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Promoting Diversity for Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022


Connecting Communities - Inspiring A New Generation

One Nation, One People I

n commemoration of the 57th Anniversary of Independence of Jamaica, Jamaicans and friends of Jamaica flocked to the Emmanuel Centre in Westminster for a service of praise and thanksgiving. This year’s celebration is being observed under the theme “One Nation, One People,” which is in line with Jamaica’s motto “Out Of Many, One People” and is reflective of the history, culture

and the vibrant and indomitable spirit of the Jamaican people, wherever they reside. The service was punctuated by musical and dance pieces, including performances from The Croydon Youth Choir, Adrianna Forbes-Dorant, Carla Jane, a dance of praise choreographed by Carlton ‘Jackie’ Guy CD MBE, The Children’s Choir, and the United Christian Choir. Guests were welcomed

Inside This Month

King Solomon Special Report - Centre Pullout

Cricket Diplomacy Leads To Stronger Ties - Pages 20-21

at the door by H.E. High Commissioner Seth George Ramocan CD and his lovely wife Dr Lola Ramocan, while Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons, Chaplain to the Queen and Bishop of Dover-designate, took over proceedings from Mrs Delores Cooper OD.

Get To Know Sir Bradley Wiggins - Page 18

Continued on Page 10

And much more...



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Page 2 - The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019

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here is a saying, if you frequently repeat the same thing often enough, people will sooner or later believe it. President Trump has been accusing the Democratic Congress women of being socialists, anti-Semitic and anti-American. Is he being racist or has he been advised to use any means necessary to make the Democratic Party look negative and appear to be the cause of America’s ills? The tough talking Trump wants to be seen as the no nonsense president who can singlehandedly fix America’s problems and make the country great again. In some respects, he has overseen a few improvements in America. For one thing, the economy has continued to experience growth and the unemployment rate has fallen. He has also held two meetings with Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, that might lead to improved relations between the nations. President Trump claims he has not got a racist bone in his body, and has said that since coming to power he has helped to create more jobs for African Americans and Hispanics. But what about the president’s tone

Is Donald Trump Playing the Race Card? in his rhetoric? In the 1960s and 1970s in the UK and America, it was fairly common to hear and see statements aimed at Black and Asian people that said ‘go back to where you came from.’ Back then, such a phrase was initially accepted by the majority White population as the norm, but gradually came to be regarded as unmistakably racist in its targeted attacks against minority ethnic groups. The fact that today the use of such a phrase is even being debated, suggests

that once again, we have retuned to the normalisation of racism that characterised that earlier period in British as well as American history. What makes it even more alarming is that the statement was made by the president of the USA. Furthermore, with the White (exclusive of the Hispanic population) making up just over 60% of the population, America is an immigrant nation. Indeed, if everyone in America went back to the regions associated with their ethnic origins, the country would

Marcia McLaughlin; An Ambassador of Positivity


By Imran A Chowdhury

n life one comes across loads of human being but there are a very few people who leaves a massive mark on the celluloid of the minds archive. ‘Marcia’ - yes I am talking about her. She is one of them. Who can instantaneously connect with anyone and transmit her abundance of energy and her positivity. There are so many excellent human beings living in our society doing so much good for the community it is unbelievable and Marcia is one of those great protagonists who is serving the community in silence. Her passion and her tenacity to promote the multicultural Britain is perhaps one of the most admirable ones. The epicentre of UK’s main ethnically diverse concentration is Birmingham; the West Midlands region where there are representatives from all 53 countries of the commonwealth reside. The Editor-In-Chief of the Phoenix Newspaper and her team are working flat out to bring about the best of multicultural Britain and they are

doing this great work of promoting the unsung heroes with passion, conviction & impetus. The multi-faceted activities in terms of building a stronger community and to build camaraderie and cohesion within the various migrant communities and the mainstream she is one of the few bastions of that synergy. An excellent orator and one can easily fathom the depth of her values to create a society on integration during her speeches and oratory. It was a real honour for me to meet her and have very long chats to figure out who is Marcia? I am really honoured and humbled to meet a personality like her. Who resonates compassion, who radiates esprit de corps and above all she epitomizes the cementing all communities together to build an ideal society. Phoenix; an engaging newspaper proactively promoted in all platforms to reach every segment of the society and it is all done under her dynamic leadership. I wish there were more human beings like her in our society to make

l Imran A Chowdhury the world a better place to live for us all. Imran A Chowdhury is the founder and CEO of Think-tank & NGO Centre For Policy Promotion & Prevention.

then become land of the few. Perhaps if President Trump had not been so brutish and bullish in his language his rhetoric regarding immigration, border controls and the Wall that the Mexicans were going to pay for, as well as referring to African countries as ‘shitholes,’ some of his ideas might be more palatable. Why then is Donald Trump apparently risking his re-election to the White House by engaging in, and sticking to, this narrative of publicly attacking minority ethnic groups and using such abrasive and racist language? Two immediate reasons come to mind. Firstly, he is not alone. In recent times we have witnessed the rise of the far right and right-wing nationalist parties and movements across Europe and in America. President Trump knows he has the support of many White nationalists. Secondly, the more he keeps up this his rhetoric, he will surely alienate some people, but eventually, more and more people will believe what he says. If he can appeal to a large section of the White majority population and a small percentage of the other 40%, the playing of this race card, as unpopular as it is, might prove to be a winning formula.

Excellent words and perfection of her character. Indeed, Marcia, is the is the center of the earth. check out the spelling of earth, is the same as heart. The heart of Marcia is the universal center of mother uniting people to see the beauty of creation. Roland Joseph Tetteh, Ghana Great woman. I hope very soon to come out with a book about Marcia. Honestly a wonderful woman. Alex Akwaeze, Nigeria Aww...That’s so Beautiful & so True Sis! HRH Princess Moradeun Adedoyin-Solarin Very well said. I totally respect and value every word he said. Continue your great work. We do love and appreciate you. There are only a handful of people in the world like you. Anyone that that get to know you are truly bless.l am one of them. May God continue to bless you. Lisa Pilot These are words of commendation worth framing and hanging somewhere for all to see. Nothing good and worthwhile can be hidden for very long. Continue to do your community work and, as is demonstrated by this person, it will be recognised and appreciated. Keep up the good work Marcia Delano Franklyn, Jamaica This is wonderful, and all true. Johnson JohnRose, Barbados God bless you & the person who wrote it King G Mall, Birmingham


The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019 - Page 3


Birmingham joins calls for Somaliland recognition


l The Leaders of Birmingham City Council alongside representatives from the Somaliland Mission & Commonwealth Supporters he Leader of Birmingham City Council lead a cross-party representation as delegates of Somaliland were present to witness the signing of a joint letter to unilaterally declare independence from Somalia. The three main political party leaders; Council Leader, Councillor Ian Ward (Labour), Cllr Robert Alden (Conservatives) and the Council’s Lib Dem leader, Cllr Jon Hunt, were joined by Ayan Mahamoud, Resident Representative of the Republic of Somaliland to the UK & Commonwealth, as they signed a joint letter to Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt – as they urged the UK government to recognise Somaliland as an independent country – and be officially recognised as the Republic of Somaliland. The central government maintains informal ties with some foreign governments, including the UK, and calls are growing for Somaliland to be recognised as a sovereign state. The east African country was unilaterally declared independence from Somalia in May 1991 and has since been governed by democratically elected governments that seeks international recognition as the Government of the Republic of Somaliland. The central government maintains informal ties with some foreign governments, including the UK, and calls are growing for Somaliland to be recognised as a sovereign state. Nura Ali Fellow of Birmingham said, ‘’The eyes of the world are on the Republic of Somaliland and we know that Somali-landers have claimed their sovereignty and

l The Leaders of Birmingham City Council with Representative from Somaliland Ayan Mahamoud shown that neither their dignity nor their dream of self-determination can be denied. “This historic achievement today is a tribute to the generations of Somalilanders who struggled for this day. It is also a tribute to the support that has been shown for Somaliland by so many friends and partners around in Birmingham and the West Midlands. “I am confident that the bonds of friendship between Somaliland and the City of Birmingham will only strengthen in the years to come.” This milestone has been achieved in the main, by the tireless campaigning over the last 5 years of Nura Ali Fellow of Birmingham and Executive Director of Allies Network, and many Councillors of Birmingham city. It is with passion and pride that

l Jubilant scenes in the Banqueting Suite

she embarked on promoting her homeland and formally re-educating many of us to this unique country and its countless opportunities. Cllr Ward said: “Somaliland is a beacon of peace and stability in the ‘Horn of Africa’ and we have jointly signed this letter to urge Prime Minister May to officially recognise Somaliland as an independent state. “Standing together as one, Birmingham is built by the multicultural community that has always represented the city. “Somaliland”, he went on to say, “has been independent for 28 years. The time now is right for support from the international community”. Leader of the Conservative Group on the Council, Cllr Robert Alden, added: “On behalf of the Conservatives I am absolutely delighted to support this letter, whilst leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, John Hurt, said: “Somaliland has long proved to be free and democratic – a real ‘beacon’ of equality and unity”. “Thank you, Birmingham, for fully recognising Somaliland”, Ayan Mahamoud said. “This truly is a great day. “For Birmingham to officially recognise the Republic of Somaliland is massive”. “And a very special ‘Thank You’ also goes out to Keith StokesSmith, President of the Birmingham Commonwealth Association. “I am proud that they, and the

wider, colourful community of the Birmingham took the brave step of supporting an independent Somaliland. “Birmingham, for one, is very special to us”. She added: “A very special ‘Thank You’ goes out to Council Leader Ward. He didn’t have to do this for us, but he did. That was a truly brave step by him” The City Council’s Monitoring Officer, Cllr Diane Donaldson, further adding: “On this historic journey to independence and democracy, I am deeply proud that Birmingham has supported this significant achievement”. Somaliland declared independence from the Somali Republic in 1991 following a long-running war with the Mogadishu-based national government. It has, however, never been recognised by the United Nations or Africa Union, despite an ongoing campaign by its politicians, diplomats and prominent citizens.

l Organiser Nura Ali


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Black Country Chamber Awards now closed for new entries T

l Corin Crane, Chief Executive of the Black Country Chamber

he Black Country Chamber Awards, headline partnered by Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, is being held at Wolverhampton Racecourse on November 15 and promises to be an exciting event which, this year, is being hosted by Aaron James who is starring in the Grand Theatre’s Christmas panto. Vicky Price, Associate Director, Development and Communications at the Grand Theatre said, “We are thrilled to be the headline partner for The Black Country Chamber Awards 2019 and introduce the latest edition to our pantomime cast, comedian Aaron James as the host. “Aaron, who has worked closely with local legend and Grand Theatre Ambassador, Steve Bull for many years, won the hearts and


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tickled the funny bones of Wolverhampton as the host of the theatre’s 125th Anniversary Gala Dinner in February. We are delighted that he will host this year’s award ceremony which will be a fantastic introduction before taking on the role of Idle Jack in this year’s Pantomime, Dick Whittington.” Alongside the award presentations, there will be further entertainment on the evening itself, which will be announced very soon. There are 13 categories in the Awards - chosen because they are representative of the vibrant and diverse business community in the Black Country. Corin Crane, chief executive of the Black Country Chamber said, “I am delighted to see there have been loads of entries this year. With all the fantastic businesses in the Black Country I am sure the judges are really going to have their work cut out for them – which is in essence, a very nice problem to have! I am looking forward to the finalists’ announcement on 11 September. “There are still some great opportunities for businesses to gain some additional exposure through supporting the Awards. Not only would you enjoy some outstanding networking opportunities, you’d be getting your brand in front of some 19 million people!”


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Self-reflective Entrepreneurship: A boost for operational strategic excellence with Dr Christopher is useful for practitioners Johnson involved in self-reflective


ward-wInnIng journalist, editor and publisher Dr Christopher Johnson writes his monthly column in The Phoenix aiming to inform, educate and entertain.


hanges within commercial and social enterprises have far-reaching consequences for ownerdirectors, managers, staff, consumers and stakeholders. These changes have to do with attitudinal behaviours such as instincts, beliefs and values that influence decision-making processes. Almost all entrepreneurs -whether product manufacturers or service providers – experience ‘gut feeling’ when making devising strategies for important sections of the firm. Labour Force Survey reports refer to the number of businesses including the level of self-employment activities (February 2019) and yet, little is known about self-reflection reflectiveness on the part of micro to small business owners and managers especially. In recent years, self -reflection has become a focal point for evaluating firms due to constant pressures to maintain competitive advantage including a return on investment (ROI). Some organisations have cited “growing evidence from research that reflective practice improves the way people perform” (General Medical Council, 2018). Personal stories of doctors, nurses and clinicians, demonstrate their learning from their practices. Like social workers or other social scientists, teaching instructors function in constant ‘pressure-cooker’ environments, having to manage combined learners, patients and other client concerns and interests. They are required to adhere to statutory demands of their practice, customers and external stakeholders who have influence directly or indirectly on their practices. One of the global institutions that represents cultural, education and science, United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO, 2017)), stated that assessment

learning. Teachers and trainers alike are expected to be highly considerate when they have to conceptualise, plan, organise and implement curriculum activities. Why? The interests of learners are vital to outputs and outcomes derived from any form of training and support offered. One example, is that quality assessment-evaluation methods are vital to, and for construction apprentices to be aware of their responsibilities while participating in training. According to other experts, business leaders need to include self-reflection to understand the nature of issues and problems, as well as to find practical solutions. Cited in one reputable publication, business owners have expressed a lack of understanding and knowledge of the importance of selfreflection. Some of the comments here justify this fact. “I guess I don’t really know what you want me to do”. ‘Maybe that’s why I haven’t been doing it”. ‘The process can lead to valuable insights and even breakthroughs”. ‘It can also lead to discomfort, vulnerability, defensiveness and irritation” (Harvard Business Review, 2017). Harvard Business School (2014) reported that the ‘role of reflection in individual learning’ is critical to the competitive advantage issue of firms. The institution observed that a ‘reflective system’ that embodied a range of skill sets, was necessary for the industry performance of sales representatives, customer support staff, highly skilled professionals and senior executives of organisations. The chart below typifies the relevance of key elements of this process. Thus selfreflective learning development is more than just a prerequisite; it remains a necessary strategic tool for boosting the excellence across all firms/organisations.

*Source: IRI UK Caribbean Food & Drink - Retail Sales, Period: MAT 52w/e 22nd June 2019.


The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019 - Page 5

Page 6 - The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019



Crocs Cruise On With Tropical Sun


nce again, Jamaica have demonstrated their sporting prowess by firmly establishing themselves as the Caribbean’s top Rugby 7s team. Having given it their best try at the recent Rugby Americas North Tournament in the Cayman Is-

lands, they gamely achieved an impressive second place. Affectionately known as the Jamaica’s ‘Crocs’, on their way to the final, the men’s team won five straight games, beating the Cayman Islands, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Barbados and Mexico to take top honours in Pool B.

