn's maternal great-grandmother, Madam Wokie Massaquoi, one of the few female Paramount Chief’s in post-colonial Sierra Leone. Maryann has showcased her work at international fashion shows in South Africa, Nigeria and New York as well as in front of the UN General Assembly during ‘Fashion for Development’ in 2013.

About Hon. Memunatu Pratt:
Hon. Memunatu Pratt is the Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs for the Republic of Sierra Leone. As Minister, she has embarked on an aggressive campaign of promoting tourism potential of Sierra Leone to combat the negative perceptions of the country many people still have. Her passion for tourism promotion and changing destination perceptions is based on over 15 years of focus in the area of peace and conflict studies. She pioneered the establishment of the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sierra Leone and served as a senior lecturer and head of department for close to 24 years. She has also served as a visiting professor to Japan’s Hiroshima University for over seven years where she frequently lectures on issues of peace, conflict, gender, security and international studies.