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Celebrating International Women's Month

Issue 3 - March 2018

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH

KATHRINE SWITZER First woman to officially run the Boston marathon & who championed the marathon into the Olympic Games

CECE PENISTON International Artist, Songwriter, Performer talks about nally feeling t and fabulous

FINE DINING with our very own MR TOP HAT, TONY JAZZ Reviewing L’ Atielier de Joël Robuchon French Restaurant

JUMP YOUR WAY TO FITNESS SIMONE WILSON

LAMONT MCLEMORE From legendary group the 5th Dimension celebrates his mother at 103 years old

ERNESTINE SHEPHERD Interview

81 Years young & Guinness Book of Records oldest female body builder


EDITOR’S NOTE 2

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reetings to one and all Each year phenomenal women all over the world are celebrated and celebrate their achievements during International Women’s Month. Women who have triumphed over circumstances and situations of turmoil, tragedy, women who have stood strong in the midst of inspite of and despite of insurmountable challenges. Even women whose perceived vulnerability gave strength and power to the most amazing outcomes and to those around them. To be phenomenal is not a graded journey to be at the top of a chain. To be phenomenal is determined by the strength of one’s character, by the power of one’s authenticity, wisdom, and truth. By one’s ethos for life and by one’s humanity. In this issue, I will be profiling women from different backgrounds who are pillars of inspiration. Women who genuinely share their stories to show you that they too have been through and have come through insurmountable challenges. Women who have spear headed and championed their lives forward so that others could step up onto their podium of truth and freedom. Women who maybe on their knees now, looking up and who are still saying, I refuse to stay down. TurningPoint Magazine will be honouring such women and celebrating their existence through recognition. I too have been greatly inspired by their stories. The tenacity of the human spirit is much stronger than many of us realize. The humbleness and humility one adopts in order to become the champion of one’s own life is an effort worth a medal itself because to be able to support each other, to champion each other, to make a stand for each other – woman to woman no competition, no fuss, no snipping at – is a very powerful place to become within oneself.t I thank everyone who has made a contribution to a magazine which aims

to inspire, motivate and encourage people between 45-65 who have come to the cross-roads of their life and who are now asking ‘where do I go from here?’ There are other articles to support you in elevating your self-worth and to empower you to step outside your box. So check out TurningPoint’s very own Mr Top-hat, Tony Jazz who offers an alternative high-end take on one’s dining experience. A man known for quality, high-end living and panache. Why not, after all we all deserve the best. It depends on whether you recognise that you are worth it. There are also Great giveaways and much more……. I have also co-authored with 75 other amazing authors a book called Thresholds, which is currently on sale on Amazon, 75 Stories of How Changing Your Perspective Can Change Your Life. Thresholds is comprised of seventy-five inspirational stories, representing the experiences of people from over sixteen countries around the world—people who have chosen to live life powerfully and intentionally, facing life’s challenges and their fears headon. My new book The Path to Ageless Beauty will be published this month, FINALLY, and a range of tee-shirts will soon be available. So on that note, and without further ado – I will leave you to cosy on up with a copy of this magazine which I know will feed you with lots of inspiration.

AS ALWAYS A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL WHO HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO THIS MAGAZINE. ESTHER AUSTIN CHIEF EDITOR

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CONTENTS

EXCLUSIVES

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ERNESTINE SHEPHERD - OLDEST FEMALE BODYBUILDER IN THE WORLD AT 81 YEARS YOUNG

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KATHRINE SWITZER – FIRST WOMAN TO WIN THE BOSTON MARATHON IN 1967

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COMPETITION

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INSPIRATION

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•MY INSPIRATIONAL MOTHER TURNS 104 IN JUNE – LAMONT MCLEMORE

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TRUE GRIT – THE STORY ‘NEVER TO BE TOLD’ BY JENNIFER ANNE-LYNCH

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GLOBAL BUSINESS WOMAN AND ENTREPRENEUR SHEILA MOSES

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HEALTH & WELLBEING

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JUMPING YOUR WAY TO FITNESS – SIMONE WILSON

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SISTAHINTHERAW - ESCAPE AND REJUVENATE CREATE A RAW SOUL FOOD SANCTUARY

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THE PERFECT STORM BY KENNETH BARRETT

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WELLBEING AND THE MEDICAL PROFESSION DR JULIET MCGRATTAN ENLIGHTENS US

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FINE DINING

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TURNINGPOINT’S VERY OWN MR TOP HAT, TONY JACKSON REVIEWS L’ATELIER DE JOËL ROBUCHON, CONVENT GARDEN

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FASHION

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VALERIE GOODE, UK FOUNDER OF KITTY FERREIRA TALKS FASHION

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ENTERTAINMENT

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CECE PENISTON ON FEELING FIT AND FABULOUS

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TRIBUTE TO THE LATE EDDIE AMOO FROM THE REAL THING

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EXCLUSIVE FEATURES


KATHRINE SWITZER, MARATHON WOMAN THE FIRST WOMAN TO RUN IN THE BOSTON MARATHON IN 1967

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had the privilege of interviewing Kathrine Switzer, who made history when she officially became the first woman to register and run in the Boston Marathon in 1967. Since then she has gone on to break barriers for women, using her Boston experience to champion and campaign for women whilst also creating positive and social change to empower women. Amongst many of Kathrine’s many achievements, she was

inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in October 2011 for creating positive global social change. Her inspiring, authentic and high-energy delivery of creating success in a difficult environment, turning negatives into opportunities, and fearlessly implementing social and cultural change has made many positive differences in lives and businesses.

ESTHER: Kathrine, I usually ask my guests in a nutshell, a peanut shell or a coconut shell who is Kathrine Switzer? KATHRINE: Well, Kathrine Switzer is the first woman to officially register and run the Boston Marathon in 1967 when I was attacked by an official, two miles into the race, who tried to throw me out of the race, because I was a woman. He ripped off my bib numbers. I was radicalized by the experience that no matter what, I would finish that race to prove that women could do and deserved to be in running. It was formerly a men’s-only race up to that point, but it was not written anywhere, you were just supposed to understand these things and so effectively by registering, I challenged the rules. But I love to say that sometimes the worst things in your life can become the best things in your life, because, by the time I finished that race through a lot of pressure, I had a life dream of creating opportunities for women. I knew women would want to run in the field if they only had a chance and from that came a whole lifetime of race organization, of being one of the leaders to get the women’s marathon into the Olympic Games; to continue with my own running, to do broadcasting and to author three books. Right now I’m leading a whole new movement of empowerment called 261 Fearless, which is also active in the UK. 261 Fearless is named after the bib number that the official tried to pull off me. Women everywhere were saying that that number made them feel fearless. Therefore, my goal, my legacy, is to create empowerment through the simple act of putting one foot in from of another. ESTHER: Kathrine, I’d like to go back a little bit, to before the time when you made that incredible stand and in a sense, made history. One of the reasons I feel you were so indomitable was to do with your upbringing. It seems your parents instilled a sense of ‘I CAN’ in you. Can you share about your parents’ ethos of life, because, I believe that was pivotal in terms of the stand that you eventually made. KATHRINE: I have wonderful parents. I often say if every girl had parents like mine they would grow up empowered; it makes all the difference in the world. I wish that everyone reading, no matter what it will take, will take their kids, their friends, their grandchildren or neighbor’s kids and give them a sense of ‘hey you can do this, we believe in you, you’re a great kid.’ 6

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My Family were religious persecutes; Protestants in a Catholic world; we emigrated to the United States back in 1723. It’s a long time ago and it was hard work, i.e farming and digging out a life of success and trying and prevailing. So I grew up on stories like that, but my father and mother were really adamant that I was bought up in the same way as my brother. My father was the one who saw an insecure twelve year old who wanted to make the field hockey team in high school and said, ‘listen, all you have to do is to run a mile a day, and you will make that team.’ So I started running a mile a day and that changed my life. I made the field hockey team, but more importantly, I grew up from the age of twelve with a sense of empowerment, somehow realizing that if I just ran every day, I’d have that magic and that stayed with me all my life. ESTHER: Wow! So what made you want to run in the marathon in the first place? KATHRINE: When I first heard about 26 miles, three hundred and eighty five yards, I was already running up to three miles a day. I was fascinated with the fact that the longer I ran, the better I felt and that it seemed that some days I could run forever. So when I saw that people were running 26 miles, I didn’t distinguish it as just being for men, and I wanted to run as well. I knew it would be a great challenge. It was like mountain climbing. Luckily enough for me I was at the University Syracuse in New York where one of the men’s voluntary coaches was an ex marathoner and he was really old..in his fifties. (Laughter) He told me stories about marathoning and he didn’t realize that he was really psyching me up to keep trying. I proposed to him that I would run the Boston marathon and he said, “Oh no, no, a woman can’t run that!” and I said, “what are talking about?” So, it was a challenge to prove to him that I could run the distance and we did, one day in practice. We ran 31 miles and he almost fainted but by then he was convinced. So many people, men especially, in terms of women’s achievement, once they see a woman do something remarkable, they become almost evangelists in supporting them. He was then the one who said “Okay, you have earned this, but you have to sign up for Boston. You have to do this legally; you’re a member of The Athletic Federation you just can’t go up there and jump in the race.” Other women had run marathons, this is one important point to make, but not a lot had run. There are up to six that made history if I can recall; even a woman in Boston, who just jumped out of bushes but my coach didn’t agree with that and suggested I register as he’d checked the rule book and it didn’t say that women were not allowed and it didn’t say that it was a men’s only race. So off we went and the rest is history. ESTHER: How did that particular incident change your life? How did people see Kathrine after that race? KATHRINE: Well, it was really interesting, because at the end of the race, I was loved by people and I was hated by people. I got bags of mail that said I was going to fry in hell and I was doing a terrible thing and I got bags of mail that were marriage proposals. So it was an absolutely polarizing experience; but for me, how Kathrine Switzer’s life changed. First of all, I believe that running is transformational especially for women. It gives us creativity, enlightenment, courage and I believed that after I finished that marathon nothing could be harder in life after that experience. In my life now, nothing is difficult; nothing is harder than being a twenty year old girl, facing an enraged official under the world press, who is tackling me and then going on to finish the race. It changed everything in my life. It gave me courage to take on new things, but mostly, I was seeing that women could actually excel at distance TURNINGPOINT

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and stamina and have their own sense of empowerment and I said, how I’m going to get this message to women? I became a good athlete; I did get my time down to world class time. More of what drove me was creating a program to give women around the world an opportunity. So eventually, I organized 400 races in 27 countries and this led to getting the women’s marathon in the Olympic Games. Interestingly though, it was the Avon International Marathon, sponsored by Avon Cosmetics at the time, the world’s largest cosmetics company and the final event in 1980 was in London, where we closed downtown London’s streets for the first time in history for a sports event. It turned out to be most effectively a design model for what is now the London Marathon. In other words, we were kind of a rehearsal for the roads, Scotland Yard, the Police and clearing the streets and going across bridges and it was a triumph for women; it is a triumph for marathon running and the reason why it was a triumph for us is because, London is a media center. All the IAAFs, the governing bodies of athletes, and because we pulled together 27 countries and five continents which exceeded the requirement for Olympic Games; so that was the race that brought the women’s marathon into the Olympic Games. I’m so excited about that; I feel very proud of what we did in London and actually, what we are continuing to do now with women’s empowerment in England. ESTHER: As you talk Kathrine, one thing that keeps coming out strongly is that it takes one person to make a step; for one person to believe in something; to put one step forward and everything else will open up around that. I also believed your parents were very instrumental because having someone in the background saying, “Yes you can” is so important. I believe this was the bedrock for everything that you achieved. KATHRINE: Yes, but you know what, things happen when you take that first step and you make a change. You often are pushing ahead against what may seem insurmountable barriers. Honestly, my whole life has been three steps up, then two steps back. Progress has been very slow because we are talking about social change. It seemed slow at the time, yet looking back on it you realize it’s women’s history and it’s moved at warped speed just look at the Olympic inclusion. We jumped from getting the 1500 meters to getting the women’s marathon; that is warped speed for the International Olympic Committee and the other thing that you said about my parents is absolutely true; I was very lucky. Even, I should have been the President of the United States. There’s a quote from a wonderful African woman called Tecler Urubek who I’d like people to remember who was from a minority tribe. She was so poor that even her parents called her useless when she was growing up. She became one of the greatest runners in the world and she once said to me, “When your country gives you no inspiration, when nobody gives you inspiration, you be your own inspiration” and every person should realize that they can inspire themselves absolutely. ESTHER: I hear you, however, a lot of people would still say, ‘but how?’ Because they’re so stuck in operating within a certain paradigm and context it’s often hard to inspire themselves unless they can see a glimmer of hope outside of them to inspire them. However, that is a really powerful quote because it’s showing how much power we have inside of us. KATHRINE: Indeed, you need to take the first step; you must do something; you must step out of your comfort zone. I always tell people, you must put on the shoes, you don’t buy the shoes, just put them on. You need to take the three steps; the first step will then let you believe in the second and then the third. I mean, I would never have imagined a man on the moon. When I finished the Boston marathon the first time, I never thought that I would create a global program that could take the women’s marathon into the Olympic Games or create a global nonprofit organization called 261 Fearless; I just wanted to see if I could get two women in my town running. That’s the way to think. That is also why our foundation, 261 Fearless is succeeding so well because it’s a totally different design model from other running organizations and it begins with the community club of women which is non competitive, non judgmental. We don’t care how big, how old, how slow you are. Basically, we’re talking about a non-judgmental community of women, who come together and they just move and share the secrets of their soul and I would love more and more women to join 261 Fearless Club, UK. They just began as a social enterprise in the UK in December 2017. We have four clubs now in London, Lune Valley, Cambridgeshire and Aberdeen. You can go online to learn more about the club or even join a local club; or start a local club; we will tell you how to do it as there’s training tools to do that. ESTHER: As part of your movement, can you share one story of someone’s life, you’ve changed through your movement? One person’s story that’s really impacted your life and you thought to yourself, I know I’m making a difference. KATHRINE: A woman in Chicago wrote to me and said, “I was on the verge of going right down in the pit; I was in a terrible abusive relationship; I’d lost my kids in this relationship and in court custody; I didn’t have an 8

