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The Phoenix Entertainment brought to you by

JULY 2012

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Jamaica’s 50th Anniversary Inside

Read all about it in our 16 page pullout in the centre pages

Villa Lions walk for charity Page 5

Food bringing cultures together Page 2

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The Phoenix–July 2012

Food unites everyone at Lozells Faith Festival By Thaiba Ishtiaq


Tribute for Cllr Minhas

Wolverhampton City Council leader Cllr Roger Lawrence has paid tribute to Councillor Manohar Minhas who died at the weekend aged 52 years. He represented the Park Ward for Labour and was Chair of the Performance, Governance and Support Services Scrutiny Panel. In a tribute, council leader Cllr Roger Lawrence said: "I was greatly saddened and shocked to hear of Manohar's untimely death at the weekend. “Manohar will be greatly missed by us all in the Labour Group as both a friend and as a highly valued colleague. “Manohar served his Park Ward constituents and the Labour Party faithfully as a Labour Councillor since 2004 and I know his efforts will have made a great difference to the lives of the local people he served. “The many comments and tributes people have shared with me about Manohar only serve to demonstrate the high esteem in which he was held by all his friends and colleagues both within the council and across the city. Our thoughts are with his wife and children at this very sad time." Cllr Minhas leaves a wife and two children.


Cllr Khalid Mahmood with local residents and police


Big Bob and Steve brought Caribbean food.

he Lozells community came together recently, for a day of fun, food and faith. The ‘Food and Faith Festival’ took place at George’s park on a grey and rainy Saturday, but even the dull weather couldn’t keep people away! A fabulous vibe of diversity and community spirit echoed throughout the festival as the different cultures of Lozells united to showcase the perfect example of a multicultural community. From bouncy castles and merry go rounds to face painting and food from every culture, there was something for all the family. Local talent was given the platform to perform on stage after lo-


cal faith leaders spoke about the project which made it possible for everyone to enjoy the day. With funding from Near Neighbours, Pall Singh of The Lozells Project was able to organise an event connecting everyone regardless of age, culture, background or religion, something which local leaders were eager to draw upon: “Diversity is the most beautiful thing. There has been a fantastic turn out and my aim is to sustain this event” said Labour Councillor Waseem Zaffar of Lozells and East Handsworth Ward “in future I would like to see more support from local agencies” he added. “I am also a very strong supporter of interfaith events” added

Matloob Hussain from Lozells Central Mosque with local councillors and a resident.


colleague Councillor Mahmood Hussain “integration of faiths should always be encouraged”.


During the riots a few years ago, different faith leaders united to diffuse the escalating situation. Since then, a strong congregation of faith leaders has been created in Lozells, with the Faith and Food festival being just one example of what can be achieved through unity. Local resident Ibrar Masood shared his views on the festival, “It is very pleasing to see everybody come together peacefully. Although we have had tense moments in Lozells in the past, we are still one united community”

Local residents enjoy the day

Lord Mayor joins in the CelebrAsians for the 5th Anniversary of Asian Lite Feeding the nation with good news To Advertise 0121 250 3536 Send your stories to Newsdesk 0121 250 3536 The Phoenix Birmingham Science Park Aston IBIC Holt Court South Birmingham B7 4EJ Associate Editor: Steve Williams Head of Production and Design: Daniel Riley Art Director: Mark Dwayne Features Coordinator: Thaiba Ishtiaq Official Photographer: Max Marriott


anchester Lord Mayor Elaine Boyes led a team of dignitaries to join the CelebrASIANS – the fifth anniversary of the fortnightly newspaper. The event held at the prestigious Sheridan Suite in Manchester also witnessed the launch of Asian Lite business awards. Mr Mohammed Ishaq Chaudry aka Mo Chaudry, philanthropist and one of the most successful British-Asian businessmen, was honoured at the event for his contribution to the British economy and supporting the new businesses across the country. Mayor of Rochdale Councillor James Gartside, and Mayoress, Councillor Jane Gartside, Former Lord Mayor of Manchester Councillor Afzal Khan, Greater Manchester Police Authority Chief Cllr Paul Murphy, Chief Prosecutor of the Crown Prosecution Service Nazir Afzal were present. The mayor congratulates

the Asian Lite, Anasudhin Azeez and Raj Sarin team for organising a mega event to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee. The mayor congratulated the management and the editorial team of Asian Lite on their fifth anniversary. “A newspaper always reflects the culture of the society it exists,” the mayor said. “For a newspaper, a bad news is always a good news. Nowadays

the newspapers are riddled with too many negative stories. Too many bad news about the Asian community especially on terrorism, drugs, forced marriages, grooming, illegal immigration, sponging the system etc. It is disappointing to see that newspapers ignore the positive side of the Asian community life. But I know Asian Lite is different from other newspapers. It always

sees a glass Half Full instead of Half Empty.” “This small newspaper has won one of the prime awards at the recent How-DO event. By winning the coveted award like the Newspaper of the year, Asian Lite is showing it might to become one of the greatest newspapers in the country. Manchester is always in supportive of free speech and entrepreneurship. I hope the young team of Asian Lite will emulate the examples set by Manchester media icons like CP Scott. “The event also witnessed the launch of Asian Lite Business Awards. Several prominent businessmen and women from the Asian community across the UK were honoured for their excellence. The event was dotted with several high profile performances from leading dancers like Kajal Sharma, Deepa Ganesh, Remya Jayaraj, Nrithya Ram Mohan, Soma Gosh and SonAash.

To advertise telephone 0121 250 3536

The Phoenix–July 2012

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Apprenticeships for Wolves teens


l Reece Faulkner and Sunny Kooner pictured with Cabinet Member for Schools, Skills and Learning Councillor Phil Page at the apprenticeship recruitment event.

ould-be apprentices found out about some of the opportunities that may be on offer to them thanks to Wolverhampton City Council at a special event. The council announced last September that it was to launch an Apprenticeship Programme which would recruit 30 young apprentices a year – and give them real life experiences of the world of work. Apprenticeships offer young people a positive first step onto the career ladder and the chance to do a job while gaining nationallyrecognised training and qualifications. The scheme is aimed primarily at 16 to 18-year-olds and they were invited to learn more at a special event at the Epic Youth Café in the city centre last week. The first batch of 15 young people took up apprenticeships with the authority in February and the next group of 15 will start in September, on a one-year fixed term contract at a wage of £150 per week.

They include apprenticeships with teams which oversee marketing, playwork, business administration, customer service, ICT and catering. The scheme provides huge benefits for both the young people taking part and the authority. The council gets access to enthusiastic, motivated individuals who are eager to learn the skills that their business really needs right from the start. In return, the apprentice gets not only practical experience and qualifications, but also a wage. Councillor Phil Page, Wolverhampton City Council’s Cabinet Member for Schools, Skills and Learning, said: “It is very important that the council, as the largest employer in the city, plays a vital role in helping to alleviate the impact of rising youth unemployment in Wolverhampton. “I would also like to encourage other local employers to actively create apprenticeships opportunities for young people at this time of great economic uncertainty.” Two apprentices, Reece Faulkner and Tilly Woolley-Howells, have

joined the council’s City Direct team which sees them working in a variety of customer service roles. Sunny Kooner, Training and Development Officer for City Direct, said: “Reece and Tilly are an absolute pleasure to have at City Direct. They are a valuable asset to the department, demonstrating maturity and an eagerness to learn. Within two weeks of employment, they had demonstrated professionalism and excellent customer service especially on our main reception desk. “It is so reassuring and pleasing to see two young people, without any previous ‘work history’, entering a workplace, settle in, engage with their peers, and understand the basic principles of work life.” To find out more about Wolverhampton City Council’s apprenticeship programme, please call Workforce Development on 01902 550124 or visit For information about apprenticeships in general, please visit

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The Phoenix–July 2012


Jubilee celebrations for Andy Thaiba Ishtiaq reports on a man who has been entertaining us for as long as our Monarch reigns


elebrations kicked off all over Birmingham early this month as thousands gathered to celebrate 60 years of the Queen’s monarchy. Coinciding with Cannon Hill Park’s annual Spring Festival, the ‘Diamond Decades’ party took on 1950s themed entertainment throughout the weekend. From arts, crafts and nature trails to live music, fairground rides and a tea dance on the newly refurbished bandstand, the event turned out a great success despite the grey skies. The Notebenders (featured in The Phoenix May edition) had the honour of playing during the inauguration of the bandstand at Cannon Hill, where bands last played before the Second World War. This was a particularly momentous occasion for the Notebenders whose inspiration, the legendary jazz saxophonist Andy Hamilton, passed away over the weekend. Born in Jamaica in 1918, Andy formed his first band in 1928,

making his first saxophone out of bamboo. He emigrated to the UK in 1949, and lived and worked in Birmingham, forming the Jazz group Blue Notes with fellow Jamaican pianist Sam Brown. Despite his music being so popular, Andy didn’t make an album till he recovered from a diabetic coma in 1991, at the age of 73 years. ‘Silvershine’ became the biggest selling UK jazz album of the year followed by ‘Jamaica at night’. The Notebenders are a product of his work in establishing the Ladywood Community School of Music, a place “To nurture every person's musical aspirations to their full potential". Accordingly Andy was awarded an MBE from the Queen in 2008 for his services to music and the community. The day at Cannon Hill quite fittingly was a day to celebrate the achievements of a woman who has become one of our longest reigning monarchs, but also a day to remember the man, of humble beginnings in the West Indies, who has been entertaining us for just as many years.

Young Indian slum children inspired by Ghandi and King


ixteen children from slums in India are giving their UK premiere performances of EKATVA, a show inspired by the lives of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. EKATVA, which means ‘Oneness,’ is a pilgrimage by these young global ambassadors, aged between 11 and 17, to spread the message of compassion, service and unity through a multi-media dance-drama production performed in English at The Drum, in Birmingham, later this month. Organised by the Manav Sadhna organisation based in the Gandhi Ashram, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, the EKATVA journey began 2 and half years ago with auditions of more than 8,000 children from Ahmedabad’s four main slum communities and in over nine months, sixteen children were selected. The overall aim was to nurture a deep transformation in the spirit and lives of the children and those involved, and demonstrate the po-

tential for all children to shine if given the opportunity and proper support. Whilst here, the children will also be volunteering and making connections with charitable organisations.


Together with the creative support of Darpana Academy of Performing Arts, the EKATVA show and experiment has been directed by Nimesh Patel, a Business School graduate and gifted hiphop artist from the United States. He says: “This has been a journey of personal transformation for me and an opportunity to plant seeds of love and transformation in the hearts of these kids. It’s an experiment to share with the world that will hopefully inspire others to connect and give back to underprivileged children.” Each EKATVA child has faced the daily challenges of living below the poverty line, each with a unique story. Dharmaji, for one, used to pick rags in a rough slum and looked after his father’s

donkeys. He never cared about school and was beaten by his elder sisters. He got connected to ManavSadhna through their street school program, auditioned and was selected, giving him the chance to grow up in a different environment and improve his prospects. Things are picking up. Recently, he was being forced into marriage, but, through his mentor, his parents were convinced otherwise. Now, he is excited about education, and everyone talks about how he used to be and how his whole spirit has changed for the better. EKATVA’s UK international tour is being organised by UKbased charity, Connect India which has had a long-term relationship with ManavSadhna. Connect India’s AniDeveli says: “We believe that not only will the lives of these children be transformed but they will act as role models and an inspiration to all those around them.”

The Phoenix–July 2012

Sharon inspires adults to learn


irmingham resident, Sharon Thompson (age 32) is the winner of this year’s Midlands Inspirational Learner Award 2012 for Adult Learners’ Week organised by NIACE (National Institution of Adult Continuing Education). The award is sponsored by the Open University. Sharon was selected from a number of nominations because of her spirit and determination, showing amazing strength in everything she has achieved through her ambition to learn. Sharon is a single mum with dyslexia and a background that includes living in hostels as a teenager and not knowing her alphabet until she was 21, leaving school with just a handful of GCSEs.

Sharon signed up with the OU in 2007 as the only viable way she could combine study with full-time employment and parenting commitments. She gained a Certificate in Social Sciences and a Diploma in Social Policy whilst working towards her honours degree in Social Sciences. Her studies fuelled her interest in society - social justice and community engagement in particular. She is now a magistrate and Community Development Officer and has an active role in politics on a number of levels. Sharon has spoken confidently and regularly on the radio, to various community groups and even in the House of Commons. Her list of achievements, too many to list, is truly inspirational.


Sharon was nominated by her friend, Monica Hall who commended Sharon on how well she has juggled her commitments, commenting “Sharon continued through a number of personal challenges, including unexpected bereavements, with perseverance, self-motivation and self-determination”. Known to her 13 year old son, Elijah, and his friends as ‘Judge Dread’ because of her role as a magistrate and dreadlock hair, Sharon continues to be a powerful role model to him. “I have learnt the true value of lifelong learning,” she explained. “Learning has opened doors, unlocked potential that I didn’t know existed and opened my mind to new thinking”.