Having demonstrated incredible skill, speed and stamina to reach the final, Jamaica were beaten by the guile and guts of Canada, a team that’s made up of full-time professionals. Despite narrowly missing out on becoming the first ever team from the Caribbean to qualify for the


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2020 Tokyo Olympics, all is not lost! Whilst Canada head to the Olympics, runner-up’s Jamaica men’s along with the women’s team will both have one more chance to qualify for the Olympics at next year’s World Rugby Global Repechage Tournament.

This final opportunity for Olympic qualification will feature 12 women’s and 12 men’s with the venue and date to be confirmed shortly. So, as part of getting the Jamaica Crocs and the Lady Crocs to Japan, Tropical Sun have created a scrumptious set of recipes to aid the recovery and performance of the teams during and after their games. One of these is the Crocfast (Croc breakfast) which features both the Tropical Sun Ackee and its Great Taste Award winning Jerk Seasoning from its 'Proud To Be Made in Jamaica' range of foods. Research shows that ackee is a super-food packed with a range

Birmingham 2022 celebrates three years to go with Commonwealth Social Event With three years to go until the Commonwealth Games, Birmingham 2022 marked the milestone in the countdown to what will be a once-in-a-lifetime event, by hosting the Commonwealth Social, a free family friendly public celebration. Taking place in the recently redeveloped Centenary Square; it was a fabulous festival of sport, culture and food with the people of the West Midlands at its heart. It was a chance for local people to join in the celebration of the upcoming Games, which will provide a unique opportunity to put the city and the region on a global stage – It was also a first glimpse of the new Birmingham 2022 logo - created by working closely with communities from across the West Midlands to create something that is truly representative of the region and its people. Communal dining tables in the centre of the square encouraged visitors to pull up a chair and sit alongside their neighbours, international athletes, DJs, local community leaders, tastemakers from the region, local celebrities and those working to make ‘2022

possible. Attendees were wowed by popup performances from regional talent including dance groups, brass bands, choirs and world DJ sets. Local street food traders from Digbeth Dining Club provided an exciting range of cuisine from across the Commonwealth encouraging local people to enjoy exciting new flavours from around the world. Each trader also offered a special dish with £1 of its proceeds going to Foodinate - which forms partnerships with restaurants, venues and charities

of essential vitamins and nutrients that contributes towards boosting protein power, stamina and bone strength. And as well as boosting up the team physically, Tropical Sun is creating a giant good luck card filled with messages from fans of Team Jamaica. So, to help boost morale and to feature your message on the card, post your well-wishes onto your socials and tag @TropicalSunFoods and use the hashtag #TryTropicalSun. And to eat, play and win like a Croc why not try out cooking the finger licking Crocfast. To post your message and to follow the teams progress visit Go team Jamaica! to provide meals to local people in need - a not-for-profit organisation working to end local hunger (It has provided over 100,000 free meals so far). The day played host to a number of sports demonstrations including 3X3 wheelchair basketball and much more. Team England athletes from the region and beyond were on hand to join in the celebration and mingle with local people. Josie Stevens, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for Birmingham 2022, said: “Local people are at the heart of Birmingham 2022. They are what will make these Games truly special, so we invited people from across the region to join us and some of our athletes to celebrating this major milestone. Birmingham and the West Midlands has a rich cultural heritage so what better way to bring people together than to unite over a shared love of sport, food and live performances! “Birmingham 2022 will be a world-class festival of sport and culture. It’s also a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity for our region to show the world the fantastic community spirit we have to offer.” Team England’s Mimi-Isabella Cesar said: “The West Midlands has a wonderful rich community spirit and the Commonwealth Social was the perfect way to bring the region together for one great day. What better way to kick-start what is going to be an exciting countdown to Birmingham 2022?” Birmingham 2022’s Common Ground project has been connecting communities across the West Midlands by inviting them to have a conversation about the Games and how Birmingham 2022 can benefit their area.

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The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019 - Page 7




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Cricket diplomacy leads to stronger business ties in the heart of UK

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l The Celebratory Cricket Cake cutting ceremony by both High Commissioners

Pizza and Ping Pong

l Jake Murphy & Sanj Basra

Commission, Mr. Amo Kalar, and representatives of the Department of International Trade (DIT). More than 80 people representing different business communities, organizations and academics joined the evening. The event was aimed at strengthening the India -UK business relationship, as DIT had organised several business events on the sidelines of the World Cup matches. Farokh Engineer, well known former Indian cricketer, moderated the evening and shared his unique experiences from the world of cricket. Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi gave his overview on how cricket connects communities, and sets a beautiful example of ‘Living Bridge’. He also complimented the British Indian community for bringing the two countries closer. High Commissioner Mrs. Ruchi A new activity bar has opened in an up-and-coming area of Digbeth, in Birmingham. Dropshot’s entertainment and multi-use activity bar which features music, Olympic grade table tennis tables and deck shuffleboards among its many attractions, also offers specially prepared pizzas cooked in a wood fired pizza oven, especially imported from Italy, as well as a range of craft beers, bar food and some amazing cocktails, both classic and modern. The licensed entertainment venue, which can cater for up to 250 people, is situated 50 yards from the iconic Custard Factory, in the heart of the redeveloped


Ghanashyam and High Commissioner Sir Dominic Asquith spoke about the upcoming matches, and underlined how cricket strengthens connectivity creating new avenues for business and trade opportunities which in turn bring Nations together. The evening continued with the ‘cricket-cake’ cutting ceremony by both the High Commissioners, which was well appreciated by the honored guests. The reception concluded with mesmerizing performances by renowned melodious singer Malkit Singh accompanied by Dhol Blasters supremo, Gurcharan Mall, who was joined by Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh to uplift the grandeur of the event. The reception provided an ideal platform to share and strengthen the business and cultural relationships between India and UK. area. Sanjeev Basra, entrepreneur and managing director at Drop Shot said: “My family has over 30 years history in the manufacturing trade. We have owned and run several businesses and currently export globally to over 30 countries. I have personally been a local businessman for 12 years. “Being entrepreneurial I have been recently exploring for ways to enter new markets so that I could diversify my business portfolio, and converting this building that we have owned for over 15 years into an activity bar is opening a new chapter and opportunity for me. One that I am very excited about.”

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n the eve of the recent ICC World Cup match between India v. England match at Edgbaston, a reception was hosted by the Consul General of India, Birmingham at the residence. The event was hosted on behalf of Her Excellency Mrs. Ruchi Ghanashyam High Commissioner of India to UK. Among the dignitaries who attended included: Mr. Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, Hon’ble Minister of Sports & Youth Services & NRI Affairs Minister, Government of Punjab, His Excellency Sir Dominic Asquith KCMG High Commissioner of UK to India, along with Member of European Parliament, Ms. Neena Gill, Member of House of Lords, Lord Mike Whitby, Deputy Director, Trade and Innovation, British High





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Page 8 - The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019


In Association With


he Phoenix Newspaper, in association with the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), is proud to announce its 9th Anniversary Gala Dinner and Awards Presentation Ceremony. “We all witnessed how the Commonwealth vision offers hope and inspires us to find ways of protecting our planet, and our people. “We are able to look to the future with greater confidence and optimism as a result of the links that we share, and thanks to the networks of cooperation and mutual support to which we contribute, and on which we draw.” Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. In connecting with our brothers and sisters across the Commonwealth, Her Majesty The Queen along with the rest of the royal family have made it their duty to highlight the importance of the Commonwealth, and in doing so we have followed the steps of the Royals across the rich continent of Africa. To showcase Africa and the connections that The Phoenix has globally with Commonwealth countries, we were delighted to bring a bit of the African continent along with its royalty, traditions and legacies to Birmingham for our 7th Anniversary. For our 8th Anniversary, we connected with the B r i t i s h Military to showcase the many

soldiers from Commonwealth countries who fought alongside their British comrades with one voice, and also the diversity of our Armed Forces today. This year, in keeping with Queen Elizabeth and her love for the Commonwealth, The Phoenix Newspaper has teamed up with the Caribbean Tourism Organization, which, although not all of its 24 member countries are part of the Commonwealth, its purpose of Leading Sustainable Tourism - One Sea, One Voice, ideally reflects what we are promoting. Connecting communities across the Commonwealth with this year’s theme which is ‘Spreading The Love’, the world is a better place with travel as we discover new cultures, food, people and beginnings. So let’s celebrate the exciting blend of uniqueness and diversity of the Caribbean, and the

beauty in experiencing the world at our fingertips. Once again, this year our anniversary ball will be held at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham, on 16 November 2019, with the theme of a Masquerade Ball. This year’s event promises to bring world leaders, high-ranking military officials, governors, dignitaries and specially invited guests together under the same roof to celebrate a newspaper that follows through with its promises. The Phoenix Newspaper, the Truth Newspaper, has been connecting communities over the past eight years through our free, non-biased monthly publication both in print and online. Finally, this year is all about love, which is a universal message that all of us understand regardless of race, colour, creed, gender, or sexuality. The Phoenix demonstrates a ‘live and let live’ attitude.

This is an awards ceremony that recognises diversity, inclusion and success from all sectors and walks of life, so this year make sure you don’t miss out. We will be giving away an allexpenses-paid holiday to the Caribbean. Watch this space for more information. We are looking for corporate sponsors to support us in delivering this year’s event. So if you are a company, and organisation or government body who champions diversity, inclusion and the common good, identify yourselves by supporting this cause. There are a wide variety of sponsorship opportunities available, and sponsors from all sectors are welcome, contact TPN Media on 0121 339 5885 or email galadinnerandawards@ for more information.

l HRH Princess Moradeun Adedoyin-Solarin during the awards, and then Lord Mayor of Birmingham Cllr Yvonne Mosquito presenting Tasty Pastry with the Windrush Award


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Celebrating Jamaican Ind Continued from Front Page

The level of achievement shown by all of the participants in the service was testament to the strength of the people of Jamaica, whose talents are undeniably diverse, and far reaching. Through prayers for Jamaica, its people and its future, and scripture readings including one by Honorary Alderman Frances Blois, on behalf of the Mayor of Westminster, the room was filled with joy on such a special occasion. High Commissioner Ramocan read an Independence Message from the

Most Honourable Andrew Holness, ON, MP Prime Minister of Jamaica, who said “I wanted to show you that the Jamaica we love is on a positive trajectory for growth and development. “Our country has experienced 17 consecutive quarters of economic growth which is the longest unbroken stretch of economic growth that our country has experienced. “Happy 57th Anniversary to my Jamaican family, may God continue to bless you and Jamaica, the land we love.”


The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019 - Page 11


57 Years of dependence Through rousing song, following the National Pledge, the whole room erupted into Jamaica Land of Beauty, the colours of black green and gold shimmering from all around the room. None of the days proceedings would have been possible without the work of the High Commission staff, and the sponsorship and support of great Jamaican institutions including Grace Foods, Victoria Mutual, National Commercial Bank, JP Shipping Services, Jamaica National and Port

Royal, and thanks has to be given to these stalwarts of Jamaica for supporting the cause. For all Jamaicans, both near and far, Jamaican Independence Day, which will be celebrated on the 6th August will be a time to once again don the black gold and green, and to continue to show to the world that they are a proud Jamaican. Echoing the sentiment of this years theme, Jamaica truly is One Nation, One People.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Otunba Dr David Olayiwola Soile A Medical Doctor, Royal Prince & ‘Bobagunwa’ of Remo Kingdom, South Western Nigeria We Remo Kingdom Royals Celebrating with our Beloved Royal Cousin & Brother Dr Lai...d

WMPCC endorse fully funded summer project targeting young people V oice Against Crime CIC, a Birmingham-based not-forprofit organisation commissioned by the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jameson, is delivering a ‘Children & Young People’ (CYP) project in an attempt to help tackle the rise in serious youth violence by providing the ‘tools’ to become active citizens. Following on from the success of the first week of the project ran during the May Bank Holiday - they will now be running a second week (Monday August 19 - Friday August 23). Based at Holte Comprehensive School, in the city, the 'Positioning Youth to Prosper' project will emphasise on education, training, employment, entrepreneurship and business as it uses a variety of activities to bring out the best in young people with activities including; drama, dance, music, sports, fitness training, laser, bowling, games and much more. There will also be group discussions, prayer and fasting, role plays, first aid training, creative workshops as well as indoor and outdoor sport activities. The daily sessions will also incorporate; in-house and external speakers, visiting support agencies and affected parents to assist with educating, informing,

l WMPCC David Jamieson

l Voice Against Crime with a bleed control kit which will be used to educate the young people ont he upcoming summer project

encouraging, motivating and transforming the mind-sets of the young people towards a positive and productive way of life. A ‘Banqueting Award Ceremony’ will take place on the August 31. With fully-qualified staff onhand, the project is looking to attract approximately 40 young people (aged 8 to 17 years old)

who live within the city of Birmingham, with places allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. Although a fully inclusive project, there is particular interest in young people who fall into at least one of the following categories: i) Young people who live in areas associated with gang behaviour; ii). Young people whose parents/guardians are concerned about them being at risk of grooming; iii) Carrying weapons or being affiliated with older youths and/or gang members; iv) Young people on the border of exclusion from school; v) Young people with poor school/college attendance; vi) Young people from single parent households and; vii) Young people from low income households. An additional criterion for acceptance is that all attendees; MUST be prepared to complete the full week and participate in the scheduled events. You can find out more at:


The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019 - Page 13


Chilango brings a stampede of Mexican flavours to Birmingham Birmingham braced itself as the vibrancy, fun and flavour of Mexican restaurant Chilango arrived in the city, as its latest restaurant threw open its doors. With an unrivalled menu made up of burritos, tacos, nachos and salads, all made with the very best quality, fresh ingredients, Chilango is on a mission to raise the bar for Mexican food in the UK. And to celebrate the opening of its latest restaurant, many people took the chance to grab a free burrito. With an unmistakably Mexican Mariachi band to welcome the new eatery’s first visitors, there was certainly a party atmosphere on opening day - made even better by the free Chicken Burrito, Veggie and Vegan Burrito for every customer through the doors. Visitors needed to sign up online and show their email to claim their free burrito as the celebrations continued into the evening with more Mariachi music, games and the chance to enjoy a burrito and a beer in the evening at the new venue on Colmore Row. Voted No.1 Mexican Restaurant in London, by Zagat, and London’s Best Burritos, by Time Out and Harden’s Survey, Chilango’s menu is inspired by its founders’ passion for Mexican flavours and cuisine, with a few extra tasty twists thrown into the mix.