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education, I didn’t have a job and then one-day someone gave me your book, Marathon Woman, and I read it and I decided that I would I would start running because I was so stressed. I thought maybe running would help. So she went out and started running, she got her head together, then she joined the local running organization and ran her first event, and said, “If I can do that, I can do something more.” So, to cut a long story short, she went back and finished her education, got a degree and a good job and also got her kids back. And then, just last year, I got a beautiful wedding invitation, she found somebody wonderful, and asked if I would come to the wedding, and her kids would also be there. It was a matter of putting one foot in front of the other. My book in this case was her inspiration, but often, it is the person next door, or the person in your local group or just do it on your own. ESTHER: As part of this journey for you personally Kathrine, you mentioned that after you participated in the Boston Marathon, you got lots of different responses. Some of the hate mail you received, where do you think that was coming from? Was it because you were female? Was it because you broke protocol? KATHRINE: Everywhere! And I got to tell you the sad thing was as much of it came from women as well as from men. Here is why it came from women. Women are often afraid of other women who are powerful. They are so very afraid that they can’t be that person. So many people would rather stay with the devil they know than with the devil they don’t. They are afraid to take the first step; that is why the word ‘Fearless’ is so important. It also came from the religious rights in the United States, from people who have an incredible imagination of what is proper for women and what is proper for men from a religious point of view. I feel religion is one of the big curses in our society. We should just love each other. However, let me not judge by that. The other thing is because of social appropriateness. Let’s not forget people felt that women shouldn’t sweat, they shouldn’t do anything arduous because that was the domain of men; that it was an improper thing for women to do. Women are supposed to be pretty, weak and fragile. The other thing which was the biggest surprise, was the medical establishment. They were utterly convinced that women were weak and fragile and that my uterus would fall out or that I was going to turn into a man or a lesbian. It was unbelievable and those people were in the South of Europe but if you go to South America or the Middle East that belief still exists hugely. That is one of the things that is holding so many women back because their femininity is the only thing they can possess and, if they think they might lose it, like going out running or doing sports or doing something that gives a sense of empowerment they’re not going to touch it because they feel they can’t control anything else, rather than understanding that it would give them power and freedom; it’s amazing. ESTHER: So how did you deal with all the emotional stuff that came from this huge change in your life i.e. being attacked in the race, to winning the race, to then being elevated in status, having to deal with society’s reaction to you etc.? KATHRINE: What I do Esther with everything is I run. I swear to you, running has gotten me through divorces, deaths in the family, publishing blocks etc. Because as I’m running the ideas come and the tranquility comes and then the rationalization comes. If you think it through long enough you come up with a solution. Also frankly, if you’re tired enough, it goes away in a way that alcohol or drugs couldn’t possibly do; because that’s only temporary. At the end of those kinds of fixes, you wake up and say “I still got the problem.” Whereas with running, you not only get the benefit of the fitness, but you get the benefit of having thought things through with a solution of your own at the end. I mean this has been proven by psychiatrists to be true that they have almost as much success treating depressives with running as they do with drugs. ESTHER: So, where to now for Kathrine? You’re going to be in the UK very soon? KATHRINE: Well, who would have imagined that 50 years after I first ran the Boston Marathon I would want to be running again on my 50th anniversary. I will be the first woman in history to run a marathon 50 years after she first did. That’s not a testimony to my greatness but a testimony to how few women ran 50 years ago. So you can imagine how I felt in Boston last April with 125, 261 Fearless women around me, raising money for the foundation, also running in this historic moment because, what had happened over those 50 years was a social revolution and women’s running had created it on the streets of Boston. So we had to celebrate it and boy did we TURNINGPOINT

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celebrate. To go from that terrible time in ‘67 with cold, rainy negative attitudes about me, then to the streets filled with people with hundreds of signs; people holding up ‘Go Kathrine all the way’ and to run really well, I only ran 24 minutes slower than when I was 20, was incredible. So, Boston was a triumph for me and for women everywhere. Then, I decided that I was still in great shape; so I ran in the New York City Marathon, which was an event I won and to come back and do it forty three years also, was a big news story and inspired people. Frankly not just women, but people who are older and suddenly people were saying wow, you know she is 70 years old. It’s never over because if you can stay fit your whole life, look at what you can accomplish. Now, that I have knocked off Boston fifty years later and New York forty three years later I’ve turned my sights to the London Marathon, because as you know, I feel in many ways as if I helped in the creation of that race. I have been there many times as a journalist but not to run. So I decided that this was the year. So, you guys will hopefully see me on April 22nd 2018 running the Virgin Money London Marathon. KATHRINE: People in the UK will be seeing me again on the 261 Fearless web pages; social media pages, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram at the UK club because that club is really growing and I will be there for them. Also, I wanted to mention, we have a partnership with this wonderful event on the 27th of May which is called ‘The Women can Marathon’ in Devon and they had their first ever only women marathon in the U.K last year. So clubs from all over the world especially the US are sending all kinds of runners to this event. Just go and check it out. ESTHER: Do you know the oldest person that’s taken part in one of your events? KATHRINE: Yes it was an 81year old woman called Grace Story she ran the marathon in Ottawa with us. She only started running when she was 72. She started running because she used to follow her son around when he was out running and hold his sweatshirt, so she decided that she could run too. She then went out and started running and she ran her first marathon at age 81. In the rock and roll series was a woman named Harriet Thompson who unfortunately died a couple months ago. She ran a marathon in San Diego when she was 93. So, I have a lot to look forward to Esther. ESTHER: Fantastic. You’ve got about another hundred years left. (Laughter.) So, is there anything else you would like to share with my readers? KATHRINE: Yes, that they can do much more than they could ever imagine. That they are probably the worst judges of their own capabilities because they are always looking at the interior. Yet the capacity for human achievement is beyond anything we could imagine; not only physically but mentally and emotionally. You are only going to understand that if you take the next step; you have to take the next step and then, that will open up a whole vista for you and then you take the next. It’s all there for you and it isn’t about talent and smart, it’s just about taking control of your life. So on that note I’d like to say to everybody, be fearless, and go for it; because it’s there for you. HTTP://WWW.261FEARLESS.ORG/ABOUT-261 HTTP://KATHRINESWITZER.COM/ CREDIT FOR THE HISTORIC PHOTO - BOSTON HERALD CREDIT FOR THE RECENT PHOTOS - 261 FEARLESS

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ERNESTINE SHEPHERD THE 81 YEAR YOUNG, GUINESS BOOK OF RECORD’S BODY BUILDER

EXCLUSIVE FEATURES

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or this particular issue of TurningPoint, I’ve had the pleasure of talking to so many wonderful women. Therefore, it was a real honor to talk to Ernestine Shepherd, another dynamic individual who so inspired me that I’ve decided to up my training even more and to look after my health and wellbeing even more. I was excited to say the least to be finally connecting with such an inspirational individual. Age is nothing

but a number. Here Ernestine Shepherd talks candidly to TurningPoint Magazine about her journey into health and becoming The Guinness Book of Record’s oldest female body builder. As usual I asked the mandatory question “Who is Ernestine in a nutshell, a coconut shell or even a peanut shell?

ERNESTINE: “Ernestine Shepherd is an 81 years young lady; who tries to motivate and inspire others to live a healthy, happy, positive and confident lifestyle, by number one, first with prayer; number two, eating healthy, number three exercising and also getting out and doing some type of cardio, something that will keep the body in motion. ESTHER: What inspired you to take a good look at your health and well-being; as you had a sister who died who wanted to be part of that journey for making the change? ERNESTINE: First of all, this happened because of a vain reason that my sister Velvet and I had. We had gone to purchase bathing suits; we put them on and wow we didn’t like how we looked; so we decided that we would start exercising. So we went to a center and started doing aerobics first; and after that the instructor insisted that she and I lift weights. In the beginning, I really didn’t want to lift weights, because I thought I would end up looking like a man. ESTHER: [Chuckles] ERNESTINE: I didn’t want to look like that, but finally after I saw how Velvet’s body had changed I got so jealous, because, everybody was looking at her and not at me. I then decided I would do what she was doing and I started lifting weights and from then my body started changing also. ESTHER: And at what age did you start on this intrepid journey? ERNESTINE: We started on this journey when I was 56 years of age and Velvet was 57. Initially we both thought we were too old for anything to happen; but that wasn’t so. Because, we noticed changes in our bodies. ESTHER: You’ve since taken part in body building competitions and also trained in the fitness industry can you just expand on this? ERNESTINE: What happened after Velvet and I began training, little did I know that she was sick but she didn’t exactly tell me everything; the first thing that she said to me was, “if anything were to happen to me, would you continue with what we started?” and I in turn said the same thing to her, but she said to me, “I’m not fooling, if anything were to happen to me would you continue? I thought I would just say yes, to keep her quiet. But then, she kept telling me various things that were happening like she had TURNINGPOINT

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such terrible headaches, and it felt as if water was running from her eyes; she couldn’t see properly and she couldn’t use her hands. Then finally I said to her, you’d better go to a doctor. So she went to hospital and after they examined her, they found out she had a brain aneurysm and that it had already burst and she said to me, “remember what I asked you to do, would you do it?” There were so many things she asked me to do; she wanted to be in the Guinness Book of World Records; in fact she thought we both would make it, but then, she said since she didn’t think she would make it, would I try? She wanted it so much. She wanted me to be on various television shows, to get the word out to people about fitness. So again, I told yes, I would. But I didn’t do that immediately, because after she died, I just hated everybody; everything and I even hated God, because, I couldn’t understand how He took her away when she was such a good person and I stayed in the house and I was the meanest ugliest person anyone could meet. I suffered with acid reflux, depression, high blood pressure, panic attacks and all those things and I was on all types of medication. I would always have to go to ER because something was always wrong and they got to know me there because I was constantly there.

Then one night I’d gone to bed and Velvet came to me in a dream and said, “You aren’t doing what I asked you to do, get up and do what I asked you to do.” When I looked around the room, I didn’t see anyone, so, I just laid back down. Then I thought about it more and more. It took me a good 6 weeks or more to get up and see what was going on. The first thing I did, I decided I would go to a church. I love to sing and when I went they were playing a song that Velvet and I loved very much and the words were, “Here I am Lord, It is I Lord, I have heard you calling through the night; I will go Lord, where you leave me; I will hold your people in my heart.” The next thing I knew, I jumped up and I disrupted that service and these words came to me and I said them loudly “Restore to me the joy of my salvation. Restore to me the joy of each new day; give me back the love that I once had for you and never ever let me slip away.”

