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Black Achievers AWARDS Nature & Mental HEALTH BLACK HISTORY CELEBRATION
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Editor’s Welcome While “Black Migration” is the theme for this year’s Black History Month (BHM) celebration, it is perceived to be as old as the history of the black race. A lot of our black ancestors migrated to foreign lands. Their migration was mostly attributed to agricultural, economic and commercial reasons while others went to seek knowledge and this trend continued for millenniums. After the advent of the new millennium, migration within the back race rose significantly form South to North. It’s evident that we are stormed with media reports on the increase in the South-North migration, but records indicate that the South-South and SouthEast migration is in fact higher. Most factors attached to migration are economic, political, war, famine and hunger among other social reasons. According to the UN agencies responsible for migration and refugees, IOM and UNHCR, most migrants are exposed to new challenges and realities of life which often come along with dire circumstances. Some forms of migration are voluntary while others involuntary. Most of those involuntary ones were brought to the West for work and since then, their workplaces became their homes and to generations of their lineage. For instance, the Windrush generation were brought from the Caribbean Islands to UK to help in the reconstruction of UK after WWII. Hundreds of thousands of young men and women from Commonwealth countries in Africa and Asia were also brought in. While we celebrate BHM, we also celebrate black women who have contributed in the struggle tremendously. Phillis Wheatley migrated to England in the18th century and became the first female African American to publish a book and Dr Shirley Thompson, Diane Abbott; first black woman Parliamentarian among many others. We are inspired everyday by women in our families and workplaces. Managing Editor email@example.com
Contents News & Sports Black Achievers awards 2019 .............................. 4-5 Eliud Kipchoge ............................................................. 6 FGM Interview ........................................................8-10 Community Commonwealth Reception ....................................12 Diana Bagci Interview ....................................... 14-15 DK Barbers ............................................................ 16-17 Arts & Culture Indigenous Women In Kenya ......................... 20-21 Windrush Scandal .....................................................23 Health & Food HIV- 3 Little Words to live By ........................... 26-27 Fastest way to sleep ........................................... 28-29 Business and Finance Akon Lights Africa .......................................................34 Zimbabwe Currency ...................................................35 Education Transitioning from Girl to woman .................. 38-39
Abdoulie Jah & Joan Muraguri Photo By Halls Photography
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BLACK ACHIEVERS AWARDS 2019 By Pa Modou Faal
The Black Achievers Awards was initiated in 2012 by the former Lord Mayor of Nottingham (2013-2014) Merlita Brayan who was then serving as City Councillor for Arboretum Ward before becoming the Sheriff of Nottingham in 2012-2013. The former Mayor’s aim was to promote the black community in Nottingham with the objective of addressing the negative press and representation they have been experiencing. for a long time in the media. The aim was to show there is positive role models in the community. The idea of BAA was initially started off Black Achieving Male Awards, the aim was to award the black men in Nottingham City and portray them in a positive light as they were awarded for what they did in the community. She later expanded the awards to include women and the name changed to Black Achievers Awards. The BAA awards 2019 was the fifth year the awarding ceremony was running. The event brought together various individuals and sponsors of the event together. The Nottingham Police and Nottinghamshire Police and the Crime Commissioner were among the main sponsors for this event. This kind of sponsorship helps build positive relationship between the BME community and the police. The BAA events were held at the East Midlands Conference Centre on Saturday 5th October 2019. It was hosted by the comedian Rudi
Lickwood with a special guest from the show BBC Line of Duty Lennie James who is from Nottingham. The list of BAA Awardees includes: • Black Businesswoman- (sponsored by Nottingham News Centre)- Faith Gakanje. • Black Businessman (sponsored by PATRA)Dorian Miller • Most transformed life (sponsored by Tick Tock All Star Nursey)-Dalton Stephens • Outstanding Parent (sponsored by Hope Fostering Services)- Adejoke Rotowa • Rising star (sponsored by EON)- Joan Gathoni • Learning and Skills (sponsored by Nottingham Trent University)- Tony Palmer • Lifetime Achievers (sponsored by PCC)- Rose Thompson • Music Art and Culture (sponsored by Tuntum Housing)- Donna Briscoe- Green • Community Volunteer (sponsored by Community Protection NCC)- Abdoulie Jah The BAA is an outstanding event that continues to honour black people in the community. We are pleased that our very own Joan Gathoni won the Rising Star Awards on winning Joan had this to say ‘I was really surprised with the nomination and was even more surprised with winning the award. I hope to inspire more young people to follow their dreams and to pursue their purpose with all the best intentions.’
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News & Sports
ELIUD KIPCHOGE, THE FASTEST MARATHONER EVER By FMB Radio Team
Eliud Kipchoge has become the first athlete to run a marathon in under two hours, beating the mark by 20 seconds. The record which had been hanging for sixty-five years, got beaten after a great preparation by Kipchoge and his team. The Kenyan marathon runner has indelibly recorded his name in the world of athletics by being the fastest man to finish the much talked about race. The 34-year-old ran the 26.2 miles (42.2km) marathon in Vienna, Austria in a record one hour fifty-nine minutes forty seconds; twenty seconds under the twohour record of Britain’s Sir Roger Bannister in the INEOS 1:59 Challenge sponsored by the billionaire founder of INEOS Jim Ratcliffe. Kipchoge’s run has not been ratified as a world record because it was not in open competition and a team of rotating pacemakers was used but it will nonetheless be remembered as one of the greatest pioneering milestones in athletics history. “This shows no-one is limited and now that I’ve done it, I am expecting more people to do it after me” said the Olympian. The Olympic champion and the official marathon world record holder finished the INEOS Challenge one minute fiftynine seconds under his World record timing of 2:01:39, set in Berlin, Germany in 2018. Cognizant of the fact that a dream come through is in the making and that history is about to be rewritten, the pacemakers dropped back to let Kipchoge sprint over the line alone and become the fastest marathoner on Earth. A much anticipated and cheerful crowd of renowned world athletes and colleagues; including his wife Grace and family who turned up to his races for the first time to see him run in person, greeted him at the finish line. Draped in the Kenyan flag; which is of course no stranger to marathons, Kipchoge
ran through a roaring large crowd of fans in celebration in the heart of the Austrian capital, Vienna. He told the press “this shows the positivity of sport and I want to make it a clean and interesting sport; together when we run, we can make it a beautiful world”. Kipchoge praised the pacemakers describing them as among the best athletes in the world and lauded their participation. Even his coaches delivered him water and energy gels by bike. These aids are not allowed under the rules of the IAAF, athletics’ world governing body, which is among the reasons that the race is not IAAF recognised. Even though his achievement will not be recognised as the official marathon world record, it took athletes over six decades to break Sir Roger Bannister’s record. “I’m feeling good. After Sir Roger Bannister made history, it took another 65 years”, said an excited Kipchoge. The courageous marathon legend added, ‘’this shows no-one is limited.” The four-time London Marathon winner missed out by 25 seconds in a previous attempt held at the Italian Grand Prix circuit in Monza in 2017. Kipchoge’s coach, Patrick Sang, said “everything went perfectly right” in this attempt. “He has inspired all of us and shown that we can stretch the limits in our life,” he added. Sang went on saying that it is a challenge to other young athletes and that they can perform better than they think. Kipchoge repeatedly compared a potential sub-two-hour marathon to humanity’s first journey onto the surface of the moon. He noted that the pressure was very high on him and further revealed he received some encouraging phone call the night before the event from President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta.
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KOSGEI BREAKS SIXTEEN YEARS OLD MARATHON WORLD RE CORD
BY 81 SECONDS
The Bank of America Chicago Marathon of 2019 saw an unprecedented performance from the world’s fastest female marathoner Brigid Kosgei after smashing Britain’s Paula Radcliffe’s IAAF World Record. The Briton’s 2hr 15min 25sec world record has been defeated by 81 seconds in grand style by the Kenyan super star. Brigid Kosgei who also won the 2018 Chicago Marathon and that of the London 2019 has been awarded with the IAAF Gold Label after winning the event with a new timing of 2:14:04. The 25-year put up a unique performance to smash Paula Radcliffe’s world marathon record which remained hanging since the Kenyan was 12 years old. “I was not expecting this, but I felt my body was moving, moving, moving so I went for it. This is amazing for me.” she said shortly after crossing the finishing line. Incredibly, Kosgei still has the believe that she could further go on to slice off her new world record saying, “I think 2:10 is possible for a lady and I am focused on reducing my time again.” She admittedly said, “I ran here last year so I
knew it was a good course; just that there was a little bit of wind, but it was okay. People were cheering all along the course, which gave me more energy.” Kosgei’s run came a bit more than 24 hours after her fellow countryman Eliud Kipchoge became the first man to cover 26.2 miles under two hours in Vienna. Unlike Kipchoge’s performance, though, Kosgei’s mark was set in an official race on a record-eligible course. It was all about Kosgei’s world record attempt and she showed no signs of letting it slip away from her in the closing stages. The new Female World Record marathoner couldn’t help but smiled as she approached the finishing line knowing fully well that what seemed to be a challenge, was becoming a reality. Paula Radcliffe was present to congratulate Kosgei at the finish line, acknowledging that it was a bitter sweet moment for her, “I always knew that the time was going to come and when I saw how fast Brigid was running in the first half of the race, I knew it was going to be broken”.