W City to submit detailed bid for Government high streets fund

l Councillor Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council

ork has begun on preparing a detailed bid to the Government’s Future High Streets Fund which could help transform a popular Birmingham suburb. Birmingham City Council submitted expression of interest in March to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government - one of more than 300 submissions from councils across the country, bidding for a share of the £675 million available to help local leaders reinvent their town centres. After several months of sifting, Erdington was named as one of the 50 areas shortlisted to progress to the next stage, which were revealed in July. Councillor Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: "This is a positive step forward and we will now work closely with Erdington BID to put together a compelling and successful bid for funding. “Our High Streets are hugely important, both financially and in terms of local pride and our aim is to secure a successful future for Erdington High Street." This is an opportunity to put Erdington back on the map as a key entertainment and leisure destination. The city’s bid aims to make Erdington’s town centre the focal point for the local community. The bid not only looks at ensuring the High Street can thrive but also focuses on cultural, leisure and social opportunities for all ages, helping to tackle social isolation in the area. The manager of Erdington BID, Terry Guest, said: "These are exciting times for Erdington with the prospect of town centre regeneration in full view, and we look forward to presenting our business case to the government."

l Joe Staton

Despite Brexit uncertainty consumers are 'more upbeat' According to new data which showed that Britons are feeling more optimistic about their finances the UK’s consumer confidence improved during July with market research firm GfK saying that people were feeling more upbeat because of low unemployment and wage growth. It also found consumers were less pessimistic about the economic outlook despite the ongoing Brexit uncertainty. But GfK, Germany's largest market research institute, and the fourth largest market research organisation in the world, warned that optimism could be tested as the October 31 deadline for the UK leaving the EU nears. The company reported that its consumer confidence gauge rose to minus 11 in July, an improvement on the minus 13 number recorded in June. The number calculated remains negative but is in line with the long-term of average of minus 9, which predates the Brexit referendum. Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, said: "Consumers are marginally more bullish this month - with improvements in levels of confidence across most measures".

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g n i t o Prom xcellence E

As part of our ongoing commitment to promoting the positive and inspirational individuals and organisations in our communities, The Phoenix Newspaper presents Promoting Excellence - a closer look at our role models, entrepreneurs, community figures and success stories.

Ladywood Schools Receive Copies Of Malorie Blackman’s New Book Ahead Of Public Release

A l Students from King Edwards VI Aston School with their copies of the new book

lity a u q High om r f e ld car child e years o fiv o t h t


head of Malorie Blackman’s forthcoming visit to Birmingham Town Hall, the legendary author has teamed up with Penguin Random House and Town Hall Symphony Hall to offer secondary schools in Ladywood an exclusive copy of her long-awaited new novel Crossfire, the latest title in her ground-breaking Noughts & Crosses series. Described by Handsworth-born Benjamin Zephaniah as “the most original book I've ever read,” Malorie Blackman's Noughts & Crosses is a seminal piece of young adult fiction; voted as one of the

UK's best-loved books. A major BBC six-part adaptation of Noughts & Crosses starring Stormzy is currently being filmed with Roc Nation (Jay-Z's entertainment company) curating and releasing the soundtrack. A key area of Town Hall Symphony Hall’s learning and participation programme is the Generation Ladywood project: a suite of activities that are offered to young people and their families in the Ladywood constituency – an area where 53% of children live in poverty (source: End Child Poverty Coalition, January 2018) and 85.6% of the population fall within the most deprived 20% of areas in England.

Day Nursery


en N Copm Birm ingoswoaot i n g Birmin ham B n to gham uB sines usinses Park s ! Park

g Takin ns ssio i m d a now For more information or to enquire about admissions visit: Contact us: 4360 Waterside Centre, Birmingham Business Park, Solihull Parkway, B37 7YN 07825082937

Honorary doctorate for Superstar Mvula l Laura Mvula with Chancellor of BCU, Lenny Henry Award-winning international superstar Laura Mvula was further recognised after receiving an honorary doctorate from Birmingham City University. The city-born music composition graduate was acknowledged for her outstanding contribution to music before an audience of music and art graduates at the world-renowned Symphony Hall after receiving the award by the University’s vice-chancellor Philip Plowden and following a welcome by the chan-

cellor Sir Lenny Henry. Recognised as one of the brightest musical talents to emerge from the city in recent years, Ivor Novello award winner Dr Laura, a former Alumna of the Year and MOBO Best Female Act and Best R&B Act 2013, rose to global success in 2013 with the release of breakout single Green Garden and debut album Sing to the Moon, landing her first of two Mercury Prize nominations. In her acceptances speech, she gave a few words of wisdom, saying: "It’s difficult to describe the

Pupils from Ark St Albans Academy, Aston Manor Academy, Aston University Engineering Academy, Broadway Academy, Holyhead School, Holy Trinity Catholic School and King Edwards VI Aston School all received copies before the end of term. Rav Sian, Senior Middle Leader at Holy Trinity Catholic School and Liz Stafford, LRC Manager at Holy Trinity Catholic School said: "We are delighted to receive the next instalment in the iconic, much loved Noughts & Crosses series ahead of its summer release date. “Our visit from Town Hall Symphony Hall in partnership with Penguin Random House was a fantastic way to end an exciting year of reading here at Holy Trinity. “We are huge fans of Malorie's work and to have these copies of Crossfire and the series in time for the holidays means we can enjoy a summer of gripping, exciting reading!" Join Malorie Blackman at Birmingham Town Hall on Saturday, 7 September to hear more from an author whose stories have survived and impacted generations, and shed necessary light on the social injustices present in the world. Discover the next chapter, and what happens when someone gets caught in the crossfire. To find out more visit

depth of honour and thanks I feel to be conferred an Honorary Doctorate from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. “I was taught to embrace the excitement and turbulence of a creative musician’s life with the goal being to make music that was honest, innovative, from the heart. “There’s no race, there’s no rush, despite the pressures and pace of our millennial, modern life, constantly wrestling with the expectation that we should probably have it all figured out. “There’s no competition”. 32-year-old Dr Laura, from Kings Heath, in Birmingham, laid foundations for her career following her graduation from the prestigious Conservatoire as a member of a capella group Black Voices and in the role as director of Lichfield Community Gospel Choir. She has recorded, performed and collaborated with some of the biggest names in contemporary and classical music including Niles Rogers, Tom Odell, London Symphony Orchestra, Jules Buckley and the Metropole Orkestra. Her song Sing to the Moon, taken from her 2013 debut album, will feature in the 2019 Last Night of the Proms concert, with Sakari Oramo conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus at the Royal Albert Hall. She released her second studio album The Dreaming Room in 2016.


The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019 - Page 15


Tropical Sun Helps Prison Link To Make Its Flagship Criminal Justice Course Affordable To All


n the 2nd of July Prison Link completed another delivery of its 10 week (30 hour) basic trainining in Prison work and criminal Justice course. The special feature of the final session is that each of the participants give a 10 minute presentation on what they have learnt after having their course portfolio checked. Ricky Dehaney, Course lecturer and CEO of Prison Link then concluded the course by reminding the students of key points of profes-

sionalism and telling them about the aftercare process now they had completed (including their formal presentation of certificates in December by the Police and Crime Commissioner in December). Paul Harrison, Community brand ambassador of Tropical Sun attended the event and as well as speaking about their sponsorship of Prison Link, told the students about their backing of other worthy causes in the community. Due to the sponsorship of Tropical Sun the cost of the course is kept down to a total £130 for the whole course which consists off 7

university sessions, 1 prison tour, 1 magistrates court tour and one tour of a high security police station where there is a demostration and briefing by a fire arms commander. The course is run at Birmingham City University and its an award of West Midlands Police and Crime Commission. Many of those who have completed the course have gained employment in probation, prison, police and resettlement. A local business woman who recently completed the course was linked to Swinfen Hall prison earlier this year and now she is set

to deliver training to prisoners and staff there. The course was created by Dehaney in 2004 and he has trained over 2000 people since, receiving 2 awards for it. If you are interested in participating in the next course that begins on 3rd September then contact him on 07949203280 and visit the website To find out more about Tropical Sun’s community work and their wonderful world of food visit

l One of the students presenting

l Paul during his presentation

l Prison Link CEO, Ricky Dehaney with Paul Harrison, of Tropical Sun

l Students on the Prison Link Basic Training in Prison Work and Criminal Justice course with their tutors and Paul Harrison of Tropical Sun

Honours For Outstanding Teachers

Some of the country’s most inspirational teachers were honoured for their outstanding commitment to changing the lives of children with a total of 68 winners scooping sliver awards in the annual Pearson National Teaching Awards. The winners, announced to coincide with the resent ‘Thank a Teacher Day’, have all been shortlisted for the chance to win just one of 13 gold awards at the final – known as the UK’s ‘Oscars for Teachers’. Author, Michael Morpurgo, president of the Teaching Awards Trust - which runs the annual event –, said: “So often and for so many of us, it is a teacher who changed our lives, was at our side through hard and difficult times, who lifted us up when we were down, helped us find our voice, gave us confidence when we needed it most, set us on a path that we have followed ever since.” The 21st awards event will be held at the Roundhouse in October.


new artificial grass pitch at a school in Sandwell is giving young footballers the chance to become stars of the future – and have ambitions of playing for their country. Young players at Ferndale Primary School have been able to practice their skills on the new small-sized grass 3G pitch. Stars from West Bromwich Albion FC Women's football team – including head coach Louis Sowe and defender Anna Wilcox - unveiled the new pitch with young footballers from the school. The project, at the school in Great Barr, was made possible with a £145,480 grant from the Premier League, the FA and the government’s Football Foundation. School head teacher Ruth Gillett said: “We are delighted to get this fantastic new facility because Ferndale Primary School is committed to physical and mental health support. “This new pitch is great for all of our pupils. We have further developed our partnership with the Albion Foundation to provide football sessions for girls and people with disabilities.” The grant comes as part of a national campaign to improve facilities by the Football Found-

Midlands Uni leaders explore ways to bolster graduate retention

New artificial football pitch laid for primary school l Celebrating the new 3G pitch at Ferndale Primary School, Great Barr ation - the largest sports charity in the UK funded by the Premier League, The FA and government, via Sport England. It develops new and refurbished grassroots sports facilities in order to improve the quality and experience of playing sport at the grassroots level. Paul Thorogood, chief execut-

ive of the Football Foundation, said: “The support of the Premier League, The FA and government helps to improve community sports facilities like this one across the country. Their funding has played a key role in delivering this new allweather pitch and I am delighted for everyone associated with

Ferndale Primary School.” Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded 16,000 grants worth more than £655m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of £862m – totalling over £1.5bn of investment into the grassroots game.

The Mayor of the West Midlands and leaders from universities across the East and West Midlands joined forces last month to outline ambitions to counter the region’s annual ‘brain drain’ of graduates to London. The discussions took place as findings from a new YouGov poll of 2,096 UK adults carried out by the construction and consultancy company Mace. The research revealed that respondents who selected a region outside of London for having the best choices of universities ranked the Midlands as third (chosen by 15%), just behind Scotland (chosen by 16%) and some distance behind the South East (chosen by 29%) perhaps owing to the Oxbridge effect. The Midlands is well known for its strong industrial sectors including aerospace and car manufacturing, which are bolstered by an array of courses that can be studied in its flagship universities from Electronics and Chemical research, to Physics and Systems Engineering.

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Khadijah Mellah Smashing Through Every Barrier I t was an extra glorious ‘Glorious Goodwood’ this year after Khadijah Mellah made history in being the first jockey to run the course in a hijab, and took first place in the Magnolia Cup in the process! The 18-year-old British Muslim rode in the Magnolia Cup, a ladies-only charity five-furlong and 110

yards (1,110m) flat race to become the first person ever to ride in a race in Britain in a hijab, racing alongside former Olympian turned jockey Victoria Pendleton, BBC presenter Alexis Green and TV personality Vogue Williams. The Peckham-born student is taking it all in her stride. She got into horse riding seven years go, but had not

sat on a racehorse before April this year before starting training at Newmarket in the build-up to the Goodwood Festival. Khadijah 18, said: “From a young age, I have always wanted to be the person who people look up to. Now I am constantly receiving messages from Muslim girls from around the world. It makes me really happy to hear from all these people that I’m affecting positively. “I love it”, she said, but continued: “I love surprising people. When I bump into people and they say, ‘What are you doing at the moment?” I love to reply saying ‘I’m a jockey’. To which they would reply with ‘what - a jockey?’ “The first time I was riding up on the gallops in Newmarket I got quite a few odd looks, not in a nasty way, but in a ‘just who is she?’ kind of way. “I just feel like as long as I look like I know what I am doing, then it speaks for it-

self”. The daughter of a handyman, she sat on a horse just once before. Her mother had never ridden before. She (Khadijah) learned to ride at the Ebony Horse Club in Brixton, in London, after her mother saw a leaflet in a shop window advertising the Club where high-rise buildings give way to a riding school and stables for around 10 horses. A stroke of luck came her way when her family briefly moved to Sidcup, in south-east London, when she discovered a stable only a short walk away. In being a trail-blazer – in many aspects – she says: “Getting on a horse early in the morning can be very tough at times, but the one thing that motivates me is that I might be a role-model for someone. That, in itself, is quite often just the motivation I need. “I want to one day be someone who people looks up to and thinks, ‘I can do that’”.


The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019 - Page 17

Music fashion Film Gadgets holiday education health and fitness




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An Evening With Sir Bradley Wiggins


ritain’s most decorated Olympian Sir Bradley Wiggins will be touring theatres throughout the UK with his insightful and at times hilarious live show, hitting Birmingham’s Symphony Hall on the 20th September ‘Bradley Wiggins: An Evening With’ provides a rare opportunity for fans to see the five-time Olympic Gold medallist and Tour De France winner share exclusive tales, prized memorabilia and career highlights in a unique and intimate live setting. A British household name and undeniable national treasure, Bradley Wiggins holds the iconic track hour record and is the only cyclist who has won World and Olympic championships on both the track and the road along with winning the Tour De France. Sir Bradley said: “I am really excited to get back on the road again with Icons. Cycling has always been my passion so to share my experiences, my journey and my own collection of memorabilia is fantastic.” His easy charm in front of the press is legendary and he won the 2012 BBC Sports Personal-

ity of the Year Award (voted for by the public), helping cycling smash its way into the mainstream. 2013 brought further success, including the Tour of Britain title, and in 2014 Wiggins added the rainbow jersey to his collection by winning the World Time Trial Championships. The Summer of 2016 saw Wiggins win his 5th and final Gold medal at the Rio Olympics in the team pursuit

and his eighth Olympic medal overall, making him Britain’s most decorated Olympian ever and rounding off one of the most impressive sporting careers the nation has ever witnessed. Sir Bradley Wiggins’ UKwide tour starts at the Lincoln Engine Shed, on September 6, before finishing at the Wimbledon New Theatre on October 6.

COMPETITION For your chance to win one of 2 pairs of tickets for “Bradley Wiggins: An Evening With” in Birmingham on the 20th September just answer this very simple question!

How many times has Sir Bradley Wiggins won Olympic Gold? a) 3 b) 5 c) 7 Just email your answer, with your name, address and contact number to with the subject “Bradley Wiggins Competition”. Competition closes at 23.59 on 13th September 2019. There is no cash alternative.