I felt like a brand new person, it felt like I wanted to be different; I didn’t want to be that mean ugly person who said all kinds of things and I gathered myself together and said, now, I would try to do the things that Velvet wanted done. I contacted the former Mr. Universe, Yohnnie Shambourger and told him that I wanted to become a body builder, would he help me. He said, “yes, but you have to go on a long journey and you’re going to have to do everything that I ask you to do, will you be able to do that?” And I told him yes. I was 71 years of age and I started training. He put me through so many exercises. Some of them were so rough, I would look at him with tears in my eyes and say, ‘you know that I’m old, I can’t do this. 12

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I can’t do that. “And he’d say “ You’re an athlete. You said all the things you wanted to do to follow what Velvet wanted, so you’re going to have to work for it.” So I kept working even though I was sobbing and crying. Finally, I did my first bodybuilding show 7 months later. When I did that show, I came in first place. The very next thing I knew Yohnnie had gotten a call from the Guinness World Record people and they said they thought I was the oldest competitive female bodybuilder in the world; but they would have to check it out; they did and I was. So they asked me to go to Rome to get to my medal and my certificate. Yohnnie and I traveled to Rome and arrived there March 16, 2010 - that was my sister’s birthday. I got off the plane and there was a car waiting for us and the tag number on that car some of the numbers were 3-1-6. I looked and I said, no this can’t be happening; then when we arrived at the hotel can you imagine Velvet’s favorite song was playing ‘When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high, and don’t be afraid of the dark.’ Everybody knows that song - You never walk alone. Tears gushed from my eyes and again I said, Velvet is here with me. We did various exercises there; I received my medal and my certificate.

Then the next thing I knew Yohnnie got a call from ‘Ripleys Believe it or Not’ and they asked me to come to New York so that I could be in their book and they took pictures, I ended up in ‘Ripleys, Believe It or Not’ as Granny Six pack. From then on, all kinds of wonderful things have happened to me. I’ve been on so many TV shows getting the word out. It’s a joy and the last TV show that I on was with Steve Harvey and I enjoyed that tremendously. I was also on Harry Connick Jr; I did a SKYPE interview with Oprah, I was on Good Morning America. Also as I mentioned before I also train people at the gym. If you don’t get there in time, you can’t get in that room because there are between forty and forty-five people in there. Then I train people in the large section of the gym with the weight machines. I go to various centers to do training and I do motivational speaking. Also, once a month, I have community walks. My walks are always so big; CNN heard about them and they came out and filmed it. They were wonderful to all of us and 25 years have gone by and I’m still being blessed that I still do all of these things. I’m up every morning at 2:30; I say my devotion; I meditate; I eat, then I go out and run and walk. Then I’m at the gym at 7:30 in the morning; I stay there from 7:30 until 11:00am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Then I’m there at night on Thursdays 5:30pm until 7:00pm; then Tuesdays and Thursdays during the day. I’m then at a Resource Center training people from 10:45am to 11:45am that’s my ministry and I intend to do this until I can’t do it anymore. TURNINGPOINT

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ESTHER: Wow! You’ve so inspired me. Now sometimes when your body’s tired or when you don’t feel to do anything what keeps you going? Is it the promise to your sister? Is it the way you look now? ERNESTINE: Well, there’s so many things to keep me going: number one my sister; promised her that I would follow her dream and be what she wanted and her dream has become mine. Then, I love Sylvester Stallone. If you were to have called me on my cellphone, you would have heard my ringtone, I just loved the way a fictitious picture like ‘Rocky’ inspired me. I saw when he was down and it didn’t stop him, he got up and especially when his manager died and he went to pieces. He didn’t know what to do and he finally got up on his feet with the help of one of his friends and was able to continue his boxing and win.

Another thing is, I love to look nice. I love to wear fancy workout clothes; I love to have the heels on; the socks matching everything; the fingernails matching. All of these are so important to me, because I want all seniors and anyone to know that age is nothing but a number. That you can get fit; it isn’t you must become a bodybuilder, but you can become as healthy as you want and also my mantra is DETERMINED, DEDICATED, DISCPLINED to be fit; and if you follow those three D’s in anything that you do; you can’t help but succeed. My sister Velvet gave me that creed. She said, that’s the creed we would wear on all of our clothing and if you see me on television or anywhere you’ll see my mantra DETERMINED, DEDICATED, DISCPLINED to be fit. Then she had given me a creed that we should live by and it’s called the ‘Optimist Creed’ she didn’t write it, it was by the author Christian Dee Larson. I read this in the morning and I read it at night; I know it by heart, but I have it on a plaque and it goes like this:

“I promise myself to be strong, that nothing can disturb my peace of mind. To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person I meet; to make all my friends feel, there is something worthwhile in them; to look at the sunny side of everything and make my optimism come true; to think only of the best; to work only for the best and to expect only the best; to be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as I am about my own; to forget the mistakes of the past and press onto the greater achievements of the future and what I do every day of my life; to wear a cheerful expression at all times and give a smile to every living creature that I meet; to give so much time to improve in myself that I have no time to criticize others; to be too large for worry; too noble for anger; too strong for fear and too happy to permit the presence of trouble; to think well of myself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud words, but in great deeds. To live in the faith that the whole world is on my side so long as I am true to the best that is in me” and this was written by Christian Dee Larson. I practice this every day of my life. I reach out and everyone that I meet, I make certain that I give them a hug, because you do not know, how much a hug can help someone. I know a hug helped me out a lot. So I make certain that I do that. I make certain that I smile at everyone; I make certain that I listen and that I’m never too busy to walk past and not listen to what someone has to say; because without all of you, I’m absolutely positively nothing. ESTHER: Fantastic! I’m sitting here, I’m thinking, I’m just going to keep moving forward with my own journey because from what you’ve just shared, it’s inspired me to step up even further and keep stepping up. You’ve got a beautiful essence and calm about you and it’s a real privilege to be speaking to you. Ernestine, we’re coming up to International Women’s month and also in the UK, it’s going to be mother’s day shortly. What can you share with women who may be feeling down who’ve been in the struggle and who think that this is the only place to be. What can you share to encourage them to get up and keep going? ERNESTINE: I tell people to get up and move. The first thing to do, if you don’t want to go to the gym; get a pair of tennis shoes that are comfortable, get a friend and start walking; because with my anxiety and panic attacks, I had to start walking to get my mind straight. Then as I kept doing that my body kept getting 14

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stronger and stronger and the next thing I knew I was ready to go back to the gym and start doing what my sister wanted. I always say prayer is so important. Also, I have a book out called ‘Determined, Dedicated, Disciplined to be Fit: The Ageless Journey of Ernestine Shepherd’ which has quite a few things in it that will let people know how to get started on their road to fitness. If anyone wants to purchase the book they can email me and I will have one mailed to them. It’s not online yet but I’m working on that. May I close with a quote that I love from Audrey Hepburn:

“For the beautiful eyes, always look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, always speak only words of kindness; and for poise, always walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.” I think that is so beautiful

A big thank you to Yohnnie Shambourger, Ernestine’s trainer for setting up this interview. Seen in picture with Ernestine. CONTACT DETAILS: E.SHEPHERD1@COMCAST.NET.

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CELEBRATING INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S MONTH AND MOTHER’S DAY WITH SOME GREAT PRIZES In this landmark issue we have some great giveaways. Just answer a few questions below and win yourself one of the below prizes: Answers can be found in the magazine. •In which state did Kathrine Switzer win her first marathon? •Simone Wilson takes a class called? •Which restaurant did TurningPoint’s Mr TopHat review in this issue?

AVAILABLE:

COMPETITION

SIGNED COPY OF ‘MARATHON WOMAN’ BY THE LEGENDARY KATHRINE SWITZER

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SIGNED COPY OF ‘SORTED: THE ACTIVE WOMAN’S GUIDE TO HEALTH’ BY DR JULIET MCGRATTAN SIGNED PROMOTIONAL PICTURE BY LEGENDARY GROUP TVARES GREAT PRIZES FROM CECE PENISTON, ICONIC ARTIST, PERFORMER AND SONGWRITER KNOWN FOR HER TRIBUTE SONG FINALLY • TSHIRTS • 1 X NEW SINGLE BY CECE PENISTON • WRISTLETS

Prizes will be given to the first five people to send in their names and email addresses to: turningpoint@estheraustinglobal.com

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COMPETITION CLOSES: FRIDAY 23RD MARCH 2018 ONE ENTRY PER PERSON ONLY


INSPIRATIONAL 18

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MY MOTHER BY LAMONT MCLEMORE FROM THE 5TH DIMENSION

LEGENDARY VOCALIST, LAMONT MCLEMORE SHARES ABOUT HIS MOTHER – 103 YEARS YOUNG – HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL MOTHERS

INSPIRATIONAL

I

had the privilege of interviewing old skool artist Lamonte Mclemore from the legendary band The Fifth Dimension who is an American Vocalist and founding member of The 5th Dimension a popular vocal group of the late 1960s and early 1970s. He shared much about his life, his challenges and successes yet at the root of who he is and has turned out to be was the tenacious spirit of his mother and grandmother. Two women who worked hard, in his words ‘my mother worked her fingers to the bone’ to

support her family after his father walked out on the family when Lamont was 6 years old. Therefore, he was largely raised by his grandmother Gertrude Whitecloud Shaver. Lamont’s mother, June, is now a centenarian, an age worth celebrating – she’s actually 103 years young and still going strong, 104 in June. Therefore, I thought it apt to capture briefly the essence of such incredible, indomitable and inspiring women. Especially since this issue was about looking at the tenacity, strength and wisdom of women.

LAMONT: My grandmother was a phenomenal person; if she was still alive today we’d be sitting around a fire and she’d be talking about the philosophies of life. My mother had to work her fingers to the bone doing housework for different people; so my grandmother had to take care of us. They both struggled very very hard and my mother will be 104 in June coming up. She is still blessed with good memory; she got better memory than yours and mine put together. ESTHER: [Chuckles] Speak for yourself! LAMONT: This is a joke about my mother. I used to write jokes for Richard Pryor and Redd Foxx and others then I put my own joke book together. When I told my mother that I’d published my own book she said “you go dirty jokes in there?” and I said “yes ma’am” and she said then send me a couple. [Chuckles] My grandmother always said, live life to the fullest and if you ever have to look down on somebody, be sure it’s only to help them up. Another thing she taught me was about forgiveness. She said, “If God can forgive, then who am I not to?” So I just took those two blessings and that’s how I live my life. I wish my grandmother was still here, but I still have my mother. ESTHER: Incredible. You said your mother worked incredibly hard. What is it, you feel has given your mother this wonderful extension of life? LAMONT: She said she would never be old; she would just be older and when The 5th Dimension started she was still doing housework for a couple of people, and I said to her that she didn’t need to be doing housework for people and she said these people are so good to me, I just want to. I then asked her how old these people are, as I thought they were old people and they were three times younger than she was. [Chuckles]

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ESTHER: Your mother was so pivotal in terms of a lot of your success. What was it about your mother’s character that you felt enabled you to become the person that you are? What was one of her strongest attributes when you looked at her you thought, I’m going to keep going. LAMONT: I was just amazed that she got up early every morning to go to work and then to come back just to feed us. I’m sure a lot of times she went hungry as we didn’t have a lot of food. My grandmother, being an Indian, she could run; my mum could run track. So short story .... the bus driver used to stop in front of our house to pick us up, so we didn’t have to walk to the bus stop, that’s how well he knew us. One-day my mother didn’t come out in time and the bus pulled off, then someone said there’s someone two blocks away trying to catch the bus it was my mother because SHE WAS GOING TO CATCH THAT BUS and every day we’d watch my mother try to catch that bus. [Laughter] On another day about baseball, I think she taught me how to pitch because she’d ask me to help her do something, and I’d say I’m going to play ball and I’d try to sneak out the house, man she’d run outside with her shoe and as I’d turn the corner, her shoe would turn the corner with me and I’d be like “how she do that?” So my mother taught me to throw a curve. LAMONT:

So Happy Mother’s Day to all Mothers.

