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0784 606 2331


No. 25. 8th - 14th November 2011 I Tel. 020 7300 7320; 020 7300 7321; 07846062331 I Email:

Create room for models of colour

PRECIOUS Award 2011 winners announced page 7

Six main ways in which legal action can be funded

Use regulated immigration advisers, says Suzanne McCarthy, Immigration Services Commissioner

Meshell Ndegeocello shares intimate thoughts in “Weather”

page 3

Exclusive interview with model Vicky Ngari-Wilson, a very proud mother

pages 10 - 11


Community leaders call for action against black deaths in custody

page 8

page 13

page 17

Keep legal aid for vulnerable groups, Government told

page 9

Get your latest immigration news on Your news, your guides, your concerns, your beauty, your recipes, your people.

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Western Union joins forces with global music artists to make people’s days better. Tell us how you would make someone’s day better and you could win the equivalent of $1000 to make it happen. Log on to


No. 25. 8th - 14th November 2011

Kokumo and Kween Nefatiti Simeon at The Drum



Louis Armstrong, Charlie Chaplin and the birth of jazz visual element of this performance contains some nudity and scenes of a sexual nature, which are not appropriate for children. There is also a matinee at 3pm.

FULL LINE-UP Kokumo’s delivery will obviously draw comparisons to Mutabaruka but there is an originality of style that will appeal to audiences worldwide. Hailing from the parish of

KOKUMO AND KWEEN NEFATITI SIMEON 12th November 2011 8pm The Drum 144 Potters Lane, Aston Birmingham, B6 4UU £6 (£4) Pit and Café Bar Telephone: 0121 333 2400

Trelawny, better known as the Cockpit Country, in rural Jamaica, Kokumo’s powerful voice allows his words to take flight. With a name meaning, “this one will not die” in Yoruba, his work will be around forever. Kween Nefatiti is a Singer/ Songwriter/Dancer, born in Birmingham. Growing up in the 70’s with the influence of Roots n Culture, Soca, Jazz & Gospel music, she began performing as a child. Since winning an amateur Singing competition in London in 1999, her vocal versatility has gone from strength to strength...Kween Nefatiti’s unique sound & warm ambiance mesmerise you, taking you on a journey to your soul.

Allsortz at Rich Mix

This is an evening packed with energy and talent, showcasing the very best the capital has to offer in up-and-coming performers. Are you a singer, rapper, dancer, comedian, or spoken word artist looking to take that next step and perform in front of a live audience? If so then Allsortz is for you! Take to the Big Stage at Rich Mix and show what you’re working with!

Organisers of the event are still looking for acts to perform in the first show, so if you know somebody or you are that somebody then get in contact. If you would like to be involved please email a brief description of your work, and any relevant links (e.g. Soundcloud, Myspace, YouTube) to programming@

A brand new silent film, with live music written by Wynton Marsalis, receives its European premiere at the London Jazz Festival. The streets of New Orleans provide an evocative backdrop as a young Louis Armstrong navigates the colourful intricacies of life in the quintessential jazz city.

Marsalis’s score is played by a hand-picked ensemble of some of the composer’s closest associates, directed by trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, including saxophonist Wes Anderson, and drummer Herlin Riley, contributing a spirited counterpoint to director Dan Pritzker’s stunning Chaplininspired movie. As Louis spent part of his childhood around a brothel, the

13th November 2011 8:00pm Barbican, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS Tel: 020 7638 8891 Tickets: £25, £20, £10 + bkg

Archie Shepp, Joachim Kuhn and Empirical at Southbank Centre their new album “Elements of Truth”, combining white-hot improv, fluid timing and offkilter grooves, taking jazz tradition into the future with style. In this event they team up with the gifted and hugely resourceful pianist Robert Mitchell.


ALLSORTZ 14th November 2011 7pm Free Rich Mix 35 - 47 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6LA Box Office: 020 7613 7498

Wycliffe Gordon - trombone and tuba Wes Anderson - sax Adrian Cunningham sax Philip Dizack - trumpet Jumaane Smith - trumpet Ehud Acherie - piano Reginald Veal - bass Herlin Riley - drums

Archie Shepp is nothing less than a giant of jazz - a revered figure at the centre of the 1960s jazz avant-garde, who along with Pharoah Sanders and Marion Brown, is among a select group of post-Coltrane ‘New Thing’ saxophone revolutionaries.