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INTERVIEW ABOUT FGM WITH VALENTINE NKOYO By Modou Faal
As part of activities marking the celebration of Black History Month in the United Kingdom, a Maasai group from Kenya joined ranks with the Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) awareness advocacy group in England to raise awareness on the hazards and complications this menace has caused in both the rural and urban setups in Kenya in particular but globally as a whole. Mojatu Magazine met up with them & had a very detailed chat with them. John and Daniel were led to our studios by the very renowned Anti-FGM campaigner, Valentine Nkoyo. Below is the interview they had with our editor: The Maasai people have very rich culture and are often featured on Kenyan Tourism Industry; but has FGM been a threat to the people especially the girl child? John: We have many things back home which we are working on, on our community, and part of the purpose of this trip s to market Kenyan tourism but also, we have some projects we are doing back home in Kenya. Key among them is the project to fight against early marriages and FGM which is very common in our community, the Maasai. So we came to raise awareness and solicit support to fight against early marriages and FGM
which is very, very common in Maasai land. In as much as awareness is concerned, are the challenges not daunting? Daniel: The purpose of our visit is to create awareness about things that are going on back in the village, like FGM which is really bad and also domestic violence. Well, at the moment our concentration is on FGM which is a really serious issue back home. When we came over here, we are very happy to see that there are people who are working on the same project here, my sister Valentine, has been one of those people who have been working on the same project here. Other than just showcasing Kenya in terms of tourism, we are also having that issue of FGM which is something that I think all of us should work together to eliminate forever. What is your take on that Valentine? Valentine: It is such a privilege to have such amazing gentlemen from my community back home. It just shows that there is hope and good things that are happening, in terms of changing the way the
community sees harmful practices. John and Daniel have been doing an amazing work, I have been following them around, you know, we have been in different projects and events that we have done in London. It is such a big pleasure to have them here in Nottingham and to see men who are willing to stand up to these issues in our community back home and to see the society fights against it which is absolutely incredible. Iâ€™ve had a really deep conversations with them, and I remember that one of the conversations was really powerful. When I asked them over in London that can you just be really open and honest about what is happening on the ground and to hear them say
Nottingham connected that it is so painful for them to see the suffering of girls and women who are going through the result of forced marriage, FGM and domestic violence. It was so real. It has made me feel like this fight, we will win at some point; might not happen today or tomorrow, but gradually we need to get more of the Johns and Daniels to working together to make and bring change.
celebrated always, it should be like every day. It has to start from us, black people, appreciating ourselves and celebrating our cultures but also looking inwards of issues that affect us.
Having them in Nottingham, the first city of zero tolerance to FGM, I could not be prouder than I am today. Also this is a part of the Black History month, so they will be performing at the Hyson Green Youth Club where we have a whole week of celebration of Black History month. I think it is really important that we talk about Black History month. For me it should not be a celebration of it for a month, black people should be
Daniel: Yeah, it has not been an easy crusade, especially putting it to a point that the government is against it. But it is not formal, you know, there is no law written about FGM and stuff like that. So it is something that the government just says it is illegal, but down at the ground things are still happening.
You just talked about the point that FGM, early marriages and empowering women in education; this must be challenging and an uneasy crusade?
We have even people like our chiefs and some elders that still practice that, you know, they still take the girls through FGM and it is something that we have to bring about lots of awareness, about community involvement and especially our leaders who are the core value of the community. Currently, church leaders who are recognised and respected very much within the community, are being challenged to speak up against the practice because they need to tackle things that are affecting
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the community. They also need to come and create awareness about the future of the community because by having FGM continued within the culture of silence, somehow shows that they support it. They should be the first people who have to come forward and say this has to stop. We should look like a package, you know the government, the church leaders, the elders in the community, we should be the people who should be in the forefront to fight against it, because people should know how serious it is. The Maasais are created in a way to respect the leaders very much, so if the leaders and elders do not talk then it would seem as if it is OK. So thatâ€™s where we are having the problem, we are having the challenge, we really need to first of all work with the leaders and the people on the top. When we work with them, then breaking that myth on the ground, we will be easier. John: Daniel mentioned a good point that we have to have leaders who are supporting us to fight, this is something very needed. Before we came, we experienced that there was a young girl who died in our community because she had been taken through the process and had been forced to marry to an old man. So it is very painful as she
10 News & Sports died from FGM practice. So when we got this opportunity to come here, we wanted to tell the world to support us because we are really suffering in our villages back home. The participation of the media would be crucial in the awareness campaign Daniel: We need strong media campaign back at the villages. The media out there has not gone really deep into the community and we are encouraging them to join us at community level for sensitisation and advocacy. With their involvement, a lot of things can change. Because the people that we are targeting at the moment, are the young generation, these are the people that we need to change their mindset and we want them to see how harmful this thing can be (FGM). We have to see that change has been effected in the younger ones and even in the old ladies because they will say that ‘If I was circumcised and not dead, then why not my daughter or granddaughter? So we are having that challenge that the ladies themselves telling us that this is not a man’s job, this is a lady’s job, so you should keep off, you see? This is another challenge that we are facing. What we are trying to do is just to humble ourselves because we cannot force them. We also need lots of positive training about FGM because we just don’t go to the village and
tell a girl not to get it done, they would ask you why. I think this campaign requires concerted efforts Valentine: Exactly! I remember even here in the UK when we started the campaign, we would try to engage men and they would be like, you know, “it is you women who do it to yourselves, go and sort it out”. So it is a big challenge because unless we see it as a problem and we create safe spaces where people can talk openly, it is going to be difficult to deal with this thing. When we started our survivors club in Nottingham, I was really shocked at how much suffering there was where women do not even talk within themselves... remember, this is a taboo subject and people do not even talk about it. It is not just the subject that popped up during having a cup of tea or having your meal but it is a duty we have as women to actually call ourselves for a meeting, individually and say is this thing really good for us and good for our children? Once we get solutions for that and say that this is wrong, I am telling you we can end FGM within one generation! Because if every woman who was going through it says that I am the last one and my daughter will not go through it and I will not allow anybody in my family to go through it, then we can end FGM within one generation.
Another good point is getting the influential people within our society, taking their responsibilities and having that willingness to say that this is not good for our people. We have community leaders, we have faith leaders, we have the chiefs, we have women who are respected within the society, we need everybody on board. This is not something that should only be left for women to resolve or for men to resolve or for young people to resolve, it is a global issue that everybody should be involved in it. Quite often you find people thinking it is just an African problem, FGM is a global issue, here in Nottingham we have been working with FGM survivors, some of them are young girls, sometimes people turn up with all sorts of issues, and some of them even say ’I can’t even dare talk to my husband about some of the challenges that I am going through’, because it is a subject that is very personal so people do not find it easy to bring it up. So we need more safe spaces for women and we need faith leaders, and I am really proud of the work that we have been doing here in Nottingham, working with community leaders and faith leaders, because they have so much influence and power and they are very respected in our African and Asia cultures.
DINA ASHER-SMITH: THE FASTEST BRITISH FEMALE SPRINTER Dina Asher-Smith has been crowned with the title, “The fastest British Female Sprinter of All Time” after she made history at the IAAF World Championship 2019 held in Doha, Qatar. Asher-Smith did not only become the first British woman to win a major global sprint title; but the first to hit a hattrick in three different events. The 23-year-old won the treble by claiming gold in the 200m (21.88secs) and two silver medals in 100m (10.83secs) and 1x400m (41.85secs) relay respectively. All the three medals were won in grand style by breaking the British national records of the different events. Asher-Smith who maintained her Berlin 2018 European Championship form after claiming the 200m event with 21.89secs, improved on her personal best to continue being the first British female athlete to run the event under 22secs. She is the 200m World Champion 2019, the 2016 and 2018 European champion at 200m and the 2018 European champion at 100m. She also became the first British female to win an individual world medal since 1983 following Kathy Cook’s (at age 23 like Kathy) bronze medal (21.88 secs) during the inaugural world championship held in Helsinki, Finland. Her European Athletics Championships performance in Berlin in 2018, winning three gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay, makes her the first woman since 1990 to win three European sprint titles at one championship.