Aston Villa Lions Roar for Acorns l

Sharon Thompson won the Midlands Inspirational Learner Award 2012

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AVFC Northants Lions’ Jordan Hall and Michael Cross present Acorns’ Ellie Griffiths with £1,025 raised in reservoir walk


ston Villa Lions stepped out to raise £1,025 in vital funds to help care for life limited local children at Acorns Children's Hospice. Jordan Hall and Michael Cross, both members of AVFC supporters Northants Lions’ club, presented Acorns’ Corporate Fundraising Officer Ellie Griffiths with the proceeds from nine of the club members’ seven-mile sponsored walk around their local Pitsford Reservoir. Michael, who was conducted on a tour of Acorns Children's Hospice in Selly Oak, said: “It is humbling to see the vital work

Acorns do. It’s brilliant. We began supporting Acorns when Villa took up Acorns’ cause. I am amazed their care is not fully financed by the government, as they are desperate for funds.” Acorns’ Corporate Fundraising Officer Ellie Griffiths said: “Acorns does not charge families for using the services, but it does cost £750 per day for each child’s care, so this is tremendous help from AVFC Lions.” Acorns cares for 630 children who have life limiting or life threatening conditions and 880 families, including those that are bereaved. Acorns urgently needs donations, relying on them for the ma-

jority of its income. Acorns offers a network of care and support to children who have life limiting or life threatening conditions and their families, at its hospices in Selly Oak, Walsall and Worcester, and through its community team who offer support at home. Children can stay at the hospices for short breaks, emergency and end-of-life care. The community team give support to the family 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To find out more about the work of Acorns Children's Hospice and how you can help raise vital funds call Acorns on: 0845 120 6892 or visit:

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The Phoenix–July 2012



Katherine Preston with Birmingham Science Park’s new tech entrepreneurs that are part of it;s Entrepreneurs for the Future Centre

BSPA help four more start-up companies F

our new start-ups have each received a £10,000 incubation package, triggering the launch of their tech businesses at Birmingham Science Park’s Entrepreneurs for the Future Centre (e4f). A total of 58 companies are currently based at - or have graduated from the business incubation centre, 13 of which specialise in digital gaming. wallFour, Jamo Games, We Wana and Untyped will receive expert advice and mentoring to achieve investor readiness, as well as telephone, internet and office space at Birmingham Science Park for free for six months; a package which has a monetary value of £10,000. Katherine Preston, e4f Business Incubation Manager at Birmingham Science Park said: “Since launching two and a half years ago, the Entrepreneurs for the Future Centre continues to grow from strength to strength. More of our tech start-ups are receiving seed finance from investors and becoming fast-growing, revenue generating businesses, enabling them to create new highvalue jobs in Birmingham.

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“We are able to offer a range of hot-desking options, as well as a good number of self-contained offices to cater for the needs of techstart-ups. The office space is all based around brilliant communal break-out areas, which add to the strong sense of community at the

Science Park.” The four new start-ups include wallFour, which is creating a system that allows up to 100 simultaneous players to interact with giant digital projection screens using laser pointers. This interface can be used to design and

produce collaborative crowd games for live performances. Jamo Games is creating original games content across multiple platforms, including for PC, Mac, Android and iOS, using in-house extensions and plug-ins designed for the Unity3D engine. We Wana is designing a mobile app that helps video gamers organise and schedule their gaming with their friends, contacts and other like-minded people. The app will be able to be used as a tool to help gaming companies

bring gamers together, and better understand their preferences. Software development company Untyped is developing Myna; a tool that will help web owners increase the sales and usability of their websites, using machine learning techniques to offer a superior alternative to A/B testing. James Biddulph, Founder of Jamo Games said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for me - being able to develop a new business and a product that I’m passionate about in this environment is really exciting! Being based at the Entrepreneurs for the Future Centre means I can share the same space as loads of other tech start-ups. We’re all working in similar markets, have similar skills sets, and comparable challenges to overcome to create a profitable and sustainable business. “Birmingham is a great place to develop a gaming business. I have no desire to be in London or Cambridge.” To be enrolled into e4f, entrepreneurs must pitch their idea, with a view to becoming a registered Ltd company. Applications are welcomed from start-ups operating in the digital media, ICT, med tech or clean tech sectors. Since launching in November 2009, Birmingham Science Park’s e4f Centre has created 111 new employees and directors. For more information, or to apply, please visit

To advertise call 0121 250 3536

The Phoenix–July 2012

Last call to find UK dream makers

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Dreams to come true thanks to Jenny


irmingham is known as a Reggae City with artists like Steel Pulse, UB40, Apache Indian, Bitty McLean and Pato Banton all having roots in the city. With that in mind, this years BASS (British Arts and Street Sounds) Festival, the UK’s only month-long celebration of Black music and arts, has launched its 2012 programme of music, arts and cultural events across Birmingham to explore the unstoppable influence of Jamaica on British creative talent. As part of Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of independence, this years’ series of events shows how much more powerful and apparent it is today, especially in our Jamaican community. Ammo Talwar, founder of festival organiser, Punch, says, “It may be the impact of Dub on our club scene or the way that Dancehall is transforming Street fashion, but Brand Jamaica is touching everyone’s life in Britain today.”

look after her, but because of the friendly and caring volunteers, we were able to enjoy time together as a family. It was a week none of us will ever forget." The Charity's ambassadors include Hollywood actress and author, Joan Collins, actress Elizabeth Hurley, Rod and Penny Stewart, Peter Andre, Bruce Forsyth and singer, Robbie Williams. Caudwell Children provide treatment, therapy, equipment and family support services for sick and disabled children throughout the UK. To date it has provided services worth over £17 million to thousands of children with different medical conditions.

Legal eagle Jenny Gough spread her wings on to raise money for stricken children. The 34-year-old Walsall Councilor took part in this year's Beacon Walk on behalf of Promise Dreams, a national charity which raises money to provide medical treatment for youngsters who are seriously or terminally ill. And for Jenny, a Senior Administrative Assistant with the Authority's legal department, there was extra incentive to complete the Himley Hall to Dunstall Park journey. "One of my best friends has a seven-year-old daughter who suffers with hereditary pancreatitis and many other conditions due to the severity of this illness," she said. “Promise Dreams has provided Freya with lots of fun and pleasure and made a real difference to her daily life. It was a very emotional and uplifting experience. To see such support for sick children was overwhelming. Freya, as well as her brother Connor and sister Becky also walked the 10 miles. Freya was going to do the first and last mile but managed the whole 10 and was keeping the adults going." In sponsors and donations, Jenny has so raised £260 for the charity. People can continue to support the fundraiser at: www.

new sound. Mirroring this change in the music were graphic designers and illustrators translating the energy, colour and playfulness of dancehall into images, painting a world of crazy characters in highly saturated colours. As an introduction to this foundation, Art in the Dancehall will feature cover art by seminal 1980s Jamaican artists Limonious and Jamaal Pete, alongside UK artist Tony McDermott and posters by Jamaica’s most celebrated poster designer, Sassafras. Exclusive to the show will be a previously unseen photograph of the prolific yet little-known artist Limonious, alongside preparatory artwork by Tony McDermott that has never before been exhibited in the UK. This foundation will be comple-

mented by the work of five young artists from four different countries (Jamaica, Israel, Germany and England) who are keeping the tradition alive: Robin Clare’s bright depictions of popular dances, Ellen G’s detailed illustrations and portraits of dancehall deities, Gabe’s bold black & white patterned take on reggae iconography, Peter Edwards’ zine covers and Daniel David Freeman’s hand-made recreation of part of the suit worn by Buju Banton on the cover of his Stamina Daddy LP. Launching on 27 June at the BASS Festival, Birmingham, the show will move with the Jamaican athletic team to London, where it will be exhibited at the PUMA YARD from 27 July to 12 August.

Cultural Experience

Running until July, at venues across Birmingham, including Custard Factory, The Jamhouse, mac, Library Theatre, PST, The Edge, The Drum, The Rainbow and Hare and Hounds. the BASS 2012 Festival delves into all aspects of Jamaican culture in the UK, featured the opening of an exhibition by Birmingham painter Mark Anthony Carrol, and premiering new Jazz work from Black British musician, David Grey. Musical highlights include Junior Murvin, whose massive hit “Police and Thieves” became the sound track for the Dread beat and Punk era. London’s hottest soundsystem, The Heatwave present: “Showdown” featuring Gappy Ranks, Top Cat, Lady Leshur and much more. The legends of the Dub scene Channel One play an intimate set for lovers of Roots Reggae, whilst members of Musical Youth and Steel Pulse debate reggae and its impact on the city of Birmingham from the 70’s onwards. BASS is also very proud to honour Birmingham stalwart photographer Vanley Burke with a special commission; “Respek Vanley.” Working with the local community and schools, musician Bobbie Gardner will produce new work which reflects his images. Other festival highlights include "Same Difference" – a new spoken word theatre piece, and a celebration of Rastafarian culture with a Marcus Garvey Day of youth workshops and good vibes. Because Jamaican culture stays close to its roots there will be a whole series of pop-up exhibitions, concerts and dance performances around the city – watch this space!


Caudwell Children Destination Dreams volunteers at Universal Studios, helping life-limited children and their families


audwell Children, the national children's charity, is calling for people across the country to help make the dreams come true for a group of children with lifelimiting illnesses. They will be taking up to 25 children and their families to Disney World, in Florida, this December as part of their annual Destination Dreams campaign. Designed for children with a high medical dependency, a team of charity staff, paramedics and doctors will join the successful volunteers to assist families and ensure they have a respite from the stresses of constant care, creating some happy memories and

potentially aiding the children's health. Volunteers will assist families around the parks, distribute information and act as the face of the Charity throughout the trip. Individuals wouldn’t necessarily carry out personal care for the children and no medical training is required. Trudi Beswick, Chief Executive at Caudwell Children, said "The Destination Dreams programme offers volunteers a unique experience and an opportunity to really make a difference to the lives of a family faced with the trauma of their child's serious illness." Lindsay Gibb is a Solicitor at law firm Irwin Mitchell. She has

been volunteering for two years, saying: "The trip can seem really daunting, but the charity support you every step of the way beforehand and during the trip. As soon as you meet the families you realise there is nothing to be worried about. It really is a privilege to share such precious memories with them and you come away with so much."

Happy Memories

One of the parents is Jayne Hughes, who travelled to Florida with her daughter Amy (20) who has Cockayne Syndrome. She said: "Due to Amy's medical needs, our family is often separated as my husband looks after Amy's brothers and sister while I


hile many music genres have been celebrated for their intimate relation with art, dancehall and Jamaican soundsystem culture has for the most part been left out of the canon, despite its rich and vibrant artistic past and present, not to mention its undeniable influence on design and letterform in pop culture today. Art in the Dancehall, curated by Shimmy Shimmy and Al Fingers, and in association with the PUMA YARD and Jamaica50, aims to redress the balance, celebrating dancehall illustration and design from 1980 to the present day. Early 1980s Jamaica was a changing place, politically and musically, with a new generation of deejays bringing in a brand

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The Phoenix–July 2012

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Wolverhampton volunteers honoured at annual awards ceremony


ardworking students who volunteer and work alongside their studies have been recognised at a University of Wolverhampton awards ceremony. The annual event celebrates the achievements of volunteers and those who have completed european placements. Over 115 people attended the Employment and Volunteering Awards on 10 May 202 to celebrate students and graduates who have achieved success in an aspect of employment and / or volunteering whilst continuing academic study.


tudents in Wolverhampton are being urged to study science and technology subjects to help them take advantage of future engineering career opportunities. The strong message was issued at a Professional Development Day orgainsed by the Education Business Partnership and held at the University of Wolverhampton for teachers of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). Guest speakers, including Jo Lopes, Head of Technical Excellence at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), David Danger, Managing Director at HS Marstons Aerospace and Wolverhampton City Council chief executive Simon Warren, talked of the importance of STEM subjects. The main aim is to encourage an increase in uptake by Wolverhampton students of these subjects, particularly amongst girls. It also acted as a pre-cursor to the University of Wolverhampton’s week long SciFest, which runs from Tuesday June 26 to Saturday 30th June 30. The SciFest will see activities aimed at primary school children, A’ Level students and young people studying for their GCSEs, culminating on Saturday with a Family Day which aims to inspire young people to be the scientists and engi-

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Hard Workers

l Past and present students at the Employment and Volunteering Awards at Wolverhampton Science Park. Awards were given for everything from volunteering for large numbers of hours, to finishing European Placement oportunities. neers of the future. Last September, JLR announced it was to create its new £355m advanced engineering facility in the north of the city, which will see the creation of 750 jobs plus many more along the supply chain.

This year’s winner of the Volunteer of the Year Award was Natalie Vaughan who volunteered with Trail-Blazers. Her role involved mentoring young offenders and assisting with new mentor training. Simon Brandwood, Head of Careers and Employment Services, said: “Volunteering and gaining work experience, whether it is paid or unpaid, is an excellent way of developing skills and qualities that can’t fail to impress any future graduate employer.”

The council, along with its partners, is working to ensure people in Wolverhampton have the necessary skills and qualifications to give them the best possible chance of taking advantage of such opportunities that arise.