The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019 - Page 19


Q&A With Ferris & Sylvester


e met up with Ferris and Sylvester after their Glastonbury slots this year to find out what is next for the duo!

You played an amazing 5 sets at Glastonbury this year! How did you find it? What was your favourite moment?

We did Glastonbury!! It was the first time for both of us and that made it really special. Doing 5 sets over the weekend was exhausting and meant we were wheeling our gear around in a wagon most of the time, having people recognise us as we sweated up the hills! But each show was worth it. A huge highlight was playing the BBC Introducing Stage. It was such an honour and the crowd was amazing. There’s always so much going on at Glastonbury and we were terrified no one would show up to watch. But people came and sang along with us, which was the best feeling. It really is like no other festival the site is huge and there’s always something to do or amazing bands to watch. The energy of the place was on another level.

How is the album coming along? Can we expect any new music soon?

We’re so excited about writing our album. It’s been our priority this year, whether that’s locking ourselves away for a week and writing constantly, or writing on

Musicians jazz-up Peaky Blinders launch The Town Hall Birmingham hosted the exclusive launch of the hotly anticipated fifth series of the BAFTA-award-winning ‘Peaky Blinders’, the epic gangster series set in 1920s’ Birmingham. Home to many a historical drama in its near-200-year history, Town Hall Birmingham greeted the series’ stars and fans with a spectacular red carpet event organised by BBC Birmingham and BBC One, and music provided by Jazzlines musicians playing their own jazz repertoire from the 1920s onwards. Jasmine, a local 17-year-old musician who performed with the Jazzlines Ensemble at the launch said: “Jazzlines Ensembles is brilliant to be a part of, not only for this once in a lifetime experience at the Peaky Blinders premiere but for my long term musical education.” Jazzlines’ unique programme of creative jazz and talent devel-

opment, based at Town Hall and Symphony Hall Birmingham, offers performance opportunities to new and established jazz musician at venues across the city, and commissions new work to support future performances and ensure a legacy for new projects. Jazz Programme Manager, Mary Wakelam Sloan, said: “Alongside our year round talent development programme we are delighted to be able to offer unique performance opportunities like this for talented young musicians from Birmingham.” Series five of Peaky Blinders finds the world thrown into turmoil by the financial crash of 1929. Peaky Blinders’ fans watched the season premiere before anyone else, saw their show favourites, and put questions to the cast and creators during a special question and answer panel straight after the first episode.

the road in-between soundchecks and in hotel rooms. There’s a lot of new music to be excited about and we can’t wait to lay it down. We’re taking it one day at a time, but we’re getting closer to getting it out in the world. New music is coming soon…

Your UK tour in February sold out! Did you ever expect you’d receive such a great response?

We did not expect it at all, we were blown away by the turn out. It was our first ever headline tour and was such a big deal for us. We’re an independent band and had worked so hard last year to generate a fanbase, but it wasn’t until the tour that we realised that fanbase truly existed. Every show was a unique experience and we took something away from each one. If we had to pick a favourite, it would be The Cavern in Exeter, Archie’s home show. We could have played for hours, it was magical in there. We can’t wait to play The Phoenix in Exeter this October.

You’ve now announced a massive UK tour for September/October. What’s the best bit about getting back out there?

We get to do it all over again! This one is a lot bigger than the last - we’re doing over 20 dates in the UK & Ireland and we’re going with the band. We’ll be touring a lot of the ma-

terial from the album we’re working on, which feels massive. Since our last one, we’ve been writing and touring constantly, and to tour as headliners for the second time this year feels great. We’re ready!

What do you think will be your biggest motivation whilst on tour?

Playing our new songs. We’ve really changed things up with our live set. This time, we’ll have our band which takes it up a notch. Playing new songs in a new set up feels so fresh and will keep us on our toes every night. Over the summer months, our set is short, punchy and loud in order to grab people’s attentions at busy festivals. But recently, we’ve stripped it back to just vocals and soft guitar or keys for a couple of numbers and let it just be about the song.

What is the one thing you want to achieve in 2019, and what can fans expect from Ferris & Sylvester this year?

We want to finish writing our album. This year’s been all about the writing. Whether we feel it’s right to release it or not this year, we want to create a full body of work that we’re proud of. In the mean time, we’ve been touring pretty much non-stop. Our Autumn Tour will certainly be a major highlight. It’s been a truly amazing year so far and we cannot wait to share our new music with you all.

5th Indian Film Festival proves a hit with audiences The 5th anniversary of Birmingham Indian Film Festival opened with Director Anubhav Sinha walking the red carpet at Cineworld, Broad Street for his hard-hitting thriller ‘Article 15’, with a sold-out screening of Ritesh Batra’s ‘Photograph’ at MAC Birmingham. Eleven days of 16 screenings and events; at its partner venues; Cineworld, Birmingham, MAC Birmingham, The Mockingbird Cinema, Centrala and Medicine Bakery and Gallery, showcased a number of high profile and emerging women film-makers films, Q&A’s with Directors as well as a rarely seen documentary and special screenings of LGBTQ+ shorts attended by a diverse audience. The Festival’s first ‘Screen Talk’ took place at The Mockingbird Cinema with India’s leading cult iconic Director Anurag Kashyap. Other guests during the Festival included investigative journalist and activist, Anand Patwardhan, legendary Bengali director, Buddhadeb Dasgupta, Kannada actress Anju Alva Naik and directors Praveen Morchhale and Gaurav Bakshi. This year’s inaugural BIFF Audience Award went to the charming romance ‘Sir’, directed by Rohena Gera which took the Cannes film

festival by storm in 2018. The award, which has been running at the Bagri London Indian Film Festival for 7 years, marks the first time it has been presented to a female director. Gera said “I am truly delighted that ‘Sir’ has won the Audience Award in Birmingham. It means a lot to me that the film connects with the audience at the heart of the UK. I am honoured to be their favourite.” The Satyajit Ray Short Film Award went to Rohan Parashuram Kanawade for U Ushacha who was presented with £1000 from the Satyajit Ray Foundation at the closing night of the London festival. Executive and Programming Director, Cary Rajinder Sawhney MBE, said: “I’m delighted that we have showcased our strongest film selection ever for the 5th anniversary of Birmingham Indian Film Festival, helmed by the Birmingham premiere of politically daring film ‘Article 15’. Continuing to push boundaries of diversity, I’m pleased that our women protagonist led and LGBTQ+ themes have seen audiences flocking to them, redefining images of Indian and South Asian Culture in the media.”

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The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019 - Page 21

NOMINATIONS ARE OPEN Windrush Award 2019

Leadership And Empowerment Award 2019

Business Of The Year Award 2019

International Excellence Award 2019

Street Cred Next Generation Award 2019

Charity Of The Year Award 2019

Veteran Award 2019

Championing Diversity Award 2019

Entrepreneur Of The Year Award 2019

People’s Choice Award 2019

Community Engagement Award 2019 If you want to nominate someone for an award at The Phoenix Newspaper 9th Anniversary Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony, simply follow the instructions below. 1) Send an email to

3) A brief explanation as to why you are nominating them 2) Include the name of your nominee and the Award 4) A contact number and/or email address for your that you are nominating them for. nominee

Page 22 - The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019


Simmer Dow

Birmingham’s biggest outdoor free m


by Steve Williams

he sun came out in its quenching glory as the annual Simmer Down Festival returned as revellers from all corners of the UK descended on one of Birmingham’s popular parks for another intense day of music, dance, food, drink culture, and incredible performances from some of the biggest reggae stars around - with the very best again provided a great day of free family fun and entertainment which provided

the perfect ‘window’ to highlight the very best of an area which is too often tarnished by negative media. Bringing some of the biggest names in their fields to Handsworth Park, in Birmingham, the likes of legendary singers; Horace Andy, Earl 16 and the homecoming of city’s own Pato Banton and his Now Generation Band (Los Angeles-based Pato dedicating his performance to his mother – Mama Lilly) headlining the Crucial Mainstage as fans from near and far were treated to an-

other day-long feast of fun, frivolity and great music. Despite the disappointing absence of No.1 headline act, and reggae legend, Johnny Clarke, with the likes of Birmingham’s own JK & The Goldmind Band, Afromanding, Amy G, A Doubles, Dub Asante Band, Rock N' Dhol and the Commonwealth Drum Orchestra blasting out their own individual blend of great music; plus the great array of exiting funfair rides in offer what was there not to love at this; the city’s biggest outdoor free music


wn Hots Up!

music festival proves to be best ever

Opening The Cyrille Regis Hall and Celebration of A Successful School Year

The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019 - Page 23


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l Julia Regis talking at the Annual Praise Service elebrating the life and achievements of one of the regions greatest footballers alongside the success of both students and staff at the school, King Solomon International Business School held its Annual Praise Service in its new Sports Hall. Named “The Cyrille Regis Hall” following the blessing of Cyrille’s family, including wife Julia and daughter Michelle, who were both present at the service, it is a tribute to the great footballer who inspired so many. Speaking on the day, daughter Michelle said “It’s excellent, it really reflects what his character was about, what he achieved, even

though he didn’t achieve it on purpose. “He didn’t go out on the pitch to break barriers and change people’s hearts, but to see a school do it with purpose from the beginning makes me really proud that my dad’s name is on this hall.” Dr Cheron Byfield, Founder and Trust Member of King Solomon IBS honoured a number of volunteers during the service, highlighting the important work that they do throughout the school for free, just to help the students. She also spoke about her joy at seeing the school grow, “It’s about a vision being unfolded that takes time for the vision to be completed, so this is another landmark occasion

Honouring A Role Model For All & Celebrating Student Success within the unfolding of the vision that we have the school the facilities and opportunities that we provided for the students.” There were reports and praise on the Primary and Secondary schools, from Head of Primary Helen Kent and Head of Secondary David Dunkley respectively, as well as a PE Department presentation by Head of PE Kesia Nagle. Following a tribute video about Cyrille Regis, his widow Julia took to the microphone to thank the school, and elaborate some more about the work that the Cyrille Regis Legacy Trust are doing. “I thought it was beautiful and I remember coming to visit the school before it was as it is now, when

Sharon just moved in here, before the refurbishments and hearing her vision and hearing what she wanted to achieve in the school,” explained Julia. “It’s a place where young people can really develop holistically and are allowed to be really open about their faith. “Just before Cyrille passed away I came back and visited the school again, and I’ve come back couple of times since. “It’s just wonderful to see the growth, and to see how young people are growing and developing and demonstrating passion and excellence, determination and all those values that are really important.” Trust Member Professor Chris

l Julia Regis with daughter

Imafidon had come up specially from London for the event, he said “It’s fantastic for the children to know that there are a lot of role models and to get them inspired. “They’re not just doing it because of the name of the person, but because of the documented achievements Cyrille.” Hearing the achievements of the school in such a short period of time, and the plans that they have for the future, at least for the students at King Solomon International Business School, the future is very bright. With this multifunctional space now added next to the impressive school building in the heart of the city, the only way is up.

l Specially invited guests w

l Professor Martin Levermore, Wade Lyn and Suzanne Lynch

l Professor Chris Imafidon & Marcia McLaughlin

l Julia Regis with Marcia McLaughlin

l Professor Chris Imafidon & Steven Brooks

l Michelle Regis with Marcia McLaughlin

l Michelle Regis addresses


The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019 - Page 25


l Bishop David Carr OBE

l Founder Dr Cheron Byfield

l Head of Primary Helen Kent

l Head of Secondary David Dunkley

l Head of PE Kesia Nagle

l Rev. David Illingworth

Michelle and students from both the Primary and Secondary after officially opening the hall.

watch on

the room

l The Official Cutting of the Ribbon to open the hall

l Watching the tribute to Cyrille Regis

Page 26 - The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019 `


Simmer Dow

Birmingham’s biggest outdoor free m

Recognising The Unsung Heroes

During the Annual Praise Service in the new Cyrille Regis Hall, the school paid tribute to the volunteers that offer their time every week.


The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019 - Page 27

wn Hots Up!

music festival proves to be best ever festival? Now in its ninth year, this Simmer Down Festival - sponsors Crucial Sauce and supported by the Arts Council - provided the ultimate carnival atmosphere in an always friendly and relaxed surroundings and his contribution that was something to behold. Simmer Down Festival director, Mukhtar Dar, said: “With Simmer Down adding to our rich reggae legacy and it being very much part of Birmingham City Council’s festival strategy in celebrating our rich cul-

tural diversity and unity - and with it now being, arguably, the largest free and diverse ‘flagship’ family outdoor festival in the UK, I am proud that it stands out at the head of its field and that with this, we continue its unique ability of total multicultural inclusion at its very best - the likes of which brings out the every-day united life of this part of our city”. He went on to say: “I’d like to give a massive ‘Big Up’ to Pato (Banton) for his undying support throughout the built up of Simmer Down – and

on the day itself. “His homecoming was massive for us. His contribution from the get-go we can’t thank him enough for. All the artists who performed on the two stages (especially, of course, internationally-known reggae legend, Horace Andy) the volunteer workers on the day and, more importantly, the thousands who converged onto Handsworth Park, made Simmer Down Festival 2019 probably the most memorable yet”.