Her career trajectory has gone one way since she became double European sprint champion in 2013. The London born became the first British female sprinter to run 100m under 11secs in 2015. She became European 200m champion in 2016 and almost had a global podium finish with a fourth place at Rio 2016. Her achievement of becoming the first British woman to win a world or Olympic sprint title as described by her career coaches and tutors, seemed pre-destined. Most of the people who have worked with her said she is a mature athlete with great mindset and has always been determined. She is described by her coach as kind and polite with a great sense of humour. The world champion’s love and respect for her coach is unique after she described him like family saying, “he finds joy in supporting others and helping them to fulfil their potential. He is humble and kind and I love him to bits”. The King’s College History graduate (BA Hons) also praised her parents for guiding her through saying her mum and dad are the ones who keep her feet on the ground. The biggest event that Asher-Smith is surely preparing for is the next Summer Olympic Games which take place in Tokyo, Japan from 24 July to August 2020. The fastest British female sprinter and 200m World Champion will challenge the 200m World Record of 21.34secs set by the world’s and USA’s greatest female sprinter of all time, Florence GriffithJoyner at the Seoul Summer Olympics of 1988.
COMMONWEALTH RECEPTION, NOVEMBER 2019 More than 150 Commonwealth citizens attended a reception held at the Council House in Nottingham to celebrate the contribution their countries have made to the countyâ€™s heritage, success and prosperity. Historically, the city and county have longstanding relationships with Commonwealth countries through trade and education, more recently welcoming those who have chosen to live here making it their permanent home. Many of the citizens from Commonwealth countries settled in Nottingham in the late 1940s onwards becoming stalwart members of the community, helping to rebuild Britain after the ravages of the second world war and supporting the then newly established National Health Service.
Today, the city and county, is home to many who trace their heritage back to one of the 53 Commonwealth countries such as India, Pakistan and the West Indies and have pursued careers as entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers and academics among others. Hosted by the Lord-Lieutenant, Sir John Peace, the reception marked the 70th anniversary of the creation of the Commonwealth whose roots go back to the days of the British Empire. Sir John is keen to recognise and celebrate the role played by the countyâ€™s many citizens whose ethnic heritage is in a Commonwealth country. Most countries are now self-governing but choose to retain membership of the Commonwealth headed by HM The Queen.
HYSON GREEN CULTURAL FESTIVAL CELEBRATES BLACK HISTORY MONTH By Abdoulie Jah
As part of events marking the celebration of Black History Month, the Hyson Green Youth Centre played host to another organiser of activities commemorating the occasion. Abdoulie Jah who is the head of the organisation and a common figure in the Hyson Green area in an interview with Mojatu Magazine said in other to compliment this year’s theme; “Black Migrations”, the need to create a link between Blacks in the diaspora and those back home in Africa was paramount. Mr Jah also emphasised that the occasion avails them the opportunity to continue what they have been doing in creating cohesiveness between Blacks from African and Blacks from the Caribbean. According to Mr Jah, exhibiting the typical village life of Africans is a platform where Black culture, tradition and heritage could be showcased meaningfully and it would add ingredients to the journey of root tracing. He also joined the call for the integration of Black History into the school curriculum which he emphasised, will open children to cultural diversity and tolerance. He also pointed out that there are so much good things to learn about Black History that Slavery and crime. For Mr Jah, their organisation continuously challenge BAME
communities to improve awareness in the area of Black history, culture and heritage. “Every summer, we organise in collaboration with the Hyson Green Youth Centre, a cultural festival which gives members of the BAME community the opportunity to exhibit their culture and heritage in grand style musical performances and arts and artefacts which attracts hundreds of people from all walks of life. This is what we mean by diversity and networking”, Mr Jah revealed. He called on parents to join them in their venture to craft a culturally aware future for their children and encouraged them to involve the children in the crusade. He also challenged youths to be more active positively in their communities and pave a brighter path for the younger ones. The five days event was also characterised by a display of African and Caribbean arts which attracted the presence of a Masai Cultural group from Kenya and members of the community.
INTERVIEW WITH DIANA BAGCI
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By FMB Radio Team
Why is the registration so important?
The registration is important because it’s part of the exit program and it is part of Brexit. There are three and a half million EU nationals in the UK and the government have identified certain vulnerable groups that will need help with the registration process and have funded various organisations UK to provide In today’s web-orientated world there is around a hugethedemand for pe this service, free of charge to these vulnerable development. Almost all organisations and professions have and re groups.
of influence or those doing own business. Gaining skills of creati website is a highly marketable skill. Who are these vulnerable groups?
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Nottingham connected it is a big thing and if you get it wrong, you will have to do it again and they don’t want to get it wrong. We are just here to help; we are just making people aware that it is important that they do register because after certain time we will not allow people coming. What locations are you based at?
Community 15 without being regulated is a criminal offence, the consequences can be quite severe. We, Jonathan and I, are both accredited by the OISC; therefore, we have been trained and we have experience in doing this and if there are issues to resolve we are the people to resolve them.
I do a drop-in in Mansfield; my colleague Are there any costs to the application? Jonathan goes to the Deaf Society every other Thursday and I am going to do a drop- No. Our services are completely free. The cost of there a huge demand people in web design and the application is completely free. There in in is Sneinton Strake Centre for because thereskilled are doing should be no cost at all. quite a few EU nationals in that area. ions and professions have and require websites and so do peopleWe received a funding from the Home Office, it covers postage if we business. Gaining skills of creating and maintaining multimedia We have had some information from Grantham need to post documents away, so there is no . that there is quite a few (EU nationals) there so cost to the client at all. after Christmas I will go and see if they need me there, I can go there once a month and do Only if they have to send their ID document some applications. We are not only making for example, then they would have to pay the e purposes, features and structures Nottinghamshire aware that we are here, but postage to send it to the Home Office. There is ages) a specified specific we from are also prepared brief to go /tofor these areasindustry as no cost involved at all, it is completely free. n given brief settings well and deliver this service just to ensure that How can people get in contact with you for we can reach vulnerable avigation, Links,these Search Enginepeople. Optimisation etc) further information? Management - Joomla orto WordPress Is there an EUSystem society that can talk new and I am here five days a week. I am pretty emerging communities? anybody can wledge and tools to create, manage and runaccessible, a great business or come in, drop-in and Yes, our coordinator Fiona Cameron has ask to make an appointment with us. Friday, access to Joomla / WordPress premium features. already met with a Romanian lady who lives in we have quite a few people coming in just Ashfield and we have already set up a meeting to make appointments. On our advertising where Fiona and I will go there and we will material, my phone numbers are there, our KeyEUInformation register nationals in her (the Romanian email address is there, phone me, send an lady) community, so we will go there and do it. email and I can book the appointments straight away. Free Access to Hosting, In regards to the Information sharing and I urgeName all EU &nationals to register as soon as legality, people look to for this?Domain Levelwho 1 (3should Credits) possible, don’t leave premium Joomla & it to the last minute, do it It’s Classroom, an immigrationonline advice.& We are regulated WordPress by as soon asfeatures possible because once you’ve done thewebsite OISC (Office of the Immigration Services it, it is out of the way and you don’t have to project Commissioner). To give immigration advice worry about it.
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THE BIG BROTHER, DK BARBERS By Pa Modou Faal
The proprietor of DK Barbers is a Gambian origin who has been living in the city of Nottingham for over a decade now. His name is Dawda Kairaba Jabang which is hardly known by anyone. He is named after the former President of The Gambia Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara who was knighted by the H.M Queen Elizabeth for his contributions to the struggle for the independence of The Gambia and his knowledge in animal science and veterinary. DK as widely known, is a professional in his barbering trade which has spiralled him beyond the boundaries of the city of Nottingham, attracting customers from all age brackets. But DK’s focus is on youths. He has been working with many young people in Nottingham specially those in the Radford and Hyson Green area. His companionship with young people started when he was operating on the Mansfield Road where his network of positive influence kick started. He began to be a mentor to many of the young ones as a result of his advocacy for peace and respect, positivity, responsibility and need for education. It didn’t take long for his name to become a big brother figure within the area which he operates. DK who now operates on Alfreton Road (186, NG7 3PE), has become a great influence
to young people, using his workshop as a training spot for youths who would want to pick up barbering as a profession. He hosts and provide them with all the prerequisites of the profession. In an interview with Mojatu Magazine, DK said the youths have more to lose when they idle on the streets than when they are occupied. He said he is worried by the rate of violence among young ones and he is willing to offer them the chance to stay away from trouble by teaching them how to make decent and beautiful hair-cuts which will help them financially and how to interact with others outside their network of friends. “It hurts me when I hear that youths are involve in knife and other forms of crimes knowing that a serious and meaning positive conversation can give them a second thought that can change their lives for the better; which I am willing to spend my time and resources upon. My saloon is open to anyone who wants make a meaning difference in life”, he stressed. He told this magazine that he has a slogan which he would like to use to challenge all youths who think they cannot have a second chance because they had once been involved in a crime by mistake.