This includes working alongside the University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton College and Job Centre Plus to develop engineering courses, promote apprenticeships and the new job opportunities across the city. Councillor Phil Page, Wolverhampton City Council’s Cabinet Member for Schools, Skills and learning, said: “We are committed to developing a skilled workforce that will be ready to forge careers in our increasing manufacturing and engineering sectors. “It is therefore very important that we see students in all our schools to take up STEM subjects. This event was all about urging teachers to encourage young people into studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. “There will be hundreds of excellent opportunities in engineering over the coming years and we want young people from our city to be at the front of the queues l Carol Tweede of Connexions, Cllr Phil Page and Tom Warrender, to take advantage of these.” of Class Room Medics, at the Professional Development Day. 9605 Sandwell Fostering Bus Scrolling 6 sheet.indd 1

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The Phoenix–July 2012


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Birmingham leads the fight against smoking


igures released today show Birmingham is leading the fight against smoking, with public health campaigns helping a record 10,000 people kick the habit over the last 12 months. And City Council Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Steve Bedser, believes moves to strip cigarette packets of branding will further boost efforts to cut the number of smokers across the city. Speaking as he welcomed Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham to Birmingham, Cllr Bedser revealed the new Birmingham focus will be on reducing uptake of smoking by young people, continuing to provide help to people who want to give up smoking, reducing access to counterfeit tobacco and maintaining and creating smokefree environments. He said: “Our Smoking Services in Birmingham have grown from strength to strength since they were launched in 2001, going from helping just 300 in the first year to over 10,000 in the last 12 months. That’s a UK record. “This is work that really does

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make a difference as evidence shows that smokers are four times more likely to quit smoking if they access support from a local NHS Stop Smoking Service. “The last Labour Government took a real lead on this issue, introducing the smokefree legislation in 2007. We’re building on that good work in Birmingham and a growing number of smokers across the city are taking advantage of the fantastic support available.” A nationwide consultation on plain packaging draws to a close next month (August 10) and Birmingham’s Tobacco Control Alliance, chaired by Cllr Bedser, has responded in favour of standardised packs. The response recommends that the proposed legislation covers all forms of tobacco, and that the brand names and cigarette stick designs should also be controlled to prevent these being used for brand differentiation and promotion. Cllr Bedser added: “In the UK around 80% of smokers start before the age of 18 and in Birmingham, around a third of 16-24 year

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ittle Hearts Matter - the children's heart charity that supports children and their families with the most serious and complex heart conditions - is delighted with JCPCT's decision to support the need for the highest quality medical care for children with complex heart conditions. The inclusion of Newcastle, Alder Hey, Birmingham Children's Hospital, Bristol, Southampton, Great Ormond Street and Evelina Children's Hospital as the lead units offering the countries expert surgical care will ensure children, parents and clinical teams work together to build the world-class service that every child deserves. It is essential that the newly des-

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ignated tertiary units harness their skills to create the gold standard congenital heart networks.

Suzie Hutchinson, Chief Executive, Little Hearts Matter says "This is the greatest opportunity that this country has had to move the care of children with complex heart problems forward. Everyone involved in the support and care of children born with only half a heart knows that this is just the first step. Implementation is key. Over the next few months clear pathways of care and secure investment in the national service must be established. Little Hearts Matter will continue to work to ensure that the needs of children born with complex heart conditions remain paramount."

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l Birmingham City Council Cabinet member for Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Steve Bedser, Shadow Health Secretary, Andy Burnham MP and successful quitter Stephen Pugh olds are actively smoking. We believe the legislation will help to protect children from the harms of tobacco. “There is evidence to show that plain or standardised packs are less appealing to young people, while plain packs will also enhance the effectiveness of the picture health warnings currently displayed on cigarette packs in motivating smokers to quit.” The success of the stop smok-


he summer holiday season is upon us and many people are eagerly awaiting their two weeks in the sun or crossing their fingers that this year the UK’s weather will be warm. Whether holidaying abroad or spending time outdoors in the UK, it’s important to protect exposed skin from the sun’s potentially harmful UVA and UVB rays by using a high factor sunscreen. SunSense the No 1 Australian sun protection brand – is now available in the UK, to give people high factor protection from hidden UV damage. Every day, no matter how careful we are, our skin is exposed to sunlight, even on cloudy days. Wearing a good sun protection factor sunscreen every day helps protect against the sun’s potentially harmful UVA and UVB rays. All products in the SunSense range are SPF 50 or higher, providing high factor protection from the sun’s dangerous rays, which can cause sunburn, premature skin ageing and increase the risk of skin cancers. Products in the SunSense range are available from leading independent pharmacies, John Lewis stores, Waitrose and Ocado.

ing services in Birmingham is attributable to the accessibility and quality support offered to smokers. In Birmingham, there are over 300 stop smoking providers offering support. To smokers. One to one and group clinics are available at a range of settings including local pharmacies, General Practices and other venues such as local supermarkets and even at ‘Quit Stop Shop’ has been established.

Smokers are provided with confidential support and advice from a trained advisor and offered Nicotine Replacement Therapy such as the gum and patches. Services are free to any smoker living or working in Birmingham. For further information on quitting and to find out about local clinics contact ‘Call2Quit’ on free phone 0800 052 5855 or text ‘Quit’ to 80 800.

Keep your skin safe this summer Protect, Maintain, Soothe Follow these steps to keep your skin safe if we get to see some sun this summer

Protect l Apply SunSense sunscreen at least 15 minutes before going

outdoors l Apply more than half a teaspoon (3ml) of sunscreen to each arm, the face and neck l Apply more than one teaspoon (6ml) of sunscreen to each leg and the front and back of the body l Apply sunscreen evenly. Use a mirror when applying sunscreen to the face l Be careful not to miss any exposed areas l Avoid prolonged sun exposure. Do not stay too long in the sun, even while using a sunscreen product l Cover up with clothing, hats and eyewear to further reduce risk; and carefully protect children and babies from direct sun

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Phoenix Health is sponsored by MA3K FITNESS

The Phoenix–July 2012

Page 11



elcome to the new exciting Street Cred Magazine entertainment and lifestyle section to be featured every month in the Phoenix Newspaper. Myself, assistant editor Daniel Riley and PR guru Paivi will bring you the most funky and glamorous news in the Fashion world, weighty news in the music industry and keeping you

in the know with what’s really hot. Street Cred brings to you what we see as the in thing. We are very excited about our collaboration with The Phoenix as we are able to reach more readers every month and of course these pages are only a teaser from our 100 page digital edition which you can view online at our website above. SC is always cutting edge

bright and devoted to bringing positive news to our readers. We also accept editorial contributions and ideas you may have for our section. Street Cred entertainment is one of the biggest and most credible features you will ever find in a newspaper. We are a 15 year established name brand so what we will bring to you will be the very best international news.

Check out the newest edition of Street Cred online today! Mark Dwayne

Daniel Riley Paivi

Presenting K.Koke

Jay-Z sued over book

Jay-Z has been sued over his book Decoded, which was released in 2010. According to AHH, a man named Patrick White claims that portions of the book were lifted from him after his laptop was stolen in 2009. “In 2009, my personal computer

was compromised, resulting in my personal work to be used in Jay-Z’s book Decoded which was released in 2010,” said White in the suit, which was filed on June 13th. The hand-written lawsuit asserts that the book “contains various expressions/colors/phrases,

which correlates to my work. After contacting or attempting to contact the co-author, I got no reply.” White is suing Jay-Z, Dream Hampton and Random House for copyright infringement and invasion of privacy.

Misha B teases over collaborations Misha B has teased plans to work with Kelly Rowland and Missy Elliot for her debut album. The singer is currently working on her first studio album for a late 2012 release and has revealed that she has been in touch with former X Factor mentor Rowland about working on the project. "I spoke to her two days ago and she's going to get back to me," Misha B told Digital Spy. "I'm so grateful for her time because I'm now understanding just how busy this line of work is! I don't know how she gets the time to contact me." Asked if Rowland will feature on any new tracks, Misha B added: "Who knows? When we get into the studio together that will be fun and a lovely process." Meanwhile, the star is also in the process of securing a collaboration with US rapper Missy Elliot for the album.

The heat on London based rapper K.Koke is reaching epic proportions in the UK and is now spreading stateside, even leading to a deal with Jay-Z’s label Roc Nation. The 27 year old is the first British rapper to sign to the music mogul’s label. Roc For Life is the first track available from his debut album I Ain’t Perfect, which is due for release in January 2013. This is a great introduction to K.Koke and features US rapper Wale. His autobiographical lyrics track his journey

from the rough streets of NW London, where he was involved with drugs and acquitted of murder last year, to the dream he is following of becoming a global superstar. K.Koke is the real deal. Anticipation for K.Koke is building on a daily basis, views across his You Tube channel have reached 15 Million and are growing daily. He played his debut London show at Wireless last weekend to a packed tent and Roc For Life receives its first Radio 1 play this week.

Highlights of the Jamaica festival at Rainbow in Digbeth

Ali’s Core Values Professional boxing icon and social activist Muhammad Ali has stepped up to endorse a brand new campaign from high fashion giant Louis Vuitton titled, “Core Values.” In the effort of depicting an outstanding personality while reflecting on

the idea of transmission from one generation to the next, a captivating portrait is presented featuring The People’s Champion and one of his grandsons. Ali’s Arizona home is the setting for this exemplary pairing between himself and the fash-

ion house; included is a tag-line stating “Some stars show you the way. Muham¬mad Ali and a ris¬ing star.” Further adding to the uniqueness and prestige of the campaign, photography was done by Annie Leibovitz.

Page 12



The Phoenix–July 2012

The Cosmopolitan Cutting Edge Entertainment Magazine

Rihanna up on stage in the middle of her headline set at the Festival



Tulisa belting out a song during her set

Nicki Minaj wowed her fans

Wireless Festival Picture Roundup By Max Marriott


The crowds at the festival were loving it, despite the adverse weather conditions

What a line up, Rihanna, Cher Lloyd, Jessi J,L Marshall, Skyline to name but a few, The Wireless Event is listed amongst the World’s biggest Festivals, even the down pour of rain could not deter 15,000 to 20,000 music lov-

ers from attending this showcase over the last three days. The atmosphere was like a positive charge captivating your senses from the moment the music started each performer engaged their audience with old favourites

and new material in equal measure. Wellington boots worn with hot pants become the staple fashion statement favoured by many as did the rain macs and umbrellas, worth all the mud? You bet.


of The Bands 21 Female Fronted Rock ‘n’ Roll Festival Day 1 22 Female Fronted Rock ‘n’ Roll Festival Day 2 27 Tony Martin + Blaze Bayley 28 Surface unsigned Battle of The Bands 28 Adrenaline August 1 Wodensthrone 7 Mortdelamer

August 1 Summer Prom: National Youth Orchestra 3 Symphony Hall Tour 11 Musical Picnic

July 17 Lady Antebellum 18 Orange 20 Silent Filter ft. Yes Sunshine 21 Khaliq Dirty Little Lies, The Two N Eight 22 Shadows Chasing Ghosts Tantrum To Blind 23 Fei Comodo Paige, I Divide, Forgotten Fallacy 24 That Sunday Feeling Amy Can Flyy 25 Frankie Rose Shatter Effect, Light Cascades 26 Catapult Club ft. Exodus Calling 27 Silent Filter ft. Cold Stone 28 Manifest Live ft. Underground Heroes August 03 Silent Filter ft. Ask Alfie 08 Silent Filter ft. Call Atlantis 10 Room 94 Disclosure, The Famous Class 11 The Official MC Bassman Birthday Bash


July 24 Champions Tour, Chip, Lethal Bizzle 24 Lera Lynn August 4 Panic! 11 The Bellfuries, The Babboons


July 20 Surface unsigned Battle


July 18 Rhys Darby - This Way to Spaceship 20 CBSO Youth Orchestra Academy 21 BSS Showbiz Summer Showcase 21 Blofeld & Baxter: Memories of Test Match Special 24 Nanci Griffith 31 July - 5 August The Gruffalo 17 Playing For Change


July 18 Symphony Hall Tour 20 Free Jazz Gigs: Mike Fletcher Big Band 20 Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis 21 Musical Picnic: The Gypsy’s Tale 25 Jamaica’s 50th Independence Cultural Extravaganza and Salute to the Athletes Show 27 Free Jazz Gigs: National Youth Orchestra Jazz Special


July 19 Madonna 25-29 Disney Live! presents Mickey’s Magic Show August 11-12 Nirankari International Samagam

CIVIC HALL, WOLVERHAMPTON July 21 Blast Off Clubnight (Civic Hall) August 03 Public Image Ltd (Wulfrun Hall) 05 Blur (Civic Hall)


July 20 School of Seven Bells Plus Silhouettes 21 My Own Agenda 27 Soley Mourning 28 Odyssey presents UTAH JAZZ, Narkotix, Mr Moon, Charlene McKenzie, Scenic & Advisory August 03 Laugh Out Loud Matt Reed 04 Emma Scott presents Synopsis 10 Ovation Music presents Exodus Calling

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West Midlands Special Report

Big Respect to the Jamaican Community Latifs is proud to be the main sponsor of the Jamaica 50th Anniversary supplement

Page 14

The Phoenix–June 2012


o t t c e p s e R Show



his supplement is dedicated to all Jamaicans across the world. Jamaica is a proud country that has unleashed a wealth of talent, in particular, in the areas of music, food and sport. Birmingham is proud to host the Jamaica Athletics team as they prepare London Olympics & Paralympics 2012. This is our way of welcoming you to the West Midlands. 2012 will be a year that will be remembered for many different reasons, by many different people. We celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, London 2012 and, of course, Jamaica’s 50th Anniversary of independence. We salute you and “nuff

Everybody knows about Latifs, the major manufacturing outlet for everything you need in the home and more, but, their meteoric rise from selling basic household goods out of a suitcase, over 50-years ago, to major stores throughout the Midlands, is one that is heartfelt and engrossing.

respect” from all who have something to feel proud about. Our thanks go out to the

main sponsors, Latifs, for their willingness to showing respect to all Jamaicans who have shopped there throughout the past 50 years.

The Latif family, over the generations, have stood the test of time, through no end of hard graft and understanding of people, individually and collectively, and their everyday needs. With an Aladdin’s cave of brand name goods, ranging from an overwhelming choice of electrical items, clothing, fabrics, toiletries,

We thank Ms. Beverly Lindsay OBE OD, Chair of The Association of Jamaican Nationals and owner of Diamond Travel, in Birmingham – a true pioneer for the Jamaican community. Dr Arun Bajaj, President of Institute of Asian Businesses at Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Group Ammo Talwar MBE founder and Chief Executive of Punch Records Keith Stokes-Smith, president of the Birmingham Consular Association. Nishkam Centre Director, Amrck Singh Ubhi, We salute you, all proud Jamaica and proud supporters of Jamaicans in this their 50th Anniversary. Nuff Respect to you.