Page 28 - The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019


Birmingham Royal Ballet make dreams come true


fter twice m a k i n g D r e a m s a reality in Birmingham, Birmingham Royal Ballet is taking its inspirational Dreams project on the road. This large-scale performance project offers a truly unique opportunity for ballet students of all ages to create life-long memories performing on stage alongside some of BRB’s Company dancers in a special public performance of a muchloved ballet. This will be the third Dreams project run by BRB’s Learning, Engagement, Access and Participation team. This year’s Dreams takes on one of the bestloved ballet tales, Swan

Lake, inspired by the Company’s production of the classic ballet in the Spring of 2020. In 2020 Birmingham Royal Ballet celebrates its 30th anniversary and to mark this special occasion the Dreams project will for the first time take place outside Birmingham, with performances at the Mayflower Theatre Southampton and the Theatre Royal Plymouth. Dreams will also return for a third year to Birmingham Hippodrome, where the dancers will be joined by the talented Undergraduate students of Royal Birmingham Conservatoire’s Orchestra. Swan Lake Dreams will be performed at three theatres in early 2020. • Mayflower Theatre,

Southampton: Sunday 2 February 2020 • Birmingham Hippodrome: Sunday 23 February 2020 • Theatre Royal, Plymouth: Tuesday 31 March 2020 Dreams will be a truly unique experience giving students from local dance schools the opportunity to train, rehearse and perform the iconic ballet Swan Lake in costume within the Swan Lake set alongside dancers from Birmingham Royal Ballet.

develop their technique and talent. Offering a fantastic opportunity that includes not only training with professional dancers but performing with them, it also enables the participants to work together, build trust and relationships and then showcase their achievements in a professional environment. Photo Credit: Ty Singleton

The project aims to develop talent and raise aspiration, primarily aimed at aged nine - 18, but with applications also open to people of all ages with ballet experience, it will inspire the participants and

Joe Visits Birmingham Ahead of Bravery To The Bell Charity Event Joe McElderry made his way to Birmingham’s Symphony Hall with Suzanne Shaw ahead of his performance there on the 22nd September. The wonderful event will see Fleur East, Joe McElderry, Flawless, Britain’s Got Talent illusionist ‘X’ -Marc Spelmann, West End’s Aladdin Matt Croke, X Factor’s Lauren Platt and many more come together to provide audiences with an evening of superb entertainment suitable for the whole family to celebrate the success of the charity Children with Cancer UK. Children with Cancer UK is a

leading national children’s charity dedicated to raising and investing money for vital specialist childhood cancer research and support services for families, with the aim of helping more children with cancer ring the end of treatment bell. To date, it has raised over £230 million and funded over 200 research projects. With all proceeds going to Children with Cancer UK, this is your chance to support an incredible cause whilst enjoying some of the best talent the UK has to offer. Photo Credit: Simon Hadley


The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019 - Page 29

Shakespears Sister are no longer history they are here to stay! By Mandip Singh Taunque


t has been 26 years since Shakespears Sister members Siobhan Fahey and Marcella Detroit broke up but now they have buried the hatchet and are back together again to release a stunning new compilation album ‘Shakespears Sister Singles Party 1988-2019’. But that’s not all the duo has also announced the ‘Ride Again’ tour which commences in Nottingham on Halloween night – an apt time considering their dark, gothic persona which became their image in the early 90s. Famous for hits such as their massive 8-week number 1 hit ‘Stay’ which has been a widely covered song on the X-factor during their Halloween themed shows, ‘Your History’ and ‘I Don’t Care’, Siobhan and Marcella have recorded two new brand new songs

Gig Listings


August 02 The Primitives 05 Chapter 13 09 Catapult Club ft. Wakening The Hollow 10 Supercat 16 Catapult Club ft. Hit The Floor 18 Patent Pending 22 Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals 23 Catapult Club ft. Nova Bloom 31 Clarion

16-18 Magic Fest Birmingham 23-26 Insomnia65 - The UK’s Biggest Gaming Festival


August 02 Lucinda Williams 08 Celeste Barber - Challenge Accepted 18 Got 2 Sing Choir proudly presents THIS IS US! 18 NCO: Dream, Fantasy, Nightmare 20-25 Tabby McTat

21 CBSO & Sheku KannehMason: Elgar’s Cello Concerto 23 THSH Reggae Choir Workshop 23 Pankaj Udhas Live 25 CBSO: Mirga conducts Mahler’s Fourth


August 16 Black Angus (ACDC) and Sack Sabbath 17 Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club


August 03 Eradikator 21 Tech N9ne 24 SoundWaves Music Competition UK - The National Final 30 Machine Gun Kelly 31 Laura Jane Grace and The Devouring Mothers & Frank Iero and The Future Violents


August 09-11 Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses: “Love Never Fails”!


August 01-04 The Festival of Quilts 04-06 MODA 16-20 The Monster

l Tech N9ne hits the O2 Institute on the 21st August


‘All the Queen’s Horses’ and ‘C U Next Tuesday’ for the new compilation album. Also included are songs Siobhan recorded after Marcella was no longer in the band. Fans at the time know that Shakespears sister was no ordinary girl band – Marcella was already well established. In her career, she has opened for David Bowie, recorded with Eric Clapton, co-writing one of his biggest hits, ‘Lay Down Sally’, toured and done session work for some of the biggest artists of all-time including Elton John, Aretha Franklin, George Benson, Belinda Carlisle and Bette Midler among many more. Siobhan had already scored massive global hits whilst being one third of the original line up of Bananarama including ‘Cruel summer’, ‘Robert De Niro’s Waiting’ and ‘Venus’ – She is credited with being part of Britain’s most

successful girl group with Bananarama as recognised by the Guinness Book of Records whilst both Siobhan and Marcella still hold the record for the longest stint at number 1 in the UK singles chart with ‘Stay’. Shakespears sister formed in 1988 and released their first album ‘Sacred Heart’ in 1989 which reached number 9 in the UK charts. However, it wasn’t until 1992 when their second album ‘Hormonally Yours’ came out that they hit the big time. The album went top 3 and stayed in the charts for a huge 55 weeks. The album earned them an Ivor Novello award, a music video Brit award for ‘Stay’ and critical acclaim around the world. They performed at Glastonbury the same year – a massive moment when so few women in pop or rock had ever headlined such an iconic music festival. The amazing pitch of Marcella coupled with the dark husky sound of Siobhan make them a girl group that has no comparison. During their 26-year split both Marcella and Siobhan have released solo albums and whilst they clearly have bags of talent, they have a certain magic and energy when they perform together. The band hit the road later this year but if you need a reminder why we need Shakespears Sister check out ‘Singles Party’ out now!

Page 30 - The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019


Sell Out Success For DVLA 30th Anniversary DVLA Personalised Registrations’ 30th anniversary auction will go down in the Agency’s annals as being the first in its history of multi-day live auctions to record a 100 per cent sales success. Shortly before the close of play on Friday evening, the personalised registration 34 YOL became the only one of the 1,250 lots on offer that remained unsold. However, that was bought for its £1,200 reserve over the weekend, ensuring the complete sales success. Last week’s three-day sale held at The Vale Resort near Cardiff lived up to all expectations and proved to be a headline-grabbing event when, on Thursday, retired businessman Ian Guest from Barnard Castle bought IG 1 for £222,000 which, with fees, ensured a £287,792 purchase. His success ensured IG 1 became the DVLA’s third highestselling personalised registration of all time behind 25 O and 1 D which sold for £400,000 in 2014 and £285,000 in 2009 respectively. Moments after his success, Mr Guest said: “That was incredible. When the price went to £100,000 everything really became a haze. My wife expected me to pay between £240,000 and £260,000 but in all honesty I never thought it would go so high. That said, I drove down with a limit of £400,000 in mind!”



he first production Jaguar D-Type, one of history’s most prominent race cars, is set to star at the 2019 Concours of Elegance. Chassis XKD 509 is widely known as one of the most original D-Types in the world, with significant road and racing history, and will join the 15th E-Type FHC ever built in a lineup of the world’s rarest and most significant cars. The 3.4-litre straight-six powered 1950s racer is possibly the most original D-Type in existence. It

has kept its matching-numbers engine, gearbox and chassis, including the front subframe and monocoque centre-section. Its 1970s black body respray is still very much in its original condition, but was applied to the car to replace one of the most iconic in-period American racing liveries.

While under the ownership of Lu Brero Sr, Chassis XKD 509 sported a wonderful matte dark blue on white colour-scheme with five unique vertical stripes down the length of the car. It was privately raced at tracks all over the globe, achieving podium spots and victories at a number of world-class motoring events. The first production Jaguar D-Type will take pride-ofp l a c e in the

palace gardens alongside the 15th E-Type FHC ever built. One of six E-Types displayed at the 1961 Scottish Motor Show, this particular example of the iconic British sportscar has played an incredibly significant role in the history of one of the country’s most renowned automotive manufacturers. Having moved into private ownership in 1976, it was dismantled some twenty years ago with the intention of having it fully-restored, but E-Type #15 was left in pieces until it was purchased in 2013.

Škoda Develops Technology To Combat In-Car Hay Fever Suffering ŠKODA has revealed the latest technology in its new Scala that could spell the end of hay fever symptoms in cars and delight the 13 million people in the UK who are plagued by the condition every summer. With hay fever season in full swing and pollen counts expected to reach ‘very high’ levels this week, drivers are being advised to avoid drowsiness inducing medication, keep windows closed and put the air conditioning on recycle air mode. However, Scala’s state-ofthe-art dual zone Climatronic air-conditioning means drivers and passengers no longer need to take their own precautions as the technology defaults to an energy-saving recirculation mode and stops the pollen entering the inside of the car helping to reduce symptoms of sneezing, coughing and itchy eyes. Unlike normal air-conditioning systems, the Scala uses a special cabin filter and air quality sensor to filter out the pollen. Once sneeze-inducing air particles are sensed, the system will automatically shut off the outside air inlet to stop the air particles from entering the car. The sophisticated Climatronic system also acts to provide quick relief in sweltering temperatures.


The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019 - Page 31


€700,000 Raised At The Elton John Aids Foundation Midsummer Gala For Bentley Flying Spur First Edition l Sir Elton John and David Furnish with Bentley Flying Spur

Volkswagen Employees Show Their Pride At CSD This year, Volkswagen is taking part in Christopher Street Day (CSD) in Berlin for the first time with its own truck at the CSD parade– and thus taking a clear stance in support of diversity and against discrimination. Volkswagen employees and the Group’s Diversity Management have founded the “We Drive Proud” LGBT and friends network that not only represents the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, inter and queer people: it also intends to help shape cultural change in the company. 130 employees will accompany the truck bearing the motto “We Drive Diversity” taking part in the CSD parade. The truck is decorated with a large Volkswagen logo on a rainbow background. They highlight how strongly the Volkswagen Group’s “We live diversity” principle is supported by everyone at Volkswagen. The number

of the truck is #33. “Volkswagen stands for diversity, for open-mindedness and for tolerance. These values are firmly anchored in our corporate culture. “That is why Volkswagen is taking a clear stance: we stand for respect, for equal opportunity, for togetherness and for equal treatment of everyone — regardless of their sexual orientation, ethnic origin, color or gender”, said Volkswagen Board Member for Human Resources, Gunnar Kilian. “We are committed to fighting discrimination in any shape or form.” He explained that, inspired by the “We Drive Proud” network, Volkswagen wanted to unequivocally demonstrate this commitment by taking part in Christopher Street Day. The “We Drive Proud” LGBT* and friends network founded by employees and Diversity Management in March 2019

organized participation in CSD. LGBT* and friends is the abbreviation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans*. “It is very important that all employees feel respected and valued, and that any reservations are cleared up”, Elke Heitmüller, Head of Diversity Management at Volkswagen, said. “Another key issue is: What does the customer want? Our aim is to sensitize all our employees to the needs of all our customers, irrespective of ethnic origin, color, gender or sexual orientation.” Thore Masekowitz, one of the organizers of “We Drive Proud”, added: “For the company, it is important that employees can be open about their identity. “We can manufacture great products together if we don’t have to waste any more energy on pretending or hiding who we are.”

entley Motors, the world’s leading luxury car maker, has helped raise €700,000 by providing the first-ever auction of an exclusive Flying Spur First Edition donated to the Elton John AIDS Foundation at a Gala last night in Antibes, France. The Gala was held at Villa Dorane, Cap d’Antibes. Proceeds raised will be devoted to the work of the Foundation and its global programmes to combat AIDS. The Gala was hosted by Sir Elton and David Furnish, Tania Bryer was master of ceremonies and there was a special guest appearance by Chris Martin of Coldplay. Sir Elton John, who was in fierce competition with the anonymous bidder himself, said: “It’s because of the consistent support and kindness of so many people in this room that we are able to commit the Elton John AIDS Foundation to real partnerships with world leaders that can a make a future without AIDS.” With astounding attention to detail, sculpted surfaces and intelligent technology the Flying Spur First Edition, limited to just 12 months of

production, is rare, collectable and incredibly luxurious. Taking the driver on a journey of constant discovery this collector’s car inspires the imagination with its elegant form and intuitive interaction. Sir Elton John and David Furnish hosted the star-studded fundraising event and welcomed regular supporters of the foundation together with luminaries from the worlds of music, film, entertainment, fashion, the arts and philanthropy. Guests gathered for a cocktail reception, dinner and live auction which were a highlight of the summer season in the Côte d'Azur and a perfect opportunity to showcase Bentley’s sensationally dynamic and sophisticated new model. To celebrate Bentley’s Centenary year, and to support the Gala, Bentley is inviting the new owner of the Flying Spur First Edition to create their own bespoke and completely unique car through Bentley’s exclusive Co-Creation Luxury Service, offered only to a tiny selection of clients. This is a chance to define personal luxury in a car of unrivalled performance. A member of Bentley’s


Design Team will work with the winning owner, either at the headquarters of Bentley in Crewe, England, or in their own home, to create a truly personalised Flying Spur from a wealth of available exterior and interior options. For the new owner of a Flying Spur the choices are virtually limitless – from exterior paint colours to interior leather and trim combinations and personalised seat stitching. The auction is a once-ina-lifetime chance to go on a fantastic journey to create the car of your dreams. Sir Elton John created the Foundation in the US in 1992. Since then, through the generous support of far-sighted individuals, philanthropic institutions and corporations, the Foundation has raised more than $450m globally to challenge discrimination against people affected by the epidemic, prevent infections, provide treatment and services, and motivate governments to end AIDS. It has reached millions of people across 26 countries with the support, care and information to save lives and prevent new cases.

Page 32 - The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019


The Colour Purple Storms Birmingham Hippodrome


irmingham Hippodrome's first-ever main stage co-production, with Leicester's Curve, The Color Purple ran at the Hippodrome from the 16th to the 20th July. The Color Purple is the inspiring musical, based on the Pulitzer prize-winning novel by Alice Walker, the classic hit movie and the Tony® Award-winning production on Broadway. The incredible and unforgettable cast including T’Shan Williams as Celie, Joanna Francis as Shug Avery, Ako Mitchell as Mister, Simon-Anthony Rhoden as Mister’s son Harpo, Karen Mavundukure as his wife Sophia, Danielle Fiamanya as Celie’s sister Nettie and Delroy Brown as Pa, shone brightly on the opening night. Drawing from jazz, gospel, blues

and ragtime to create a wonderfully emotive score, the story unfolds over a 40 year period in the life of Celie and sister Nettie. Our tormented lead had a troubled life, as the story highlights black gender inequality through her eyes. Having given birth to her second son by only 14, only to have them taken away from her by her stepfather, and also father to both children, to an untold fate, and being married off to a cold, horrible local landowner, Mister, who treats her worse than dirt, she has to help her sister escape the advances of their stepfather, while going through unimaginable hardship herself. Quite a dark premise for a stage production you might think, but through the occasional light hearted musical relief through the 'Greek Chorus' of Rosemary Annabella Nkrumah, Landi Oshinowo and

Dannielle Kassaraté, and some heart-wrenching acting and musical numbers, it's safe to say that by the end of the night, the story has come full circle, through joy, despair, anguish and hope in Celie's own personal awakening to discover her unique voice in the world. Standout performances by Karen Mavundukure as Sofia, who can stop a man at 20 paces with a look alone, and T'Shan in the lead role were complimented by perfect performance by Ako Mitchell as Mister, ensuring your hatred for him starts minutes after he graces the stage. While not covering as much as the original book or movie, and despite the musical numbers not sticking in your brain for hours afterward, The Color Purple was a brilliant piece of work, and the standing ovation on the first night was definitely earned by all involved.


