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All smiles for Sierra Leone celebrations in Homerton

PUBLISHED: 17:49 12 May 2016 | UPDATED: 17:49 12 May 2016

The Sierra Leone Independence Group North East London chairman and chairlady Abdul and FA Jnr Bangura. Picture: Abdul Bangura

The Sierra Leone Independence Group North East London chairman and chairlady Abdul and FA Jnr Bangura. Picture: Abdul Bangura

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Positivity was the message at a celebration of Sierra Leone's 55th anniversary of independence.

Children dancing at the celebration. Picture: Abdul BanguraChildren dancing at the celebration. Picture: Abdul Bangura

The Sierra Leone Independence Group North and East London welcomed a who’s who of Hackney dignitaries for the party at the Wally Foster Community Centre in Marsh Hill, Homerton.

MPs Meg Hillier and Diane Abbott were among guests that also included representatives from the country’s high commission.

The country became independent from Great Britain on April 27 1961 after more than 150 years of colonial rule.

Abdul Bangura, chairman of the independence group, said the event’s aim was to highlight the peaceful nature of the Sierra Leonean community in east London.

Speaking to the Gazette, he said: “As a group we should all try to help each other and support people. Even though we are British citizens we have got the right to vote in our elections back home. [We wanted] the whole community to come together as one like any other community.

“We have been here long enough – I have been here 25 years – but our community isn’t as highly known as others. Some people see us and they think we are Ghanaian.

“We just want our image to be altered in a positive light because we are peaceful citizens in this country. The positive side of Sierra Leone – that’s all we are looking [to present] rather than the negative [image] coming from Ebola.”

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