Without doubt 2012 had always promised to be a momentous year for the Jamaican community both at home and abroad. In the celebration year of the historic Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 11 and in a year when Jamaican would also be celebrating its 50th Anniversary of Independence from the United Kingdom (UK), the year was always slated for being exceptional. This situation was further enhance by the announcement the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that London would be the host City for the London 2012 would only served to further galvanized the Jamaican Diaspora Community resident in the UK and be the catalyst for the community’s contribution to the development of the UK where it now enjoys its status as one of the world’s foremost economic nations. For the Jamaican Diaspora community resident in the UK 2012 has presented a once in a lifetime opportunity to proactively and positively showcase all that is positive in the context of “Brand Jamaica” with respect to its history, culture, and business success and in so doing demonstrates and applaud the influence, impact and contribution that Jamaica through its people has

and fancy goods-and that’s just scratching the surface-the everexpanding name of Latifs has become synonymous with quality and always proving what their customers want. Starting from such humble beginnings all those years ago, its founder Mohammed Latif, who bought his first business, a coffee shop, in Bishsgate Street, was mindful of his remit, when he first arrived here, from Pakistan, which was to be part of the greater community and serve them well. Converting his first base, to sell hosiery, before too long, he was in a position to buy its now established position, in Bordesley

Commonwealth she personally reinforces the links to connect people from all around the world, making regular and repeat visits to her Commonwealth countries, even as she celebrates 60 years of monarchy. Jamaica is one of the 15 countries which currently recognise The Queen as Sovereign. It gained independence and joined the Commonwealth in 1962 and has since then warmly welcomed The Queen and Royal family on numerous occasions, the most recent being early this year when Prince Harry represented The Queen on a visit to mark her Diamond Jubilee.

With the Commonwealth Day theme, ‘Connecting Cultures’ being most potent this year with the worldwide Jubilee celebrations, Olympics, and 50 years of Jamaican Independence, let us make the most of the opportunities offered to enjoin in the Queen’s wise message:

Beverly Lindsay OBE, OD Chairman – Association of Jamaican Nationals (Birmingham) UK

Such was its rapid growth he was able to get assistance, from other family members, both from home and abroad, to keep the business growing. Such was the annual growth, throughout the following generations of Latifs, they’ve since opened massive outlets across the Midlands. Kashif, a third generation Latif, is doinb his bit, to spread the name, as a Brand Ambassador, expanding the name on an everevolving scope, which includes making connections with all levStreet, Digbeth, after a previous period in Netherton, Dudley.

The Commonwealth & Jamaica

The Commonwealth is the pride of Britain and a perfect example of the diversity and multiculturalism that is so profound in our culture today. Formed by 53 countries all over the world, the Commonwealth is a catalyst for change around the globe. Her Majesty the Queen pledged her life to the service of the Commonwealth on her 21st birthday in 1947: “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong” And to this pledge she has remained committed. As Head of

have in shaping the post war UK. In this respect and with particular reference to Birmingham, the Association of Jamaican Nationals In Birmingham have sought to be a champion for the Jamaican Diaspora community resident in Birmingham and has also served to be an essential link between this Diaspora community and families back home in Jamaica. The Association remains steadfast in its commitment and efforts to ensure that post 2012 there is indeed a lasting legacy that serves to further develop in the most positive way this critical and essential connection between Jamaica and its people resident in the UK. So in celebrating all that is positive for the year 2012 it is important that we do not lose focus on our main goal of ensuring the legacy of 2012 is a lasting and tangible relationship between Jamaica and its Diaspora citizen that will ensure that we do indeed have a path of travel for our young people and their relationship with Jamaican that will ensure a bright future for both Jamaica and the UK.

“Let us celebrate the extraordinary cultural tapestry that reflects our many individual and collective identities…and strengthen the bond of commonwealth citizenship we already enjoy by using our cultural connections to bring us even closer, as family and friends across the globe”

The Birmingham Consular Association, representing by far the majority of those countries having formal ‘diplomatic’ representation in and around the Birmingham area, would like to take the opportunity of wishing Jamaica and the Jamaican community in Birmingham joy and happiness in its celebration and commemoration of

els of business, finance, sporting and community institutes, so that Latifs becomes a by-word for the first place to shop, always: “Latifs is active in and a gateway to multicultural communities, as was Mohammed’s ethos. And as such, are very much behind the Jamaica 50th Anniversary celebrations, in a big way, as gratitude for the incredible support we get from them.” Over 50-years of Latifs, in the Midlands and, with the strong family heritage, it will only get bigger and bigger, make no mistake. the 50th anniversary of its independence from the United Kingdom on 6 August 1962. Still a member of the Commonwealth, Jamaica has its own unique identity with a beautiful landscape and beaches, intriguing foods, its own brand of rum and blue mountain coffee, notable ‘Bob Marley ‘music , to name a few attributes. Birmingham has a large Jamaican and Caribbean community, many of whom contribute in a variety of ways to the growth, prosperity and social wellbeing of their city. It is a Jubilee year for Queen Elizabeth 2nd and a Jubilee year for Jamaica and, on top of that we have the Olympics in the United Kingdom; what a coming together of positive moments and opportunities. Congratulations Jamaica; congratulations the Jamaican community in Birmingham. Keith Stokes-Smith President of the Birmingham Consulate Association.

The Phoenix–June 2012

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Page 16

The Phoenix–June 2012


50th Jubilee Celebrations

F l

The Flotilla processing down the Thames

estivities rung throughout the Nation as Britain and the Commonwealth celebrated 60 years of Her Majesty’s reign. The much anticipated Diamond Jubilee spanned out over a period of a four day national holiday in honour of the Queen and the years she has devoted to the country. Greeted with cheers from the crowds as 130,000 people gathered to greet her and the Duke, Her Majesty the Queen arrived at Epsom Derby to uphold a tradition she has carried out for the last

60 years. Her love of all things equestrian has always been apparent, so what better way to launch a long weekend entirely devoted to her and her achievements over the years, than at one of the highlights of the horse racing calendar. The fabulous carnival atmosphere, complete with stilt walkers and live music made the grey weather seem so much less daunting. Katherine Jenkins performed the national anthem to a huge cheer from the crowd as winners of this year’s Britain’s Got Talent, Ashleigh and her dog Pudsey, entertained the Queen and crowd

with impressive tricks. The London 2012 Olympics was recognised with the presence of the Great Britain women’s hockey team, who were amongst a host of celebrities including Donna Air, Mischa Barton, Phil Tuffnell and Matt Dawson. Meanwhile, 21 mini cannons were fired at Windsor Castle to mark the start of the Diamond Jubilee weekend,

followed by a 41 gun salute by the The King’s Troop, Royal House Artillery, and 21-gun salutes at Edinburgh Castle, Belfast and Cardiff. Street party preparations were underway all over Britain as 1000 boat crews put the finishing touches to their vessels. The Diamond Jubilee Pageant was assembled to escort the Royal barge seven miles from Battersea to Tower Bridge, and was the largest flotilla to have ever been brought together on the Thames. The ‘Spirit of Chartwell’ carried the Royal family at the centre of an impressive fleet of rowed boats, working boats and pleasure vessels of all shapes and sizes, drawing over one million rain soaked people to the Thames. The pageant culminated in a performance of the National Anthem by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Royal College of Music Chamber Choir at Tower Bridge as the last vessel completed the


The Queen and Prince Phillip arrive at Epsom

route. Lord Salisbury, Chairman of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Foundation, said: "We would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to Her Majesty The Queen, the Royal Family and all those people who braved the elements to come out to enjoy our Pageant. We hope it was a fitting tribute to 60 years of service. I would also like to pay tribute to our Pageant team. It was a triumph of their

professionalism and years of hard work." In the meantime, thousands up and down the country braved the rain to party outdoors as part of the ‘Big Jubilee Lunch’ project. Communities came together in traditional street party style celebrating Britain’s diversity, alongside the 60 year reign of the monarch who has long since openly embraced multiculturalism.

Bringing our


and country together

The Queen’s musical celebrations


or anyone to have a gig in your front garden must be the dream present. For Her Royal Highness, a concert of mega-proportions on Horse Guards Parade, with the biggest names in the world of music in her ‘front garden,’ as it were, was a triumph for all that is great in music and the Queen herself. Stars, old and fairly new paid their own respect in a weekend of celebrations with a concert that you, me and they will remember for years to come. Ego’s put too one side and stars from Sir Elton John, Stevie Won-

der, Dame Shirley Bassey, Sir Tom Jones and Sir Cliff Richard, to JLS, Cheryl Cole, Jessie J and Ed Sheeran rocked the rain soaked night, leaving us overwhelmed with what we were all a part of. Take That front-man, Gary Barlow, deserves a knighthood for putting together such an event, on the Her front doorstep. Take that, then, eh? Grace Jones’s extraordinary display with those hula-hoops proved a ‘show-stealer’ as she oozing charisma others lack, her classic ‘Slave To The Rhythm’ caused everything in her wake to

curl up and wither away. A standout performance, if ever there was one, with stunned looks from the royal box, she won’t be forgotten any time soon. The Queen did miss first hour and half a miss, which meant she got there in time for Grace’s typically ‘Grace’ performance. She also managed to take in rock’s own royal family of Sir Paul McCartney, Elton, Stevie and Shirley, who all serenaded her quite amicably, with their individual hits including ‘Your Song,’ ‘Sir Duke,’ ‘All My Loving’ and ‘Diamonds Are Forever.’ They definitely rocked crowd.

Pop veterans Madness’ performance at the end the night’s festivities was, as they always are, refreshing and, as on the night, very poignant, especially with their performance of ‘Our House’ from the roof of Buckingham Palace. Also worth mentioning that between the music acts, hosting duties were handled amicably by comedy’s own royalty, Dudleyman, Lenny Henry, Rob Brydon, Miranda Hart, and Lee Mack. With an OBE now to his name, doesn’t ‘Sir Gary’ have a little ring to it?

More than a million people, from a multitude of communities braved the poor conditions to pay respect to the Queen, during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, that she was moved to make a speech in response to the euphoric outpouring. She, deeply touched and humbled by what she witnessed at first-hand, talked of how overwhelmed she was at the way the celebrations had brought communities together as one. Equally overwhelmed she made the decision to make the address after witnessing the groundswell of public support in the run-up to the Jubilee weekend. She said. “The events that I have attended to mark my Diamond Jubilee have been a humbling experience. It has touched me deeply to see so many thousands of families, neighbours and friends celebrating together in such a happy atmosphere. This is something that has

brought the country together and you definitely notice that in my constituency, in the smallest villages that I went to. In the whole country, everyone's talking to each other, everyone is chatting with their neighbors. It brings communities of people together, whatever your politics." With the her husband, Duke of Edinburgh, taken to hospital with a bladder infection she showed great courage and dedication to Her people by choosing to go ahead with her duties and responsibilities hours later. They have been married for 64 years with the Queen credits him as being her ‘strength and stay’ for the six decades of her reign. It’s been an eventful six decades with a huge number of positives during her reign. To date, who better to represent us than the always regal, stoic and upstanding Queen-of all our community’s collective hearts?

The Phoenix–July 2012


The Sound System: Birmingham’s New History


ay back when they were known as ‘Sirs,’ ‘Lords,’ ‘Dukes,’ ‘Kings’ and ‘Queens.’ Today, DJs, sound systems and promoters spanning 50 years gathered at South Birmingham College for the photo shoot of all photo shoots, as recognition of half a century of a style of playing music to the masses, here in the city and the impact it’s made worldwide. Registering their presence as part of the ‘Knights of the Turntable’ Wassifa Youth Project, for the first time in the history of music they marked their integral part in the relevance of Birmingham’s importance in the world history of reggae. Quaker City, Duke Alloy, Studio City, Mafiatone, Jungleman, Immortal, Nyahtone, Love Injection, Father Hovis, Siffa, Stereo Classic, Wayne Ire, Stoneheart, JB, in fact, we’re just scratching the service. What people witnessed that day was history in the making. The gravity of which will resonate for generations to come. Created by Mykal Brown, Assistant Director for Access to Further Education at SBC and founder of the legend that is Wassifa Sound System, it was about

mobilising the impact sound systems made on popular music and culture in Great Britain Endorsed by lumeries such as noted historian Dr. Carl Chinn, South Birmingham College Principal, Mike Hopkins and Vice Principal, Sardul Dhesi, plus Bishop Derek Webley MBE and head of the New Testament Church of God situated in Lozells, this was an indication of just how massive a part the sound system played in the history of Birmingham and beyond. For the first time ever it was about being part of the rich history of Britain’s second city. “This project is huge. That’s why we at South Birmingham College endorse it and we give it our full support,” says Mr. Hopkins. Bishop Webley added: “It’s important to highlight the impact we made to reggae music around the globe. After all, not too long ago, Birmingham was seen as the reggae capital of the world.” As it developed over recent generations, with the influence of Rastafarianism, where the gentrified pretext of the sound system names were then pre-empted by ‘Jah,’ in the main, through to a far more varied and individualized identity today, the importance of its part in history will now be

fully realized. The Wassifa Youth Project backed ‘Knights of the Turntable,’ has Brown enthusing: “This project will document the history of the sound system and the heritage it’s created throughout the world. With Birmingham Museum and Central Library fully supporting, I will also be getting other institutions on board to verify the project. It’s all about this, the next and further generations to fully appreciate our part in our history.” From Steel Pulse to Musical Youth, Bitty McLean to Apache Indian, Jacki Graham to Ruby Turner, plus UB40, Pato Banton, Jamilia and many more, they have a massive gratitude to pay for the birth of the sound system in Birmingham. From now on, you too can show your appreciation for what the Knights of the Turntable did for Birmingham and Jamaica.