The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019 - Page 33


Russi B Taylor

orn in Cambridge, Massachusetts, she was the voice of Disney's Minnie Mouse for more than 30 years - picked from 200 candidates to play Minnie at an audition in 1986 - and since 1986, she provided voice-overs for many animated TV series, films and theme parks featuring Mickey Mouse's high-pitched and giggly partner – as well as playing characters in The Simpsons, including Bart's dorky classmate Martin. Mirroring the character she played, she married Wayne Allwine - the voice of Mickey until his death in 2009. As well as Disney characters, Taylor also lent her voice to roles on other classic TV animated series like TaleSpin, The Little Mermaid, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command and Kim Possible, she was 76.

João Gilberto B

orn in Bahia, the Brazilian musician developed bossa nova music and helped turn the style into a worldwide craze after he released ‘Chega de Saudade’ in 1959. His 1964 album ‘Getz/Gilberto’ with American saxophonist Stan

Getz sold millions of copies, winning several Grammy awards and popularized bossa nova around the world. His last concert was in 2008. Survived by a son, João Marcelo, and daughters Luiza and Bebel Gilberto, also a singer, João Gilberto Prado de Oliveira was 88.

Notice Board


Karl Shiels

he Irish-born actor who starred in TV and film including Peaky Blinders, Batman Begins, The Tudors, Veronica Guerin and as Robbie Quinn in the soap opera Fair City was nominated for best actor at the Irish Film and Tele-

John McCririck

vision Academy's TV awards in 2016. With theatre credits including Henry IV part one at The Abbey Theatre in Dublin and Enda Walsh's Penelope for the Druid Theatre Company. He died in his sleep aged 47.


amous for his loud, eccentric style, signature deerstalker hat, side whiskey, waving arms plus booming voice, the legendary Surrey-born racing pundit was described as a 'one-off'. For many years the face of British horse racing and he face of Channel 4's racing coverage (he was axed by them in 2012 before launching a claim for age discrimination) – he became one of the most familiar faces on British television; having also becoming a big hit on reality TV shows such as Celebrity Big Brother, Celebrity Wife Swap and Celebrity Coach Trip, as well as several other television, plus radio, appearances. Family saying he had been ill in recent months; he died at a London hospital - survived by his wife Jenny. He was 79.

Rutger Hauer


he Dutch actor, best known for his role in Blade Runner was also particularly well known for horror and vampire roles, starring as Van Helsing in Dracula 3D, the vampire Barlow in Stephen King’s mini-series Salem's lot , The Osterman Weekend, Ladyhawke, Flesh+Blood, The Hitcher, Escape from Sobibor (for which he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor). In recent months, he provided the voice of Master Xehanort in Kingdom Hearts III, replacing the late Leonard Nimoy. He was 75.

Tanya Jones


he wife of actor and former footballer, Vinnie, was suffering with a long illness, through battling against cancer for 6 years In 2013, the former ‘hard-man’ member of Wimbledon’s ‘Crazy Gang’, Vinnie, revealed that both he and Tanya were suffering from melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, after he found a lump under his eye. She then developed the same illness before they both fought it together. Marrying in Watford in 1994, and with two children, they later moved to LA when Vinnie pursue his burgeoning acting career. She was 53.


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The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019 - Page 35

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The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019 - Page 37


Celebrating 30 Years Serving The Community


n Saturday 20th July, friends, dignitaries and VIPs gathered at the Church of God of Prophecy Aberdeen Street to take part in a Service of Praise and Thanksgiving on the Occasion of The 30th Anniversary of Nehemiah Housing. With special guests The Kingdom Choir, who delivered a stirring rendition of ‘Stand By Me’ at the Royal Wedding last year, and a keynote address by Reverend Dr Kate Coleman, CEO Llewellyn Graham gave a brief history of the

For the first time in six years, 2019 Diwali and Deepavali will be celebrated on same day. With the Diwali festival date based on the Hindu calendar it falls on the 15th day (amavasya tithi of Krishna paksha) of Kartik month which is usually late October or early November. In 2012 North India celebrated 'Diwali' with the south celebrating 'Deepavali' on the same day, an alliance that was not to happen for the next several years - until this year when the country will unite, on Sunday October 27,to celebrate one of its most important and brightest festivals. For Hindus, Diwali is a series of festivals lasting for 5 days starting with Dhanteras followed by Chotti Diwali (Naraka Chaturdasi), Lakshmi Puja , Govardhan puja and ending with the celebration of Bhai Duj on day 5. Deepavali marks the victory of Lord Krishna and Sathyabhama over the demon Narakasura; falling on Chaturdashi tithi, a day ahead of Amavasya.

organisation. There were speeches from Vice Lord Lieutenant Dr Beverly Lindsay OBE OD who gave a great delivery in support of Nehemiah. The highlight of the evening was shared between Kingdom Gospel choir and the dance performance. The audience rose to their feet as the dancers excelled into what was said to be a spiritual experience and connection that filled the atmosphere. Kingdom Choir called the youngsters back to the stage delivering a special prayer and message of guidance. It was interesting to know

that the majority of the Kingdom Choir is made up of Church of God of Prophecy members including the lead singer. They felt very much at home back in the very church they worshipped. Kingdom Choir is on a world tour giving us all an insight into how the creator has blessed them. The biggest visible blessings was one of humility. Never forgetting the people of which they worshipped with. Founded with the Christian faith at the core of all founders and board members as well as the organisation itself, Nehemiah has played a unique

Diwali and Deepavali to be celebrated on same day for first time

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role in housing BAME communities in the Midlands by providing neighbourhood services since 1989. Over the last three decades, it has grown dramatically with a total property portfolio of 1,243 homes in the West Midlands, supporting more than 4,000 people across the region. Chairman of Nehemiah Housing Bishop Wilton Powell OBE said, “I am thankful to the leadership of the board, the Chief Executive and all the staff of Nehemiah Housing for all the excellent work you have delivered during the last thirty years.”

Page 38 - The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019


Why walking makes great exercise A neuroscientist believes that something as simple as regular walking can be the catalyst to unlocks the cognitive powers of the brain like nothing else. Shane O’Mara feels that taking a stroll can be just as effective as going to the gym or undertaking any other level of exercise. He is so passionate about walking that he is determined not to let the slightest unfortunate aspect of urban design break his stride. And, in walking along with someone else makes it twice the fun: “Whilst walking solo is very beneficial, the experience of ‘synchronised’ walking is one of life’s great pleasures”. Data shows that walking makes people healthier, happier and brainier, and O’Mara’s new book, ‘In Praise of Walking’, which explains what happens in our brains while we perambulate and explains why you should exchange your gym kit for a pair of comfy shoes and get strolling. “Sitting at a desk all day makes it easy to start feeling brainless”, he says, “whereas walking and talking keeps our minds fizzing”.

Why ‘Talking’ May Be A Cure For Mental Illness I n sport and big business perceptions can often be deceiving as, beyond the smiling, confident-looking veneer, in many cases lies crippling pressure, constant scrutiny, self-doubt, the flippant

expectations of a demanding fan-base, job insecurity, bouts of loneliness, constant displacement, financial instability and an uncertain future. As we purr over the goals scored, runs made, wickets taken,

or medals won, unbeknown to the watching millions – over exhorted with ‘victory’ being their common denominator, for many of those on the victory podium, their presence there can often be the starting points for those thoughts of anxiety, worthlessness and depression which can push today’s athletes – regardless of where they stand on the sporting spectrum – to the brink. During this last closed season, Burton Albion striker Marvin Sordell announced his retirement

from football, aged 28, after publicly speaking publicly about his mental health struggles. The former Watford and Coventry City striker, who was a hit playing for Team GB at London 2012 Olympic Games, said: "I've been fortunate to spend the past 10 years living my dream, but my mental health has been severely impacted throughout my career, therefore I felt it right to move forward in my life”. At around the same time England wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor

NHS Birthday Marks Smoke-Free Site For Healthcare Trust l Rafal Brzezinski and Ryan Hanley, both Smoking Enforcement Officers. They will be patrolling the grounds of the Trust


West Midlands healthcare Trust has now become a smoke-free organisation – banning smoking in any outdoor areas and cars parked on site. At the same time the Trust has endorsed the position of Public Health England in promoting vaping as an alternative and a route to quitting smoking. The move at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust is part of the Trust’s Joint Public Health

Plan developed with Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council. The organisation, which runs Sandwell, City and Rowley Regis Hospitals, as well as Leasowes Intermediate Centre, made the pledge to go smokefree exactly one year ago, on the 70th birthday of the NHS. Anyone ignoring the ban and lighting up on site will receive a £50 fine. Patients will be offered NRT products as alternatives if appropriate.

announced her withdrawal from what was the remainder of the Women's Ashes against Australia – again because of mental health issues. 30-year-old Taylor first took a break from cricket in 2016 and has missed Test Series as part of her management of anxiety. She said she had made "progress" over the past three years but was not fully able to take part in the recent three-match Twenty20 series. "There are plenty of challenges I've overcome on the way”, she said, “but mental health is not something you 'beat'." Away from the sporting spotlight mental health is fast becoming the No.1 killer in the UK with suicide being the biggest killer of men under the age of 50 - What is it about being male in the UK that is fuelling this mental health crisis? Machismo and bravado are often the root-cause! Men, and indeed women, consider the mention of ‘mental illness’ to be a weakness as the very disease manifests unchallenged until it’s often too late. Masculinity was often equated with having what it took to put food on the table. The same numbers of men and women experience mental health problems overall, but some problems are more common in women than men - and vice versa. Their role as ‘guardian’ of the home, being bullied and abused at home, post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety are just some of the issues faced on a daily basis. So, whether in the kitchen, or in the spotlight, mental health will remain the no.1 illness ontil, in too many cases, we start to ‘talk’.

Two vaping shops will also open, run by eZigWizard, with one based at City and the other at Sandwell Hospital. Smoking enforcement officers are now patrol the site, working alongside staff, including security staff, to challenge people smoking on site. Cameras to support the policy are in place. There has been overwhelming support for the ban within the organisation and across the local community. Dr Ziaudeen Ansari, Respiratory Consultant, said: "It is very frustrating to see patients in our respiratory clinics who present with COPD and lung cancer due to smoking, as they have already damaged their lungs due to smoking, without realising the consequences of their behaviour. However stopping smoking even after diagnosis will help their breathing, so I would urge anyone who smokes to stop in order to improve their lung health." Medical Director of the Trust, Dr David Carruthers, added: “The Trust’s Board, and our clinical leaders, are united in the view that smoking kills. “Given that simple truth we can no longer support smoking on our sites, even in shelters or cars. “Every alternative is available and we ask visitors and patients to work with us to enforce these changes. “Giving up smoking saves you money and saves your health. No more passive smoking on our sites is a public health necessity.”


The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019 - Page 39


Michelle Shows Her Determination To Inspire A Greater Number Of Donors


the law around organ donation in England is changing m






Unless you choose to opt out, you will be considered to have agreed to be an organ donor when you die.



Whatever you choose, let close family or friends know to help ensure your decision is honoured.


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From spring 2020


tool called the Colorado MicrosDissection needle (Stryker CMF, Kalamazzo, MI) and I have never stopped using it”. The Knife-less Skin Incision is a Colorado MicroDissection needle consisting of a 5 µm tip which creates high current density current for hemostasis or blood control at low power settings. This ultra-fine tool provides the opportunity to make a skin incision without a standard steel knife. Typically, the skin incision is made at 10 Watts. Deeper incision at the level of the fascia is at 20 Watts. Deepest spine incisions are conducted at 30 Watts. This tool provides a unique opportunity to stop bleeding in minimally invasive ports. For example, in kyphoplasty surgery, the approach entrances are 2 mm or so can be precisely made by the needle. If there is bleeding, then with conventional treatment a suture may be required. The Colorado microdissection needle is very apt at stopping any bleeding from these small port holes. Therefore, there is no need for a suture.


“The future is now”, says Dr. Ken Hansraj. “In the operating room, spine surgeons utilize the best strategies including, bloodless spine surgery, minimally invasive spine surgery, advanced bone grafting techniques such as Bone Morphogenic Proteins®, harvesting stem cells for use in surgery, spinal navigation to assess instrumentation placement, use of intraoperative CT scans, use of ultra-modern operating room tables, and spinal cord and nerve monitoring. We are always looking for new strategies to do better. TV and media trained, Dr. Hansraj continues: “Facing an extremely difficult surgical upper cervical approach in a massive patient, I combined with Jordanian American oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Al Haitham Al Shetawi. The author of the internationally bestselling book; Keys to an Amazing Life: Secrets of the Cervical Spine, which he was inspired to write based on this concept. Dr. Hansraj, also the author of Bloodless Spine Surgery: Pictures and Explanations, continues: “He introduced me to the surgical electrocautery

l Michelle Hemmings’


Knife-less, bloodless, ultra precise spine surgery

All the Sport action from Page 46!


all the staff at Papworth Hospital. “The transplant team have turned my life around”! – So much so that she was determined to take her place in the 1.8 mile walk at the Westfield Health British Transplant Games, in Newport; which attracted more than 850 transplant recipient athletes and more than 1,500 supporters as it continues to raise awareness of the positive impact of organ donation. She wants her story to inspire many more – donors and recipients alike and, now reunited with the other 4, raise money for, and awareness of, organ donation: “I want to raise money for the organisations that changed my life, through a charity and awareness event” she says. The black-tie event - to raise donations for the Royal Papworth Hospital, Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospital NHS Trust and to raise awareness within the Black and Multi Ethnic groups - takes place at the Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel, on Friday, September 6. “Having the transplant has changed my life”, Michelle says. “Now I want to help save others”.

w lo at sis n a r t tio fo os ec m ity e ss til di rh sa fo ue er ng iss i lv tt w na of llo io a es pt ce ity cis ex ns re e ng rp td di fo en vi rr tip ro n cu sp ste gh gle hi ng an ce tu es d en p at an fer ar re c 1 sh hs re gt n p tip gs tra len eo Ul on tin t of surg • icr se n r 5m e tio nd • pow lec l a se ra ll du Fu oce pr

2017 but had two unsuccessful calls before the Hospital (Papworth) found a match. My heart was beating - for happiness and slightly scared at the same time. “But I knew it was for the best. In February she was one of the ‘Famous Five’ whose lives were saved in a record-breaking 36 hours of organ transplants which involved more than 40 staff, including five surgeon, with several coming in on their days off. The other 4 were 23-year-old Luke Palfreyman, of Barnsley and Dan Peel, 26, of Reading, who both received double lung transplants, 67-year-old Yvonne Dunham of Fressingfield, Suffolk, and Joanne Hext, 54, of Horndean, Hampshire, who both had heart transplants. Following a successful transplant Michelle says: “I am so blessed to have had the lung transplant and being able to do so many things, which I was unable to for so long. “From the bottom of my heart I thank the donor very much, for giving me the chance! “I am so very grateful to my consultants, surgeons, nurses and


or almost half of her life a Birmingham mother has suffered with interstitial lung disease (pulmonary Fibrosis) and mild pulmonary hypertension At 46, though, her life was saved by a lung transplant at the world-famous Royal Papworth Hospital, in Cambridge. Now 47, Michelle Hemmings’ life has been transformed as she recalls: “I have suffered for about twenty one years with Interstitial Lung Disease (pulmonary Fibrosis) & mild pulmonary Hypertension. I was on oxygen for about 5 years but was slowly deteriorating two years ago. “I learned to live with my condition and tried to carry on with life and my party planning business. My symptoms at this point were manageable and I just took each challenge at a time, along with thinking positively and with determination. “I tried to carry on with my life the best I can, but I noticed eventually I was getting more out of breath - I didn’t have much of energy left. I was barely getting by. “I was put on the priority list in