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TRUE GRIT

THE STORY ‘NEVER TO BE TOLD! ’ BY JENNIFER ANNE-LYNCH

O

INSPIRATIONAL

ften people ask me why I started writing, and the simple answer to that at least in the early days, was easy, to keep me sane. At times, being a single parent with two fast growing sons was an uphill struggle and I frequently wondered if I’d make it through motherhood. Would there ever be a stage where my children were independent? At 28 and 30 with good careers, they most certainly are. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to realise how lucky

I decided to rent a tiny cottage where I started my writing journey, after being forced out of two other rental properties. At this time in my life, I felt as if I was pushed from pillar to post and I was even bribed by a landlord to give up one tenancy early with an offer of £1,000. I didn’t take it because I was physically exhausted from moving with two young children and it was inconceivable that the process would start all over again four months later! I was given an extra two months and I was packing again! I was convinced that I had struck gold with this new cottage where I began my writing journey because it was remote, had no heating and it was also a farm tenancy which meant no-one would want it back in a hurry. We seemed to live off the last bit of the emergency meter, seldom having £5 to take it back to the start! At this point I wondered what I’d done leaving my marriage with my children especially in the mornings when I came down to light a fire, the success of which we depended upon to keep warm! I happily collected them from school everyday at the same time collecting a bag of firewood, from a small furniture maker which fortunately was on the same street corner as the school. Every day I gave the man £1 and he carried the wood to my car and put it in my boot. I was grateful for this because it was cheaper than logs and they burned well. On reflection, I realise that I had several turning points here. One of them was, although my writing was very important

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I am, but I won’t ever forget the challenges that I had along the way. When I wrote ‘The Silver Lining,’ I wanted to explain how I was led into spirituality as well as finding my own sense of identity. This book has been described as a little book of truths, most likely because my heart spilt out onto the pages. I often lived with little money being on a very tight budget and the priority was food and clothes for my sons.

to me, so was my need to get us out of this situation. I couldn’t remain on my current income and I was going to have to take a giant leap of faith into the unknown. When I was married I hadn’t worked for over ten years so employment was a challenge along with the fact that technology had changed, and I wasn’t up-to-date. My only option was to update my skills and look for a job. I managed to enrol on a word processing course to improve my secretarial skills, but it was 50 minutes from where I lived and a journey through dark country lanes which was tiring, plus I hated driving at night. I stuck with the course but on the day of the exam, it was snowing heavily, and I felt that it was one challenge too many. I made myself go, and my old little blue metro finally got me to class but I was in such a state when I took the exam, I couldn’t remember a thing and failed. Still exams were never really my thing and I knew I now had the experience I needed, so who needed the exam! Eventually I landed a job which started a procession of jobs which eventually improved my circumstances. Apparently my first employer wasn’t that interested in the wordprocessing but she was interested in my voice, “you have the perfect telephone voice” she said, “that’s why I employed you.” That job ended in disaster after having a head on collision with a lorry but that’s another story and I was once again without work after my employer tried to force me to do her gardening and replenish her log store, when I


into the future and just dealing with what is, can help with stress. I work now giving soul coaching sessions as well as being a writer. I became a firm believer in angels when I started to see them in the cottage – without feeling their presence around me, I often think that I may not have got to this point. Sometime after that, I trained as a therapist having worked in a gift shop for a year, which sold greetings cards. I was the one who went out in the rain and broke up the cardboard boxes.

was still suffering from the accident – so I walked! However, her words led me to thinking that maybe my perfect telephone voice could be a good voice for other things too and I’ve discovered in the past couple of years that I’ve got a great voice for radio! It’s always important to remember the little gems of information people give you and don’t ever dismiss them because the words of a few, are often more valuable than the words of many. I love to write about single parents and their struggles because I’ve been one and I still am one really as my children’s father died when they were teenagers. So for many years I’ve been the post on which to lean. Sometimes even posts get tired and I feel that stopping and re-assessing where you are, is a good thing. Life can be tough but things change and adopting this attitude is a good motivator to take you forward. Plus staying in the now moment, not projecting too much

You may ask, is the life of a writer glamorous? Well, it’s been a learning curve, managing money has been challenging for me but in recent years I’ve had a little help along the way. I wanted to leave the shop half an hour early on a Thursday afternoon so that I could attend the massage therapy course but unfortunately there was no way they would allow this to happen and I was told quite plainly ‘NO’ which led me to quitting job number 2! I knew this would lead to more money problems but it was necessary for me to get this so I could work in the career I wanted and have a recognised qualification. Doing this course meant I had to find babysitters but at least it made me feel as if I was on the right path and I was now doing something which really meant something to me. Going back to college was a huge turning point for me and one I loved. I felt valued and I was determined to finish the course. Whilst working as a massage therapist along with various temp jobs, I attended a Mind Body Soul exhibition in Buxton where I met a man who sold magnetic wristbands. I became extremely interested in these and he gave me a couple to try, one for myself and one for a friend. After being amazed by the results I asked Ray if he’d basically give me a job, convincing him that I could sell as I had been doing telephone sales for the lady who liked my voice! At this point I was unemployed again and back on the emergency electric meter! Ray told me that he would give it a go if I could get to the Vitality Show in London in Islington. I hadn’t been to London since I was 10 years old and didn’t have a clue where the Angel tube station was. Not only did I have to sell a product I had never sold before, but I had to cope with the tube and attending a prestigious exhibition. It was winter, and I slept nearly every night in a full set of clothes trying to keep warm. My sons were a bit better off with a blow electric heater but mine had flashed and died. I had to find something decent enough to wear for the upcoming exhibition and to launch myself into this situation in two days was a challenge that seemed TURNINGPOINT 23


almost impossible, yet what I could earn doing this, could turn my life around. So I said yes and then surprisingly I found myself at this large exhibition. I then realised that I was good at selling magnetic therapy bracelets and I started to enjoy myself. I was offered two more jobs that day from people but I decided to be loyal to Ray after all he believed in me and so that journey began from 2001 – 2009 when I gradually stopped selling the magnets. I began to write more and started my novel ‘William’s Wishes’ about adoption, then came ‘Liberty Angel’ and then the book I am really proud of ‘We Hear You Angels’ which got to number 1 in Angels on Amazon, something I am very proud of. What happened after 2008? Well 2008 was a very difficult time for me financially because despite opportunities, I still had the restrictions of being a single parent and although I could sell, the money side of things never really seemed to balance out. I began more temp jobs and at times I was temping, still selling magnets at the weekends, doing large events and the occasional massage. I became completely exhausted

once again and then decided I’d stop working in offices and focus on being a therapist. I fully understand the challenges women face when trying to juggle the different parts of their lives as well as being a parent. Even now, I am still juggling some aspects, but I am fortunate in having the skills to dip in an out of regular work when I need to. The biggest lesson I have learned through my various turning points is to enjoy the journey. My latest novel ‘Never to Be Told’ is about a woman called Angela who also experiences tough challenges – but along with that she is learning how to navigate through various romantic situations and to have fun. The book explains how she uses mindfulness and meditation to help her through the difficult times but it also contains a lot of twists and turns with some great surprises. It’s a journey that many of us can relate to but it is also shows us that it is really up to us! JENNIFER LYNCH Author of Never to Be Told available on

HTTP://AMZN.EU/6EILJEI

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IN FOCUS:

INSPIRATIONAL

SHEILA NEWTON MOSES; BRILLIANT DEVELOPER AND DESIGNER, PROJECT CONCEPT - OPENED UP THE SOUTH OF ST. LUCIA. A MESSAGE BY ASHBURN HOLDER, CCFED PRESIDENT An Ivy Leaguer, educated Caribbean American and citizen of St. Lucia, this dynamic female destination tourist developer/designer is the brain child for what is hailed as the best concept for a project since Sandals in the Caribbean. It is called the Caribbean Market Village, St. Lucia, “the happiness place to be in the Caribbean.” A brilliant new concept. The end result will be an all-inclusive authentic tourist destination, catering for the new age tourist, with the destination as a true Caribbean experience, while addressing the economic sustainable focus on the south side of St. Lucia. The concept aims to preserve the essence of St. Lucia as well as preserve the native arts and crafts industry. It addresses the needs of the people in the south side of St. Lucia and was the first project in St. Lucia from the diaspora that talked directly about opening up the south side of St. Lucia to empower the people. The CMV St. Lucia aims to provide a platform for over 50 small and local businesses; provide over 200 jobs, focusing on women’s economic empowerment; showcasing the authentic local arts and crafts, foods, etc, all made in St. Lucia, or the Caribbean, giving Caribbean

artists a platform. This project is not just a brilliant idea; it is a concept already approved on the island with equity of over 29 million dollars via land value. The developer is actively seeking other investors and is presently in talks with a few prospects. Currently, she is travelling throughout Europe pitching the project. She has rejected offers in the past that sought to disrupt the pride and authenticity of the project. She has insisted that the people of St. Lucia be empowered by this project and reap the direct benefits of their tourist industry. She called it “the trickled down effect.” Therefore, the people are at the center of real empowerment. Much work has be done for years on this project to form the type of support needed to bring about a launching and she has been diligent and focused in her approach of this project development. This 40 million dollar Caribbean style, Disneylike resort, is the first of its kind, with a synergy of inclusiveness. It allows the tourist to experience local culture and entertainment, with a luxury known only in most secluded resorts. The CMV will act as a tourist destination, providing a platform for local

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culture, arts and crafts and so much more. It is a project packed with exciting and adventurous things to see, touch, taste and do. It is also a platform to address the needs of the Caribbean Diaspora. It is the only project that will concentrate on their needs, as well as addressing the needs of global tourist. The CMV is the ideal place for visitors to learn of St. Lucia in its truest form. There will be a vendors’ mall, Creole food court, legend trails, spectacular sport bar, a day spa, lounge, an aquarium, an outdoor pavilion, a club house, pools, an art gallery, restaurants, service center, shopping centers, a water-park for children, a teen village, nature trails and an organic garden. There will also be a professional business centre, a hotel and a few luxury guest villas and so much more. Synergy is hoping that the tourists will experience more than just a market mall – that they will experience the authentic view of a unique Caribbean destination. This destination is inspired, in every way and detail, by St. Lucian talent, culture, character, history and beauty. All of this is slated to be developed in the south side of St. Lucia and the developer/designer has been actively working on pursuing the right investor for the project. This project has a team of very impressive designers who understand the needs of the southern part of St. Lucia and the need to address the Caribbean Diaspora at large. The Prime Minister Allen Chastanet’s message at the 39th celebration of independence that the time has come for the people of the southern part of St. Lucia rings clears with the brilliant female developer’s message

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just a few short years ago, to open up the south side of St. Lucia with the CMV project. I believe designer/ developer Sheila Newton MOSES HAD THE RIGHT VISION FOR ST.LUCIA. The people of St. Lucia coupled with other members of the Diaspora in the United kingdom and the United States of American, Invest Caribbean Now and Caribbean Council for Economic Development, would like to see this bold, brilliant project created by a daughter of the Caribbean, to be given the support and financial support from the Caribbean, especially St. Lucia to bring this progressive project back in St. Lucia’s focus. AS president of Caribbean Council for Economic development, CCFED in the United Kingdom, headquartered in the USA, and on behalf of its Executives and members, I support the CMV St. Lucia. We would like it to get its due and proper recognition as the big and bold concept that brought the attention to open up the south side of St. Lucia years ago. This bold new concepts speaks to the empowerment of our people as natives in the Diaspora and we welcome the dialogue with the PM of St. Lucia to bring to fruition the original vision one of our own had for preservation of our culture, ideas, self-preservation, and economic empowerment. We believe, this project will add to the development and the sustainable economic empowerment for the south side of St. Lucia and the entire Caribbean region at large. We are looking forward to moving collaboratively, as the flagship project in the Caribbean for 2018. BY ASHBURN HOLDER, President of CCFED, UK.


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HEALTH AND WELLBEING


SIMONE WILSON

HEALTH AND WELLBEING

JUMP COLLECTIVE INSTRUCTOR TALKS FITNESS FOR THE WOMAN IN HER PRIME I had the privilege of attending several of Simone’s classes. I found them fun, energetic, sometimes challenging, however, I love challenging my body and pushing myself out of my comfort zone. So I embraced it all especially knowing how my body would look and feel after. I loved the music she selected and I loved her energy. I am always looking for creative and different ways to keep fit. Now in my early 50’s I have learned to become more mindful of my joints and the types of activities that I take part in. So coming across The Jump

Collective fitness workout was a very pleasant surprise, because I had so much fun and it was like going to a rave – great energetic music. Simone is a great teacher and her passion is infectious. She is incredibly encouraging, very thorough in her teaching approach and after a few sessions you definitely see the benefits. So I’d like to challenge you to try something different today, get fit the fun way. Below is an interview I conducted with Simone…I hope it inspires you to get….jumping.