Uncle Rons

Page 17


JB Mike Hopkins Mykal Brown and Bishop Derek Webley

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Page 18


The Phoenix–July 2012

Reggaebaby Lounge is creating massive vibes F or the best in live entertainment, Reggaebaby Lounge provides the perfect night out for a relaxing evening you can catch-up with friends and listen to some great music at the Reggaebaby Lounge. For music old and new, the monthly event provides artists with the ideal platform to deliver the perfect showcase to highlight their material, through DVDs, videos or and performing live on stage. At each given night, artists can get a professional photo-shoot, with a top photographer, interviews on radio and the chance to get their music played on YouTube. Created by celebrated Birmingham songstress, Jean McLean, Reggaebaby Lounge is a professional performance platform where artists have the ideal opportunity to create a great vibe whilst providing first class, high quality entertainment. At each showcase, you can witness the best international artists, here, in the West Midlands

You have to be of a certain standard of performance to ensure that RBL delivers. As Jean herself would say:”Without an audience, nothing can GWAAN!” Not just a performance platform, it is a way for artists to network, secure future bookings and utilizes the connections they have made during the process. Attended by promoters, DJs, producers and musicians alike, it’s been going for 3-years now with many stars who have made a massive name for themselves over the years headlining some great nights never to be forgotten. Jean explains: “For existing artists, it gives you a performance base and to be part of a collective. It enables you to reconnect, network and play a future part in securing the future of reggae music in the West Midlands and the UK. In respect of new artists it gives you a platform to develop your already existing talent and help you on the road to establishing yourself as a viable artist. You can also make connections with veteran artists who can provide support and guidance.”

In the past 12 month alone, it has attracted 200 plus performance slots and 7 bands, including Special Guest appearances by Macka B and Pulse Beat with special appearance from Steel Pulse originals Steve Nisbett, Selwyn Brown and Basil Gabbidon. Jean Mclean a.k.a.Reggaebaby, whose most memorable experience, she would say, was supporting artists like the late, great Sugar Minott (RIP), Johnny Clarke and Birmingham’s own Grammy Award-winning Steel Pulse. Still finding time to work on her own material, her recently completed album ‘Everlasting’ is available on itunes and, features theme song for the night ‘I’m a Reggaebaby’ Having already held successful sessions at the Dogpool Hotel, in Stirchley, the Apache Bar and The Drum Art/Theatre Centre, Reggaebaby Lounge will be taking place on the first Friday of every month at the Ballroom, Dale End “Come and celebrate our 3rd anniversary, and Jamaica 50 on Friday August 3, you’ll love every minute.

The Phoenix–July 2012

Page 19


The Crest of Jamaica


espite being amongst the least popular national symbols of Jamaica, the Jamaican Coat of Arms is perhaps the most significantly symbolic, especially in relation to the composition of the nation today. The original coat of arms was granted to Jamaica in 1662 under Royal Warrant and is considered a legacy from the British when they made Jamaica a part of the British Empire.

Since 1662, the coat of arms has undergone a number of modifications, the most significant being in 1962 when the motto was changed from the Latin phrase meaning ‘Both Indies will serve one’ (in reference to the native people of Jamaica providing service to the British settlers), to ‘Out of many, one people’, which is now Jamaica’s national motto

and a celebratory mark of a population of multi-racial roots.


Each figure on the Coat of Arms represents Jamaica in a different aspect. The Taino/Arawak Indians on either side were the first inhabitants of Jamaica. They named the country in their Arawak tongue ‘Xaymaca’, meaning ‘land of wood and water’. Written phonetically, ‘Xaymaca’ became the Jamaica it is today. The five pineapples in the Red Cross represent the indigenous fruit of Jamaica, with the cross itself symbolising the Christian underpinning of Jamaica.

foundation as well as its unique distinction of independence from Britain.

As the indigenous reptile of the region, the crocodile sits atop a log mounted on a British Royal helmet and mantling, representative of Jamaica’s British

As such a symbolic icon, the Coat of Arms is used on all Jamaican currency and national documents. It is also used as the final seal of government approval

Jamaica Live in 2012

in many aspects. The unique emblem, so reflective of the nation’s deep cultural history, is most potent in presentday Jamaica, capturing the harmony of the diverse population as a fusion of people from all over the globe unite as ‘one people’. Birmingham City Centre was a hive of activity over a year ago celebrating Jamaica Live on Saturday 23rd July 2011 as communities from across the region gathered to celebrate Caribbean culture and Jamaican heritage as part of the Olympic Open Weekend 2011. Taking place in Birmingham’s Victoria Square, Punch Records in conjunction with LOCOG organised Jamaica Live, a 1-day Caribbean festival to celebrate the one year countdown for the Olympics and the city being chosen to host the Jamaican Olympic team as they train for London 2012. Over 32,000 passed through the festival, taking part in drumming workshops, arts classes, storytelling, poetry and comedy. The main attraction for the festival was the live music which featured on the main stage. Throughout the day, festivalgoers were treated to music from Gospel singer Monique, hits from Pulse Beat, a tribute band to Steel Pulse, and a set from the Reggae Philharmonic Orchestra. Business man and entrepreneur Levi Roots also delighted the audience with a number of traditional Caribbean songs before taking to the BBQ and cooking up a storm on the stage as he rustled up a series of delicious dishes for people to try. To fully immerse attendees in the Jamaican experience, Victoria Square was lined with Carib-

Board Stupid By Ammo Talwar

o, if you're a potential investor and you come across a Call Centre that doesn't take calls, or a Conference Centre that doesn't run conferences - would you put in some cash? That'd be a No Sale. How about a Garden Centre with no gardeners? Or an Arts Centre where there are no artists at board level? Why does this matter? Because any day now, Jeremy Hunt is expected to spoon out the first serious dollops of trust fund capital into the UK's creative industries - But the boards of our local organisations and institutions are packed out with ex-teachers, endof-career arts administrators and junior quangocrats. Do we really have to lose out because our region's governance is so anaemic and uninspired? You see, Boards are in place for a reason. They're there to protect our brand and our business, and help us, to take the right decisions. And Board members need to be 100% sure they are informed of practise and key decisions are the right ones. So the cosy days when the chair and the CEO sat with rubber stamps in one hand and wineglasses in the other have gone out like Betamax. Except in Birmingham, where the tape keeps playing. Does this ring a bell? Board members need to be active and alert, critical, constant

and unafraid of challenge. They need to be creative practitioners with a good track record. Are our CEOs and boards scared of artists or artistic endeavour? Because like it or not, we're following the American model now, where cash is king but art is king kong - Surely that’s why the Arts Council fund institutions? There will be serious consequences if a CEO is a bully, or incompetent, or a fraud, and the board come across like Governors from a 1950's grammar school. In 2010 the Smithsonian was kicked across the US media because their Board had been seen to crumble under pressure, allowing the CEO to censor their own show - "Hide/Seek". Having failed to live up to its artistic integrity, the Andy Warhol Foundation now sees the Smithsonian as an institution "in opposition to ... all it stands for" and is refusing to fund it in future. Would this happen in the UK? But the region needs a new bloom of Board members, with artists sitting top table and not hidden in sub groups a bit like blacks and Asians were in the 80’s. and it needs them soon, like now!!! Too many of the old crop have become part of the furniture. Because one thing is for sure, it’s not going to get any easier. If you know of any arts centre with boards and no artists on them, ask yourself why?

bean outlets selling freshly cooking traditional meals such as jerk chicken and patties.

Punch Records

Ammo Talwar MBE, Director of Punch said: “Jamaica Live was an outstanding success! After months of planning we were delighted to see so many culture and communities come together in one place and celebrate Jamaican heritage. For many it was a place to catch up with old friends and enjoy the sights and sounds. But for others it was a completely new experience which educated them on a culture which is often neglected within the city. “2012 will not only be a big year for London but also for Birmingham has the Jamaican home team train in the city. With athletes such as Usain Bolt , Asafa Powell and Yohan blake arriving over here in the next few days it’s important that we shout about this and put the city on the map not only for athletics but also culture and heritage.”

Punch Records are happy to celebrate Jamaica’s 50th The Greenhouse, Custard Factory, Birmingham

“I really connect to the Jamaican Coat of Arms and how it captures diversity” – Ammo Talwar MBE

Page 20

The Phoenix–July 2012

The Ultimate in Caribbean Fine Dining


n five years, The Wildmoor Oak public house and restaurant has grown to be, arguably, the best place to go to in the Midlands, for the most delicious, succulent and inviting Caribbean food experience. Situated in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, the multi-award winning restaurant has wowed a large and ever growing number of people from near and far and has left just about everybody who has been there singing its praises for every aspect of their visit. The Wildmoor Oak is a concept venue created by Birmingham-born Lorenzo Richards who uses the unique skill of his highly trained experience in Chinese, Thai, Indian and English kitchens to give his customers and some of the world’s best food critics the time of their lives, every time. Serving and presenting timehonoured Caribbean dishes, like ackee and saltfish, jerk chicken and curried goat in such a way you would have to go far to see and eat better. Lorenzo, the reigning Midlands Jerk Cookout King and Chef of the Year, has always been into food. He fell in love with it as a child having experienced the emotion that he felt whilst eating his mothers cooking. It fast became apparent to young chef Lorenzo that

cooking was a way to touch the lives of many people! He soon developed an ethos of pleasing people through food. Studying Home Economics at school, he excelled in cooking, rising to the top three of a class of predominantly females. It was always plain to see that the young Lorenzo had a natural flair. Gaining his City & Guilds at college he did a variety of paid and voluntary work, which included working in top end Chinese and Indian restaurants. But, surprisingly, he didn’t embrace Caribbean cooking until five years after leaving college. Lorenzo has worked as an Executive Chef at the exclusive Fairlawns Hotel & Spa, in Aldridge, Head Chef at the famed Jamaican Caribbean Restaurant in Birmingham City Centre and The Drum Arts/Theatre Centre, where he helped establish the now respected Frontiers Bar. 41-year-old Lorenzo has also been a National Trainer at the Sports Cafe group and worked for a division of compass group called ‘Wok at Work’. He was intent on being a Caribbean Food Consultant before ‘stumbling’ on the rurally set Wildmoor Oak where he was in a position to take full control of his food’s destiny.

With high recommendations from regulars like UB40’s Astro, double-Olympic champion Daley Thompson, fellow athlete Judy Simpson and from none other than international celebrity chef, Marco Pierre White, this ‘Michelin star’-esque eatery is the perfect dining experience. Lorenzo has brought all of his experience to the restaurant at The Wildmoor Oak and the food on offer is truly amazing: “I always like people to remember their last meal here. If peoples’ plates are left empty, I’m smiling. I want my food to be cooked and eaten with passion and emotion, just like I experi-

enced when my mum was cooking all those years ago.” He’s working on taking his Caribbean cuisine nationwide, having already catered on Eastenders and other TV production sets. “Out of many, one people” is the motto of Jamaica. With his vibrant fusion of colours and flavours, he will tell you that he’s been celebrating ‘Jamaica’s 50th’ anniversary of independance ever since the birth of his concept restaurant, where he has been bringing together cultures and cuisines over the last 5 years.

Phoenix July Wildmoor Oak:Layout 1



Page 1

The Phoenix–July 2012

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The Wildmoor Oak offers so much more than you might expect from a country pub and restaurant. Enjoy the stylish, yet rustic and relaxing interior, while multi-award winning chef, Lorenzo Richards, delights you with the very best of traditional British and Caribbean cuisine. Meet here with friends and family for a great meal or to enjoy a drink in the bar with CAMRA award winning ales and ciders, or a wide selection of wines and spirits from around the world.

• • • • • •

Chef Lorenzo Richards Chef Lorenzo was born to Jamaican parents and brought up in multi-cultural Birmingham. His first experience of cooking was watching his mother prepare traditional West Indian dishes. The vibrant colours and enticing aromas awoke a life-long love of food, especially Caribbean.

Caribbean & International specialities British cuisine including ‘pub classics’ Traditional Sunday Roast Wide variety of Vegetarian dishes Gluten Free options Extensive children’s menu

Having worked in a variety of positions at venues across the West Midlands, Lorenzo seized the opportunity to run his own concept restaurant, The Wildmoor Oak, which opened in 2007.

Most Loved 2012 Most Loved Business in Bromsgrove Most Loved English & Caribbean Restaurant in the UK

Which Local Award of Excellence for Food and Drink 2009 Featured in The Good Beer Guide 4 years running, 2010 - 2013 Midlands’ Jerk cookout chef of the year, 2010 CAMRA Cider Pub of the Year 2010 and 2012

Caribbean Night Join us on the last Thursday of each month for this popular event. Sample Caribbean food with our buffet selection, try limbo dancing and party till the early hours. Advance booking essential.

Specialising in outside catering for private functions, from themed nights and BBQs to your dream wedding. If you can’t come to us and have a special party planned... the Caribbean Express can come to you.