The recently released, beautifully languorous duo album “Wo!Man”, a remarkably tender set of deeply poetic music, brings him together with pianist Joachim Kuhn - a key figure in the evolution of European jazz. MOBO award-winning quartet Empirical perform from

17th November 2011 7:30pm Southbank Centre/Queen Elizabeth Hall, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8 XX Tel: 0844 875 0073 Tickets: £25, £20, £10 + bkg

AFRONEWS | My Own Media Ltd. The Old Fire Station, 140 Tabernacle Street, London, EC2A 4SD, United Kingdom | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Stephen Ogongo Ongong'a | TEL: +44 (0)20 7300 7320 or +39 06 94354517 |Fax: 0207 253 23 06 | Email: | CONTRIBUTORS: Chinwe Ojielo, Amanda Hall-Davis, Joseph Spencer, Pauline Long & Frances Mensah Williams | ADVERTISING: TEL: 020 7300 7320; 07846062331 | Email: | DISTRIBUTION: Citipost Direct Distribution Ltd, London | Email: | PRINTING PRESS: Newsfax Ltd, London. | Advertiser and advertising agency assume liability for all content (including text representation, illustrations, and photographs) of advertisements printed or posted, and also assume responsibility for any claims arising there from made against the publisher | Supplement of Africa News, Registered at the Tribunal of Rome. Registration No. 22/2003 - 21-01-2003


No. 24. 8th - 14th November 2011


Community leaders call for action against black deaths in custody Jasper: “Colour of your skin dictates what justice your receive” ing the lessons, we’re learning the lessons.’ Now then how stupid do you have to be to be engaged in a practice for 40, 50 years, before you learn the lessons?” Mr. Ferro continued. “They’re not learning the lessons; they’re learning a practice of how to avoid getting criminally prosecuted. That’s what they’re learning all the time with everything they do and we do; they’re trying to get one step ahead.” To find out more about the work of Black Mental Health UK, please log on to:

Mr. Lee Jasper, race equality campaigner, Ms. Matilda MacAttram, Director of Black Mental Health UK and Mr. Frederick Clarke, Director of Mighty Men of Valour Community leaders have called for action against black deaths in custody. Addressing a recent public meeting in London, the leaders said time had come to put rhetoric into action. The meeting was organised by Matilda MacAttram, Director of Black Mental Health UK, and Sherelle Davis, London School of Economics Students Union AntiRacism Officer. On the panel were family members of those who had died in custody, community leaders including race equality campaigner Lee Jasper, Olu Alake, President of 100 Black Men of London and Frederick Clarke, Director of Mighty Men of Valour. The meeting was also addressed by Ken Ferro who co-directed the film “Injustice” which highlighted the issue of

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deaths in custody, and Helen Shaw, Co-Director of INQUEST, a charity that provides free advice service to bereaved people on contentious deaths. Mr. Alake said deaths in police custody should be made a political issue as liberties are being taken over black men’s lives. Referring to the recent riots in London, he said: “The initial issue that brought about this, which the press, which the Prime Minister, which the politicians, have tried very hard for us to forget, is this: a black man was unlawfully killed in the custody of police, and yet what we have seen on the covers of newspapers, what has been the source of outrage for our politicians hasn’t been that; it’s a building in Croydon that has stood for over 100 years.” He said that the authorities are more worried about the building than the life of a black person. “We got more answers from what has happened when shops were burnt down, than we got when a family stood outside a police station for four hours, just asking for someone to come out and explain what happened to their child,” Mr. Alake said. Mr. Jasper also voiced his opinions on how the media handled Mark Duggan’s death. “We don’t get the kind of press that we deserve and what does it result in? We get Mark Duggan shot dead. We get reports from the Independent Police Complaints Commission colluding with the Metropolitan Police Service, which phoned up their mates in Scotland Yard, in order to get a frontline headline that said he shot officers when he didn’t; he didn’t do that. I don’t care if Mark Duggan was Al Capone. He had a human right to be arrested, taken to court, charged with any criminal offence,

and faced judgment like the rest of us. Not shot down in the street like the way he was.” Mr. Jasper went on to describe what he saw as a two-tier policing approach. “We want justice equally dispensed, regardless of the race of the individual, but we don’t live in a meritocracy, we live in a society where the colour of your skin dictates what justice you receive. Where you live dictates what policing you receive. If you’re in Richmond, or in the nice leafy areas of Wimbledon, it’s one sort of policing. If you’re in Peckham, Brixton or Tottenham, you get a distinctly other brand of policing.” Marcia and Samantha, sisters to Sean Rigg, a mental health patient who died in custody told of their Justice and Change Campaign, seeking justice for their brother. “In one church there’s three of us, so that shows you what an epidemic this is,” said Samantha Rigg-David. Ms. MacAttram made a plea for people to understand the consequence of taking away a key figure in a child’s life. The meeting was also addressed by a youth pastor Nathan John. Pastor John was seven years old when his father Orville Blackwood died in psychiatric custody in 1991. He grew up worrying whether he’d have mental health issues. “What was taken away from me is something that I think every child should have. It doesn’t matter who my father was, whether he was a good man or a bad man; I should have access to him.” Mr. Ferro spoke about how he faced opposition making the film “Injustice”. He said: “We’ve had a few screenings where senior police officers have come down, and what they always say is: ‘we’re learn-