On Your Marks, Get Set,

To find out more about your choices, including how to opt out: visit or call 0300 303 2094


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Page 40 - The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019


The Best Of Africa Celebrated In Style

l High Commissioner Justice George Adesola Oguntade, First lady, HE,Dr Mrs Aisha Buhari. Abike Dabiri-Erewa CEO Nigeria Diaspora Commission


igeria’s First Lady, (Dr) Mrs Aisha Buhari was the main attraction as high-profiled business people, politicians and economists gathered, in London, in the UK, for the 7th Anniversary of the African Diaspora International Forum. Drawing a rich array of high-end public figures from the continent and beyond, this special event, themed: ‘African Ambassadors, and the Africa Diaspora as Economic Gateways in Post Brexit United Kingdom’, was organised by the newly formed INGO and held at the International Maritime Organisation, in London, Accompanied by the wife of Kebbi State Governor, Dr Zainab Shikafi Bagudu she was joined by Mrs Florence Ajimobi, Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the UK, Justice George Adesola Oguntade (Rtd) and his wife, Modupeola. The Phoenix Newspaper’s Founder and Editor In Chief, Marcia McLaughlin, was one of the specially invited guests as TPN Media continues to forge ongoing links with the Diaspora at large. She was on hand to be one of the chief award presenters. SSA (Senior Special Assistants) to the First Lady, Mrs Hajo Sani, Mrs Abeke Dabiri-Erawa, SSA to the President of Foreign Diaspora Affairs and and Mrs Adejoke Oralope Adefulire, Chair of the Nigeria Diaspora Commission, were just some of the selected few who led a list of entrepreneurs hailing from Ghana, Ethiopia, Zambia, South Africa, Senegal, the African Union, Canada, the UK and parts of the USA. An African Ambassador’s interactive forum, the platform provided the institutional framework to bring the Diaspora onto the ‘same page’ and to re-brand ‘Africa’ through intense collaboration and networking to create partnerships dialogue and advocacies were urged Keynote speaker, Senegal-born Professor Gibril Faal, of the London School of Economics, pleaded: “The better placed countries in Africa should help to provide employment for those on the lower rungs of the

economic ladder. “Overseas countries” he said “could make life a lot better for those in the Diaspora who made the larger contributions to their economic development. “There is a necessity to step up to the plate and help to develop Africa by speaking with one voice”. In thanking Chief Uzo Owunne and his wife for the invitation, Dr Aisha Buhari congratulated INGO AAIF for forging a better and much stronger forum for Africans. “This Conference couldn’t have come at a better time”, she said, “as a result of the long and historic relationship forged between the UK and Africa”. Her impassioned speech preceded a high-class fashion show highlighting the latest Positive Runway designs, founded by Zambian-born Dr Justin Mutale – a London resident – marking some of the best Africaninspired wears that fits very much into everyday life, in the UK and beyond before the First Lady led a line of Pan African achievers and awardees on stage. She (Buhari) herself was recognised for her programme supporting women and children in Nigeria.

She brings to the table not just beauty, but brains and her delightful way of making people feel at ease, and she is a strong ambassador for Nigeria and truly leads the way. Whilst Multilingual broadcaster and media entrepreneur, Prince Bisi Olatilo, Chair and CEO of BISCON Communications, received the ‘Change Agent In The Media And Entertainment Landscape In Africa’ Award (he also received the ‘Role Model’ Award), Baroness Martha Osamor, the first Nigerian to join the House of Lords, Olukayode Pitan, C.E.O. at the Bank of Industry, Clare Cortez, Head of British Board of Agrément, Yinka Fayomi the wife of Nigeria’s former Ambassador to France, Akin Fayomi, Aishah Ahmad, Deputy Governor to the Bank of Nigeria and the President of the African Business Roundtable, Samuel Dossou-Aworet were just some of the other change makers who were also recognised. The drive now is to create an ‘African town’ in London to form an economic head base for music fashion, culture, food and integrate Africa into the mainstay of business a legacy project in which all Africans should contribute.

l A Representative of the Olu of Warri with High Commissioner Justice George Adesola Oguntade


The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019 - Page 41


l First lady, HE,Dr Mrs Aisha Buhari. with a representative of the Olu of Warri

l Baroness Martha Osamor of Tottenham and Asaba with Mr Juvenal Shiundu Deputy Director and Head of Programme IMO

l Dr Justina Mutale, President, Justina Mutale Foundation, Mrs Bisi Ajayi, Head of Gender Bank of Industry (BOI), Ms Slyvie Aboa- Bradwell Founder, Policy Centre for African Peoples

l Dr Toni Luck Senior Advisor ABR


Mrs Bisi Ajayi BOI with family and Chief Uzo Owunne Chair INGO AAIF

l Gabriel Agunwah

Page 42 - The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019


Page 42 - The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019

Two Clubs Come Together To Celebrate Birmingham With A Wonderful Dinner


By Thomas O’Brien

irmingham is at its best when people from across the city come together to enjoy wonderful celebrations. Exactly this kind of celebration was enjoyed in the Lord Mayor’s Suite of the Council House on Saturday 6th July. Not everyone who came smoked, as both Birmingham Cigar Club and John Hollingsworth’s Pipe Club – Birmingham (JHPC-B) are open to both smokers and nonsmokers. One thing that all members have in common is a love of life and a desire to enjoy it to the fullest. They also want to help everyone around them to live better lives. Members come from a wide range of different backgrounds, with many having spent years working in the NHS. Whatever they do, they always strive to make Brum a better place. This dinner was particularly notable as it was The Fourteenth Knight dinner, named in honour of Tim Knight, without whom the dinner would never have taken place. Tim dropped and completely smashed a bottle of very nice port that various members had been looking forward to enjoying at a later date. As anyone who has dropped alcohol on the way to a party knows, such an incident has the potential to ruin your entire night. Fortunately, Tim and the members of both Clubs who were with him at the time were able to look on the bright side and made the best of the situation. They collected and washed the pieces of the broken bottle before putting them into a trophy, known as the Cullet, which would be

awarded as a prize at this special dinner. To win, the Hon. Secretary of the Birmingham Cigar Club and the Secretary of JHPC-B had to smoke Churchill-size cigars, with the last member to loose ash claiming the prize. Other members who wish to smoke competitively can enter an identical contest for the Janet Powell Shield, presented to the Birmingham Cigar Club many years ago by former President Eric Powell, in memory of his wife Janet. Apart from giving members a fantastic opportunity to remember great nights out through a series of trophies, this dinner and others that both Clubs regularly hold give members an excellent opportunity to support the local community. Donations of hundreds of pounds a year are regularly made to the Lord Mayor’s Charities. These charities are chosen for the support that they give to Brummies when they are going through difficult times and need the dedicated support of experienced, sensitive professionals.

The Armed Services are also frequently supported by both Clubs. This dinner saw Hon. Secretary Adrian de Redman receive a special award in recognition of his efforts to promote remembrance of the sacrifices made by service personnel during the First World War. He donated the award to the Birmingham Cigar Club and it will now be present on the table at future dinners to signify the huge contribution that service personnel have made and continue to make to our society every day. The contribution that excellent desserts make to everyone’s taste buds was also recognised at this dinner with a wonderful Eton Mess. Generous servings of fresh strawberries covered in a crunchy, delectably sweet meringue and doused with more than a few dollops of fresh cream were hugely popular around the table. For more information on upcoming events (and to try some of this phenomenal dessert), drop Adrian an email on


The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019 - Page 43


Aruba Passes the Test for Summer Family Holidays P

arents still pondering holiday destinations for the school summer break will find that Aruba passes the test for family fun with flying colours. This Dutch Caribbean island has been steadily growing in popularity with British travellers over the last decade and more and there is particularly good reason for this for families. Here's six good lessons parents can learn about Aruba and put it top of their geography paper: 1) Family-friendly hotels: Aruba boasts 20 resorts fronting the key coastal areas of Palm Beach and Eagle Beach, with most participating in the island's One Happy Family programme. This package includes a range of special deals and promotions for families, including free breakfasts, free stays for children and a check-in gift. For more information on this family package, please visit the One Happy Family page. Many of these hotels also offer special facilities for children, such as kids' clubs. 2) Family-friendly beaches: All the main beaches in Aruba offer safe bathing, with no sudden

deep water or strong currents. Palm Beach and Eagle Beach are idyllic golden sand beaches with a wealth of watersports and other activities. In the south of the island, Baby Beach, close to San Nicolas is, as its name implies, a perfect paddling and splashing beach for very young children – as well as older more adventurous visitors. 3) Great (virtually guaranteed) weather: Aruba enjoys a consistent year-round climate, with temperatures averaging 26°C, with a cooling trade breeze. The chance of rain in the summer months is minimal, so there is virtually no chance of families being cooped up in their hotel room when the skies open. Aruba has the most sunny days of any Caribbean island. 4) Fun-filled activities for children of all ages: Aruba is one big kids' playground, with extensive options to keep them entertained. Many of them are free or lowcost, so parents are unlikely to break the budget. There are educational options too, like trips to the Donkey Sanctuary, Aruba Ostrich Farm or the Butterfly Farm. Nature opportunities are

Hidden Iceland

Iceland is a great place to see the Northern Lights, although as with anywhere else in the world, there is no guarantee you’ll get to see them! Solar winds need to be strong; clouds need to be gone and the moon needs to be low to name just a few factors affecting your chances. What Hidden Iceland can do is find the perfect middle of nowhere farm guest house or hotel to stay in overnight, teach you what to look out for and even educate you on the science behind it all so that if you are lucky enough to have good conditions you are in the perfect spot for finding them. Along the way we will be sneaking behind waterfalls, walking along black sand beaches and watching ice bergs float by at the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and diamond beach. Our view is if you don’t see the northern lights that night then at least you’ve had an incredible adventure along the way.

widened at Philip's Animal Garden, one of the Caribbean's most noteworthy animal and rescue centres. Activities for the whole family include hiking, mountain biking, paddle boarding, snorkelling and kayaking. 5) Easy to get to: Travelling to Aruba is a doddle. Leading operator Tui operates a daily non-stop flight to the island from London-Gatwick, while KLM Royal Dutch Airlines offers departures from 17 UK airports, connecting at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport to its daily service to Aruba. Many well-known travel companies offer the KLM option. 6) Eco-friendly: With a growing awareness among the younger generation of the environment, they can be reassured that Aruba is the leading ecofriendly island in the Caribbean. It aims to be fossil-fuel free by 2020, has banned single use plastic bags and has a number of environmental initiatives in place. These include The Aruba Reef Care Project, the best-known and largest volunteer environmental initiative on the island.

Conquer with Pride: Tampa Bay Launches LGBT Travel Guide Recently honored among the top US communities for LGBT travelers, Visit Tampa Bay has launched Visit Tampa Gay, its comprehensive guide for LGBTQ visitors to the hip, urban heart of Florida's west coast. The guide was launched at Miami's Wynwood Pride

festival and at Florida's largest Pride in St. Petersburg. It was produced in partnership with Tampa Bay's arts weekly, Creative Loafing. The guide provides visitors with an in-depth view of the region’s thriving LGBTQ community through interviews with key figures, including Tampa Museum of Art exec-

utive director Michael Tomor, Diversity Chamber president & CEO Justice Gennari, and newly elected Tampa Mayor Jane Castor – the city’s first LGBTQ mayor. The cover features Castor and her partner Ana Cruz on the Tampa Riverwalk.

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Page 44 - The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019


How model Sintra became the ‘Face of Jamaica’ The Phoenix Newspaper to inspire the Tourism Leaders of Tomorrow


he Phoenix Newspaper is joining the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s scholarship programme, the CTO Scholarship Foundation in inspiring the next generation of tourism leaders in the region. “In keeping with our ethos of community cohesion, our commitment to helping the youth realise their aspirations, and our association with CTO this year, we will play its part in helping to provide opportunities to the next generation by raising funds for the foundation,” said Marcia McLaughlin, the publisher and CEO of The Phoenix. The CTO Scholarship Foundation has the expressed aim of training and developing future leaders for the Caribbean tourism industry by funding studies in tourism and tourism-related subjects, hospitality and language. Since its inception, the found-

ation has provided close to 300 scholarships and study grants totalling almost £1 million. All money generated through fundraising is used for scholarships. The foundation is managed by a board of directors, comprising private and public sector individuals, who volunteer their time and talent to support and guide the charity’s efforts. “We have been providing study grants and scholarships for more than 20 years and are very proud that the CTO Scholarship Foundation has made a difference in the lives of many Caribbean youth and working professionals and their respective families,” said Jacqueline Johnson, CTC, chairperson of the CTO Scholarship Foundation and president of Global Bridal Group. “We are grateful to The Phoenix for offering to help raise funds for the foundation as part of its awards gala programme this

year.” “As we further the education of Caribbean nationals in the tourism industry we equip them to lead their countries to greater prosperity in the future as tourism is the leading driver of foreign exchange in the region,” Johnson said, adding: “There is nothing more important that one can do today than prepare for tomorrow.” In order to provide more opportunities for Caribbean nationals

pursuing higher education and careers in the tourism industry, the foundation enhanced and expanded its programme earlier this year by introducing scholarships in public relations and communications; tourism education and human resources development; hotel, resort, and villa development, design and planning; and aviation and air transport technologies. A master’s degree scholarship is also being offered for studies in tourism-related disciplines, including language, agriculture, fisheries, horticulture, event management, interior design, medical tourism, architecture, sports, culture and heritage, environmental protection and preservation, while study grants are being offered to those seeking to improve their skills in any tourism-related field of study.

l Sintra Bronte

She became known worldwide as the ‘Face of Jamaica’ after being the iconic figure which promoted the Caribbean island after starring in the country’s Tourism Board promotional campaigns during the early 1970s. The thing is…Sintra Bronte, the model whose gleaming figure personified everything that was so idyllically sumptuous and romantic at that time isn’t, in fact, Jamaican. The woman who set hearts a ‘fluttering’ the world over – and hoards holidaymakers to book Jamaica as their ideal island of choice…is Trinidadian. It was just a case of leading up to the 1972 ad campaign Bronte was, as she recalls; “at the right place at the right time”.