For reservations or details please call:

0121 453 2696 The Wildmoor Oak, Top Road, Wildmoor, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire B61 0RB

Page 22

The Phoenix–July 2012


Jamaica to Rastafari: A Blackheart Man perspective


ith Jamaica’s independents upon us, performance artist and writer, Moqapi Sellasi, used one-man stage show, at The Library Theatre, to question and bring to the fore just how ‘ndependant’ the country has been over the past 50 years. As part of this year’s Bass

Festival which is dedicated to the Caribbean island’s celebrations, the post, in his alter ego, Blackheart Man, brought to the fore his whole concept on ‘independence and just how much so Jamaica is from its colonial masters. His spoken words set proved thrilling, enlightening, engaging and, above

all, very much thought-provoking to an attentive audience who represented a wide cross-section of much of the varied communities here in Birmingham. Using only a power-point presentation as a guide for the journey Jamaicans have taken since their forefathers were still very much part of the African Diaspora, Moqa-

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This is a momentous milestone for Jamaica having become an independent country on August 6th 1962 following centuries of British rule. This year we see the country marking its 50th Anniversary a fantastic celebration for Jamaicans worldwide. Jamaica’s national motto, “Out of many, one people” epitomises what we must strive to achieve – cohesion, unity, a shared responsibility and working together to achieve the welfare of all. As global pi skilfully dissected the true meaning of the word ‘independence’ by questioning the dependence the country has on the laws, by-laws and economic measures which is set-out by the likes of Great Britain, the US and the others who fought so viciously over ruling it all those centuries ago. Moqapi Sellasi, a master

As President of the Institute of Asian Businesses, part of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Group, it gives me real pleasure in sharing with all the diverse communities in Birmingham the enormous pride in celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee and also warmly welcoming the Jamaican Olympic team to the City. We are harmonious and dynamic City that takes great pride in the diverse cultures of

citizens we must respect all communities, traditions and observances; we must love all his creation if we claim to love the creator. We have to remember that global is local and local is global. We are all neighbours and therefore have a responsibility to all our fellow citizens. This year is significant for our Jamaican brothers and sisters and we join them to celebrate the 50th Anniversary. The Nishkam Centre congratulates all our Jamaican brothers and sisters and we pray orator who likes to leave no stone unturned, also took the opportunity to look at the impact the Rastafarian made and still makes, both negative, as it generally was, to how far more accepting and integrated they are now in respect of the growth of the nation. No matter what the subject matter and despite his mis-

the people that live and work here which, undoubtedly, will continue to be a beacon for all the major international cities around the world in ‘getting on and moving ahead’!

Nasir Awan IAB President & non-executive Director of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Group.

for their wellbeing and continued success. Warmest wishes and respect to all, Amrick Singh Ubhi Centre Director Nishkam Centre, Handsworth, Birmingham

givings on just how much Jamaica is in control of its destiny, no one is any more proud of what has been achieved, especially since the creative defiance, over the years, of people such as Nanny of the Maroons, Marcus Garvey and Rt. Excellent Samuel Sharpe, than Blackheart Man.

The Phoenix–July 2012

Page 23

Congratulations to Birmingham's Jamaican community on the 50th Anniversary of Jamaica's Independence. JAMAICA SPECIAL - SPECIAL WISHES As the city helps celebrate this REPORT momentous occasion, we ask the community for support in spreading the message about some of the young people in our care. At any given time, Birmingham has approximately 2000 children and young people in the city who need adoptive and foster homes. Black children and children of mixed heritage wait much longer in the system for adoptive homes. Birmingham’s Adoption and Fostering Service needs people with space in their homes and space in their lives to come forward as foster carers and adopters. The service is also looking for opportunities to give presentations and share information in relevant sections of the community. Can you, or someone you know, help? Let's celebrate the past 50 years by taking care of the future - our children. For more information, AF_JA50_Advert_Layout 1 11/07/2012 15:08 contact Page 1 the A & F Recruitment Centre on 0121 303 7575 or visit

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Page 24

The Phoenix–July 2012


Bob Marley

l Jimmy Cliff


he enduring nature of Bob Marley’s fame is anything but a simple pop music phenomenon. Just one index of it is the success of the compilation album Legend, which is one of only 17 albums to pass the 10-million mark in sales (in 2009), and is the second-longest charting album in the history of Billboard magazine’s recordkeeping. With an ever-growing fanbase (as evidenced by his 33+ million roster of fans on Facebook and Twitter), his fame has elevated his stature to one of a spiritual beacon. More than 30 years later, the undying messages that go beyond his music make Marley a cultural force to be reckoned with. His way of living was in many ways a political act on the world stage, across the world’s continents. Today, wherever politically minded youth seeks ways to find solidarity they find him to be an ever-potent cultural touchstone.

l Usain Bolt

l Sean Paul

l Shaggy l Marcia Griffiths

Jamaican Prime Minister

Portia Simpson


s the first woman ever to be elected as Prime Minister, Portia Simpson made history and quickly became one of the most highly revered women in Jamaica. Having first come to power in 2006, after serving 17 years as Cabinet Minister, the nation reelected her in late 2011. Leader of the People’s National Party, she is also the leading architect of Jamaica’s Master Plan for Sustainable Tourism Development, involving communities in policy decisions and leading fundamental reforms in local government. As Minister of Labour & Welfare, she also presided over significant expansion of Jamaica’s Overseas Work programme. Not only that, but she also transformed the National Insurance Scheme into a major part of the government’s social welfare system.

Mrs Simpson has won various awards for her distinguished record of service at regional and international levels. In 2007 she was awarded the International Olympic Committee’s World Women and Sport Trophy for her outstanding dedication to Women in Jamaican sports. In keeping with her dedication to furthering women’s affairs, she won the Bureau of Women’s Affairs Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Advancement of Women’s Affairs in Jamaica. She is also a member of the Council of Women World Leaders. Tirelessly working on promoting and strengthening urban renewal and community development, she vigorously campaigns on behalf of the poor, receiving a distinguished award for her dedication and commitment from the Mayor, City of Miami in 2009.

l David Rodigan

The Phoenix–July 2012

Page 25


Jamaica enjoys their day S at Royal Ascot uper horse Frankel wasn’t the only big ‘show’ at Royal Ascot this year. There was also a bevy of fine beauties on show as hoards of Jamaica’s finest displayed the very best in what to wear at this year’s Ladies Day. Not necessarily regulars at the annual sporting suare, a large number of ladies, from or of Jamaican dissent, were present for what was meant to be a special ‘Jamaica Day’ for for eager, and not eager, horse followers. Despite the last-minute cancellation-reasons still unknown-the Jamaica 50 Celebrations was a not to be missed occasion. Honouring Jamaican Athletes and Administrators who have made a significant impact in Olympic Games since 1962 the event was set to make history as the first

ever Jamaica Day in Ascot’s history. Ascot behaved impeccably and was praised for giving the honour of celebrating Jamaica’s 50th year of independence at the most prestigious Royal meeting.

Photographer Dee Constantine-Simms

Endorsed by: Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), Jamaica 50 Secretariat, Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association (JAAAs), Ambassador Courtney Walsh, former MP Dawn Butler and Usain Bolt all was not lost and the fashionable ladies and horse racing fans still enjoyed their time regardless. Such a large turnout this year may prompt a ‘Jamaica Day’ at next year’s meeting. How about it then? Words : Ian McLaughlin

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Page 26


The Phoenix–July 2012

Alvin is cleaning up Wolves, one bin at a time


ince 1997, Eurowash has been solving dirty wheeled bins and containers in and around Wolverhampton.

With an average of 3 wheeley bins per household in the area, plus the wide array of restaurants and take-aways, hotels sports centres plus the likes, the opportunity for a fast-thinking entrepreneur to take the initiative and clean the bins themselves. One such entrepreneur is Alvin Vernon, whose Eurowash operation offers a complete bin wash service to local and health authorities as well as private contract user. The 43-year-old whose concept of cleaning bins and allowing this problem to be washed away while conserving precious water supplies and complying with Water Authority legislation. The only constraint on the number of bins he washes is how many the operator can

load, wash and unload in a working day. He’s looking to expand the service to other local authorities and their respected services operatives also.

Ever-evolving, he was able to monopolies Wolverhampton and surrounding areas such as Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall. That said, though, he also has operations in Bridlington, Scotland and Bridgnrth. Entrepreneurial Mr. Vernon has always got his eye on great productive concepts but never dwells on them too long. A former civil servant, Mr. Vernon worked as part of the Inner City Initiative-in Wolverhamprton- where his remit was to stimulate deprived areas, where he would help set-up new businesses. This was before he himself started his own business, under the name of Classic Clothing Company, proving lingerie for the elder.

An ever-intrepid entrepreneur, Alvin did that for 3-years before come up with Eurowash: “Once I create a model and put people in place to make it work, I tend to feel ‘redundant’ so, I will move on to the next big idea I have,” he says.

He’s been recognised for his massive contribution to the local economy, receiving awards from the Afro Caribbean Business Federation for the Business of the Year. Despite such lauded accolades, he still gets his hands dirty on the “coal-face,” mindful that he has to stay on top of the competition. But, as he stipulates: “There’s always room for competition, that’s why I’m ever-evolving.” Alvin’s cleaning up in Wolverhampton, in more ways than one and the area’s more the better for it

l Alvin Vernon with the National Heroes Award he received from the Association of Jamaican Nationals in 2011

The Phoenix–July 2012

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The Phoenix–July 2012

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The Cosmopolitan Cutting Edge Entertainment Magazine

Tom Cruise will be Jack Reacher

Big Screen Feature

Here at Street Cred, we love our movies, and this month Ian McLaughlin is bringing you coverage of a recently confirmed

release set to come out this time next year. Look out for a badass, berserker rage version of one of Marvel’s most iconic

superheroes. He also previews Jack Reacher, and gives an in depth review on the recently released Amazing Spiderman.



writing The Wolverine, Christopher McQuarrie had the time to co-write (with Josh Olson) and direct Tom Cruise’s latest movie to be released in December. Originally titled “One Shot”, and based on a book in Lee Child's crime series, Jack Reacher co-stars Rosamund Pike, David Oyelowo, Robert Duvall and cult director, Werner Herzog, the story starts with a sniper. Six

shots, five dead people and one city thrown into a state of terror. Within hours the police have solved the case. But the accused man tells them “You got the wrong guy….get Reacher for me!” And yes, military investigator Jack Reacher is coming. He knows this shooter, a trained military sniper who never should have missed a shot. Reacher is certain something is not right and soon the case explodes. Now, Reacher is teamed

with a beautiful young defense lawyer, moving closer to the unseen enemy who is pulling the strings. Reacher knows that no two opponents are created equal. This one has come to the heartland from his own kind of hell. And Reacher knows that the only way to take him down is to match his ruthlessness and cunning and then beat him shot for shot.

who repeatedly send Miles back in time into the body of his assassin ancestors to retrieve valuable historical artifacts, the first time going back to the Crusades. Presumably, Fassbender would be playing Miles, even though that's not stated in the story.

they first have to find a writer and director, which they'll probably do before going out to studios, including Sony. "We're open to re-discuss with the key studios once the production package is finalized," Baronnet told Variety. "Whatever the financial model, UMP will limit its risk investment." According to the story, they also will save on production costs by using some of the in-house game studios to handle visual effects for the movies. The Variety story also mentions that the company wants to adapt "Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell" and "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon" into films and are developing an animated television series based on the "Raving Rabbids" for Nickelodeon.

Michael Fassbender takes on Assassins

Wolverine returns V


ugh Jackman revealed to his Twitter followers this weekend that The Wolverine starts shooting in August. Stage work for the film will be done in Australia and location shooting will take place in Japan.

"It's set in Japan," Fox CEO Tom Rothman said previously. "A great number of Japanese actors will be in it and it's based on the very famous run of the Marvel comic by Frank Miller (Dark Knight Returns, Sin City and 300) I can just tell you on behalf

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of Hugh Jackman, his goal is to make the ultimate, bad ass, berserker rage Wolverine." To be directed by James Mangold with a script by Christopher McQuarrie and Mark Bomback, The Wolverine is scheduled to hit theaters on July 26, 2013.

n g i s e D

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ariety reports that the planned movie adaptation of Ubisoft's popular video game Assassin's Creed is moving forward with Michael Fassbender attached to star in and co-produce the movie. Originally, the Assassin's Creed movie was going to be produced in conjunction with Sony Pictures but those negotiations were put on hold and Ubisoft has decided to finance and produce the film independently through their recentlylaunched Ubisoft Motion Pictures (UMP) division with former EuropaCorp CEO Jean-Julien Baronnet running the show. The original game involves a bartender named Desmond Miles, captured by a secret organization with ties to the Knight Templar


Ubisoft Motion Pictures CEO Jean-Julien Baronnet, said about the actor: "Michael Fassbender was our first choice. Michael (Fassbender) is an extremely smart, talented, versatile and committed actor." The various "Assassin's Creed" games have sold over 30 million units since the first game's debut in 2007 with "Assassin's Creed III" scheduled for October 30. Ubisoft has big plans to turn the games into a movie franchise, but

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0121 250 3534 l Fassbender (right) looks set to play Desmond Miles in the movie adaptation of Assassin’s Creed

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The Phoenix–July 2012

The Cosmopolitan Cutting Edge Entertainment Magazine

Review : The Amazing Spider-Man Advertorial

Purnima is a real jewel In the hub of bustling Bearwood lies a jewel in the crown. ‘Purnima Indian Cuisine’ sets itself apart from the rest with its elegant atmosphere, friendly staff and of course, fabulous food! Opening its doors late last year, the ‘full moon’ restaurant lives up to its name with its stunning ambience complete with spectacular dishes from across the Middle East. The more traditional dish such as the Lamb Bhuna or Chicken Korma finds itself amongst an array of tasty specials on the chef’s recommendations, which range from speciality Bengali fish dishes to stir frys and dishes such as the ‘kala mirchi’ which come with their very own stark warning of ‘not

for the faint hearted!’ What adds to the uniqueness of Purnima is its collection of specially selected wines. Owner Ruhul Islam explains how he spent three days with a wine specialist selecting the best of trade wines, “the wines available at Purnima are of the best quality. You can’t get them anywhere else!” “I have been in the restaurant business for 20 years, I know how important it is to provide an excellent service alongside excellent food” he adds. So head down to Purnima today and sample the great food for yourself! With takeaway orders also available, there really is no reason why you should miss out!

