Randa Swaid née Randa Sahid Mohamed is a Sierra Leonean business woman and philanthropist, born in Sierra Leone of mixed Sierra Leonean and Lebanese parentage.
She attended Murraydeen Preparatory School in Freetown, Sierra Leone where she was a founding pupil, and Annie Walsh School for Girls, before being sent to England to complete her education. She was accepted by the world-famous St Edmunds College, Oxford University to read Politics, Philosophy and Economics, but bowed to family pressure and instead joined her brothers at California State University, where she graduated Magna cum Lauda BSc Finance.
After college she discovered a passion for interior design and in 2004 opened City Plaza – Sierra Leone’s first interiors and design retail outlet. The shop provided an avenue for Randa’s particular combination of creativity and business acumen and has gone from strength to strength. Her next business venture – Swiss Spirit Hotel - confirmed her position as a trail blazer in Sierra Leone’s business community. The hotel, which is Sierra Leone’s first branded boutique hotel, opened in 2014 and has already established a reputation for its high-end design ethos and excellent service. Building on the success of Swiss Spirit and cementing her reputation for thinking outside the box, Randa embarked upon a new venture – Freetown’s first short-let fully-serviced luxury apartments. Eighteen studios have been completed and she is presently working on an additional 18 one-bedroom flats.
Randa’s upbringing instilled in her a strong sense of duty and a deep love for Sierra Leone. In 2010, her desire to contribute something more to her country resulted in Friends of Education Salone (FoESL). The charity, which was initially inspired by Randa’s childhood ties to Tokeh Beach, funds educational projects in Sierra Leone. FoESL’s innovative fundraising ventures include Sierra Leone’s best-loved day out – the Tokeh Beach Regatta, as well as newer but equally successful initiatives like the Masquerade Ball at Radisson Blu Mammy Yoko. The charity is entirely run by volunteers and all money raised goes directly to school construction projects and educational resources. Beneficiaries to date include Tokeh School, Binkolo Catholic Secondary School, Cardiff Community School and York Secondary School amongst others.
She is well-known for generously mentoring Sierra Leone’s up and coming business-women, as well as her support for other charitable causes. She is married to Sierra Leonean businessman – Jihad Swaid, has two children and juggles her business, social and charitable interests alongside a happy and busy family life.