Nottingham connected DK profoundly said, “my challenge to them is my hashtag; ‘#CLIPPERS OVER BLADE’, which I want to use against knife/blade careers and give them the HOPE they deserve. I will give them free barbering skills lessons and stipends just to help them get out of that bottomless pit”. DK said he also uses his workshop as a venue to host video games such as FIFA football tournaments and NBA Basketball. He uses these games to hold competitive tournaments and winners go home with lucrative prizes sponsored by himself such as cash, designer trainers, dinner tickets at top restaurants, free hair cuts among others. He also revealed that he builds and sponsors football and basketball teams and participate during tournaments organised in the city. Besides the spheres o his workshops, DK is also an active player within the Gambian Community and serves in their social committee. Apart from community service participation, DK said he provides mentor sessions for victims of bully and crimes and help them overcome their fears and worries. He also said he risks his life sometimes by brokering peace between rival factions of post code fracases. When asked what is his plans for the youths, he said he wants partners and collaborators in his crusade to provide hope and second chance for younger ones. He also said that his long-term aspiration is to develop his
Community 17 workshop into a skills college accredited by the education system whereby certified graduates will hold nationally recognised diplomas. He didn’t hesitate to mention his disgust by the rate of knife crime especially within the BAME community. DK concluded by alluding that he wants to be a champion in the community and is always willing to render his service to the community and the people especially the young ones. He solicits support from all relevant authorities and any organisation that operate around his area to help in realise his desire to bring change to the youths.
CELEBRATING BLACK FOOTBALLERS By FMB Radio Team
Horace Francis, Nottingham FA and Inspire to Succeed CIC, hosted a question and answer session with a panel of guests comprising former football professionals, coaches and administrators at the Queens Walk Community Centre in the Meadows. Most of them came from the circles of Nottingham Forest and Notts County. The panellists gave detailed accounts into their lives and footballing careers, highlighting their achievements and pointing at the shortcomings which according to them were mostly a consequence of race and inequality. It was a forum where they prevailed on the younger ones to rise and defeat the fears they come across; through hard work, commitment, dedication and putting up positive attitudes.
with kids and adults at Notts County which earn him many media highlights in the countryâ€™s top sport magazines. His account was mostly encouraging base on his experience and career which he implored young and aspiring football coaches and players to emulate. He also echoed the need to focus in sports and education and stay away from crimes and violence.
Ian Benjamin, a Nottingham born who started his career at Sheffield United in 1979 gave a brief history of his footballing career that took him to West Brom, Notts County and Soham Town Rangers before his retirement from active playing. Ian continued in football and managed different football clubs and at the same time scouts for his former club Notts County. He urged the youth that were in attendance to live up to the challenges which they face daily with tenacity and steadfastness. He charged them to be pragmatic in deeds and thoughts and to be positive role models in their communities.
Sam Griffiths a female coach who works for the F.A for eleven years, reiterated the need to develop better playing and training facilities. She emphasised the need to promote and support the Kicking Out Racism scheme.
Norris Stewart who left England and went to the US to be personal trainer and football coach explained how he dreamt of going to the US and how that dream came through. He also narrated how his cover coach skills and qualification earned him a job in different states like Minnesota, Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Upon his return he said, he worked
Karl White is the founder of F.C Cavaliers of the meadows. He made a thorough rundown into how sport shaped the lives and the benefits of staying in it. He shared memories with his colleagues who were present and used the opportunity to encourage the promotion and upkeep of the sports industry with the BME community.
John who was part of the organisers and Samâ€™s colleague, took the opportunity to call on the young people to be responsible and stay away from crime and violence. He also called on people from BME communities to join them in giving hope to youths by engaging them in sports and recreation. Other speakers included Calvin Plummer and representatives of different sporting organisations and charities within Nottingham. An exhibition of Black footballers was led by Inspire to Succeed where they showcased a viewing session of a collection of photos and biography of players such as Andy Cole, Jermaine Jenas, Calvin Plummer among other prominent Black players.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH Black History Month is celebrated in October in the United Kingdom unlike the U.S where the month of February has been set aside for this auspicious occasion. It should be common knowledge that the commemoration of Black History came as a result of the great historian’s challenge; Carter G Woodson, that ‘the “Negro” has no history’. To rise against this illusive misconceptions, Woodson founded The Association for the Study of the Negro Life and History. After its inception in 1915, the institution began to attract scholars and historians across the Black spectrum in the United States and beyond; and served as a data bank for research and knowledge on Black history and the “Negro”, giving birth to the first Negro History Week celebration in 1926. February was not randomly chosen as it is the birth month of the famous American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, antislavery writer, and statesman Frederick Douglass. Douglass who escaped from slavery in Maryland, later emerged to be a national leader of the abolitionist movement in Massachusetts and New York. U.S President Abraham Lincoln who is considered as among the greatest American presidents, was a staunch abolitionist and was also born in February hence the reason for adopting February as the month to celebrate such an important event. Of course one cannot celebrate Black history without paying homage to Frederick Douglass but contributions by civil rights activists for the emancipation of Black people in the US such as Dr Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, Rosa Park, Ella Baker, James Baldwin, Dorothy Height, Roy Wilkins among others, cannot go unmentioned. Barely a year after the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King Jr, it was thought that a week was not long enough to celebrate the “Negro History Week”. In that regard, it was decided that an entire month should be dedicated to it and the name be changed to Black History Month. Then in February of 1969, at Kent State University in
Ohio, The Black History Month was proposed and the first Black History Month was celebrated in 1970. As the U.K is host to many Black people from Africa and the Caribbean, the need to replicate such an important event was deemed necessary by the renowned Ghanaian-born British Akyaaba Addai Sebo who was a projects coordinator at the Greater London Council. Akyaaba Addai Sebo was a prominent rights activist who had been traveling to the US to attend the Black History Month celebration from its early days in the 1970s. He organised the first celebration of Black History Month in London October 1987. Addai Sebo chose to hold the event in October for two reasons; firstly, to reconnect with the African roots when most Kings and Queens, Chiefs and traditional leaders gather to settle issues, and secondly; since October is the start of the new academic year, it would avail Black children the opportunity to understand their pride and know their identity. Since 1987, the celebration has spread across the entire UK. The Black History Month is aimed at celebrating the achievements and contributions of black people not just in the UK or US, but throughout the world and also to educate all on black history. Often times, Black History is misrepresented and construed in negative ways whereby most prominent of what is shown is slavery, war, hunger, disease and crime, when in actual fact Black history and culture is as old as mankind. During this period, special classes and celebrations are organised in schools and African and Caribbean societies at universities and other institutions, put on special events and lectures. Museums and art galleries hold special exhibitions while a wide range of activities are organised on TV, radio stations and other places to commemorate the event. In Nottingham, there were series of celebrations across the city attracting celebrants from the civil society, arts and culture, sports and other prominent sectors of society.
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INDIGENOUS WOMEN IN KENYA REBUILD RESILIENCE AMIDST AN ECO-CULTURAL CRISIS By Wangũi wa Kamonji
to food demonstrations in over 25 countries. They are also prone to the vagaries of the climate crisis. In the face of growing climate change, indigenous women in Kenya are remembering and reinstating their native agricultural practices, to build resilience and reclaim their relationship to the land.