Words : Ian McLaughlin


any people have read the comic, more people have seen the Spider-Man trilogy, and just about everyone knows the story of Peter Parker. It is therefore not a breeze to yet to come out of the corner innovative. But director Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) has still managed a superb Spider-Man movie to create a good balance between action and drama. This movie surpasses easily the last Spider- Man film, and should certainly not be inferior to The Avengers. Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is a young high school student who is very satisfied with his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field) lives. The teenager is struggling with both his contemporary human problems with his amazing superhuman powers. When he faced with his greatest nemesis, “The Lizard” (Rhys Ifans), he will need all his powers to call upon to fight evil. I remember my frustrations at seeing the first Spider-Man (2002) movie, which is still one of the better comic book adaptations. The Green Goblin outfit did not work, the casting of Kirsten Dunst was a sad mistake, the dialogue was cheesy, the visual effects were ok, but it was surpassed by the excellent SpiderMan 2 (2004) . In comparison, The Amazing Spider-Man will an instant hit both in terms of action and on the narrative level.

Big Hit

The biggest plus to this print is the casting. Andrew Garfield is the perfect Peter Parker. He has the gift to us both in emotion and bring us up to laugh. He is slim, yet muscular, he possesses both a fragile and a dark side. He is awkward in his interaction with other people (especially girls), but has many other talents (he is wise and is an awfully good skateboarder). His action scenes are convincing

and when the emotion becomes too great and the tears in his eyes pop you feel that the emotion comes from the belly and not the makeup artist. Andrew Garfield does not look like a smooth cover boy, but I guarantee you he will steal many women’s hearts. But most important is that he carries the story completely, for the full 137 minutes.


Emma Stone, I knew from the beginning that she’s the perfect Gwen Stacy. It took some getting used to her clothing at times a tad too comicy was with the bones and knee socks, but over time they disarm you with her irresistible gaze and her acting. While the women will fall for the charms of Garfield, the men will fall for Emma Stone. In addition, all other supporting characters spot on. Ranging from Rhys Ifans, to Martin Sheen and Denis Leary . Many of these characters survive the ending credits, but the future is promising. Make sure you stay in the cinema after the credits as you get the usual Marvel post-credits teaser. One of the the funniest scenes is in which Spider-Man makes a web while his web-shooters drain and like a spider waiting for its prey, Spidey waits too while playing a game on his smartphone. And like the Sam Raimi films Webb attempts the comic very realistically translate to the big screen with a strong script by James Vanderbilt (Zodiac). Some of the changes work as well as the way Peter Parker on the idea comes from the Spider-Man outfit, but other things than work a lot better. The scene where the uncle’s life is now better connect with the story.It also motivates his actions and we see him gradually evolve. Second, the scene where Peter Parker becomes aware of his super powers is a masterpiece with a nod to the works of Charlie

Chaplin. Everything takes place in a small subway car and the scene is to feast on. The physical humour that bring about changes in the subsequent scenes are perfectly timed and works pretty well as a whole. The Amazing Spider-Man succeeds in an interesting and innovative mix between intelligent dialogues, humorous ideas, breathtaking action, moving drama and a focus on the humanity of the characters. But the general tone of the film still has a dark side.


But it’s not all roses in this $215 million reboot. The appearance of Lizard is downright disappointing. Rhys Ifans is a great actor and his performance is nothing to criticize, but the CGI Lizard looks somewhat lame, and at times blatantly fake. It is a real improvement on the somewhat moronic Green Goblin from the first Spider-Man movie, but this was much better. Especially, when you behold the level of the film. Another downside is that there are little moments where you get chills. But Marc Webb is simply not Christopher Nolan and composer James Horner is no Hans Zimmer or the great John Williams. But let me be clear. I fully enjoyed it and maybe even a bit more than in The Avengers because of the human emotion. The pressure is now on the shoulders of Zack Snyder and his reboot of Superman in 2013 to be ready. The Avengers is the second comic book adaptation that has made a huge impression, and by the time you read this, The Dark Knight Rises will soon be out. The Amazing Spider -Man will be a hit and Marvel recently confirmed two sequels! One guess who’s the villain? Enjoy! ****

The Phoenix–July 2012

Page 31


Spice it up!


he streets of Birmingham are lined with kebab shops and fast food takeaways, but in the heart of Erdington lies a rather unique establishment. Paprikás, has become a ‘home away from home’ for the growing Eastern European population of the West Midlands. The small Hungarian restaurant set up in traditional Hungarian style with its red and white chequered table cloths, is the only one of its kind in the West Midlands, and one of only four in the whole of the UK. Laszlo and Adam Halasz along with Zoltan Jenei, came to the UK from Hungary with a passion for cooking the best of Hungarian dishes in the traditional style

mac Birmingham celebrates its 50th Anniversary in style


he Midlands‟ most popular arts centre, mac birmingham, officially launched its 50th anniversary celebrations on Saturday with the opening of The Playmakers, a brand new exhibition which reflects the centre‟s history. Since opening in 1962, mac birmingham has welcomed millions of visitors and artists from both round the corner and around the world. The latest exhibition, The Playmakers (Sat 7 Jul – Sun 9 Sep), has been created by Japanese artists KOSUGE1-16 to draw from mac birmingham‟s past – from its beginnings as the UK‟s first arts centre for children and young people, and an internationally-respected creative hub for experimental puppetry to its present-day ethos of providing arts for all in a culturally rich and diverse city and region. The interactive installation encourages children and adults to play with lots of cause-andeffect features such as life-size puppets of John English and his wife Alicia (Mollie) Randle, who initiated mac birmingham as a cultural institution.


The Playmakers is the first part of “mac at fifty‟ - a special programme of events, activities

and exhibitions to mark the centre‟s 50th year. The next major exhibition at mac birmingham will be a retrospective of Birminghambased photographer Vanley Burke (Sat 22 Sep – Sun 18 Nov), whose photographs of the Handsworth area of the city tell the story of the Jamaican community in the area, a microcosm of the community in the UK, since the 1960s. In November, the gallery will be transformed into The Woods (Sat 1 – Sun 30 Dec), for the return of Jane Packman Company‟s stunning exhibition/performance piece which was first shown at the

centre in February 2011. “mac at fifty‟ also includes Knick Knack and Doo Dad (Tue 13 Nov – Sun 2 Dec), an exciting and fun new festive show for families from Lyngo Theatre featuring CBeebies‟ Patrick Lynch and Italian children‟s television star Carlo Rossi. Cocommissioned with the Lowry in Manchester, characters Knick Knack and Doo Dad will teach audiences how to have fun no matter where they are… even on an island made of rubbish. The “mac at fifty‟ programme will continue until September 2013, with riverside art-walk Sounding the River concluding the celebrations. Artist Jony Easterby, who took part in art workshops at mac as a child, will bring together a collective of performers and musicians to create a magical nighttime walk along the River Rea which runs outside the centre. mac birmingham has played an integral part in supporting emerging creative artists across all art forms including many familiar faces such as the Blackadder star and presenter, Tony Robinson, director Mike Leigh, Hustle actor Adrian Lester and television presenter Alison Hammond.

they grew up with. Teaming up with Andy Rysztogi, a Birmingham coach driver by trade, they have made it their goal to address the gap in the market “Britain is known for its diversity and multiculturalism, every nationality feels at home here. Those of eastern European origin have also become a part of that now, Paprikás aims to address their needs and share their culture and food with the rest of the community” says Andy. Hungarian food traditionally consists of a variety of soups and stews. In rural Hungary such dishes are still prepared outdoors in large cauldron type pots as family members gather around the communal fire to share the meal. Hav-

By Thaiba Ishtiaq

ing experienced the food in their home country, Laszlo and Zoltan were able to bring these experiences with them to the UK. Being ‘people of the food’ they are able to recreate each dish perfectly, as well as experiment with new cuisines creating a unique fusion of British and Hungarian food. Hungarian food with a twist, Paprikás does not solely target a fixed audience. Introducing vegetarian and also Halal options it recognises the different requirements of the community it now belongs to. Treating every customer like a ‘member of the family’, Andy, Adam, Laszlo and Zoltan are all set to spice things up in Birmingham!

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The Phoenix–July 2012

BUSINESS The team from the Phoenix Newspaper would like to thank Mr. Omar Ali.....General Manager of Chiquitos, a Mexican eatery based in Bently Bridge Leisure park in Wolverhampton. The decor/seating/music/ambiance was in keeping with the whole mexican experience. Very friendly attentative waiting staff, with Ali providing a range of cocktails for us to sample The staff at Chiqito was singing happy birthday and laid on a party for a young girl A cake was brought in along with other goodies for a special occasion. Chiquito caters for events and small parties On the whole the food was very good exactly how it's described in the menu and delivered piping hot , quick efficient service

l Mr Ali and his team at Chiquito

Max Marriott Photography

Maureen plans to map out future businesses

As an Economic, Regeneration & Prosperity Director, Maureen Mason is supporting job growth and economic regeneration in a big way.

Since 2002, she has provided business development support for a number of local communities, plus private and third sector areas by developing people’s skills through business showcases, to support in the best way, individually, to become motivated, self employed, or how to grow, or sustain your new venture. Her key focus is on disadvantaged communities, groups and young people not in employment, education and training (NEET). Writing business growth strategies for communities, sharing many with mainstream and third sector government, she strategized and developed new solutions for reducing un- employment. A key area of work is to promote the understanding of supporting high growth business and develop an understanding of supporting high growth business and support the agents who provide and safeguarding job opportunities.

Describing herself as a ‘jack of many trades,’ Sheffield-born Maureen is well-versed in business, at various levels and lines, having developed numerous skills including being a plasterer, to being a Health & Fitness Consultant, where her classes were taught how to become great fitness leaders. She broad her own cultural dance sessions to Birmingham to help engage the minority communities to using the city’s leisure centres. Whilst working in this genre, she began to understand policy development in supporting communities to become employed and self employed. Always active, Maureen was a member of the Advantage West Midlands Ethnic Business Forum, developing BANCC, a social enterprise, presenting very effective,

A Feast for the Visual senses

Specialising in:

creative outreach strategies for communities who felt disenfranchised by mainstream. For further information on services to call business showcase 0121 250 3537 or email Maureen is presenting a free drop in service delivered under her private business showcase @ The Drum every Tuesday 5.307.30pm. The key information will be present to participant around business development and grant and finance for social enterprises

Events, performing arts, parties, artists/models, portfolios, also weddings and special occasions


The Phoenix–July 2012

New SUV is Bentley’s finest


resh from a successful UK debut at the 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed, Bentley is releasing new dynamic images and video of its luxury performance SUV design concept, the EXP 9 F. The new material reaffirms the concept’s innovative fusion of contemporary, crafted luxury, advanced technology, commanding driving position and all-terrain capability. EXP 9 F also highlights Bentley’s intent to build the fastest and most luxurious SUV in the world. The concept’s appearance at Goodwood is part of a systematic and comprehensive process of gauging customer and public reaction to the idea of a Bentley SUV, which began with its unveiling at theGeneva International Salon d’Auto earlier this year and will continue at the Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach, California in August.

Classified To see your ad in our classified section just call on



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509-511 Bearwood Road Smethwick Birmingham B66 4BE Mobile: 0743 611 9920

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The Phoenix–July 2012


The 203 Jaguar XJ is announced, and this one is a bit of a beast...


aguar has announced details of its 2013 model year generation XJ. It benefits from Jaguar’s relentless research and development programme to improve efficiency and introduce the latest comfort and functional technologies. Significant transmission, engine and dynamic developments mean Jaguar’s most technologically advanced car becomes more efficient and refined. To maximise efficiency from the all-aluminium architecture of the XJ, Jaguar has introduced an eight-speed ZF transmission with Intelligent Stop-Start as standard. As seen on the XF, these developments lead to lower fuel consumption and emissions. The new XJ is expected to achieve 47 MPG while emitting 159g/km of CO2, a 14% improvement. The 13MY XJ marks the introduction of a new 3.0-litre, supercharged V6 powertrain. Producing 340PS and 450Nm of torque - equating to almost 127PS per litre - the highest specific output of any Jaguar engine, the new engine is refined and powerful. Making its debut in the XJ and XF, this engine will also power the forthcoming F-TYPE sports car, available from 2013. For 13MY, XJ has improved suspension refinement and performance. Alongside the excit-

Supercharged Jaguar XJ

ing new powertrain line-up all models in the range benefit from re-calibrated spring and damper tunes as well as remapped damper software - offering enhanced ride isolation and passenger comfort on all road surfaces. Enhancements extend to the

XJ’s award-winning cabin with DAB now fitted as standard and a new premium sound system. Teaming up with British audio specialist Meridian, Jaguar engineers have developed a 825W sound system. Tested using the most scrupulous audio meas-

urements the Meridian system boasts significantly lower levels of harmonic distortion - meaning a lower power output is required to achieve the high levels of audio clarity within the vehicle. The top-of-the range 20-speaker 825W system comes as standard

on Portfolio and Supersport XJ models while offered as an option on other derivatives. The XJ continues to be among the best-selling cars in its class, reporting an 11% per cent rise in sales in 2011. Combining advanced construction, luxury and

performance, the XJ range has recently expanded to include the new Sport and Speed packs as well as the introduction of the new ‘Ultimate’ model, including a bespoke rear seat environment and unique exterior styling.

The Phoenix–July 2012

Page 35


Rishi J has that magic touch


ver since Rishi Jethwa could put pen to paper, he let himself be inspired by his love of cars, recreating each model perfectly as his passion increased and developed into what it is now; a unique art, or in his own words, a unique vision. At 22years old, Rishi works as a Pharmacy Technician, but fter seeing the quality of his work exhibited on the community board at a local Tesco branch, one can not help but ask why such a talent isn’t being pursued as a career. The reason is clear once you meet him. Rishi is a buzzing, energetic entrepreneur full of creative flair and the unique

ability to juggle his multiple skills and interests: “As humans we pick up many skills during our lives, naturally, we only put into use the ones we need and leave the rest on the shelf as ‘back up’. The only thing different about me is that I want to put all of my skills into practice!” says Rishi.

