Ex-landlady continuing to promote her African homeland after taking locals on dream trip

Jon Smith and Eunice Kokrasset with flyers for the Smallburgh festival. Pictures: Jon Smith

Jon Smith and Eunice Kokrasset with flyers for the Smallburgh festival. Pictures: Jon Smith - Credit: Archant

A former landlady is stepping up her campaign to promote her African homeland and raise money for the country's impoverished schools by holding a festival in her adopted Norfolk village.

Eunice Kokrasset and Jon Smith meeting the king in the Ivory Coast. Pictures: Jon Smith

Eunice Kokrasset and Jon Smith meeting the king in the Ivory Coast. Pictures: Jon Smith - Credit: Archant

Last year Eunice Kokrasset took a group of 16 people on a cultural and charitable exchange from the Crown pub in Smallburgh to her homeland, the Ivory Coast,

They took about 250 educational books with them in a London double-decker bus which they gave to schools and universities.

She returned to the country with her partner Jon Smith in April to set up a charity, Smallburgh to Abidjan to continue her fundraising efforts.

And on the weekend of August 11/ 12, from 12pm on both days, there will be a musical and cultural festival at Smallburgh village hall and playing field, in aid of the charity.

Delivering the educational books to the university. Pictures: Jon Smith

Delivering the educational books to the university. Pictures: Jon Smith - Credit: Archant


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She said: 'This festival is to celebrate both cultures British and African but also to promote the Smallburgh 2 Abidjan project. We started that last year with the trip to the Ivory Coast.'

Mr Smith said: 'The expedition to the Ivory Coast included the donation of a London double-decker bus to the First Lady, which was aired live on their national TV news.

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'We had an audience with the King of Niable and shared a beer with him.

'But we had a rather scary encounter with the armed police at a check-point in the north of the country, which Eunice managed to sort out.

Passing the books out from the double-decker. Pictures: Jon Smith

Passing the books out from the double-decker. Pictures: Jon Smith - Credit: Archant

'We've had great support from the British Embassy and a good luck message from Boris Johnson who had visited at the same time.

'The festival in Smallburgh will be attended by the British ambassador to the Ivory Coast, Josephine Gauld.'

The programme for the festival includes African music, a fashion show and food and craft stalls representing the continent, plus children's games.

Miss Kokrasset left the pub when the lease ran out and is looking to roll out 'African Pop-Up Restaurants' with well-known spice man Rai. The pair recently delivered an event for 40 people with great success including African singers and dancers. She also wants to develop ice creams and sorbets using her own flavours.

At the British embassy in Abidjan. Pictures: Jon Smith

At the British embassy in Abidjan. Pictures: Jon Smith - Credit: Archant

Eunice Kokrasset and Jon Smith. Picture: Jon Smith

Eunice Kokrasset and Jon Smith. Picture: Jon Smith - Credit: Archant

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