Sabella Kaguna came to meet me with indigenous millet and sorghum seeds in hand. She describes herself as a farmer, sacred site and seed custodian, and memory retriever in her community in Tharaka County, central Kenya. She has been working to recover the memory of indigenous seeds and sacred Tharaka traditions for the past six years, journeying to find elderly women in interior villages in order to recover varieties of sorghum, millet, and cowpeas. Sorghum, millet and cowpeas are indigenous to Africa, but their consumption has declined. In the colonial past, cash needed for imposed taxes and schools forced the adoption of foreign crops, and in some areas, Christian missionaries placed restrictions on the production of crops such as millet used in indigenous rituals. Today, globalisation and urbanisation has caused a shift in taste-buds, and governments and research agencies prefer to direct resources to the production of rice, wheat and maize. These three are part of global markets, making them prone to global price volatility, such as in 2007-08, leading
The global South, including countries like Kenya, experiences the brunt of this climate crisis compounded by years of patriarchal and missionary colonialism, Western education, and a capitalist economy that has the global South dependent on producing for a Northern market. These combined factors weaken the resilience of indigenous people and lands, and their ability to respond to climate change, creating an ecological and cultural crisis. Residents near River Kathita in Tharaka described consecutive years with little rain, difficulties accessing water, a growing dependence on hybrid seeds and fertilisers to produce food in soils that have lost nutrients, and a corresponding increase in water needed for irrigation. Travelling within the county, dry landscapes with little grass and groundcover, and dried seasonal rivers and shallow permanent ones were evident. Felling trees to make charcoal fuel exposes the already dry and nutrient declining landscapes to the warming climate, but it offers a momentary reprieve from crushing financial poverty for some. In the global North, it has become more common to declare that indigenous peoples hold the solutions to the climate crisis. Such rhetoric risks being only lip-service if solutions don’t recognise and resource indigenous-led work to repair damage to indigenous cultures,
Nottingham connected commit to indigenous resurgence and integrate the wisdom of indigenous values. After decades of shame, suppression and devaluation, much indigenous knowledge held by groups like the Tharaka has been forgotten, hidden or impaired. Tharaka women commented that it seemed like “everything was going to disappear”. Facing this eco-cultural crisis, remembering and restoring indigenous women’s knowledge and practices, grounded in a paradigm of respect and collaboration with the Earth, emerged as a pathway to resilience. Kaguna’s journey to recover indigenous seeds was prompted by joining the Society for Alternative Learning and Transformation (SALT), formed in 2013 to remember and reinstate indigenous Tharaka knowledge and practices. Whenever members meet, they bring indigenous seeds with them to share and gift—as indigenous women would have done traditionally. Seeds are the exclusive province of women among the Tharaka: women select seeds before harvesting for food, classify them according to desired characteristics, and provide seeds for rituals. In Tharaka, recovering, planting and processing indigenous seeds has gone hand in hand with reclaiming rituals and ceremonies in which indigenous seeds are central. Ceremonies are markers of a person’s growth in community, while rituals establish and maintain relationships with each other and with the land. As the October rains mark the beginning of the indigenous year start, the kuangia mburi ritual is conducted to open the year, pray for a good rain and seek blessings for the land. Women provide the specially prepared pearl millet porridge, organise young children to walk around the village boundary, and collect the seeds to be planted. An old and respected woman plants four ceremonial seeds before everyone else, and in this way, the whole community’s planting is blessed. Kaguna explained that for the Tharaka, girls and women are the conduits of blessings for the home and community. Should pests
Arts & Culture 21 and diseases strike crops, women have the role of protecting farms through blessings accompanied by pearl millet porridge in the kutiia ritual. Remembering and reinstating Tharaka women’s roles has meant that the respect and value that women once held, but for which a patriarchal colonial-capitalist worldview has no place, is coming back. Salome Gatumi, an elder and expert beader, shared that young people, including students from a local Western-style university, visit her to learn what is absent in an education geared towards an industrial production economy. Kanyani, who has learnt how to bead from Gatumi, rejoices that although she had not forgotten her indigenous ways, through this memory work she realises she is not “backward”. Restoring women’s knowledge and practices has also meant less dependency on the capitalist economy. Muregi, who is also involved in the memory group, proudly notes that her grandchildren insist on drinking millet porridge and eating kithongo, a Tharaka specialty made from millet, cowpeas and cowpea greens, rather than the storebought white rice and sweetened sodas that she used to give them. Switching their diet to these highly nutritious foods means she relies on her farm and knowledge more, and her grandchildren are much healthier and stronger, so she has less need for shops and hospitals. Wangũi wa Kamonji is an independent researcher, dancer, writer and facilitator centring Africa, ancestrality and the Earth in her work. She is based in Kenya.
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By FMB Radio Team
Poet, dancer, singer, activist, and scholar, Maya Angelou is a world-famous author. She is best known for her unique and pioneering autobiographical writing style. On April 4, 1928, Marguerite Annie Johnson, known to the world as Maya Angelou, was born in St. Louis, Missouri. Due to her parents’ tumultuous marriage and subsequent divorce, Angelou went to live with her paternal grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas from an early age. Her older brother, Bailey, gave Angelou her nickname “Maya”. Returning to her mother’s care briefly at the age of seven, Angelou was raped by her mother’s boyfriend. He was later jailed and then killed when released from jail. Believing that her confession of the trauma had a hand in the man’s death, Angelou became mute for 6 years. During her mutism and into her teens, she again lived with her grandmother in Arkansas. Angelou’s interest in the written word and the English language was evident from an early age. Throughout her childhood, she wrote essays, poetry, and kept a journal. When she returned to Arkansas, she took an interest in poetry and memorized works by Shakespeare and Poe. Prior to the start of World War II, Angelou moved back in with her mother, who at this time was living in Oakland, California. She attended school at Mission High School, and took dance and drama courses at the California Labour School. When war broke out, Angelou applied to join the Women’s Army Corps. However, her application was rejected because of her involvement in the California Labour School, which was said to have Communist ties. Determined to gain employment, despite only being 15 years old, she decided to apply for
the position of streetcar conductor. Many men had left their jobs to join the services, enabling women to fill them. However, Angelou was barred from applying at first because of her race. But she was undeterred. Every day for three weeks, she tried to request a job application, but was denied. Finally, the company relented and handed her an application. Because she was under the legal working age, she wrote on her application that she was 19. She was accepted for the position and became the first African American woman to work as a streetcar conductor in San Francisco. Angelou was employed for a semester and then decided to return to school. In her last year of school, she became pregnant and gave birth to a son soon after graduating from high school. After graduation, Angelou undertook many civil rights activities. She was northern coordinator of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. This organization, which was created in 1957 by Martin Luther King Jr. and originally known as the Southern Leadership Conference, advocates for the rights of African Americans in the United States. In the 1950s, African American writers in New York City formed the Harlem Writers Guild to nurture and support the publication of Black authors. Angelou was one of the Guild’s early members. During these years, Angelou began writing her most famous work, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, an autobiography of her life. The book was published in 1969, and was nominated for the National Book Award the same year. Her autobiography has since been translated into numerous languages, and it has sold over a million copies. Angelou is also noted for her many and varied singing and dancing styles, including her calypso music performances. She has written numerous poetry volumes, such as her first book of poetry, entitled Just Give me a Drink of Water ‘fore I Diiie. She has also recorded
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spoken albums of her poetry, including “On the Pulse of the Morning”, which she won the Grammy for Best Spoken Album in 1994. The poem was originally written for and delivered at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993. She also won a Grammy in 1996 and again in 2003 for her spoken albums of poetry.
both nationally and internationally for her contributions to literature. In 1981, Wake Forest University offered Angelou the position of the Reynolds Professorship of American Studies. She has also given many commencement speeches and she has been awarded numerous honorary degrees.
Angelou also carried out a wide variety of activities on stage and screen as writer, director, and producer. In 1972, she became the first African American woman to have her screen play turned into a film with the production of “Georgia, Georgia”. The supporting parts that she played in the films, “Look Away” in 1973 and “Roots” in 1977, garnered her Tony nominations.
Angelou died on May 28, 2014. Several memorials were held in her honour including ones at Wake Forest University and Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco. To honour her legacy, the US Postal Service issued a stamp with her likeness on it in 2015. There was some controversy surrounding the stamp, because it erroneously credited her with the quote that appears on it. But the quote was written by another poet.
She has been recognized by many universities
‘THE WINDRUSH’ UK IMMIGRATION POLICIES SCANDAL By Pa Modou Faal
Immigrants of Caribbean origin living legally in UK for decades face deportation while some are denied Health Care and Housing. A scandal has emerged over the fate of“Windrush” children, Commonwealth citizens who came to Britain from the Caribbean with their parents decades ago, but are now incorrectly being told they are here illegally. Some have lost their jobs and homes, while others have been deported, despite living lawfully in the United Kingdom for nearly all their lives. The Human Rights Watch describes the government’s move as a wrong at all levels, arguing that these families were invited to UK by the British government in the 1950s and 60s to help with post-war rebuilding efforts. Windrush children have been living in Britain for decades; working hard, paying taxes, and raising families but now face challenges of deportation back to the Caribbean; of course home but home that most of them have never lived in. ‘’After their valuable contribution to society, it is a terrible injustice that their legal status is now being threatened by immigration officials, with many Windrush children also reporting problems getting medical treatment or basic benefits’’, the agency revealed.
The agency further accused Britain of “hostile environment” immigration policies that make it harder for undocumented migrants to live and work in the UK by forcing employers, healthcare providers, and others to obtain proof of residence. Under the 1971 Immigration Act, Commonwealth citizens living in the UK were allowed to remain within Britain but the Home Office did not keep records of those who stayed, making it difficult for Windrush children to prove they are legally in Britain. The government has belatedly woken up to the problem after a huge public outcry. The former Home Secretary Amber Rudd described the government’s treatment of the Windrush children as “appalling”. The Windrush scandal shows that there is a world of difference between having a legal right to remain and actually being able to assert and depend on that right. The UK is entitled to secure its borders but when overzealous enforcement means that long-term legal residents live in fear and face deportation from the only home they have ever known, something is very wrong.
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PHILLIS WHEATLEY 1753-1784 that the work was indeed written by a black woman. She had emancipated her shortly thereafter.
