Ballanta Academy of Music & Performing Arts

Board Of Directors

Dr. Julius Spencer (Chairman)

Julius Spencer holds a B.A. Ed (English Major) from the University of Sierra Leone, an M.A and a Ph.D (Theatre Arts) from the University of Ibadan. Over the past thirty two years, Julius Spencer has established a reputation as a theatre and movie director in Nigeria, Sierra Leone and in the USA.  He has directed over 40 stage plays, including The Wizard of Oz, Macbeth, Ola Rotimi’s Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again, Femi Osofisan’s Midnight Hotel and Farewell to A Cannibal Rage and Wole Soyinka’s Requiem for a Futurologist. As a Hubert Humphrey Fellow at Boston University (1996-7) he directed John C. Thorpe’s Chap Am So (the Amistad Revolt) at the Harry De Jurr playhouse in New York. The production received 10 nominations for the Audelco Awards in 1997 and won 4.

Dr. Spencer established Spence Productions, a professional theatre company in Freetown in 1989 and as Artistic Director, he led the company to establish a reputation for high quality theatre until it was taken over by Premier Media in 2001.  His work has been presented at international theatre festivals in Iran, Greece and the UK and was well received each time. During the civil war in Sierra Leone, Dr. Spencer played a major role in the restoration of democracy that has made him a household name in the country.  He set up and ran a radio station on behalf of the legitimate government when it was overthrown by a military coup in 1997, providing information to the people and keeping their hopes alive that their government will be restored.  The radio station was so effective that on being restored to power, President Tejan Kabbah attributed a large percentage of the effort to restore his government to the radio station.

Dr. Spencer taught dramatic literature and theatre arts at Njala University College and at Fourah Bay College where he rose to the position of Senior Lecturer and Acting Head of the English Department until he left the university in 1997 to become Sierra Leone’s minister of Information, Communication, Tourism and Culture.  He is currently founder and Managing Director of Premier Media Group, a multi-media production, event management and Public Relations Company. In 1992, Dr. Spencer served as chairman of the Monuments and Relics Commission and between 2005 and 2007 was chairman of the Interim National Council for Arts and Culture, during which period, the National Cultural Policy was finalised and validated. He has produced and directed several video documentaries and six feature films to date. He is the current Chairman of the Board.


Ing. L. J. T. Pratt

Ing. L. J. T. Pratt OOR, M.A, (Cambridge University, UK) C.Eng., P.E., FIMMM, FSLIE  

Ing. Pratt is an accomplished Mining, Civil Engineering and Management professional with over 55 years working experience in Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe and other countries in the SADC region, Liberia, United Kingdom and the United States of America. He is a founder member of CEMMMATS Group Limited a leading multidisciplinary engineering consultancy in Sierra Leone.  He has been Managing Director of African Associated Mines in Zimbabwe, Chief Operating Officer for Njahili Resources Limited a company registered and incorporated in the United Kingdom with mining and exploration operations in Sierra Leone and is currently Managing Director of CEMMATS Group Limited.

He is the Chairman of the Professional Engineers Registration Council of Sierra Leone and a past President of the Sierra Leone Institution of Engineers. He is one of the Founder Members of Ballanta Academy of Music and was Chairman of the Board up to a year ago. He serves on several Boards of Directors, is currently the Interim Chairman of Vista bank Sierra leone Ltd. And a Commissioner of the Sierra leone Electricity and Water Regulating Commission.

He is a past organist of Wesley Methodist Church and is currently the Organist at the Saint George’s Cathedral in Freetown. 

Dr. Kitty Fadlu-Deen

Dr. Kitty Fadlu-Deen is a music educator by profession, having completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Music at University College, Dublin, of the National University of Ireland, and doctoral studies at the University of York. A Singaporean by birth, she married a Sierra Leonean medical doctor, Alhaji Dr. Ahmadu T. Fadlu-Deen and they settled in Freetown. There, she taught music from nursery to college level until her retirement as Head of the Performing Arts department at the Milton Margai Teachers College. With Logie Wright, she co-founded the Ballanta Academy of Music in October 1995 and subsequently became its Principal at various times from 2002 to 2020. At the academy, she was Director of the Ballanta Music Makers, local contact for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, consultant for the academy, and member of the Board of Directors.


Her main interest lies in the indigenous music of Sierra Leone from which she has published two books, Milo and all that Jazz, and Musical Instruments and Spirit Masks of Sierra Leone and contributed to the videos on the website  She served as a Commissioner for 3 years with the Monuments and Relics Commission.  She has also arranged Sierra Leonean folk songs for SATB, piano and piano duet, as well as instrumental ensembles. She has been given awards by the University College, Dublin, the British Council,  Zonta Club, Sisters Choice, Women of Excellence, and All Works of Life (AWOL). She was awarded the Officer of the Order of the Rokel (OOR) in 2021

Dr. Williette Princess Ransolina Oluwakemi James

Dr. Williette Princess Ransolina Oluwakemi James is a Sierra Leonean journalist, lecturer and Gender advocate. Since 2010, she has interspersed her journalistic work with gender advocacy in the media. Williette has practised as a journalist for twenty years.  She got part of her training in journalism at the Sky High Magazine in Walthamstow, London, and has benefited from several other media and gender trainings locally and internationally.