“We want justice equally dispensed, regardless of the race of the individual, but we don’t live in a meritocracy, we live in a society where the colour of your skin dictates what justice you receive. Where you live dictates what policing you receive. If you’re in Richmond, or in the nice leafy areas of Wimbledon, it’s one sort of policing. If you’re in Peckham, Brixton or Tottenham, you get a distinctly other brand of policing” Mr. Lee Jasper, Race equality campaigner To order the “Injustice” DVD please log on to: and for advice and support on black deaths in custody, please visit By Chinwe Ojielo

The AfroNews looking for advertising sales agents Are you very good at selling advertising space? The AfroNews is looking for advertising sales agents and competent telesales agents (Home-workers) to sell advertising space in our newspaper. You’ll work from home and will be paid on commission from the sales. The AfroNews is a weekly free-press paper featuring news and guides for the Black Community in the UK. If you are convinced you can sell advertising space, please email your CV and a covering letter to


No. 25. 8th - 14th November 2011


Africa Rocks Expo celebrates the best of Nigerian culture great praise was Fée Uhssi’s collection. promote and preserve natural cotton from The best of Nigerian culture tional Nigerian Females’. Other seminars were focused on opporInspired by the African art of wrapping, Africa and traditional techniques of fabric was celebrated at this year’s tunities in Nigeria, Nollywood and Nigerian where one piece of fabric can be worn in making.” Africa Rocks Expo. Held on Sunday 23rd October at London’s Hotel Russell, 10-piece group London Afrobeat Collective kick started the live entertainment, which also saw performances by Nigerian musicians including X-factor’s Rachel Adedeji. Visitors heard Olympic Gold medallist Christine Ohuruogu MBE, and Edna Agbarha, star of TV’s The Apprentice talk as panellists in the seminar ‘Meet inspira-

media, while stalls displayed African prints, bags, food and businesses. Of all the options on show to see and be inspired by, it was the fashion show which drew in the biggest crowds. Designs gracing the runway included urban street style creations by Mr Gamz, Kamondi Couture’s tailored suits and shirts for women and Calliste Couture’s bridal and special occasion wear. One designer who’s creations garnered

multiple ways, her designs mixed African and European ethically sourced fabrics. “Most of my designs are reversible, multi-functional. It’s all about metamorphosis, transformation and being able to wear the same garment in many different ways,” said Fée who sources her fabrics from West Africa. “Most of my fabrics are coming from Mali because I am supporting a charity called Bolo’no which means handmade. The aim of the charity is to

Part of her production is made in Africa in collaboration with the charity and local tailors. For the production in the UK, she works alongside London based charity HEBA Women Project, who help women from Asia integrate in the UK. By Chinwe Ojielo Pictures by Nico Sign Connexion Picture


No. 24. 8th - 14th November 2011

KBS to launch Domestic Richard Taylor Violence Awareness wins GAB Award Program for church leaders Richard Taylor OBE, father of murdered schoolboy Damilola Taylor was among the winners at this year’s Gathering of Africa’s Best Awards (GAB).

Kim Bacchus Solutions (KBS) is launching a dynamic Domestic V i o l e n c e Aw a r e n e s s Program. Domestic violence within churches is a big issue with a small voice. Both men and women can feel unable to talk about their experience of domestic violence, even with the people closest to them, and as a result do not receive the help they need. This leaves them in a dangerous and potentially lifethreatening situation on a day to day basis. Furthermore, perpetrators of domestic violence are being left to continue committing this crime unnoticed. Churches need to provide the opportunity for both victims and perpetrators of domestic violence to receive help.

You are invited to attend the official launch of the KBS Domestic Violence Training Program, for Pastors and Leaders serious about tackling this issue and bringing about a positive change. The program will be launched on 19th November 2011

at iCAN, 35 Monier Road, Bow, London E3 2PR. Admission is free. For more information and to register, please visit You may also send an email to or dial 07961 500 625.

On Sunday 23rd October, Mr. Taylor was presented with the award for Youth Engagement in the African Community at London’s Hilton Paddington hotel. South London based organization, Youth Against Crime not Crime Against Yo u (YACnCAY) won in the Youth Empowerment category. It’s delighted founder Toyin Idowu said of winning the award: “I really thank the good, merciful and faithful Lord!” The GAB Awards seek to promote a positive image of Africa and Africans around the world.



No. 25. 8th - 14th November 2011


Croydon to host Black Youth Achievements Awards ceremony The Awards recognise talents and accomplishments of young black people in UK The Black Youth Achievements (BYA) Awards ceremony will be held in Croydon, South London, on 19th November 2011, at Jury’s Inn Hotel. The BYA Awards celebrate the achievements of young people of Black Caribbean/Black African parentage in the UK between the ages of eight and 25. Founded in 2008, the BYA Awards set out to recognise and reward the talents, positive actions and personal accomplishments of black youth. More often than not, black youth are misrepresented as underachievers or involved in criminal activities and are rarely acknowledged for their everyday successes and contributions within industries such as education and business. The BYA Awards challenge this perception and are proud to promote the real image of young black individuals and cre-

ate strong role models for future generations. The BYA Awards are aspiring to be the UK’s premier ceremony of recognition for

young people and look forward to hosting the event nationally from 2012. This year the awards ceremony will be held in Croydon, South London; an area

which suffered significant damage during the civil unrest in August. The 3rd BYA Awards and Croydon will be part of an evening that will celebrate our amazing young people, reversing the negative association that has been portrayed of youth not just locally but around the country. Nominees, their friends and families, sponsors, media and guests alike will enjoy a 3-course dinner specially prepared for the occasion and then share in the excitement as the 2011 winners are announced. With special performances and speakers, the evening promises to entertain, educate and exhilarate. BYA Awards tickets are available to purchase on The ticket price includes dinner, awards ceremony and showcase.