Despite spending much of her life enslaved, Phillis Wheatley was the first African American and second woman (after Anne Bradstreet) to publish a book of poems. Born around 1753 in Gambia, Africa, Wheatley was captured by slave traders and brought to America in 1761. Upon arrival, she was sold to the Wheatley family in Boston, Massachusetts. Her first name Phillis was derived from the ship that brought her to America, “the Phillis.” The Wheatley family educated her and within sixteen months of her arrival in America she could read the Bible, Greek and Latin classics, and British literature. She also studied astronomy and geography. At age fourteen, Wheatley began to write poetry, publishing her first poem in 1767. Publication of “An Elegiac Poem, on the Death of the Celebrated Divine George Whitefield” in 1770 brought her great notoriety. In 1773, with financial support from the English Countess of Huntingdon, Wheatley travelled to London with the Wheatley’s son to publish her first collection of poems, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral—the first book written by a black woman in America. It included a forward, signed by John Hancock and other Boston notables—as well as a portrait of Wheatley—all designed to prove
Wheatley’s poems reflected several influences on her life, among them the wellknown poets she studied, such as Alexander Pope and Thomas Gray. Pride in her African heritage was also evident. Her writing style embraced the elegy, likely from her African roots, where it was the role of girls to sing and perform funeral dirges. Religion was also a key influence, and it led Protestants in America and England to enjoy her work. Enslavers and abolitionists both read her work; the former to convince the enslaved population to convert, the latter as proof of the intellectual abilities of people of colour. Although she supported the patriots during the American Revolution, Wheatley’s opposition to slavery heightened. She wrote several letters to ministers and others on liberty and freedom. During the peak of her writing career, she wrote a well-received poem praising the appointment of George Washington as the commander of the Continental Army. However, she believed that slavery was the issue that prevented the colonists from achieving true heroism. In 1778, Wheatley married John Peters, a free black man from Boston with whom she had three children, though none survived. Efforts to publish a second book of poems failed. To support her family, she worked as a scrubwoman in a boarding-house while continuing to write poetry. Wheatley died in December 1784, due to complications from childbirth. In addition to making an important contribution to American literature, Wheatley’s literary and artistic talents helped show that African Americans were equally capable, creative, intelligent human beings who benefited from an education. In part, this helped the cause of the abolition movement.
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HIV - 3 LITTLE LETTERS TO LIVE BY By Tarze Edwards-Small and Dr Ruth Taylor
If the best part of life is good health, then we should know everything there is about staying healthy. If you are young, old, married, single go to church or mosque, or neither, you can be equipped with the right knowledge. So if I asked you about PEP or PrEP? What would it mean to you? OK. Let’s try another question. If a friend mentioned about U=U, would you know what they mean? HIV? What does that conjure up? HIV can seem scary to talk about. However, advances in HIV treatment mean people who are infected can live a normal, healthy life, with minimal complications. Modern HIV medicine means that those taking treatment for their HIV regularly cannot pass it on to others. And there is also a medicine available to prevent HIV infection in the first place. All too often we read data relating to HIV and BAME communities in the UK who are overrepresented and disproportionately affected with STIs and HIV compared to the rest of the population. According to Public Health England data 2017, 45% of those accessing HIV treatment are BAME (Black African Caribbean, Asian and other ethnic minorities) and 55% are white. I have worked in sexual health services for over 10 years and have seen lots of exciting changes in what is available. In order to understand the facts, I spoke with Dr Ruth Taylor, who is a Consultant in Sexual health and HIV in Nottingham, and asked her about some of these questions.
Why is it important to know your HIV status? ‘The sooner we know someone has HIV, the earlier we can start treatment. Late diagnosis can mean poorer long-term health outcomes, but effective treatment means people living with HIV can have normal, healthy lives. Anyone can get HIV, but we know some people are more at risk. This includes BAME people, whether born in the UK or overseas.’ What is U=U? “Undetectable=Untransmittable. This means that someone who has been on effective HIV treatment for at least 6 months cannot pass on HIV through sex, even without condoms. There have been very large scientific studies proving this so reliably that it is now part of national guidance. This is a real ‘game changer’ for us in HIV care, and we want to make sure everyone is aware of it.” How else can we prevent HIV infections? “If you know you don’t have HIV, then there are some steps you can take to prevent infection. The most important one is regularly HIV testing, and using condoms if you can, particularly where you don’t know your partners’ status. There is also PEP – this stands for post-exposure prophylaxis. This involves medicines taken within 3 days after you might have been at risk of getting HIV, to prevent you getting infected. A risk might be unprotected sex with someone who has HIV, but is not on treatment, or who doesn’t know their own HIV status. We know that most HIV infections originate from people who actually don’t know their status.
Nottingham connected PrEP stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. This is when someone who doesn’t have HIV, but feels they may be at risk, takes medications regularly to prevent infection. Unlike PEP, which is taken ‘after the event’, PrEP is planned, and taken every day” You may be wondering what all of this means to you? Well, it means that all your sexual health needs are taken care of. You can attend any of our Integrated Sexual Health Services throughout Nottingham, which deliver everything from contraception, condoms, pregnancy testing, HIV and STI testing and treatment. Services are ‘open access’, meaning you can attend without your GP referring you. We also work closely with local groups and partner agencies providing health promotion and testing. If you can’t come to us, we can come to you!
Health & Food 27 Stigma and discrimination still exist in relation to sexual health and HIV in the BAME community. But we want to try to break that down. Our services support any sexually active person- past or present – to take responsibility for their health. In simple terms: test more, treat early and stay safe. These are the words to live by. Nottingham Integrated Sexual Health Services: cover Nottingham City and the Southern Boroughs from Victoria Health Centre and City Hospital GUM as well as a number of clinics in the community. Call Central Booking on 01159 627627 or Book Online www.nuh. nhs.uk/SexualHealthServices Email email@example.com Twitter @nuhsexual health Facebook @nuhISHS
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THE FASTEST WAY TO SLEEP By Jillian Kubala
Spending more time trying to fall asleep rather than actually sleeping? You’re not alone. Just the act of trying too hard can cause (or continue) a cycle of anxious, nerve-wracking energy that keeps our minds awake. And if your mind can’t sleep, it’s really difficult for your body to follow. But there are scientific tricks you can try to flip the switch and guide your body into a safe shutdown mode. We cover some science-based tricks to help you fall asleep faster. How to sleep in 10 seconds It usually takes a magic spell to fall asleep this quickly and on cue, but just like spells, with practice you can eventually get to the sweet 10-second spot. Note: The method below takes a full 120 seconds to finish, but the last 10 seconds is said to be truly all it takes to finally snooze. The military method The popular military method, which was first reported by Sharon Ackerman, comes from a book titled “Relax and Win: Championship Performance.” According to Ackerman, the United States Navy Pre-Flight School created a routine to help pilots fall asleep in 2 minutes or less. It took pilots about 6 weeks of practice, but it worked — even after drinking coffee and with gunfire noises in the background. This practice is said to even work for people who need to sleep sitting up! The military method Relax your entire face, including the muscles inside your mouth. Drop your shoulders to release the tension and let your hands drop to the side of your body. Exhale, relaxing your chest. Relax your legs, thighs, and calves. Clear your mind for 10 seconds by imagining a relaxing scene. If this doesn’t work, try saying the words “don’t think” over and over for 10
seconds. Within 10 seconds, you should fall asleep! If this doesn’t work for you, you may need to work on the foundations of the military method: breathing and muscle relaxation, which have some scientific evidence that they work. Also, some conditions such as ADHD or anxiety may interfere with this method’s effectiveness. How to sleep in 60 seconds These two methods, which focus on your breathe or muscles, help you take your mind off topic and back to bed. If you’re a beginner trying these hacks out, these methods may take up to 2 minutes to work. 4-7-8 breathing method Mixing together the powers of meditation and visualization, this breathing method becomes more effective with practice. If you have a respiratory condition, such as asthma or COPD, consider checking with your doctor before beginning, as this could aggravate your symptoms. To prepare, place the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth, behind your two front teeth. Keep your tongue there the whole time and purse your lips if you need to. How to do one cycle of 4-7-8 breathing: Let your lips part slightly and make a whooshing sound as you exhale through your mouth. Then close your lips and inhale silently through your nose. Count to 4 in your head. Then hold your breath for 7 seconds. After, exhale (with a whoosh sound) for 8 seconds. Avoid being too alert at the end of each cycle. Try to practice it mindlessly. Complete this cycle for four full breaths. Let your body sleep if you feel relaxation coming on earlier than anticipated. Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) Progressive muscle relaxation, also known as deep muscle relaxation, helps you unwind. The premise is to tense — but not strain — your
Nottingham connected muscles and relax to release the tension. This movement promotes tranquillity throughout your body. It’s a trick recommended to help with insomnia. Before you start, try practicing the 4-7-8 method while imagining the tension leaving your body as you exhale. Relaxation script Raise your eyebrows as high as possible for 5 seconds. This will tighten your forehead muscles. Relax your muscles immediately and feel the tension drop. Wait 10 seconds. Smile widely to create tension in your cheeks. Hold for 5 seconds. Relax. Pause 10 seconds. Squint with your eyes shut. Hold 5 seconds. Relax. Pause 10 seconds. Tilt your head slightly back so you’re comfortably looking at the ceiling. Hold 5 seconds. Relax as your neck sinks back into the pillow. Pause 10 seconds. Keep moving down the rest of the body, from your triceps to chest, thighs to feet. Let yourself fall asleep, even if you don’t finish tensing and relaxing the rest of your body. As you do this, focus on how relaxed and heavy your body feels when it’s relaxed and in a comfortable state. How to fall asleep in 120 seconds If the previous methods still didn’t work, there might be an underlying blockage you need to get out. Try these techniques! Tell yourself to stay awake