ESTHER: Who is Simone Wilson in a Nutshell? SIMONE: I am a 38 year old Mum to a 4 year old, juggling Mumhood, running a business, studying and learning to be the best version of myself and live in the moment! ESTHER: What is The Jump Collective About? SIMONE: The Jump Collective is about making your health and wellbeing a priority whilst having fun. ESTHER: What are the benefits of Jumping? SIMONE: There are so many benefits of jumping from the physiological, mental to the emotional. It absorbs the shock that would normally impact your joints if you were doing the same activities on a solid surface, ideal for rehabilitation of injuries; Regular trampoline workouts build stronger bones and increase bone density, helping to prevent fractures and osteoporosis later in life; Rebounding helps stimulate the thyroid gland to start cleaning itself and the entire lymphatic system of stored fat and targets cellulite; Helps to detox your body, promotes balance in your hormones. It also benefits women before & during their menstrual cycle; Allows you to work every muscle in your body at once, whilst improving overall range of movement, firms and tones muscles; Improves your immune system, oxygen circulation and aids tissue repair. ESTHER: What led you to create The Jump Collective (is this the right terminology?) SIMONE: My background is in Dance, I worked as a Choreographer for 19 years. I had my TURNINGPOINT 29


daughter in 2013 and took some time out to focus on being Mummy. In 2016 I decided I wanted to get back into my fitness because a good friend of mine sent me a video of a group of ladies jumping on the trampoline, it looked like so much fun I knew immediately I had to try it. I did some research to find classes in London and came across Jumping Julia. I took my first class in March 2016 and I thought my lungs were going to burst out of my chest within the first 10 minutes, but I loved it so much because it challenged me. I asked Julia on that day if she had an Instructor course. I took the course in June 2016 and became 1 of 8 World Jumping instructors in the UK. I then set up and launched The Jump Collective in March 2017. Last year I travelled to Bratislava in Slovakia to train with the Master Instructors. My goal is to become the UK’s first Master Instructor for World Jumping. ESTHER: What keeps you inspired? Why do you do what you do? SIMONE: My fear of not achieving the things I set out to do keeps me inspired and driven. I do what I do because I love to see people feel good about themselves, and leave class feeling energised and with a sense of achievement. My parents and two brothers continuously inspire me, with their work ethic and entrepreneurial skills. ESTHER: How easy or difficult was it pursuing your love of fitness with a young child in tow? SIMONE: : It can be challenging at times juggling being a Mum and working. I try to keep a balance so that we have time to do activities together. I am very lucky to have a supportive family, my parents help me out a lot and my Mum also works with me on The Jump Collective. ESTHER: What sort of training did you have to do? SIMONE: I initially studied Performing Arts, went on to study Exercise to Music Level 2, Gym Instructor Level 2, Personal Trainer Level 3, Sports Massage as well as World Jumping Level 1. I am currently studying for my Level 4 NASM Women’s Fitness Specialism. ESTHER: What are the benefits of jumping for women in their prime? SIMONE: The benefits for women in their prime are amazing because it is good for strengthening bones, increasing bone density and for wellbeing. ESTHER: What sort of music do you use in your classes and why? SIMONE: For me music is one of the most 30 TURNINGPOINT


important aspects of the class, it can take me a while to find the right tracks for my playlists. I try to use tracks that naturally make you want to move, tracks that motivate you even down to the lyrics. Music to me is very powerful and can make you feel a range of emotions, it can take you back to a memory or feeling. I aim to use music that gives a feel good factor. ESTHER: On the days when your body is talking sleep and tiredness and you have to teach a class how to you get past this feeling? What galvanises you? SIMONE: I play music that will motivate me, once I get into class and see my regular members I can not feel energised. ESTHER: When the going gets tough and the tough gets going what keeps you going? SIMONE: I have a saying ‘You’re tougher than you know, stronger than you think’, it helps me to push through those days that can be challenging, no matter the obstacle I always believe I can learn from that situation. ESTHER: For anyone wanting to do their own thing, to follow their passion what one piece of advice would you give? SIMONE: If you are passionate about what you are going to do, put in 110%, bear in mind you will face obstacles and challenges however celebrate your successes no matter how big or small.

SIMONE WILSON CAN BE CONTACTED AT THE FOLLOWING: info@thejumpcollective.co.uk thejumpcollective1 The Jump Collective @Jump_Collective www.thejumpcollective.co.uk

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SISTAHINTHERAW

IT’S THE ESSENCE OF ‘SOUL FOOD’ AND SELF-CARE IN INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S MONTH.

HEALTH AND WELLBEING

Escape and Rejuvenate - Create A Raw Soul Food Sanctuary to Celebrate International Women’s Month

R

aw SOUL Food Sanctuary “International Women’s Day” honours the women who have paved the path towards our progress and struggled to take ‘womanhood’ to a level where it is now. It is a special day dedicated only to women and their role in our lives.” International Women’s Month invites women to reach for deeper self-awareness, Peace, Clarity, Calm, Creativity, Happiness, Harmony, Fulfilment, Love, Productivity and Prosperity. In March each year, you can join the global appreciation party to focus on and celebrate the contributions and achievements of women around the world for International Women’s Month. On March 8th, which is International Women’s Day, you can celebrate those ‘she-ro’s’ that have inspired you with their creative vision and life successes. As achievers, it’s vital for women to take time away from being constantly busy, to nourish and connect with their ‘whole’ self. For many women, making yourself your first priority is a revolutionary act. Regular self-care is a loving act, it involves putting you at the top of your todo list in order to replenish your reserves, to feed into a healthier, focused, calm and creative you. Sometimes you just need space to connect with your inner wisdom, harness your healing power and reclaim your inner harmony. Here at Raw Soul Food, Sistahintheraw believes that access to health promoting resources is an essential human right for everyone, it is also part of her mission to support women to access the knowledge they need to build healthier lives. Her leadership in the promotion of emotional, physical and plant-based nutritional well-being, is the infrastructure of her ‘wellness warrior’ activities.

advancement of rights, health and wellbeing of women. However, it is our attitudes about ourselves that I feel has evolved from being limited to being the universal nurturer, to a fuller, more rounded personal relationship with ourselves, where women get to consider that a shot at lasting health, harmony and happiness is their birth right.” Supporting women to feel happier in their own skin can take many forms, generally across the spectrum of ‘mind’ (emotions, thoughts and mindset) -‘body’ (movement and nutrition) ‘spirit’ (wisdom, faith and spirituality). This often requires a pre-requisite process of on-going personal development, in order to learn about applying the principles of mindful self-care and expression of your daily choices. Learning how to make time to sit back, relax and give your self some TLC, is an essential health tool for reducing the impact of stress, anxiety, anger, sadness and to promote inner peace and personal contentment. “When a woman is relaxed and rested, she is the most resourceful, receptive, creative, and in tune with her Feminine Soul.” ~ Sara Avant Stover

Sistahintheraw shares that “In my lifetime, I have witnessed considerable shifts in the TOP TIPS TO CREATE A BLISSFUL LIFESTYLE Create a daily practice that will help you to align with and manifest your vision for better health, more positive emotions and overall wellbeing. Get very clear about what you want to commit to—and even more important, your reasons WHY. Become more mindful about the quality of your daily life activities -it takes 21 sequential days to

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develop a new habit, so aim to select a regular time slot for your practice, one that realistically suits your schedule and your temperament, and use this as an asset for building a happier life. When you’ve decided what you’re committing to, create a plan: set a cue to get you started each day, like an reminder on your phone; round up any supplies you may need; do your practice;


reinforce your intention, reward yourself with a cup of gorgeous herbal tea, a smoothie, or add a gold star to your calendar; track your progress; then celebrate your accomplishments. Be in love with life! Work out regularly, eat the best plant-based foods you can, treat yourself to health maintenance therapies, like massage and participate regularly, step-by-step, in fulfilling the life of your dreams. Spend time everyday talking and laughing with your closest tribe, spend time ‘dreaming’ together. Hang out in wonderful places that spike your creative juices and encourage you to visualise the potential success available from implementing of your life goals. Treat your body to all things pure and natural, both inside and out. Organic plant-based cuisine that is filled

with life’s vital energy force, that using only natural ingredients, free from animals or their by-products, processed foods, or harmful additives. Chose natural organic skincare that nourishes your body’s eco system from head to toe. Bring your skin into balance with natural plant extracts that hydrate your skin. You could even try making your own homemade skincare products combined with quality essential oils. I love the body butter and ointments that are available from Ezape Naturals (www.ezapenaturals.co.uk). Go on retreats. Gift yourself a gentle weekend of TLC. Try activities like blissful meditation, delicious raw vegan food, a healing ceremony, sea views and walks along the promenade to promote inner peace and contentment and to reduce stress, anxiety, overwhelm, anger, sadness, and other difficult emotions.

VISIT THE SOUL SANCTUARY Why not combine the activities outlined above for an overall holistic health experience. Check out the new Soul Sanctuary short stay, personal retreat space for individual women located on the Kent coast. You can escape to a beautiful setting to rejuvenate your energy and creativity. You choose to start your day with a guided meditation or a seaside walk and freshly made juices, while enjoying the peaceful ambience, sea views and life-force promoting, raw vegan food that can be included as part of your stay.

In addition, there is a range of health promoting, supplemental services, which you can book, such as: -a one-day juice fast -spiritual counseling sessions -healing rituals -raw plant-based lifestyle coaching -take a one-to-one, hands-on, raw food preparation session -Indian head massage One-day group retreats and classes are also planned in the future.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Sistahintheraw about Soul Sanctuary: connect@ sistahintheraw.com Download a FREE 1 day Juice Fast Guide from the website @ www.sistahintheraw.com If you have any other article questions, email me at: connect@sistahintheraw.com, or you could even book at free 30 minute strategy session with me to explore your next wellbeing options. To find out more about healing rituals and Interfaith Spiritual Counselling check out: https://www. facebook.com/RevAnitasInterfaithCeremonies/ Sistahintheraw is a certified Raw Food Teacher, Hippocrates Health Educator, Spiritual Counsellor, Meditation Teacher and an Ordained Interfaith Minister. She is the founder and CEO of Raw Soul Food, a holistic health and wellness lifestyle company. ©Anita McKenzie aka Sistahintheraw

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THE PERFECT STORM

HEALTH AND WELLBEING

BY KENNETH BARRETT

T

he title for this piece has been bouncing around my brain for a few weeks now. It seems to sum up the connection between a number of different factors that are culminating in the general decline in the health and well-being of the world’s population, particularly in industrialised countries. There’s a contradictory notion that we are all living longer but the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) predict that by the year 2020 three out of 4 people will have Cancer, Diabetes or Heart Disease. Our lifespan may be longer but we don’t really live during our latter years. The youthful energy and vibrancy that we once experienced in our teens slowly escapes unnoticed until one day in middle age, we wake up and wonder where it has all gone. Do you remember the theory of how you boil a frog? If you drop a frog in hot water it will jump out straight away, but put it in a saucepan of cold water and slowly heat it up, the frog will not notice the temperature rise until it’s too late. Before I go further, I would like to clarify a statement made in my last article which due to a formatting glitch during the final edit made the figures a bit nonsensical. I was explaining benefits of eating complete protein with 22 amino acids in the same meal and that this will

result in 22 to the power of 22, that’s 341 Trillion (or 341 Quintillion if you are from the USA) different combinations of enzymes, immune cells and hormones to digest food, fight disease and repair our bodies. A clear illustration of the importance of whole food nutrition. The definition of a perfect storm is, an especially bad situation caused by a combination of unfavourable circumstances. So let’s break this down. I have already described “an especially bad situation” as being 75% of people by 2020 will get one or all of the big three killers. A combination of unfavourable circumstances will need to be broken down further. Here goes:

DEAD SOIL Let start with soil. It’s dead! Years of industrialised farming developed to keep supermarket shelves in our cities full, have depleted the soil of the essential micro-nutrients that are necessary for complete human development. Since the beginning of the 20th century synthetic nitrogen fertilisers have displaced the traditional techniques farmers used to increase soil fertility like cover cropping and livestock manure. Also the ancient practice of crop rotation and leaving a field fallow has long been abandoned because the ability to yield many harvests per year out of the same field using synthetic fertilisers. Although crop yields have increased many of the micro-nutrients needed for complete human nutrition are depleted or non-existent. Insecticides, fungicides, herbicides etc. Depleted nutrient soil yields weakened crops which are less resistant to parasites and other

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factors that inhibit growth. This leads to a greater requirement for the use of insecticides etc. Crops are routinely sprayed firstly with a glue to ensure that the application of insecticide won’t wash off in the rain. Another practice called systemic immunisation is where insecticide is put into the irrigation system so can’t even be washed off when you get it home.


GMOS – GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS It doesn’t stop there! Some very clever scientists have worked out how to make crops insecticide resistant by modifying the seeds with the genes from rats! This poor fellow’s tumours are a result of being fed a diet of GMO corn.

PROCESSED FOODS Most of the food sold in supermarkets is processed to improve shelf life and taste good. Wheat, grains (rice) are processed to increase shelf life by removing the wheat germ. The result, wheat becomes sugar in the body. Taste is improved using additives and excessive sugar and salt and toxic man-made cooking oils and spreads – which may lead to the constriction of blood vessels leading onto cardiovascular diseases.

LIVESTOCK Includes all animals bred for human consumption: Often reared in sanitary, inhumane conditions where antibiotics and other drugs are used for disease control. Farm reared fish is fed with GMO corn. Sea fish is harvested from polluted waters.