Report: Don’t let involvement with mental health service slow down Mental health groups fear that barriers between statutory bodies and BME service user initiatives could result in disengagement, a new report has revealed.

nature of partnership working and the solutions to challenges. In relation to effective user involvement the report recommends linking work to change mental health services with broader race and rights based initiatives in A review of the re-released report education, forensic services, citizenship ‘Dancing to Our Own Tunes’ (TOOTS) rights, social inclusion, employment, which was launched on 1st November by income generation, etc. the National Survivor User Network It also rec(NSUN) and The ommends Afiya Trust, says building relathe momentum of tionships “The shake-up of the welfare BME service user between maininvolvement must not and benefits system and cuts stream groups slow down. to support like legal aid, and black and The report identiadvocacy and peer support minority ethnic fies a number of bargroups, between riers affecting the organisations have left many communities and relationships between service users vulnerable. I between professtatutory bodies and sionals and seruser involvement ini- would like to see the recomvice users/survitiatives. Following mendations in the report, the vors. recommendations in charter and the guidelines The report the original report, an further recomadvisory TOOTS taken seriously by the policy mends enabling group produced set makers and organisations p r o f e s s i o n a l s guidelines and a charthey work with in strategic from Black and ter to ensure good minority ethnic forums” partnership working communities to between both parties. think about race One guideline in related issues in Dr. Jayasree Kalathil, particular is the rectheir practice. ognition of the role of Author of ‘Dancing to Our Groups and service user experiOwn Tunes’ (TOOTS) organisations ences in making them working locally report experts in their own should be right to inform the

actively sought, the report says, adding that their work should be highlighted and supported. Sarah Yiannoullou, NSUN Manager, said: “The findings and recommendaReassessing black and minority ethnic tions in the 2008 report are as relevant today as they mental health service user involvement were when the consultations were done. There is a renewed onus on national organisations with resources and capacity to support local groups to ensure that the momentum built over the years is not destroyed by funding cuts and policy shifts.” Patrick Vernon, Chief Executive of The Afiya the years. However, regardless of the rhetTrust, said: “This report launches the oric around putting patients first in the TOOTS charter and guidelines for involvegovernment’s policy papers, user involvement. It comes at a crucial time when both ment structures and policies are being disuser involvement and the race equality mantled across the board.” agenda are underplayed and sidelined in Dr. Kalathil observed that the new mental health policy. It is our responsibilimental health policy says nothing about ty to ensure that the service user movement taking forward the legacy of the Delivering as a whole and black and minority ethnic Race Equality programme. “The shake-up user movement in particular are supported of the welfare and benefits system and cuts to continue doing the great, and sometimes to support like legal aid, advocacy and difficult, work they do in challenging and peer support organisations have left many changing the mental health system.” service users vulnerable. I would like to Jayasree Kalathil, author of the report see the recommendations in the report, the and a research consultant, said: “In many charter and the guidelines taken seriously ways, service user self-determination and by the policy makers and organisations leadership have grown considerably over they work with in strategic forums.”

Dancing to our own tunes

No. 24. 8th - 14th November 2011



PRECIOUS Award 2011 winners announced Cameron sends support for unique entrepreneurial awards ceremony for women of colour enormous prestige and credibility as the entrepreneurial community celebrates the achievements of inspirational women of colour.” In a message to the organisers of the PRECIOUS Awards, Prime Minister David Cameron, said: “I am delighted once again to give my support to the PRECIOUS Awards and to congratulate those who use their talent and initiative to start a business. Your awards will help to create great role models for others to follow. This is vital work and you have my full support. “This event, now in its 5th year, continues to cel-

“I am delighted once again to give my support to the Precious Awards and to congratulate those who use their talent and initiative to start a business. Your awards will help to create great role models for others to follow. This is vital work and you have my full support” Prime Minister David Cameron Markets EMEA, NBC Universal, and Michael Clarke, National Diversity Manager at the Environment Agency.

WINNERS OF PRECIOUS AWARD 2011 Ms. Sadia Sisay and Ms. Sumana Mukhopadhyay - Being U, the PRECIOUS Entrepreneurs of the Year 2011 Member of Parliament for Streatham Chuka Umunna scooped the PRECIOUS Man of the Year Award at the 5th Annual PRECIOUS Awards in London.