Health & Food 29 Also called paradoxical intention, telling yourself to stay awake may be a good way to fall asleep faster. For people — especially those with insomnia — trying to sleep can increase performance anxiety. Research has found that people who practiced paradoxical intention fell asleep faster than those who didn’t. If you often find yourself stressed out about trying to sleep, this method may be more effective than traditional, intentional breathing practices. Visualize a calm place If counting activates your mind too much, try engaging your imagination. Some say that visualizing something can make it real, and it’s possible this works with sleep, too. In a 2002 study from the University of Oxford, researchers found that people who engaged in “imagery distraction” fell asleep faster than those who had general distraction or no instructions. Image distraction Instead of counting sheep, try to imagine a serene setting and all the feelings that go with it. For example, you can imagine a waterfall, the sounds of echoing, rushing water, and the scent of damp moss. The key is to let this image take up space in your brain to prevent yourself from “re-engaging with thoughts, worries, and concerns” pre-sleep
30 Health & Food
UNHCR MENTAL HEALTH CASE STUDY ON SOUTH SUDANESE REFUGEES By Rocco Nuri
When a psychologist asked Rose to choose a face on a pictorial scale that most represented her mood, she hesitated, bit her lip and then pointed to a face with open eyes and a flat, closed mouth. Rose felt neither happy nor sad, but that in itself was an improvement. A single mother of five, she had fled the conflict in South Sudan and witnessed her husband’s murder before making it to this refugee settlement of 230,000 in Uganda. She had spent the last several months attending regular group counselling sessions after her ten-year-old son saved her from a suicide attempt. Tears rolled down Rose’s face, but she was not embarrassed. “I am aware I am not happy with my life, but at least now I know there is no shame in feeling this way,” said Rose, 33. The number of suicides and suicide attempts among South Sudanese refugees living in settlements in Uganda more than doubled in 2019 compared to the previous year, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, found. There were 97 suicide attempts, with 19 deaths. Although suicide is also a common issue in the general population in northern Uganda, the increase among refugees in places like Bidibidi illustrates a growing problem: the dire need for mental health-care services for people who have fled crisis, lost support networks and struggled to make a living in their country of asylum. More than 2 million South Sudanese, most of them women and children, have fled their homeland to escape a brutal conflict between the government and opposition parties. Forty percent live in Uganda. Many have witnessed or experienced attacks, sexual abuse and torture either at home or during their escape. A 2018 joint assessment by UNHCR and partner organizations found that 19 per cent of refugee
households in northern Uganda reported at least one family member suffered psychological distress or felt afraid. Fewer than half of the respondents said the affected family member had access to psychosocial care, such as individual counselling, group therapy and meditation. There are few suicide prevention programmes like the one in which Rose participated, which was run by a local non-governmental organization, Transcultural Psychosocial Organization (TPO), with support from UNHCR. The organization reached 9,000 refugees and local Ugandans in and around Bidibidi settlement last year, counselling them on how to manage negative thoughts, engage in social activities and reach out for help. It also ran programmes to help eliminate the stigma associated with mental health, trained healthcare providers and deployed communitybased counsellors. “They have gone through decades of brutal wars.” UNHCR and its partners secured only 40 per cent of the US$927 million needed to assist refugees and host communities in Uganda in 2019. With such limited funding, TPO and other organizations delivering mental health and psychosocial support reached only 29 per cent of South Sudanese refugees in need of its services and even a smaller percentage of local community members. The outlook for 2020 funding is not promising, and it will be impossible to support effective mental health programmes – or even identify who needs help – without more money from governments, the private sector and other donors. UNHCR’s briefing on this issue, identifies key factors contributing to a higher rate of suicide included incidents of sexual and gender-based violence, traumatic events both before fleeing the home country and after arriving at a refugee settlement, extreme poverty, and lack of meaningful access to education and jobs.
Nottingham connected Forty-two-year-old Adam*, father of five, told UNHCR that his wife, Mary*, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2012 in South Sudan’s Yei town. Mary’s condition worsened after they arrived in Bidibidi settlement in September 2016. On a sunny June day, Mary told Adam she was going to her brother’s home, but she never made it there. A neighbour found her hanging from a mango tree the following day. “My wife could not accept the fact that she was no longer able to cook, look after the crops and sweep the courtyard. She could not bear the persistent tiredness,” Adam said. “She did not have any friends here to share her feelings and worries. Our neighbours did not really want to deal with us because of my wife’s mental problem. I think that’s what broke her deep inside.” Host communities are also dealing with cases of mental health problems. According to the 2018 joint study, 27 per cent of households in northern Uganda reported that at least one family member suffered from psychological distress. “They have much in
Health & Food 31 common with refugees from South Sudan,” said Charles Olaro, Director of Curative Services at Uganda’s Ministry of Health. “They have also gone through decades of brutal wars, multiple displacement, epidemics, deprivation and generations of untreated trauma.” In the town of Yumbe, about 30 kilometres west of Bidibidi settlement, several Ugandans took their own lives recently, including 16-year-old boy. The young football fan used to help his mother sell cow hooves after school and run errands to earn pocket money. His father is said to have abandoned the family, and his mother barely had enough money to support them. Lucy said her family had a history of suicide, but witchcraft killed her son. “The neighbours put a spell on him as they envied me for having a boy able to look after the home and earn his own money.” Rose, Adam, Lucy and their children regularly receive psychosocial support from TPO, both individually and as a group. They share their stories and forge friendships. “Counselling helped me regain hope and love for myself,” Rose said.
32 Health & Food
JUST TWO HOURS A WEEK IN NATURE By Shawn Radcliffe
Recent research has found clear evidence that going for a hike can help your health. But how much time in nature do we need to be healthier? A group led by researchers in the United Kingdom tried to answer that question, in what they describe as a first step toward coming up with a nature version of national physical activity guidelines. Researchers surveyed more than 19,000 people in the United Kingdom about the recreational time they spent in nature during the past week, along with their self-reported health and well-being. They found out that people who spent at least 120 minutes a week in nature saw a boost in their mental and physical health, compared to people who didn’t spend any time in nature. The researchers say the size of the health benefits was similar to what people would get by meeting the guidelines for physical activity. It didn’t matter how or where people racked up the 120 minutes; many short walks near
home were just as effective as a longer hike on the weekend at a park. The research also points out that this is just a first step toward being able to recommend people to spend a certain amount of time each week in nature while another research further shows that even small bouts in nature can provide health benefits. In one study, people who exercised for just five minutes in nature saw boosts to their selfesteem and mood. Some of the health benefits of nature are due to people getting more physical activity when they are outside. A very important part of the research interestingly shows that even sitting still in nature can improve health, providing a break from hours of mentally tiring “directed attention” — time spent focused on our work, our computer screen, driving, etc. These benefits, though, only show up if you put down your smartphone and give nature your full attention
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34 Business & Finance
AKON IS LIGHTING AFRICA THROUGH THE USE OF SOLAR ENERGY By Sol Up
“Akon Lighting Africa” is a project started in 2014 by music artist Akon with his fellow Senegalese countryman Thione Niang and a Malian businessman Samba Bathily; which aims to provide electricity by solar power in Africa. The initial aim is to install solar streetlights and small energy systems across towns and villages in many countries in Africa. Lack of electricity in some parts of the continent, leaves so many towns and villages dormant after sunset which affects the economy locally and nationally. In an effort to build the economy in Africa and provide electricity to many countries, Akon and his two partners embarked on such a magnanimous mission aimed at making a difference in the lives of those affected by inadequacy of basic and essential provisions such as electricity. Widely known for his musical talents, the rapper cum producer shifted his attention to helping out starting from where his story began; the continent of Africa. Over half a billion Africans, living in rural areas, do not have access to electricity and rely on candles and hurricane lamps. Many families and students are forced to improvise through other means so as to be able to complete their home tasks and/or even finish schoolwork. The use of candles and other toxic fuels to produce
light has resulted in over 3.5 million deaths each year due to fires and harmful pollutants. In February of 2014, ‘’Akon Lighting Africa’’ was created with the desire to bringing electricity all across Africa and laying a foundation for future development. Alongside his partners, they have provided 14 African countries with streetlamps, domestic and individual solar kits that allow electricity to be created through solar panels. ‘’Akon Lighting Africa’’ plans on to cover all countries in Africa that are constrained by electricity supply. The project’s main objective is to help build the economy through education and job creation since these villages will be illuminated at night, shops and vendors can continue business while also creating a safer environment for children and other members of the community. The project also provides education and training to African workers in installing and maintaining solar panels. A school has been created to teach young members of the community the power of solar and how to properly maintain the equipment needed to harness it. Solar energy is a powerful tool everyone can utilize and most parts of the African continent are naturally endowed with sunshine which would serve as the backbone in helping achieve the objectives of ‘’Akon lights Africa.