GENERAL TREND TO EAT OUT OR TAKE AWAY. Cooking from scratch is a dying activity. Food Preparation in the fast lane. Speed and convenience over quality and substance. We use microwave ovens, cook too hot and too long and barbecued food has increased carcinogenic properties. MOVEMENT A sedentary lifestyle particularly children. Activity is no longer physical it is mental where stimulus comes from a screen large or small. We now live in an age where for the first time in our existence parents are likely to outlive their children. DOCTORS There is a general belief that the medical profession will cure any ailments we get as long as we get screened early enough. The emphasis is on cure rather than prevention. It all adds up to a perfect storm for ill health, a miserable existence and early death. I apologise for creating an apocalyptic vision for the human race. I actually think that we are more at threat from the nutters currently in

possession of the nuclear rocket launch codes and I do think that the human spirit is strong enough to turn around this bleak prognosis. But the turn around won’t be instigated from the top down. The Pharmaceutical, Petrochemical, Farming Industry and Medical Industries are far too focussed on shareholder profits. Politicians are far too in cahoots with them for any changes to happen any time soon. Change will come from the bottom up where consumers will no longer put up with being guinea pigs or lab rats, fed-up seeing their loved ones suffer from preventable disabilities, ill health and premature death. I believe that the groundswell for an alternative, natural approach to health and well-being is already underway and there are people and organisations actively involved in creating a new paradigm. I too am committed to help the fight to end the trend of chronic diseases which is why I now work with a company who have developed solutions and programmes that promote health by encouraging the body to maintain well-being using natures resources as intended. Love and Good Health

KEN BARRETT myoptimalhealthuk@gmail.com http://kennethbarrett.neolifeshop.com

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ARE THESE CHANGING TIMES? MIXING THE MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL WITH HOLISTIC HEALTH?

HEALTH AND WELLBEING

ESTHER: A doctor who is into health and fitness is this normal? (A tongue in cheek question) JULIET: This is an interesting question actually! Most doctors have had zero or very little training in nutrition, exercise and wellbeing during their medical school degree. I certainly don’t recall any other than being told to advise patients to ‘do some exercise because it’s good for them’. We are now becoming more and more aware of the impact that lifestyle can have on health. There is a lot of work going on to introduce this into the medical school curriculum and also to educate working doctors to increase their knowledge and confidence in this area. There are plenty of healthy, fit doctors but getting someone else to change their behaviour and adopt a healthier lifestyle is very hard, especially without training in how to do it. It’s encouraging to know that more and more doctors are taking a specific interest in ‘lifestyle medicine’ so watch this space! ESTHER: What are some of the main challenges women face health-wise in coping with things like The Menopause, PMS, Pregnancy etc JULIET: Women’s health issues just seem to throw up extra barriers that make everyday life harder. It’s often how they make you feel and their effect on your mood. Mood swings and depression for example are more common during the menopause, pre-menstrually and during and after pregnancy. At times like this it can be hard to remain motivated to live healthily. You can feel anti-social and grumpy, tired and lethargic and none of these feelings make positive, healthy lifestyle choices easy. Then of course there are the physical complications such as sore breasts, irregular or heavy bleeding and a growing pregnant uterus. The challenge of keeping going despite these issues is a real one. Part of the reason for this has been the lack of information for women. Many of these topics are a bit taboo and women are often hesitant to discuss them. Without help and guidance these issues can become genuine barriers to a healthy life ESTHER: How does adopting a healthier lifestyle support with managing these symptoms? What are some of the benefits experienced? JULIET: There is a growing bank of evidence to prove that a healthy lifestyle can bring genuine health benefits. For example, if you can exercise regularly at the recommended level (150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week), over time, you can expect to reduce your risk of depression by 20 to 30%. Those endorphins that your body produces can genuinely lift your mood, so letting your pre-menstrual anger out in a boxercise class is far better than taking it out on your partner. Leading a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy is beneficial for both mum and baby and gone are the myths that women shouldn’t exercise during pregnancy, the activity guidelines are the same as non-pregnant women. Not only will we all be healthier if we improve our lifestyle but we will feel better about ourselves too. Low self-esteem and poor self-image are huge barriers to exercise but only by being active, eating well and looking after ourselves can we start to enjoy the strength and empowerment that a healthy lifestyle brings. ESTHER: What does a healthier lifestyle look like? What are some of the things women can do to adopt a healthier lifestyle? JULIET: This isn’t rocket science. It’s about looking after our bodies and minds and making sure we put ourselves high on our

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priority list. Reducing stress is important. I know it’s easier said than done but if we’re creative, assertive and ask for help there’s always a small step we can take to ease the pressure a little. Even if it’s five minutes of slow breathing and relaxing it can make a difference. Sleep is crucial, we need to allow our bodies to rest, repair and regenerate. Developing healthy sleep habits takes time and perseverance for many but is always worth it. Skimp on the shut-eye and you’ll pay the price. Eat well. I don’t even like the term ‘diet’. I love food. I enjoy food and I eat because I’m hungry and I want to nourish my body. I know if I put rubbish in, I’ll get rubbish out and will see a knock-on effect in how I feel. I am no angel and love a slice of cake as much as the next person but I don’t eat it all the time. I certainly don’t feel guilty when I do have it, I savour it and eat every last crumb. I think the power of exercise is underestimated. I probably should have started with this one as for me it’s the key. If I am exercising regularly then it helps me to manage my stress, it makes me sleep well and I also find it easier to make good food choices that will help to fuel my active life. Stop looking on exercise as sport, it can be anything you want it to be, any movement is good. Walking, gardening, dancing in the kitchen it all counts. Above all it needs to be fun! You need to find something you enjoy. That may be on your own or with others. Experiment. Try new things. Be brave. It’s liberating. ESTHER: Why did you choose to go into the medical profession? JULIET: Apparently at a young age my dance teacher suggested to my mum that I audition for the Royal Ballet School. My mum says that when she asked me I replied, “No Mummy, I want to be a doctor.” I used to spend my school holidays and Saturdays working in a nursing home caring for elderly people, some of whom were bed bound. I think it was the caring aspect and wanting to help people rather than the science side of things that drew me to medicine. The matron at the nursing home instilled the importance of good communication skills and a good bedside manner into me and I’m forever grateful to her. She used to let me go round with the GPs when they came to visit patients. I wasn’t predicted high enough grades for medicine and I’d actually chosen the wrong subjects to do medicine but I worked really hard and found a way in. ESTHER: What then made you decide to marry up being a doctor along with health and fitness or was this something you had always advocated? And knew the importance of? JULIET: It wasn’t until I experienced the effect that learning to run and running regularly had on my own life that I became so interested and evangelical about health and fitness. This was ten years ago after my third child was born. I was slogging away in General Practice and consulting with people who I could quite plainly see would benefit hugely from changing their lifestyle and becoming fitter. I began learning and researching, writing and exploring and now this has become the main focus of my career. I always knew I would be healthier if I did more exercise. It was something that I just used to feel a bit guilty about but once I truly understood how powerful exercise can be in all aspects of my life, I knew this was how I wanted to make others healthier. ESTHER: Can you share a success story of someone who has changed their life around by adopting a more mindful attitude? Or lifestyle? JULIET: I’ll never forget a lady I saw who was very overweight. She had polycystic ovarian syndrome which can make weight control difficult. She was having irregular and very few periods and she wanted to get pregnant. She completely changed her lifestyle. She started going to the gym, she’d never done this before and she found she enjoyed it. She would use all the different types of TURNINGPOINT 37


equipment, including the bikes and rowing machines, she also joined some of the exercise classes that were held at the gym. She started making small changes to her diet and realised she felt better and had so much more energy. It was one positive upward spiral as she began to lose weight and feel better about herself and her appearance. Once her weight normalised her periods returned and she got pregnant. What was striking to me however was the way she presented herself, she grew in confidence in front of my eyes. Wonderful. ESTHER: You published a book called ‘Sorted The Active Woman’s Guide to Health’ tell me a little bit about what prompted this book. JULIET: After several years answering women’s health questions for Women’s Running Magazine, helping new runners in my club with running-related niggles and advising patients I saw there was a need for a handbook to cover the issues and concerns that can stop women getting or staying active. Many start with great enthusiasm and then stop when a health concern throws up a barrier and many never start at all. I wanted to write something useful that would help women, that would help health professionals and be a resource that women could turn to. I also wanted to normalise some of the more taboo topics and bring them into everyday conversation. For women who are too embarrassed to talk about issues they can get basic advice whilst reading the book at home. There are tips on things to try and when to see a health professional. I’ve covered women’s health issues but also fatigue, injuries, illnesses and motivation. I’m forever grateful to the wonderful women who provided quotes and stories to encourage others to keep going and seek help. ESTHER: When the going gets tough and the tough gets going what tips and tools do you offer to keep individuals motivated and inspired? JULIET: It’s all about choices and lots of healthy choices add up. Huge lifestyle overhauls are possible but incredibly hard. Just make a few healthy choices over a day, week or month. Gradually they will become habit because you will realise that you generally feel better and can enjoy life more. At the end of each day congratulate yourself on the choices you made. It might be that you chose to walk to the shops instead of getting the bus. It might be that you said, “No’ to a piece of work you knew you couldn’t manage or simply that you chose to go to bed half an hour earlier. Keep chipping away and if you have a day full of bad choices, just move on to tomorrow.

HTTPS://DRJULIETMCGRATTAN.COM/ Credits: The closer up image of Juliet running to be credited to Eddie Macdonald

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FINE DINING

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L’ ATELIER DE JOEL ROBUCHON IN CONVENT GARDEN TURNINGPOINT’S VERY OWN MR TOP HAT TONY JACKSON RECOMMENDS L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon CONVENT GARDEN.

FINE DINING

A

s I promised in last month’s edition, this column would be dedicated to those many culinary connoisseurs who take delight in finding that special gem amongst the many restaurants in the city of London. This month we know that we have not disappointed you either, as we focus on the world renowned L’Atielier de Joël Robuchon French Restaurant situated right here in the heart of Convent Garden. With an astounding thirty one Michelin stars underneath his belt worldwide Joël de Robuchon protégée Executive Chef Jeremy Page delivers the highest standards of gastronomy perfection on many levels. Speaking of which the dark panelled teak wood style restaurant layout is situated on three floors. Formal La Cuisine, for business and romantic dining La Boutique which specialises in the finest patisserie from Éclairs to die for financiers (French type almond cake for those with a sweet tooth.) On the third floor you will be mesmerised and entertained in the (all weather proof roof top bar) La Salon. This is where the chic and trendy patrons gather to quench their thirst after a busy shopping day in the heart of the Convent Piazza. A favourite for Cigar smokers, their friendly mixologists (highly trained cocktail Bartenders) are more than pleased to offer you an extensive list of fine wines and cocktails. This ranges from rare vintages, to exemplary New World wines. There seems to be something for every type of palette. As for me I was refreshed by a French 77 (A glass of Veuve Clicquot Champagne, Portobello Road Gin, Lychee, and fresh Lemon). Many of the cocktails here are bespoke and created with the same artistry and flair one would expect of an opening Las Vegas magical act which is both

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entertaining and theatrical to watch. For those in your party who may prefer non-alcoholic beverages be sure to recommend to them the Les signature Mocktails which equally stand out on their own ability. L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Convent Garden is a must visit for any serious gastronomy traveller, however it manages to mix the best of three, EXCELLENCE, QUALITY and PERFECTION whilst still accommodating for the more relaxed diner. What you would appreciate from many of its finest dishes, is that every effort has been carefully made in sourcing the most exquisite British produce and from around the globe. This is evident even from the three on a plate Lunch time special which starts from as little as £29pp and can be ordered beforehand online. Popular with most business clients on a busy schedule. The A La Carte menu comes with all the trimmings that one would expect from a fine dining French experience and then some, not forgetting to mention the comfit tuna and lemongrass sea bass which comes highly recommended from the Maitre’d (Head Waiter of a restaurant or Manager). The counter top service is main attraction also known by Executive Chef Jeremy Page as The Workshop where guests are absorbed into the kitchen experience as the chef demonstrates their culinary skills as the Head Chef whips up the brigade to have the plated dish delivered to the pass (Area where the final dressing is added to the dish, collected and served by the Head Waiter). In Acknowledgement to the Head Chef’s instructions to his team, customers are invited to create even further pressure by answering him in the customary “Yes Chef! “ The Entire experience of this restaurant is truly amazing, but most importantly it is consistent in its delivery throughout. This reputation has helped to put it top of the list as the most recommended restaurant to guests from The Savoy Hotel Concierge Team. To fully appreciate this success it’s worth remembering that Joël de Robuchon himself is a living legend of excellence amongst the best chefs worldwide. Joël Robuchon, born 7 April 1945, is a French Chef and Restaurateur. He was titled “Chef of


the Century” by the guide Gault Millau in 1989, and also awarded the Meilleur Ouvrier de France (France’s Best Craftsman) in cuisine in 1976. He has published several cookbooks in French, two of which have been translated into English. Not to mention his worldwide empire of restaurants in major cities such as New York, Singapore Hong Kong, to Paris to name but a few. He has now accumulated a total of 28 Michelin Guide stars – the most of any chef in the world. In 1989, he was awarded “Chef of the Century” by Gault Millau. He later started his

L’ ATELIER DE JOEL ROBUCHON IN CONVENT GARDEN 13-15 WEST STEET WCH29E

own restaurant in Paris called Jamin. He has mentored Gordon Ramsay, Eric Ripert and Michael Caines. Therefore if it’s fine French cuisine along with a reputation for excellence that sounds appealing with a unique dining experience to remember whilst visiting London? Then the man in the TOP HAT firmly and unequivocally recommends L’ Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Convent Garden. You won’t leave disappoitnted. BY TONY JAZZ: LIFESTYLE MANAGER/ PROFESSIONAL BUTLER TO THE RICH & FAMOUS.