The awards ceremony took place on 27th October at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel and was supported by The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). Mr. Umunna, who is the Shadow Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills dedicated his award to his constituents and his mother. The PRECIOUS Awards recognise the achievements of inspirational and entrepreneurial women of colour. To mark five years of celebrating success, this year a range of new categories were introduced including the PRECIOUS Man of the Year and Lifestyle awards in recognition of the brands that had made a mark on the community over the last year. “These awards are about recognising and honouring the success women of colour have achieved in business and leadership,” Foluke Akinlose MBE, Founder of the PRECIOUS Awards said. “I am really looking forward to seeing how these winning businesses grow and develop over the coming months and years and how our mentor and leadership winners continue to support and lead by example.” Ms. Akinlose added that Mr. Chuka Umunna, MP, Shadow Minister being nominated and winning an award at the for Business, Innovation and Skills - the PRECIOUS Awards “carries PRECIOUS Man of the Year

ebrate the contribution that Black and Asian female entrepreneurs make to the UK economy and I hope that this continues and grows in the f u t u r e . Congratulations to all the finalists and all those involved in organising, supporting and participating in this prestigious event.” The judging panel for the PRECIOUS Awards 2011 included Heather Melville, a R e g i o n a l Director at RBS and Sandie Okoro, General Counsel, Baring A s s e t Management Limited. They were joined by L a x m i Hariharan, Marketing and R e s e a r c h Director for Emerging

BUSINESS Start-Up Business of the Year Sadia Sisay and Sumana Mukhopadhyay - Being U Social Enterprise Business of the Year Rioch Edwards-Brown - So You Wanna Be In TV? Best Business Lotwina Farodoye - Be Fruity Young Entrepreneur of the Year Lauren Craig - Thinking Flowers Mentor of the year Professor Laura Serrant-Green - Director of Research and Enterprise, Centre for Health and Social Care Improvement - University of Wolverhampton Inspiring Leadership within the Workplace Ronke Lawal - Chief Executive - Islington Chamber of Commerce The Hidden Gem Award (Sponsored by RBS) Camille Johnson - Pink Ribbon Lingerie LIFESTYLE The PRECIOUS Blogger of the Year The Musings of Ondo Lady The PRECIOUS Man of the Year Chuka Umunna, MP, Shadow Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills Beauty Brand of the Year Sleek The PRECIOUS Hair Brand of the Year Mizani The PRECIOUS Digital Romance Award iPad2


No. 25. 8th - 14th November 2011


Make sure you use regulated immigration advisers Immigration Services Commissioner explains how to check that the adviser is regulated All immigrants in the UK who are considering seeking immigration advice or services should make sure they use a regulated immigration adviser, says Suzanne McCarthy, the Immigration Services Commissioner. In the UK it is illegal for anyone to give immigration advice or services without being regulated. The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) protects those who may need the advice or services of an immigration adviser. “My Office deals with any issues where an immigration adviser might be involved. These include giving advice and assistance to those already in the UK about their status as well as assisting others who are seeking help with respect to settlement applications, nationality and citizenship issues; EU and EEA immigration matters; fiancé and marriage applications; children and dependent relatives issues; business and other visitor queries; and asylum applications and detention or enforcement. The OISC also regulates those who provide assistance to sponsors under Tiers 2 and 4 of the Points Based System,” Mrs. McCarthy says. If you are considering using someone to give you immigration advice, Mrs. McCarthy suggests you check that the person is regulated. You can do this by going to the OISC’s website and clicking on “Find an adviser”. You should also look for the OISC certificate and OISC global tick logo – these are only issued to OISC approved advisers,

and both should be on prominent display at the adviser’s premises. “For your own protection, make sure your adviser is regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) or in England and Wales by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, the Bar Council or the Institute of Legal Executives. As the Immigration Services Commissioner I ensure that only fit and competent people are allowed to work as OISC regulated

The OISC as a regulator “For your own protection, make sure does not itself give immigrayour adviser is regulated by the advice. Office of the Immigration Services tionThe OISC Commissioner (OISC) or in England also handles complaints and Wales by the Solicitors about immigraRegulation Authority, the Bar tion advisers. Council or the Institute of Legal All complaints Executives. As the Immigration received are treated as confiServices Commissioner I ensure that Mrs. only fit and competent people are dential. McCarthy sugallowed to work as OISC regulated gests that: “If immigration advisers. There are just you are unhapunder 2,000 OISC regulated organi- py with the serof your sations currently operating in the vices immigration UK” adviser, you can complain to the OISC. Making Mrs. Suzanne McCarthy, a complaint will Immigration Services not affect any Commissioner application you have made or intend to make immigration advisers. There to the United Kingdom Border Agency are just under 2,000 OISC (UKBA)”. regulated organisations curFor your free copy of the OISC’s rently operating in the UK.” General Information Leaflet (available in Mrs. McCarthy also advises that: “All 15 languages), go to the OISC’s website at OISC advisers must keep up to date with and click on “OISC relevant law and the immigration rules, Documents” or call 020 7211 1500 or 0845 abide by the Commissioner’s Code of 000 0046. Standards and Rules and maintain proper The Immigration Services Commissioner records”. operates completely independently of the And you should remember that no one Home Office and the UK Border Agency can guarantee that your application will be (UKBA). Her accountability is directly to approved – even if you use a regulated the Home Secretary and through her to immigration adviser, Mrs. McCarthy says. Parliament.