Business & Finance 35
ZIMBABWE ECONOMY AND CURRENCY
By Krishna Nag
Zimbabwe is trying to bring back its “Zimdollar” currency and not for the first time. Ten years since the troubled national currency was essentially destroyed by years of hyperinflation, central bank officials and a few strategic government insiders have been openly discussing the need for its return. This government in its currency reforms announced that the Central Bank will introduce new notes to fight transactional challenges emanating from over-reliance on digital and mobile money in light of cash shortages. Mobile money; EcoCash being the dominant player, has often been helpful for ordinary Zimbabweans in alleviating the cash shortages they have been experiencing but it has also become problematic as wallet holders have to pay premiums of up to 50% to access their funds in cash and this is why the Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank is moving to introduce new currency notes under the banner of the Zim dollar. Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube in 2018 came up with the adoption of a monetary policy centred around currency reforms leading to the removal of foreign currencies and re-adoption of the Zim dollar in 2019. This November, Zimbabwe will inject more cash into the economy in the form of new ZWL 2 coins, ZWL 2 and ZWL 5 notes and these will be legal tender alongside the bond notes introduced in 2016 pending their gradual phasing out from the market. According to the monetary policy committee of the Zimbabwean central bank, “the level of physical cash in the economy is inadequate to meet transactional demand” hence its decision to “boost the domestic availability of cash for transactional purposes through a gradual increase in cash supply over the next six months” and starting with the new notes coming up. With Zimbabweans having to pay premiums for their own money in their mobile wallets, some economists have described the situation
as a reflection of policy failures while others believe the introduction of new notes under the Zim dollar will help address cash shortages in the economy. Cash shortages have been pushing up transaction fees for digital money, leaving analysts divided over the role of mobile money in worsening the monetary crisis. Authorities have recently ordered mobile money operators to stop cash in and cash out functionalities before the imposition of limits to avoid high premiums some agents were charging. A ZWL100 charge per transaction followed from the government which equals to $5 in the parallel market and $6.60 on the official interbank market. Apart from the pricing distortions and premiums on cash, Zimbabweans are having to cope with sharp price rises, the most recent of which has been fuel prices and mobile voice call and data tariffs. Fuel has gone up by about 12% after the removal of subsidies on petroleum products which is expected to attract room for inflation. But to understand the Zimbabwean currency changes and reforms and the resultant crisis, one needs to go back to 2009 when the country—ravaged by hyper-inflation— abandoned the Zimbabwe dollar and adopted multiple currencies including the US dollar and South African rand. In 2015, the foreign currency notes dried up at the banks, leading to cash shortages in the economy. Then in 2016, Zimbabwe introduced bond notes as a surrogate currency which initially had equal value to the US dollar but trades at 1:15 with the greenback. The currency crisis worsened even after long time president Robert Mugabe was replaced by Emmerson Mnangagwa in late 2017.
36 Education & Career
WHAT I’VE LEARNED FROM TEACHING PRISONERS TO THINK LIKE SCIENTISTS By Dr Phil Heron
It takes a while to get used to the constant locking of doors as you stop-start your way along a prison corridor. Walking through the main hall in HMP Low Newton, a women’s prison in County Durham, my flustered mind raced to try and maintain a normal conversation with my hosts. I’m a geophysicist, used to looking at shifts in the Earth’s plates, but I was there to start teaching a course called Think Like A Scientist. Working alongside Durham University, the prison, and a host of prison educators, the aim of the course, which ran for seven weeks between January and March 2019, was to teach understanding, analysis, and communication – the building blocks of being a scientist. Across the UK, there are far fewer science education programmes behind bars than there are humanities programmes. This scarcity of science programmes doesn’t appear to because of a lack of demand, but rather is down to the challenges of teaching in such a restrictive environment. There are no bunsen burners or microscopes available – the only teaching tools are often a paper flip chart and print outs. Still, great
there are examples of
programmes, from the pioneering Cell Block Science and Code4000, which teaches coding to inmates, to the Royal Astronomical Society’s Beyond Prison Walls. A scientific mind In my course, the students learned about a different topic each week during a two-hour long class. Topics ranged from the science of sleep, climate change, geoscience, space missions, the universe, and artificial intelligence. Instead of focusing on gaining knowledge that we can test them on, the students are guided to “think like a scientist” – in particular, to see where the limits of humanity’s understanding are and to pick apart issues surrounding research. We try to stay away from traditional classroom settings as many of the students have negative connections with their early learning in high school. At HMP Low Newton, the students gathered in a communal room with sofas centred around a flip chart. We focused on three pillars of being a scientist: understanding research; analysis of what we know, what we don’t know, and what we need to know; and how to communicate findings.
The information presented is mainly given in the style of TED talks and podcasts: 15-minute segments of science which are accessible and have a narrative. These short bursts of information form the students’ understanding of a subject. The students are then taught how to analyse by dissecting articles from The Conversation, such as why children who sleep more get better grades, guided by questions including “What are the authors missing?” and “What else would you like to know?” By promoting their own voice and opinions, the students begin to find their feet and start thinking like a scientist. But a proper science class needs an experiment. During the course, the students kept a sleep diary for three weeks – monitoring the amount of sleep they get, their mood and energy levels. By collating and anonymising the diaries, the class then used this new research to find out whether
Nottingham connected there was a correlation between how much a person sleeps and their energy or mood. In true peer review style, the students heavily criticised the experiment, indicating that three weeks of data from a narrow band of the population was insufficient for a rigorous analysis. Boosting understanding At HMP Low Newton, the desire to learn and improve was apparent from the students in every session, and it was a joy to teach. They all wanted to learn more about
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earthquakes, black holes and missions to Mars. The goal is to provide a pathway to further learning opportunities for those in prison. Employment is an important factor of reoffending rates and so the hope is that future courses will link up with science and technology companies who can offer guidance on employment opportunities upon release. From teaching in prison, Iâ€™ve learned that we can teach anywhere people want to be
taught. There are difficulties in any classroom, but these are problems that can be overcome through careful listening and collaboration. I am now working to run the course in a couple of other prisons, which will no doubt have other obstacles to clear. But by participating in discussions on the hot scientific topics of the day, Think Like A Scientist students can build confidence in their academic ability â€“ and hopefully unlock doors to a future in education.
38 Education & Career
TRANSITIONING FROM GIRL TO WOMAN BY SHARON STEVENS
The transition from a child to a woman is very different for every woman. We all have different experiences and our journey is never the same. There may be similarities, in the form of bodily changes but even that will be different depending on your own genetic make-up. Those who are blessed with a caring environment should transition more easily. Most parents I know, want to provide for their child/children an environment where they are safe, secure and nurtured. To help our daughters embrace the changes they may face, it is important for parents first to understand the physical changes that may occur alongside the emotional changes too. Bodily changes: All below are approximate ages related changes. • Around the age of eight, a girl may notice some changes in her breasts. However, this may not start as late as age fourteen and may continue up to the age of nineteen. Young girls may be worried at this time because one breast may grow at a different rate to the other and it is important that as parents, we assure our child that this is normal. Even if they experience lateness at the beginning of changes to the breasts, they need to know that this is also normal. Girls also need to be
aware that the size that they are at aged nineteen may not be the size they will be at 20, 30 and beyond as pregnancy, weight loss etc may also change the size and shape of their breast. • During puberty, there is also the appearance of hair underarm and in the genital area. Again, our daughters will need reassurance that this is normal, and the speed of growth again is not typical, each girl/woman have their own experiences including their own siblings. • Other bodily changes include that changes to the hips that may widen and changes to height. There are no set times for these to happen. There may be growth spurts at any time that may slow down for a while and then continue at a later time. It is vital as parents to reassure our daughters that any changes are normal and that we will be there to answer any questions they may have. If we can’t or feel uncomfortable, we can refer them to other sources of information for support.
• Possibly, the most challenging time for our daughters might be the onset of menstruation, which again may happen between the age of nine and fourteen. As parents, it’s important to have a talk to our daughters before they get to this stage to prepare them for the changes that will occur. They may experience difficulties with pain, and they will need to know where particular toilets are in school and how to gain access to them. It would be good also to discuss the type of sanitary protection they may want to use and the need for increased hygiene. It is at that this point that it is advisable to explain about safe sex no matter what our thoughts are about sex before marriage. • If you believe that it belongs in a place where two people are in a loving relationship, then it’s up to you to share that. However,
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it is important to note that contraception services are available at your GP and they have no obligation to inform you as parents should our daughters decide to seek advice themselves. So, it is something that parents can approach together with their child/children and thus making sure that communication channels are kept open. If we arm our daughters with information none of the above will be a frightening experience and instead of being a time of anxiety it will be a time of celebration, from being a girl to becoming a woman. There will also be a wealth of learning in and out of education, dealing with new emotions, not to mention the bombardment of stereotypical body images in the media. We have to be the advocate for our children, and this includes during their physical changes too.
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