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FASHION

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ETHICAL AND SUSTAINABLE WOMEN’S WEAR AND A HEART FOR THE COMMUNITY VALERIE GOODE TALKS FASHION The name Kitty Ferreira has a very sophisticated yet subtle sassiness about it. I decided to interview Valerie as she has proved to be a tremendous source of support and guidance to me as I develop my first fashion range called Funky Butterfly. I soon realized that this woman was an incredible font of knowledge and not just someone who wanted to make a claim to fame due to celebrity association and pie in the sky dreams about being the next fashion designer. This lady was the real deal and meant business. Valerie was also a woman who passion and heart for her community was clearly evident. Real and authentic and it was a pleasure to find out more about her during this interview. ESTHER: How did you get into fashion industry? What inspired you into this field? VALERIE: I have always seen myself working in fashion. When my dad asked me, at age 11, what I want to do when I grow up and I said fashion designer, he replied how competitive the industry is and how difficult it could be to make money. That made me even more hungry to succeed. ESTHER: How long has your career spanned in this industry? VALERIE: 16 years to date, designing for the likes of top shop, Miss Selfridge, product development experience at Burberry, including designing oversees.

FASHION

ESTHER: What is the concept and theme behind your brand? and You were headhunted to work in China at one point, what was that like and how did this influence, if at all, your ideals about the fashion industry? VALERIE: I was working in Guangzhou, China, as a senior women’s wear designer where I witnessed horrendous pollution from mass manufacturing. In the summer months it would be difficult to breathe, it would sting your eyes and the sky constantly had a yellow tinge to it. I came back to the UK vowing to never design fast fashion again and thought how can I make fashion in a clean way, that’s not disruptive to people and planet, yet keep it fashionable and stylish. I immediately looked to my heritage, to my late grandmother in the Caribbean to the chickens and goats in her yard which she and my grandfather would use to feed the family. There were the bushes, herbs organically growing around them that they’d use to heal themselves with, and the fact I could have my breakfast walking down the street, picking organically grown fruit from trees when I visited was bliss. This is true wealth. My brand is therefore named after my grandmother. ESTHER: Does your range/brand symbolize or signify a particular lifestyle or does it stand for something? VALERIE: We are an ethical and sustainable women’s wear brand. We use a mix of up-cycled fabrics dyed with natural materials, organic cruelty free silk printed with toxic free inks. Our skin is the largest organ and so it pays well to be mindful of what we dress it in. Kitty Ferreira ultimately symbolizes a respect for all stakeholders throughout the fashion supply chain, from seed to shop floor. It’s all too easy to forget that real hands make garments and that someone has to plant and harvest a cotton crop, but under what conditions? We also encourage people to buy clothes they will wear many times or

44 TURNINGPOINT


amend styles within their existing wardrobes to extend the lifecycle of their clothing. Trillions of tons of clothes either end up in landfill or get shipped off to places like Africa that ultimately destroys that country’s manufacturing economy. Finally, we empower our customers to make conscious choices - being aware of what corporations you support with your $££$ is always a good starting point. ESTHER: What type of clientele is your target market? And what is your USP? VALERIE: It is difficult to find sustainable and equally stylish clothing. As the designer of the brand, I have developed an aesthetic that I call: juxtaposing the natural world with a city chic aesthetic. Because it is more boardroom-2-bar and occasion wear focused, my target consumer is more of the ‘boardroom activist’ as opposed to students climbing up cooling towers, as Lucy Siegle, Ethical Journalist for The Guardian, described it in her article. She is mindful the effects of mass consumption has on the planet and on the people making products, yet wants to look chic. ESTHER: As an experienced expert in the fashion industry, what advice do you feel other designers need to know in order to be proficient and successful within the industry? Taking into account design, production, manufacturing and branding? VALERIE: Within my community there is a lack of knowledge of how to scale a fashion business through manufacturing and production. We often look to factories in China to make runs when we could be doing that here, particularly if you need only a small quantity per style. This is why I have also set up a micro manufacturing unit to help new designers, particularly from the BAME (Black Asian and Minority Ethnic) community to create industry level patterns, grade and take these styles into small scale production. Free hand pattern cutting has its uses, but you will never be able to scale from it. Unfortunately I witness huge decline in numbers of people from this community who go on to have steady careers in fashion after University, where the knowledge and experience can be had; which is reflective of not seeing many black and brown people as designers and fashion business owners in mainstream press; the modeling industry is improving. ESTHER: What other designers have influenced your work? VALERIE: Though I have to stay in touch with what’s happening in the fashion industry to predict trends, most of my focus is what’s happening on a political and economical basis, particularly for our community. For example just as Black Panther was released, we launched a new collection called ’Mashup Kente’ which illustrates a respect for the hands that make our fabrics and clothes through blending a mixture of hand woven Kente cloths into one garment that creates a beautiful concoction of color. ESTHER: What is it that you love about what you do? VALERIE: Creating. We are here to create and I get to do this everyday ESTHER: What is it like being a woman in the fashion industry and what advice would you offer to other female designers? VALERIE: It’s tough though improving. We do not see many top level black women in the industry and having been educated at one of the most prestigious fashion colleges in the world, I can say that the elitist mindset doesn’t allow for many black and brown people to come through the ranks, which filters into the work place and therefore negatively impacts the scope of experience that could be had for our community, particularly at corporate level. That’s not to say that success cannot come by any other means. Vivienne Westwood is a self-trained successful designer but how many people from our community can we count from a similar background? Overall I would say, have a strong story and strong point of difference and work with integrity. ESTHER: What are the future plans for Kitty Ferreira? VALERIE: We are holding our first pop up during Fashion Revolution Week (fashionrevolution.org), which commemorates the Bangladeshi factory disaster where over 1000 people perished making garments for some of the biggest names on our high street. It also highlights ways in which people can shop ethically and consciously and so we are inviting designers of ethically made products of fashion, footwear, beauty and home wear to showcase in our store in Canary Wharf, 23rd April- 6th May. Details below. TURNINGPOINT 45


STUDIO@KITTYFERREIRA.CO.UK WEBSITE: HTTP://KITTYFERREIRA.CO.UK

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PUBLISHED DATE MARCH 31ST. DETAILS CAN BE FOUND AT WWW.ESTHERAUSTINGLOBAL.COM


ENTERTAINMENT 48 TURNINGPOINT


CECE PENISTON

ENTERTAINMENT

INTERNATIONAL ARTIST SONGWRITER, PERFORMER ON FEELING FIT AND FABULOUS

I had the pleasure of interviewing CeCe Peniston once again and once again it was a pleasure. Pure giggles and laughter as usual. I had checked out CeCe’s new look and she was looking absolutely fabulous, fit and healthy. I was curious to find out what CeCe was doing with her life, as she is forever on the go, doing, creating (she’s like an assorted bag of sweets, you never quite know what you will get with her because she’s busy enjoying life and constantly recreating) yet one thing is for sure, you will never be bored by her and I wanted to know more about her sleek, chic, new look. ESTHER: So obviously, my first question to CeCe was what was she doing to look so fabulous and amazing. CECE: “Girl. I’ve just adopted a whole new way of eating and lifestyle within myself and also the way I deal with life in general. I think that’s what people are seeing. I’m happier and I know what works for me now. Whereas in the 90’s you don’t know what the hell works for you because you’re painting on eyebrows and bad hair and big wigs then after a while you realise the things that really work for your body style and your look and you get more polished as you go along. So, I think that’s what people are seeing and I’ve also got a great team of people around me.” ESTHER: I’ve been watching your videos and stalking you through your website. You’re looking toned, fit and healthy inside and out. What was the catalyst for you to make this transition? Did you get a wake-up call health wise? Or did you just get tired? CECE: I just got tired of the fluctuating where you’re in good shape one minute and then not so great shape the next. I really needed to find out what really worked for me. I started getting stomach aches and the doctor said I might have food allergies so I got tested for food allergies and found out I was allergic to crab, which I was eating three times TURNINGPOINT 49


a week and also to eggs and all different things. Then the doctor said you can eat duck eggs and I was like what? I now got to go to the farm and pick out Duck eggs? (Laughter). Then I had this idea to do a fitness competition something I had always wanted to do. This seemed impossible to do for a girl who was fluctuating, who was heavy and that label was on me, someone who wanted to take part in a fitness competition? So I put myself on blast to make myself do it because you know that if you put it on social media they’re going to be saying “um hmm yes we going to be watching you, we see you.” It was one of the best moments of my life because it really pushed my will and told me that hey if I really put my mind to it I could do anything. That’s another thing, for women over forty, which I am, I’m 48, so all of you googling me don’t go adding on an extra stuff or extra years. For women over forty you can still be beautiful and do all the things that you want to do physically, use your skincare and work on your journey on an everyday basis to become your greatest self. ESTHER: Also as part of that journey CeCe, is your internal dialogue and work, your spiritual self, how has that journey been for you? CECE: It has definitely been a great journey. For people who saw me on UNSUNG, people saw things that I went through with trying to have children and that caused a depression in me. It was something I had to deal with to a point and people were like ‘I’m so glad you shared your story because there are people who are going through the same thing and that people look at your life and think it’s perfect and I’m like ‘far from it!” I said it’s how you choose to deal with what happens to you. I do vision boards and different things like that and that is something that helps me every New Year. I do vision boards because they help me get past those moments and be more accepting that whatever the gift that God has for me is for me in a situation I don’t have to like everything that is served on my plate, but I know how to deal with it. ESTHER: What is your latest stuff? What’s coming up? CECE: New single, new EP, new pictures. I’m still travelling to a city near you. I have LA Pride, Kentucky Pride, I have West Palm Beach coming up. When I’m thinking of sitting down it’s like ‘we need you’. I’m like I’m packed let’s roll. ESTHER: So when are you coming to London? CECE: You know I would love to come as soon as I get a chance. I so love your British accent. Someone enquired about me doing some shows - hopefully I might do some live band stuff – a possible collaboration with 480 East. ESTHER: By the way how’s that dog of yours? Gucchi or was his name Pouchi? (Laughter) CECE: Gucchi passed away but I got a new baby. I just got her actually. I’ve put her on Instagram. It’s going to take a while to get over Gucchi caused I loved him so. This one’s name is GiGi and she is so little. ESTHER: Do you still carry her in your handbag?

50 TURNINGPOINT


CECE: Yes I do and people are like ‘you’ve got a rat’ and I’m like ‘you leave my chile alone, she’s my baby.’ (More laughter) ESTHER: CeCe we’ve got International Women’s month coming up and also Mother’s Day in the UK what is it you can share with women generally to keep going. What’s nice is that you shared about your journey even though you’re on stage and performing, behind the scenes you’ve still got your own stuff going on! CECE: I think that women need to talk to each other more and share more. I think we need to share our experiences to say ‘hey I was going through this experience and I wanted your opinion and have you ever had this experience?’ It’s through these experiences and being transparent that you’re able to help one another with things going on because it’s like damn I’m going through that too, I didn’t know you were going through that as well. I think people need to get off their ego and talk. People tell me all the time you’re not what we expected you to be – you’re easy to talk to. I say I’ve been through my share of things in life. I say to them that CeCe Peniston the artist - she’s giving you the stage, the glamour the glitz but I’m a real person at the same time. You have to work on your journey every single day. Spend time with people close to you. I spend a lot of time with my Mum. We hang out and have girl days out, go eat, go shopping and go to the movies. You’ve only got one mum so please cherish her. ESTHER: Thank you for sharing, thank you for your authenticity and thank you always for giving me time. CECE: I appreciate you and thank you so much

CECE CAN BE CONTACTED AT THE FOLLOWING: info@thejumpcollective.co.uk cecepentiston Cece Peniston fan page cece_peniston www.cecepeniston.com

Full length audio interview with CeCe Peniston can be found at: http://www.estheraustinglobal.com/podcast

TURNINGPOINT

51


A TRIBUTE TO THE LATE EDDIE AMOO

ENTERTAINMENT

FROM THE REAL THING

I

decided to post this interview in this issue of the magazine as a tribute to the late Eddie Amoo who sadly passed away on 23rd February aged 74. I had the pleasure of interview him last year. Eddie was an

energetic, down to earth, straight talking, youthful man with a heart and passion for his music, his fans and his family. He will be sorely missed. Therefore, to honour such a legend, I thought I’d sharexn his interview in this issue.