500 colleges can no longer bring international students to UK Tough new rules and enforcement action to stop abuse of the student visa has made nearly 500 colleges lose the right to bring new international students to the UK to study. The colleges – a number of which were bogus and did not offer genuine courses could have brought more than 11,000 students into the UK to study each year. New UK Border Agency regulations have raised the standards education providers must meet to sponsor international students. So far, 474 colleges have lost their right to recruit international students after they failed to sign up for the new inspection system. UKBA said that the new standards will help ensure genuine international students get a good quality education in the UK. A related UK Border Agency investigation into more than 100 colleges has led to 51 having their licences revoked. The investigation followed a surge in applications from South Asia just before the English language requirement rules were

tightened earlier this year. More than 4,500 of these applications to study have been refused or withdrawn as a result. Officials encountered evidence of clear abuse. One student interviewed to test his English skills answered almost every question with the word ‘hello’. At another college staff turned the lights off and hid when inspectors called and one college was unable to provide any timetables of classes or registers of students enrolled. A Norfolk-based college had students whose home address was recorded as Glasgow. Immigration Minister Damian Green said: “Widespread abuse of the student visa system has gone on for too long and the changes we have made are beginning to bite. “Too many institutions were offering international students an immigration service rather than an education and too many students have come to the UK with the aim of getting work and bringing over family members. Only first-class education providers should be given licences to sponsor international students.”

Mr. Green added that they have curbed the opportunities to work during study and bring in family members. “We have also introduced new language requirements to ensure we only attract genuine students whose primary motivation is to study.” As well as going through tough new inspections, colleges that want to keep bringing in international students must also meet new higher sponsorship standards to ensure they are fulfilling their immigration responsibilities. Those who do not meet these standards will be removed from the sponsorship register. The UK Border Agency has also created a list of more than 2,000 banks and financial institutions who can no longer provide evidence to verify a student has sufficient funds for their course. If a bank is on the list, a student citing that institution will not be granted a visa. Further measures to tighten student visa rules are due in April next year. The post study work route, which allowed overseas students to work after graduation will be closed and students wishing to work will need to apply for a work visa.

There will also be new time limits on student visas and tougher rules on work placements. The UK Border Agency will monitor the behaviour of all sponsors and take action against any that are not complying with standards of education provision or immigration control.

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No. 24. 8th - 14th November 2011


Keep legal aid for vulnerable groups, Refugee Council tells government The Refugee Council is disappointed that the government is continuing with its proposals to slash legal aid, leaving some of the most vulnerable people in society, including asylum seekers and refugees without access to justice.

Earlier this year, the Refugee Council responded to a government consultation on the proposals, calling for the government to reconsider its proposals. The charity has also supported the Law Society’s Sound Off for Justice campaign, which offers the government alternative cost savings without denying people legal support. “We are extremely frustrated that our recommendations for ensuring asylum seekers and refugees have access to legal aid have been dismissed,” Donna Covey, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council said.

The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill which passed through the House of Commons early this month at report stage, outlines the government’s proposals to cut legal aid for asylum support cases and family reunion cases for refugees, amongst other areas. One positive change to the Bill has meant people facing indiscriminate violence, unlawful killing or execution in their own country, as well as those fleeing persecution, will be eligible for legal aid in certain circumstances.

“In particular, it is concerning that refugees attempting to bring their families here are being treated as straightforward immigration cases, and will not be eligible for legal aid to challenge the government, which has been shown to get the majority of first decisions on these claims wrong. Refugee cases will undoubtedly be complex, with families stuck in countries where they are being persecuted or are missing – these people need legal support to ensure their applications for family reunion will be considered.” Although pleased that legal aid will be extended to those faced with indiscriminate violence and those facing persecution in their own countries, Refugee Council is concerned that there are many circumstances in which these people will have nowhere to turn for access to justice. “While we know cuts must be made, there are alternatives to allowing the most vulnerable people to go without the legal help they need. We strongly urge the House of Lords to now reconsider these proposals,” Refugee Council said.