The story goes that as the Jamaican Tourism Board’s marketing agency was staying at the Pegasus Hotel in Kingston and looking for Jamaican-Chinese woman to attract the Asian market they stumbled across 26-year-old Bronte by accident. The then Director of Tourism, Anthony Abrahams, agreed that Bronte was the right person for the role. But, while he knew hers was the perfect image, nobody anticipated just how influential the poster would become, as it - and the corresponding television commercials - became huge hits, inspiring a record-breaking half a million visitors to the island that year. “Whether I represent Trinidad, Jamaica, Barbados or Grenada”, she stated in an interview, “I represent beauty in the Caribbean. “We are all beautiful women. I am so proud to be a Caribbean woman.” Always remembered as being the original Bronte went on to run a successful travel company in Trinidad, though she says that she is forever grateful to have been a part of something so special. For Bronte, the photos represent much more than travel to Jamaica. Today, that 1972 poster remain part of Jamaica’s heritage. And wherever she hails from, Sintra Bronte will always be the original.


The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019 - Page 45

PROPERTY AND REAL ESTATE Love Island boosts Majorca Second Home Property Interest Following the huge success ITV2’s Majorca-based ‘Love Island’ series, its sun-filled images has drawn huge attention to properties on Mediterranean favourite island of Majorca; with properties amongst the hidden beauty, in the rural south-east are valued around 25 to 50 per cent lower than near the glitzy south-western marinas. Close to Ses Salines, the most southerly part of the island, Engel & Völkers is selling a house with considerable bling. The five-bedroom contemporary stone villa with a show-stopping pool, vast windows and wide rural views starred in a previous Love Island series and comes with a celebrity £4 million price tag. “The season is shorter than some other areas, typically from Easter to October, but property values are about 25 to 50 per cent below the prime south-west.”

MHCLG consults on tenancy deposit reform T

l Chris Norris, director of policy and practice at the NLA

he Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) will be consulting on reforms to tenancy deposits that will help tenants move more easily. The call for evidence closes on September 5. The consultation will be evaluating the feasibility of passporting deposits when tenants are changing tenancies. Currently, tenants face increasingly high costs when taking up new tenancies because they are unable to reclaim existing deposits before signing up to a new tenancy. The Government has indicated that the submissions will build on the work of the Tenancy Deposit Protection

Working Group to ensure that changes offer protection to both landlords and tenants. The NLA has sat on the Tenancy Deposit Protection Working Group and has emphasised that deposit passporting needs to be carefully designed to ensure that landlords are not disadvantaged from making valid claims. Chris Norris, director of policy and practice at the NLA, said: “We must make sure that adequate thought is given to the needs of both tenants and landlords. Everyone agrees that moving between tenancies should be made easier and cheaper, but we also need to recognise why landlords take deposits. A deposit protects

against damage or default, so landlords must be confident their costs are covered before releasing the tenants’ money.” The call for evidence also asks for views on existing and potential affordability initiatives, and the current process for protecting and returning deposits, including requirements for prescribed information and the dispute process. Datasets provided by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) revealed that the average speed of returning the deposit is slower when the landlord does not initiate the repayment process. When initiated by a landlord the process takes 29 days compared to 39 days when the tenant triggers the process.


Birmingham Business Women Launches UKs First Transitional Supported Housing for People Recovering from Eating Disorders


irmingham based entrepreneur, Petra Foster is launching the UKs only safe and secure transitional supported housing for people recovering from eating disorders, such as

anorexia nervosa, binge eating, compulsive eating or food addiction. Petra managed a Supported Housing Scheme for teenage parents and is passionate about providing a sensitive environment that enables young people to address issues pertinent to their specific needs to live a full, independent and prosperous life. Prosper House, based in Birmingham offers 24/7 therapeutic and housing support to all residents. They use a systematic and holistic approach to recovery using therapeutic modalities addressing underlying issues and providing them with healthy new patterns of behaviours to help address the mind, body image, feelings and emotions. Residents will have access to their key worker day and night, their own room, communal areas, bathroom and a kitchen for self-catering. As well as providing accommodation, group therapy and personal development sessions and regular social activities. Those who are in active eating disorder recovery and want supported housing must be 18 years or older, single and be working with The NHS and specialist agencies, they do not have to have a local connection to the West Midlands. Prosper House is run in conjunction with the NHS, and other services. Petra decided

to open the housing unit after she realised there was a high relapse rate for people with eating disorders and her desire is to help people be discharged from hospital and supported to remain independent in the community. “Transitional living is vital for people actively in eating disorder recovery due to the healing power of community,” Says Petra. “Many people suffering from eating disorders have become accustomed to stress, fear, living in isolation or in a fragmented fashion with no GP, no family nearby, or with layers of subterfuge around those relationships in order to control their relationship with eating. Living in a community, particularly one which understands your specific needs, not only reduces isolation but can help rebuild your relationships with family and friends. All of this helps you work towards your goals and become an active member of a community.” Petra is excited and hopes that all young people that come to live at Prosper House share their home with other young people and staff find it a positive, safe and rewarding period in their lives Prosper House will be having an open day on 13th August from 11am - 3pm at: 212 Londonderry Lane, Smethwick, B67 7EN. To attend, please RSVP admin@prosperityhousinggroup. C








Don’t miss our Education, Training & Recruitment Section

Coverage on Pages 14 & 15!

Page 46 - The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019


Olympic Medal Upgrade for JA 4x400m women Jamaica’s Women’s 4x400m relay teams from Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games received their upgraded silver medals at the Müller Anniversary Games in the London Stadium. Both teams were upgraded from the bronze medal position due to doping sanctions handed to the silver medal-winning Russian teams from both Games. Last year, Great Britain & Northern Ireland were awarded their bronze medal from the 2008 final, with Ukraine also receiving medals for the 2012 race. The team awarded the 2008 Olympic silver medals werere: Shereefa Lloyd, Shericka Williams, Rosemarie Whyte, Novlene Williams-Mills and Bobby-Gaye Wilkins, whilst the team awarded the 2012 Olympic silver medals included: Christine Day, Shereefa Lloyd, Rosemarie Whyte, Shericka Williams, Novlene and Williams-Mills. Both teams received their medals from Mr Pal Schmitt, Member of the International Olympic Committee and a twotime Olympic champion.

Football legends unite to launch The Cyrille Regis Legacy Trust l Celebrating the launch of The Cyrille Regis Legacy Trust


by Steve Williams

ome of football’s leading figures descended onto West Bromwich Albion’s The Hawthorns to join members of the late Cyrille Regis and to play their part in the official launch of the Cyrille Regis Legacy Trust and to unveil the flagship ‘Strike a Change’ mentoring programme launched in the name of the late former England international. With former players, who were inspired by him, there to support the legend’s widow, Julia and brother, Dave, community trusts and foundations from all six West Midlands clubs (Albion, Aston Villa, Birmingham City, Coventry City, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Walsall) came together for a series of workshops, with local heroes sharing their knowledge and wisdom with more than 100 young people. A two-year programme supporting 14 and 15-year-old disengaged students with a passion for football the scheme presents a unique opportunity to work across geographical boundaries and club rivalries. “I didn’t realise I could have a career in football until I saw Cyrille,” said former England international Les Ferdinand – who is now director of football at QPR, the. “With that kind of impact he made on me, to see this programme coming to fruition is exactly what modern football needs. “I hope they listen and be prepared to learn”, said former Wolves player Gavin Mahon. James and Adam Chambers became the first twins to play for England and both recalled the impact Regis had on them as they made their way through the Albion ranks shortly following his time there: “Don’t worry about what you CAN’T do”, James said. “Concentrate on what you CAN do”! Cyrille’s former teammate at Vila, Tony Daley, added: “His presence and integrity made a huge impact on me – during my playing career and my life in general, with

his calmness making me feel relaxed through some of my dark days”. “Think big and listen - especially to your parents” brother, Dave said. “Not every young person has a parent or family member to guide them through times of hardship. “I’d like to express huge gratitude to all six clubs for coming together in Cyrille’s name for a programme of real meaning. It’s humbling. We’re truly honoured”. “Mentoring was a passion for Cyrille”, Julia said. "It was the part of his job as an agent that he loved the most. "So we thought what better way than to start the charity and a mentoring scheme." "I would like to see all these young boys and girls dream big to believe in themselves and understand that they can achieve what they put their mind to achieve. I would like to see them inspired and to grow as individuals." The ‘Strike a Change’ mentoring scheme provides a unique opportunity to work with young people across geographical boundaries and club rivalries, exploring major issues such as Equality, Mental Health and Social Responsibility. The charity is focused on three areas Julia discussed with Cyrille before his sudden passing last year – grassroots football, breaking down barriers, and mentoring.

l Racism is still rife in English Football

Reports of racist abuse on increase, say Kick It Out Statistics gathered by the anti-discrimination charity Kick It Out shows that reports of racism in English football has risen by 43%. And, according to the charity’s chief, Roisin Wood, the claim is that reported racist abuse in the game can be linked to Brexit. Figures released have marked an increase last season; from 192 to 274, with the charity’s director declaring, "I think you can't not link them together. "We're seeing a lot of reports of 'go back to where you came from' which we haven't seen for a while which seems to be on the back of Brexit." Reports of abuse in professional and grassroots football have increased by 32% to 422, up from 319 during 2017-18. A further 159 reports were received via social media, with faith-based discrimination - including Islamophobia and anti-Semitism - rose by 75% from 36 to 63, a higher percentage than any other form of abuse during the period. “It is the seventh consecutive year reported incidents of discrimination within football have increased, with the 581 total reports is more than double the figure from five years ago”, Wood said. "If we're seeing a rise in hate crime, the Home Office, and other bodies, are seeing a rise in hate crime. “And it's linked because that's what is going on in society at the moment. "Some of the social media reports we've seen you wouldn't want anyone to see. “Education is key to combating racism”, said England manager, Gareth Southgate:– which must mean ‘in all aspects’ of the game – from boardroom to grassroots!


The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019 - Page 47

Medal Upgrade for JA 4x400m Women - Page 46

Cyrille Regis Trust Launched - Page 46

Silver Ferns shine W as netball makes its ‘World’ mark

By Joan ‘LJ’ Hunter

ith England bringing home the Commonwealth Gold Medal, in 2018, and inspiring some 130,700 people to start playing or returning to the game, the Vitality Netball World Cup 2019 saw hundreds of thousands of hardy fans converge onto Liverpool, to see sixteen country play sixty games across sixty hours of intensive competition at the city’s M & S Bank Arena. The Gold Coast winners looked to repeat their success on home soil and close out the final chapter for head coach, Tracey Neville, who stepped down from her position at the end of the championships. Eleven-times world champions, and world ranked No.1, Australia, were looking to reverse their shock defeat, New Zealand, who lost their No.2 ranking when beaten by third-ranked Jamaica in the bronze medal play-off, had appointed new coach Noeline Taurau, who took on the challenge to ‘reset the dial’ for the Silver Ferns.

With the World DanceSport Federation (WDSF) warmly welcoming the decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session to include Breaking on the sports programme, b-boys and b-girls are already sharpening up their moves and groves ready for its inclusion in the Olympic Games Paris 2024. Breaking made its Olympic debut last year at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, but its inclusion on the Paris 2024 programme is the first time any DanceSport discipline has appeared at an Olympic Games. WDSF President Shawn Tay said: “This is history for the DanceSport community and the discipline of Breaking.

“We are sure Breaking will be an outstanding success in Paris and will add lots of energy, athletic excellence, innovation and youth appeal to the Olympic Games.” Four new sports - Breaking, together with Skateboarding, Sport Climbing and Surfing - were proposed in February by the Paris 2024 Organising Committee for inclusion at the XXXIII Olympiad. In March, the IOC Executive Board (EB) gave the green light to the proposal, which was then put to a vote by the IOC Session (the assembly of all IOC members), currently meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland. B-boy, Mounir, the Vagabond Crew member who joined the

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Paris 2024 delegation presenting at the IOC Session, said: “This is historic. We were humble, but we never doubted. “A pessimist never changed the world. We started from nothing, we learned how to make more with less, we believed in the impossible and today the impossible becomes possible.” DJ Renegade, who has been involved in UK breaking since the 1980s, said the proposal was "one of the most exciting things that's happened in our scene. "Right now people are training on the streets, in train stations – everywhere”. The 2024 Summer Olympic Games are scheduled to take place in the French capital from July 26 to August 11.

Taurau’s side, who included stellar stalwarts like captain, Laura Langman, Casey Kapou and Maria Falou, (the three nicknamed ‘The Fossils’ and who have played in three World Cups) fully focused on one goal. The much-fancied Caribbean nations were not to be out done with Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados and Jamaica arriving in the UK with their respective world ranking rising before the tournament. The games also welcomed Africa’s finest as Zimbabwe, for one, making their debut on the world stage. Malawi, South Africa (led by former Australia head coach, Norma Plummer) and Uganda added to the continent’s representation and ready to play their parts in what was 10 days of outstanding sporting prowess. It wasn’t to be the swan song Tracey Neville wanted, as her side lost by 2 goals to the eventual champions New Zealand (47-45) in the semi-finals. In their semi-final, which was also by 2 goals, reigning champions Australia came under threat from the inform South Africa team before just pipping them to the post - 55-53.

Having caused one of the biggest upsets of the tournament, by beating the Jamaican ‘Sunshine Girls’ 55-52 in the group stages, the South Africans fancied their chances of claiming third place against home nation, England, although the Roses proved too much as they picked up Bronze against the plucky under-dogs. In an all-Australasian final New Zealand beat Australia 52-51 to win Vitality Netball World Cup as Maria Folau and Ameliaranne Ekanasio starred as the Silver Ferns withstood a late Australia fightback to win their first world title for 16 years. It was also a ‘final’ world cup for some as South Africa coach, Plummer, With England couch, Neville, announcing her retirement at the end of what was a spritely and exciting tournament; Coach Plummer also declared that she too would be handing the reigns over to new coaches at South Africa after 5 years in charge. Jamaica’s Molly Rhone OJ, CD, also stood down, as president of the International Netball Federation (INF), after 16 years. In her speech she described the game as “a global sports that changes lives”, as she thank “the ‘netball family’ for being the best at putting the game on the world stage”. She leaves the INF in a much better place as she handed over the reins to former England Netball Director, and Sport England Chair, Liz Nicholl CBE as preparations fall into place for Netball South Africa - who will be hosting the next World Cup - in 2023. Hot on the heels of what was a hugely successful FIFA Women’s Football World Cup – retained by the ever-conquering USA team – this proved yet another massive ‘shot in the arm’ for women’s sport on a worldwide stage. An incredible impact in general - and a ‘Vital’ impact on netball specifically.

B-Boys and Girls Breakin’ Olympic moves for Paris Games

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Ekongkar Singh

Profile for The Phoenix Newspaper

The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019  

The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019

The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019  

The Phoenix Newspaper - August 2019