The Real Thing are a British soul group formed in the 1970s. In addition to a string of British hits, the band charted internationally with their song “You to Me Are Everything”, which reached No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart, No. 28 on Billboard’s R&B Singles chart and No. 64 on the Billboard Hot 100. By number of sales, they were the most successful black rock/soul act in England during the 1970s. The Real Thing consists of Dave Smith, Chris Amoo and Eddie Amoo. Eddie Amoo from the British Real Thing was another great interview. With his high energy, his wit and his no nonsense attitude this interview turned out to be full of laughter in between me trying to decipher Eddy’s Liverpudlian twang (smile). As the interview progressed past its usual 20 minute timeframe, I felt myself being drawn into Eddie’s world, because he certainly was a character, full of energy and passion about his music and who certainly loved every aspect of what he did. By the end of the interview I felt as if I had known Eddie for a long time, as there was a connecting of two individuals through a historic journey of a legendary band and their music. I had been trying to get hold of Eddie for a few days and it seemed that this interview would never take place, due to several set-backs. Even on

the morning of the interview after two hours of Skype not connecting, and then my laptop crashing, and emails not going through, and Eddie not being able to connect to SKYPE and the phones just not connecting we finally did it. Albeit Eddie was a little frustrated and in his no nonsense way clearly expressed his frustration, through bouts of laughter and sighs of exasperation. However, as the saying goes, the show must go on and so it did, and what an exciting, meaty, interesting conversation it all turned out to be. So grab yourselves a cuppa, put your feet up and enjoy the ride with Esther and Eddie Amoo from the Real Thing – a man who certainly used to keep things real. After the usual pleasantries and introduction, and both of us deciding that not even the pixies were going to stop this interview from happening As Eddie quipped “We shall not be stopped” (because technology had seriously challenged us that morning” and like two old ladies heading to the pub with their rolling pins to find their wayward husbands, we prepared ourselves to go “into interview” (smile). We were ready and with that readiness came that customary question. Who is Eddie Amoo in a nutshell, a peanut shell or a coconut shell?

52 TURNINGPOINT


EDDIE : You can put me in all the shells if you like! However, I’m one of the original members of The Real Thing. Eddie paused as if he’d had some sort of revelation and that this was all he truly was. However, I persisted with “But I’m sure you’re much more than that” and this gave Eddie the impetus to relax and then really share more about who this formidable man was. “I’m a guy who’s been looking to do what he loves the most and that’s to make music and perform. I’ve been doing this since I was about 18 when I joined my first group which was a Doo-wop group. Sometimes I called myself Eddie Doo-Wop because of that. So everything that I am built up from there. I’ve raised a great family. I’ve got four beautiful kids, I’ve got grandkids. It’s been an amazing ride for me, which I’ve really enjoyed and still do enjoy.” By now we were beginning to warm up and I was feeling how energized Eddie was becoming. I must admit when I had watched The Real Thing’s videos as part of my briefing for this interview what was really obvious to me was how much these guys still thoroughly enjoyed their music after all this time and how much of a “soul thing” it was to them to the point where I felt their energy and passion for their music to be so deliciously contagious that I had them on re-wind for days on end. I did drop into the mix though that I was sure Eddie was “the little one that was always bouncing around in a particular video I watched like a little mojo.” Eddie then jokingly replied “My feelings are hurt as I’ve never thought of myself as little.” As our laughter died down, my next question to Eddie was. ESTHER: “So Eddy along this journey, one of the questions I always ask my guests is this. With all the adulation, energy, giving and doing something that you love, along with having a beautiful family how have you learned to balance everything and keep grounded with all the fame that you have acquired?” EDDIE : I think the most important thing that helped me is that I’ve never actually been one to party to excess, with the exception of Ray Lake who sadly passed away in 1999, a sad story which I don’t like to discuss. Therefore, this is the most important factor and none of us guys in The Real Thing have never really got into that because we all got married pretty young and that in itself, if you’ve got any sense, keeps you grounded. The other thing is, I was in another band before I joined The Real Thing and that was a Doo-wop group called “The Chants” where we actually got discovered by The Beatles. So basically what happened in brief, we met The Beatles at one of their gigs when I was 18. It was at a Little Richard concert and they were number one at the time with their “Please, Please Me.” A lot of people don’t really know that The Beatles were heavily into R&B and basically, when we told them that we’ve got a Doo-Wop group, they asked us to come down and audition for them. They were really fascinated with us. The Motown thing was really starting at that time and it was Little Stevie Wonder then and stuff like. When The Beatles heard us sing, and none of us played instruments or anything like that, they went crazy and they rehearsed four songs with us that day. So we auditioned for them and that night we appeared with them on the show and that was my start in showbiz. That’s when I really knew that this was what I wanted to do. You can imagine the vibe at that concert that night and basically it all started from there. Now “The Chants” after their first blaze of glory nothing actually happened but we stayed on the road working regularly for 13 years. In that 13 years I saw a lot of things happen to other artists and other acts and I always said to myself if I ever get a break that would never happened to me. So when The Real Thing finally took off all the pitfalls that could happen, when you get the fame, when you get through those glass doors, none of us allowed that to happen to us except maybe one of us, which we obviously don’t have the time to go into now. So basically we lost one along the way but the other three of us have remained pretty solid and grounded and have adapted to the lifestyle really well.” I was really enjoying our conversation and the desire to learn more and know more was getting stronger. The Real Thing were obviously a very grounded, gifted and content band, who had created their own moral platform which held firm for them as they journeyed into an industry that is often associated with sex, drugs and rock n roll. But with families in tow and their dreams to perform, The Real Thing seemed to have it all down packed. It was interesting because I had interviewed so many artists for The “Where are They Now?” project i.e. Sony Turner from The Platters, Gerald Alston from The Manhattans, the last man standing, Marshall Thompson from The Chi-Lites and they all had a very similar story to share in terms of what kept them grounded which in itself said so much about their strength of character. Therefore my next question to Eddie was what was the relationship between the band members? EDDIE : Well, two of us are brothers, myself and Chris and then there’s Dave. Basically, we all grew up in the same area and the reason I think the chemistry has always been good between us is because myself and Chris are the creative force of the band and the rest of the guys always accepted that from day one. So there were never too many chiefs. What breaks bands up is when there is too many chiefs, when everybody wants to do it their way With us there’s always only ever been one direction within the band and I think that’s the main reason where obviously we’ve been very fortunate. From early on, Christopher and myself, that’s my brother, we TURNINGPOINT 53


started writing songs together and formed the songwriting team. I had already become a sort of writer/ musician because of “The Chants” and Christopher grew up watching The Chants perform. When he got to a certain age he wanted to do the same as his big brother (me) so basically, when he came into it, I was there to guide him, I helped him to form the group. So this all helped to build a solid relationship and that’s one of the reasons I think The Real Thing survived all this time, plus the fact that we all love what we do. ESTHER: Like I said before, you guys just ooze an energy. Even watching Chris sing, you can see that it comes from his heart, it’s deep, it’s full of passion and it’s something that is him. I was going through your material on YouTube and there were some tracks that I didn’t even know you had done. So my next question to you is this, out of all the songs you sang, there’s always a track or two where you say that was my best track, can you share which ones these could be? EDDIE : Well, our flagship song is “Children of the Ghetto” and it’s our flagship song because it’s basically all about us. It’s about the people that we grew up with but in honestly, it’s been a huge success for us because of the fantastic artists around the world who have covered the song, like Philip Bailey from Earth Wind and Fire, Mary J. Blige, Courtney Pine, the list goes on and on. I can’t count the amount of covers we’ve had of that song. It seems like every other week there’s another cover. This is the song that really gave us credibility. ESTHER: Eddie, in terms of where you started off from and where you are now, what have been some of the pivotal moments of that transitioning? You’ve indicated that you are very grounded as well as the group as a whole. So as you have transitioned over the years, what are some of the key things you’ve noticed what has changed in the music industry and how has that affected who you are as a group? EDDIE : Well, I think the biggest difference that has totally changed the whole music business as I knew it is from the live based formula, where everything was live, where if you went to lay down a demo and you needed six musicians well you had to have six musicians, right? That slowly eroded with the advent of certain types of technology. So gradually the biggest thing I’ve seen, and it’s worked to our advantage and a lot of artists advantage, is where you don’t need anybody and if you have the talent to do that stuff yourself, and you have the knowledge then you know you could do things yourself, Of course, when it comes down to the live performance, a proper live performance you need a musician there. All the technology in the world won’t make up for the live band, so that has been the biggest difference that we’ve seen in our time as a band. The change in the way music is presented to the public. You’ve got this thing called playback and we used it quite a lot where you put everything onto a track and instead of having a band you worked to a track. But the thing about playback is because we could record on our own tracks by this time, myself and Christopher were pretty good musicians ourselves, we could lay down our own tracks and what we did instead of doing what a lot of artists did, i.e. sing over old masters and stuff like that, we actually created tracks that were specially designed for live performances. However, that didn’t satisfy us because we’d made up our minds about ten years ago, this is not what we wanted, for us this was not a proper performance. We wanted to turn ourselves into a live act and build up a band and we’ve done that and that has created a lot of success for us. We’re on the road with a band now which we have carried for the past ten years

54 TURNINGPOINT


with hardly any changes at all. It’s been hard work but to my mind nothing beats that live performance. I’m not knocking bands who do playback, don’t get me wrong but nothing beats live performance. You need the energy. It gives you that energy that you need to bring to the people. Everything about The Real Thing, their ethos, their drive, their commitment and dedication to their fans, their passion, how they approached their craft suggested energy, energy, energy. I certainly felt that this made them unique in their own way of operating which certainly fed into the strong stage presence that they had. Therefore I wanted to know what The Real Thing were doing now, obviously with lots of gigs coming up, I wanted to understand how they maintained the momentum and energy to do so many live performances. “The first thing to remember is this if you do a great show providing you’ve pulled in bums on seats which is really the most important thing. They’re immediately going to want you back at some point, right!” Once this starts happening and your reputation grows, people will want you back and obviously new gigs come in because of what people have heard. Like the festivals in particular, we’re a pretty big festival band now and this has spread worldwide so it sort of feeds itself. We really capitalized on the one thing that nobody can take away from us and that is to get records heard or to sell records which means you’ve got to have the media and record companies, even online stuff on your side. At the end of the day it’s all down to the way record companies want to back you and I think what happens with a lot of bands is that when that’s taken away from them they don’t know where to go and then that’s the end for them. Yet the one thing that nobody can take away from us is our show and our reputation. We always felt that as long as we continue to develop, to not get stale, to not let things get old and to always keep the magic of our hits this is what is very important. A lot of Bands have made the mistake of getting fed up doing it like this and they’ve changed the songs to try and get more interest for themselves. However, we’ve always kept our hits, we’ve made changes to them but they are very, very subtle changes yet the magic is still there.” I therefore wanted to know how The Real Thing kept the magic of their hits, what was their process, their secret? “Oh it’s not that difficult” replied Eddie. What you do is you improve what’s going on in the background on a track. So to give you an example with “You to Me are Everything” we would never change the part that hook’s everyone in. We would never ever change that hypnotic beat, that stays but there’s a lot of other things that you can do in the middle that people wouldn’t even be aware of but that drives the song. The stuff that people recognize and really get off on like the strings, for instance, they will always be there. So basically that’s how we’ve done it, we’ve worked out ways to make the numbers enjoyable for themselves but without losing the magic of them.” I began to wind down the interview. It felt like old friends saying goodbye to each other after a reunion. So my last question to Eddie was how long did The Real thing envisage themselves continuing to perform? “Well, the answer to that is our health, isn’t it? That’s number one. I don’t think we’ll ever lose enthusiasm, but like who knows. We don’t know what’s around the corner at the moment so the answer is our health. We’ll perform so long as we can do it, so long as we can get into a car and drive six hours to a gig and do a show and go home. Said Eddie with a chuckle and in his matter of fact way. I then coyly asked Eddie if he could give me a rendition of something hoping that he would throw my name in there someplace, leaving me in a drunken stupor of “I’m never going to wash my ears again, because Eddie Amoo sang to me.” He laughed and gave me a nano second of “Can you Feel the Force?” and before I could get my grove on he had finished. Beggars can’t be choosers I surmised as I concluded the interview glad that I had had the pleasure of conversing with such a special person.

For updates about gigs visit: http://thelegendaryrealthing.com/ TURNINGPOINT 55


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TurningPoint: Your Lifestyle, Your Well-Being  

This issue celebrates International Women's Month. Issue 3

TurningPoint: Your Lifestyle, Your Well-Being  

This issue celebrates International Women's Month. Issue 3