UK Border Agency loses track of 124,000 asylum seekers UK Border Agency has lost track of 124,000 asylum seekers, the equivalent of the population of Cambridge, a new report by the Home Affairs Committee has revealed. The Committee’s report shows that the UK Border has not resolved all of the asylum ‘legacy’ cases first identified in 2006 within the promised five year timeframe. Instead, 18,000 ongoing cases are still awaiting a final decision. The Committee also expressed concern at the dramatic increase in files transferred to the “controlled archive” in the past six months. The files, which are placed in the archive when every effort to track an applicant has been exhausted, numbered 40,500 in March 2011. By September 2011, it had increased to 124,000. The Committee has recommended that guidance be produced on the management of the controlled archive and has stated with conviction that any further rise in the number of files transferred to the archive will be considered a failing on the part of

the Agency. The Committee also criticised the UK Border Agency for failing to explain why 350 foreign national prisoners due to be deported are still in the country. The Agency provided the Committee with a breakdown of the issues with the deportation process of 1,300 prisoners who were released between 1st April 2010 and 31st March 2011. The largest group, making up 27% of the total, was labelled ‘unknown’. The MPs also criticised the Agency for its inability to disclose how many individuals were removed from the country due to intelligence provided by members of the public. The Committee emphasised the importance of intelligence provided to the Agency in stopping abuse of the system, but warned that unless the public can see that the Agency uses the intelligence provided, it will simply lead to further public frustration with the immigration system as a whole. The Committee objected to the Agency’s use of the euphemistic term

“controlled archive” to describe the applicants with whom it has lost contact. It would be more appropriate, the Committee said, to describe it as the archive of lost applicants. The MPs were surprised by the claim that the UK Border Agency does not recognise the term “bogus college” given that the Home Office recently released a press notice which focused on colleges which had their licences revoked, some of which were described as ‘bogus’. The Government should commission a detailed investigation into financial waste, including the writing-off of bad debts, overpayments to staff and asylum applicants, and failure to collect civil penalties, the Committee said. MPs also called for better liaison between the Agency and HM Prison Service to ensure that foreign national prisoners are deported, where appropriate, rather than released into the community. Noting that the Agency is losing too many appeals at immigration tribunals, the MPs urged the Agency to raise the quality of its representation and commit to being

represented at every hearing so that the case for refusal can properly be made. The Agency needs to ensure that all their staff are aware of the existence of “bogus colleges”, which exist only to sponsor visa applications, the MPs said. Rt. Hon Keith Vaz MP, Chairman of the Committee said: “The UK Border Agency is still not providing the efficient, effective service that Parliament expects. The so-called ‘controlled archive’ has become a dumping ground for cases where the UK Border Agency has lost track of the applicant. From 18,000 files last November, it has now grown to 124,000—the equivalent of the population of Cambridge. “The Prime Minister himself recently called for members of the public to provide intelligence on immigrants. There is little point in encouraging people to do this if the border agency continues to fail to manage the intelligence it receives or to keep track of those who apply to stay. A fit for purpose immigration system needs to keep track of applicants rather than allowing them to go missing.”


No. 25. 8th - 14th November 2011


Create room for models of colour Exclusive interview with model Vicky Ngari-Wilson, a very proud mother Vicky Ngari-Wilson is a model, a stylist and an entrepreneur. She is a former Miss East Africa UK, Miss Kenya UK and Exquisite Face of the Universe. Vicky who enjoys creating events and doing PR is working on creating a charitable foundation. Vicky and her mother have created ‘N’ya’ jewellery, a brand of contemporary authentic African brass designs. Each piece donates 10% to building a home for street children in Kenya. Vicky has something special to reveal. “This is gonna shock a lot of people but I would like to announce the birth of my baby girl. She is beautiful and has already proudly started her modelling career with maternity and baby work,” Vicky says. Here’s an exclusive interview she granted The AfroNews. Vicky, why did you choose to become a model? I grew up in the super model era so from the age of six I mimicked my favourite stars. I was never shy in front of the lens so after nagging my mother to ‘look at me’ all the time, she finally decided to sign me up with an agent. For how long have you been model-

ling? I began at 16 years old with commercials and editorials then entered and won my first pageant at 22. From then I began doing fashion shows and a little acting.

are lots of pots in the paint pallet! Is there any particular thing you’d like to campaign for or against?

How does it feel to be a model? When you do something you love, it’s fulfilling. I get so excited not just about taking a good shot but also being a stylistit’s about working as a team to get a strong theme and story behind the picture. We hardly see black models in major fashion shows, magazine covers and in advertisements in the UK. Why do you think this happens? Honestly - I think it reflects the demography of people who are running the show behind the scenes most of the time. Maybe designers and directors haven’t had the guts to break the mold yet. I am sure there are probably more reasons that make the whole thing a complex and controversial subject. What’s your message to those who organise fashion events in the UK but deny models of colour a chance of taking part? The world is a colourful place - there

Hmm I would like to campaign for more petite models! As a model, what do you consider to be your role in the society? To model grace inside and outside in your performance and involvement in projects. I think it’s important to lead, starting new ideas and projects from your platform. What’s the part of your body you like most? At my fittest, I’m pretty proud of all of my body because I work hard at it and I am how I am supposed to be. If I had to choose - my abs and behind. What’s your favourite Music/ Book/Movie? Being a writer I have many favourite books, I’m usually reading four or five at a time – “In my Mother’s Garden” by Alice Walker, “The power of now” by Eckhart Tolle, “48 laws of Power”, and “Woman thou art loosed” by TD Jakes. Music depends on my mood. I love the power of music: old school RnB and Hip Hop revive my youth, Cold Play mellows my focus, Soul softens my spirit, Rick Ross motivates me and Beyoncé awakens the diva! Most recent favourite movies are