Williette James has been lecturing at the Mass Communication Department, now Faculty of Communication Media and Information Studies, since 2006 and has risen to the position of Assistant Dean. She holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours degree (First Class) in Mass communication, a Master of Arts in Gender Studies, a Master of Philosophy in Mass Communication and a Ph.D in Communication and Media Studies (specializing in Media and Gender) all from Fourah Bay College (FBC), University of Sierra Leone (USL). Currently, she is pursuing an MPhil. degree is Theology.

Williette has practised as a journalist in almost all forms of media. She held the position of News and Current Affairs Manager at the ABC Television Africa, Sierra Leone, She also served as Managing Editor of Salone Times Newspaper, Consultant Editor of NewsWatch Magazine, Executive Producer of the Voice of Children UNICEF Project on Radio Mount Aureol, and Consultant Editor of the Audit Service Sierra Leone, where she edited the Auditor General’s Report and other Performance Audit Reports. She is currently the Communications Manager of NP (SL) Limited. 

 Williette James has written and published several articles and won the Sierra Leone Independent Media Awards in 2005 for Best Television Programme – Night Line and Best Gender Reporting (2007 & 2008) for the stories (Secret Pains of a Village Mother 1 and 2) published in Salone Times Newspaper. In 2018, Williette published a story titled The EBK Effect. That article won the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists Award for Best Political Story, making her the first female journalist to win that category in Sierra Leone.

Dr James is the first female journalist in Sierra Leone with a PhD. in Communication and Media Studies. She is also the first Female President of the Academic Staff Association of Fourah Bay College University, also the first President of the Academic Staff Association of the three constituent colleges of the University of Sierra Leone – (FBC, IPAM and COMAHS) and the first President of the national Union of Academic Staff Association in Sierra Leone (UASA).

At the University, Williette James has established the Women Leaders Initiative (WLI); a forum that provides training for female university students to pursue their leadership initiatives and take up leadership roles in society.

Dr James is the Chairperson of the Sierra Leone Association  of Journalists (SLAJ) Gender Advisory Board and also a member of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Gender Council.

She is married to Brian James, with three boys.



Dr Dunstan Thomas

Completed Odessa Medical School ( in the then USSR )in July 1976.
Returned home and worked for Govt. In Freetown and Kono till 1986.
Founded the Q&D MEDICAL CENTER- A 12-bed admitting Hospital with facilities for deliveries and surgery in October1986 onto 1997 when Rebels burnt it down.
Transferred to Freetown and started an Out-patient’s Clinic at 39, Circular Rd. On to February 2021 – relocated to 98J Regent Rd, Lumley.

Mr. Mohamed Dainkeh

Mr. Mohamed Dainkeh is the founder and CEO of Dainkeh’s Human Hair, a successful business. He graduated from IPAM University of Sierra Leone, with a B. Sc in Business Administration. He was Finance Officer at the Ballanta Academy of Music at one time. His musical skills and qualifications gave him successful teaching experiences at the JT Reffell French Friendship Memorial School and the Kingdom Heritage Model School. 

Mr Sheku Mansaray

Sheku Mansaray is the Senior Auditor for the Audit Service Sierra Leone as a qualified accountant with an ACCA. He’s currently studying specialized forensic accounting. He has over sixteen years auditing experience at the same audit institution. In this time he has led audits on Financial Statements, Compliance, Fraud, and Performance, and audited a wide range of Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDA), Business Entities in which Government of Sierra Leone has a stake, and Non-Governmental Organisations(NGOs).


PC Komrabai Peter Penfold

PC Komrabai Peter Penfold is a retired British diplomat who during his career served mainly in Africa and the Caribbean. From 1997 to 2000 he was the British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone.

After his retirement in 2002 he established the UK charity for the Milton Margai School for the Blind, (later extended to all the blind schools in Sierra Leone), and he organised the tours to the UK by the blind school choir in 2003 and 2007. He is the Patron of the Dorothy Springer Trust, the Hastings Friendship Link and the Boys Brigade.

In 1998 he was appointed an honorary Paramount Chief and later a Freeman of the city of Freetown for his efforts in helping to restore peace and democracy to Sierra Leone.

He resides in the UK and visits the country regularly.

Rosaline Iyabode Johnson

Rosaline Iyabode Johnson graduated with a Bachelor of Laws with Honours (LLB Hons.) from Fourah Bay College,  the University of Sierra Leone. She’s currently the business administrator with Salone Real Estate. Her musical interests manifest themselves in her capacity as co-founder/singer/songwriter with Telem Uncommon Sounds, as well as vocalist with Groovy Colours, the band of the Ballanta Academy of Music and Performing Arts. Among her many interests are feminine advocacy and the Mandarin language.

Mrs. Velma Allen

Velma Allen graduated from the Faculty of Engineering at Fourah Bay College University of Sierra Leone with a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) degree. She’s also a graduate of IPAM, University of Sierra Leone with a MBA.  She’s currently the Head of ICT at the Commerce & Mortgage Bank, having first been its Director of Support Services & ICT.

Since 2022 she has been Executive Director of the Commerce and Mortgage Bank PLC.

She is married, with two children.