Juggling a degree in Automotive Design & Engineering at Aston University with his pharmacy job, and his artwork, Rishi is in his element. His art is no longer just a hobby; the popularity he has gained has put him on the road to establishing his own business producing pieces of art for customers as sentimental gifts. Drawing eve-

rything from portraits to cars to items of jewellery in scrupulous detail, Rishi calls himself an innovator and a passion designer rather than an artist; as he creates a vision for the future.

Ambitious and always thinking out of the box, Rishi has long since decided that he would rather be ‘a jack of all trades than a master of one’. Realising the importance of social skills and networking, he uses these skills to his advantage, encouraging other young people to do the same “don’t be afraid of connecting with people, asking them what they’re all about and telling them about you. You don’t know how many opportunities are out there waiting for you!”

Page 36


Half of all holidays are taken by the over 45’s

The Phoenix–July 2012

Lovebirds flock to El Gouna

Older travellers today account for over half of all holiday spending, with the trend only set to increase, according to a report published this week by leading escorted travel specialist Travelsphere. The Travelsphere ‘Frequent Flying and Globe Trekking Older Travellers Report’, prepared in association with Mintel Research Consultancy, debunks the myth that older consumers are one homogenous group. Those aged 4554 opt for frequency, taking more holidays abroad than any other age group, while those aged 55-64 were the only segment to increase long haul travel between 2008-10, in the context of an overall market decline of 9%. Older travellers are today’s globetrotters - 40% of all long haul trips were taken by 45-64 year olds in 2010. People over 65 years old are the most prolific of the older 45+ market, with 28% taking two or more foreign holidays a year, compared to 19% of all British holidaymakers. The report also dispels images of how older people travel and book their holidays, showing those over 55 are more likely to go on a touring holiday than young backpackers, and are more likely to book their whole trip online than under 45 year olds, with two thirds doing so, rather than 57% of the younger group.

Time, Interest & Energy What is clear from the research is that while current economic hardships have impacted harder on the holidaying habits of the under 45s, those over 45 still consider holidays essential. Two thirds of over 55s see holidays as necessary spend, compared to only half of 45-54 year olds and 45% of under 45s. Ian Smith, group CEO, Page & Moy Travel Group, said “The fact that people over 50 are the highest spending and most prolific long-haul-travellers is backed up by Travelsphere’s experience. We’re the UK’s leading escorted and group travel company, specialising in enriching holidays for all older travellers, and we are also the UK’s leading long haul operator to China, and reporting increasing demand for holidays to Asia and the USA.” Ian continues, “Many of today’s older travellers have time, money and the internet at their fingertips to entice and enable. The UK’s older population is growing at the fastest rate, accounting for 17% of our population today, but is expected to rise to 23% by 2035, so


ith wide-spread flooding, stopstart showers and lingering drizzle, it’s little wonder that Brits are leaving the country to find the sun in Red Sea resorts like El Gouna. Tour operators Holiday Designers and Red Sea Holidays have both seen sales peak over the last fortnight and believe the erratic weather and lack of summer weather is the prime reason. With the near-guaranteed sunshine that El Gouna offers, it’s no surprise that the resort is a popular pick.

couples, with the Three Corners Ocean View Hotel in El Gouna reporting a 16% increase in UK bookings over the last two weeks, all made by two adults sharing a double room. Dan Lion, Managing Director at Holidays Designers, concurs: “Late bookings for El Gouna are typically made by couples heading over for a week to make use of their bank holidays rather than being stuck indoors at home.”

In particular, the Red Sea resort is proving attractive to

Both Holiday Designers and Red Sea Holidays report that it’s the late deals that are really proving popular for people fed up with the rain, with most bookings made within two

older travellers will continue to dominate the tourism offering at home and abroad”. John Carter, former presenter of

Wish You Were Here and a Travelsphere customer, said “It’s no surprise to me to discover older holidaymakers are taking over

weeks of departure. Jason Hilton, Sales Director at Red Sea Holidays, says that El Gouna has remained a popular choice for travellers since April this year: “Sales have been exceptionally strong since the Easter break, particularly late sales. There’s no doubt the unpredictable weather is playing a big part in driving sales with people desperate for some welldeserved sunshine!” El Gouna is recognised as Egypt’s most environmentallyfriendly holiday destination, with unspoilt lagoons and miles of sandy beaches.

the world. We’ve got the time, interest and energy to search out destinations we’ve always dreamed of visiting”

The Phoenix–July 2012

Page 37


Olympic Torch comes to Birmingham M

l Faith Leaders from the city led the crowds in reading the Faith Pledge,

aking its debut in Birmingham, the famous flame was greeted by a weekend of community driven cultural events, whilst completing a 10 mile route through the city; the longest single journey to be made anywhere in the country! Welcomed by Irish pipes and drums as it passed the boundary into Dudley Road, the arrival of the Olympic Torch was celebrated by a ‘Festival of Colour’ in Summerfield Park. Family entertainment and participatory sports kept the crowds entertained along with the grande finale ‘Lawk Naach’ dance performance by ‘Dance Sansaar’, hoping to break the Guinness World Record of ‘Largest ever Bhangra & Giddha Performance’. As it wound its way around the city, the flame made various stops in the City Centre, at Victoria Square and Digbeth before heading to enjoy the sunrise at Sparkhill Park.

The youngest torchbearer, carrying the flame down Stratford Road, was 12 year old Dominic MacGowan, who hopes to one day repeat the experience as an Olympian “I would like to take part in the Olympics as an Olympic footballer” he said. To celebrate the Olympic torch coming to Sparkhill, a special breakfast was organised by local faith leaders. ‘Sunrise at Sparkhill’ was a fabulous gathering of people from all faiths and cultures, capturing the very essence of diversity and faith in Birmingham. It was an especially momentous occasion as Faith group leaders led the crowds in reading a ‘faith pledge’ written for and inspired by the Olympics. All attendees were given a copy of the pledge along with 3 candles of red white and blue which they were encouraged to light at home. “The pledge will re-affirm our shared commitment to working together for the good of all who live in this wonder-

ful, diverse city and I hope the candles burning in hundreds of homes will remind us of our shared hope for a peaceful, just, and joy-filled city where everyone can flourish” said Bishop of Birmingham, Revd. David Urquhart. The event was also a chance to see a fantastic new mural painted on the back of the old Sparkhill swimming baths. The work of art by Mohammed Ali, Soul City Arts, with the help of young people from The Feast was designed to incorporate the Olympics and faith “This mural will bring the Olympic Spirit via public art into the lives of everyday people. Something which I strongly believe in is using art to connect different faith communities” said Mohammed Ali. The mural will be a lasting tribute to not only the Olympics, but the interfaith communities of Birmingham.

By Thaiba Ishtiaq

l Mohammed Ali, from Soul City Arts, with the Bishop of Birmingham and one of the Torch Bearers

Are you looking for a business opportunity, or looking for Mary Kay products to purchase? l The Faith Pledge, written for and inspired by the Olympic Games

To advertise call 0121 250 3536

Call Mary on 07834 517 097

Page 38

The Phoenix–July 2012





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The Phoenix–July 2012

BBL at the NIA

Page 39



ne of the showpiece events in the basketball calendar is returning to the National Indoor Arena on Sunday 13 January 2013 as the British Basketball League (BBL) Cup Final is contested between two of the country’s top teams. It is the eleventh year in a row that the game has been played at the NIA and the venue, which is now synonymous with the biggest games in British hoops, has produced some classic finals. Cup Final Day is one of the most eagerly-anticipated during the BBL season as the stars of the British game lay it all on the line in pursuit of this coveted piece of silverware in the illustrious surroundings of Birmingham’s NIA. BBL is the men’s professional basketball league in the UK. Last season, the Newcastle Eagles won the Cup, defeating the UCP Marjon Plymouth Raiders 115-94 in front of a packed Arena. To add to the incredible lineup one of the most prestigious individual prizes, the BBL Slam Dunk Contest trophy, is on the line as the top slam dunkers from all over the country battle it out to be crowned BBL Dunk Champion. Add in to the mix the incredible

Ping Pong Brum! P All Star Dunkers Acrobatic Dunk Team, FOXY the dunking mascot and the ‘BBL Babes Cheerleaders’ and you have an event that will live in the memory for ever! Visit to check on the latest progress in this season’s competition. Tickets range from £18 to £25

for adults and £12 to £20 for children, with courtside VIP packages priced at £65 (plus booking and transaction fees). Tickets are on sale now, available from The Ticket Factory: or 0844 338 8000.

ing pong power is coming to Birmingham this summer with the return of the hugely popular Ping Brum initiative. From 6 July, 64 ping pong tables will spring up across the city’s landmarks, squares, estates and even shopping centres. Participation is free and the tables will be in place for four weeks at locations ranging from Victoria Square, Heartlands Hospital, St Paul’s Square, Aston Park to the Ghamkol Sharif Mosque. Last year over 60,000 people across the city took part in Ping Brum and Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Steve

Bedser, is confident the tables will again be a huge hit. He said: “We’re determined to increase sports participation throughout the city and we know from our successful Be active scheme that table tennis appeals to people of every age and background. “Ping Brum is a fun event and once people get over their initial surprise at seeing the tables in some unusual settings, they quickly start to enjoy themselves.” Backed by National Lottery funding from Sport England, Ping Brum is produced in association with Birmingham City Council, Birmingham LGBT, Saheli Wo-

mens Group, Birmingham Open Spaces Forum and Birmingham PCT who have organised events and selected locations for the tables. Sport England Chair Richard Lewis added “Ping! has proved one of our most successful sports participation projects, attracting over 150,000 participants to date. Moreover, our research shows that once people start playing they don’t want to stop. ” In addition to the free tables, there will be a programme of ‘Random Acts of Ping Pong.’, ranging from Ping Pong taster sessions to ‘Mini work based competitions and coaching sessions.’

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THAI-BOXING Ping Pong Brum - getting TRAINING BRAZILIAN JIU-JITSU •CIRCUIT Birmingham playing - Page39


The Black Widow Strikes



he ‘Last Man Standing’ 8-Man 3K Tournament & Super Fight, in Birmingham, last month, was, to date, the biggest event of its kind to take place in the Midlands to feature the strongest card in UK Muay Thai history.

l Yogi (left), with Manny Bansal of Auto Surgery (middle) and Simon Brade of Inprintz (second right)


youth projects over the years and we continually reinvest back into our local community. That, in itself, is fulfilment of Yogi’s dreams and aspirations.

Away from the thriving, hugely success gym, he also works with the Birmingham Metropolitan Colleges, including the James Watt, Sutton Coldfield and Josiah Mason campuses:

With World, Common1st Floor wealth, European and For ‘Yogi,’ it was reward for the British title holders and contend858 dedication Washwood Heath Road and application he apers converging on the city’s New Ward End, Birmingham, plied to getting the major internaBingley Hall complex, it proved tional event in Birmingham. B8 2NL an overwhelming success for promoters of the major fight night, “Firmly believe that our future Having established Tel: 0121 785 0900 the promiBlack Widow Martial Arts Acadnent Black Widow Martial Arts fighters and instructors need to be emy. Academy in Ward End, it already invested in from an early age, I boasts several regional and na- use Thai Boxing as an enrichment The highly anticipated mega- tional champions including cur- sports activity. showcase was, for Black Wid- rent two times World Champion, ow and, in particular its Chief Dean James, now one of a team of We are home to 150 juniors Flyer.indd 1 Instruct, Events Manager A5and who utilise our facilities. Underqualified trainers there. owner, Yogendra Parekh, a night standing that not all kids want to in which you’d have to go far and Having worked with so many fight, we also realise that they can wide to see any bigger and better. students over the years, help- achieve outside the ring, by coming them to expand and develop pleting their gradings and workEvery fight featured the very their skills to help them to their ing towards the highest levels in best A and B class Muay Thai full potential and maximise their Muay Thai.” fighters, as well as fast-paced Pro capabilities, the academy’s princiMMA and K1 bouts, which added ples and goals are to produce the In the ring we have strong junior to the night’s excitement. Champions and Instructors of to- fighters, producing several junior morrow and with a host to several British champions in our time. Our children and young people grow in confidence and self esteem, which enhances their lives, making them better, more balanced individuals.” A passionate Yogi goes on to say:


“I believe that the children and young people who attend our classes exhibit nothing but enthusiasm and dedication albeit with a little direction from us as instructors. This illustrates the essence of what Muay Thai offers. It’s a lifestyle sport and these children prove to me day in day out why I do what I do for a living.”

The students of Black Widow and their instructor at the Academy in Ward End

Olympic Torch lights up Perry Barr

Black Widow host several youth projects, as they continually reinvest into the local community. They work with kids who have anti social behaviour orders against them, to regular visits to local schools.


he Olympic Torch was in Perry Barr’s One Stop Shopping Centre just days before it was due to get the London 2012 Olympics & Paralympics under way. As Torch bearer, Matt Winle proudly carried the torch through the Centre, thousands

of people queued frantically to get their picture taken with the historic icon. For 21-year-old Matt it will go down as the most memorable time of his life: “Carrying the torch was an amazing experience. You can’t grasp the impact this has on you until you do it on the actual day.” A boxer and a poet, the North-

field man was overwhelmed with the attention he and the torch drew during his time in One Stop which was set-up by the City Council in conjunction with The Image Makers Network to mark the Jamaican Athletics team coming to Birmingham and the 50th Anniversary of the island paradice.

Black Widow Martial Arts Academy will be hosting further events this year, including a ‘Fight Night’ at Gatecrashers, in September and their ‘Night of Champions,’ at the New Bingley Hall, in October. Look out for the ‘Last Man Standing,’ March next year. It will be the biggest of its kind, ever.


Students in action at the Martial Arts Academy

To advertise call 0121 250 3536

The Phoenix Newspaper July 2012  

The Phoenix Newspaper July 2012

The Phoenix Newspaper July 2012  

The Phoenix Newspaper July 2012