No. 24. 8th - 14th November 2011


“I want to run a lucrative business, have a productive charity foundation and be a brand that stands for a strong feminine power. I also want to nurture four or five talented children and a strong marriage” Vicky Ngari-Wilson, Model “Limitless”, “For Coloured girls” and “Book of Eli”. What’s your most memorable day? The day my daughter was born. I’m sure I had a conversation with God, for a moment I understood the meaning of life. I understood my power. What do you like most about yourself? I like the fact that I know what I want in this life. What’s your favourite food? Ha! I cannot answer that- I love food, as long as it’s healthy and tasty, it’s all love. What’s your special talent? Styling: be it a room, make up, hair or an outfit. When I have a vision I will improvise till it’s perfect from conception to completion. What are your career and personal ambitions? I want to run a lucrative business, have


a productive charity foundation and be a brand that stands for a strong feminine power. I also want to nurture four or five talented children and a strong marriage. What’s your message to the black community members, especially to the young people who quite often don’t think they can make it in life? The battle is in the mind, you gonna go where you are thinking so fight to change it. What do you do to keep your figure in shape and your body well toned? Running, spinning, kick boxing, pilates, hot bikram yoga. A combination gives a good balance of fitness, conditioning and suppleness. Exercise is a must, after having my baby I flung back to shape. Do you have any fashion, beauty and style tips to share with our readers? Style - find the best part of you and accentuate it with class. If you don’t have a clue about clothes - keep it simple. For beauty I drink lots of water and exercise to keep skin glowing. Lip gloss and shaped eyebrows always give women a finished look. What are the qualities of your ideal man? I am very blessed to be able to say I have my ideal man. He is ambitious not only in his professional life but in constantly growing as a better person, he seeks

God. He can charm anyone. A family man and he looks good, he’s beautiful. By Stephen Ogongo Ongong’a

BASIC INFORMATION Full Name: Vicky Ngari- Wilson Date of birth: 30/09/1986 Place of birth: Kenya Height: 5’5 Bust: 32 C Waist: 24 Hips: 34 Dress Size: 8 Shoe Size: 5 Eyes: Black Hair Colour: Brown Qualification: BA Creative Writing Country of parents’ origin: Kenya Contacts Mahogany Models Tel: 07971 388687

No. 24. 8th - 14th November 2011


I can’t afford a lawyer ... or can I? Six main ways in which legal action can be funded

This guide looks at one of the first and foremost concerns facing anyone wishing to initiate legal action against another person or institution – how do they pay for it? We will explain the six main ways in which legal action can be funded. The legal system of England and Wales has long allowed for the possibility of commencing legal action without paying any costs, since the ‘Access to Justice Act 1999’ extended the reach of ‘conditional fee agreements’. These have become known in popular language as ‘no win no fee’, as quite literally if you do not win, then you have nothing to pay (provided you have complied with the terms of the agreement). Conditional Fee Agreements are probably the most complex of the six funding methods, yet undeniably the most attractive to most people. We will therefore cover the other five in passing before getting to grips with Conditional Fee Agreements (CFA’s). Please note, CFAs are only available in litigation – where you are suing people in the courts. For many areas, CFAs are not available. Whichever funding method you choose, the general principle in legal disputes is that the loser pays the winner’s costs. Therefore if you win, then your opponent has a double bill – both your compensation and your legal expenses.

1) Fee paying (private) This means you pay upfront for your solicitor’s costs. If you win, you can claim these back, but if you lose then you also have to pay your opponent’s costs. Not surprisingly this is the least popular method of funding legal action. However, it is often the only option where CFAs are not available. Unfortunately it is also sometimes the only option. As we will see in a few paragraphs, the CFA route, whilst being the most attractive for consumers like you, carries the most risk for solicitors as they will be out of pocket if they lose the case. Lawyers will therefore carry out a ‘risk analysis’ of your case before offering to take it on a CFA basis. They’ll look at the circumstances of the claim, the likelihood of winning, an estimate of costs and also how likely it is they will be able to recover both their costs and a ‘success fee’ from the other side. If the resulting risk is too high, then unfortunately they will inform you they can only take the case on fee-paying basis. This should not

be taken personally – it is no more than their professional assessment of these various factors.

2) Legal expenses (also known as ‘Before The Event’) insurance Many insurance policies, including motor, home and credit cards provide legal expense cover. This is often limited to specific types of claim, but if you are covered then you should use this as it is already paid for, but be aware – you

employment disputes. They are currently not possible in personal injury claims although the government is pushing through changes to allow this – these are significant changes to the legal system and we will keep you informed of developments.

6) Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) A press release by the Lord Chancellor at the time of the ‘Access to Justice Act 1999’ said that conditional fee arrangements would extend access to justice by ensuring that the costs of legal proceedings fall on those who cause the need for litigation and by ensuring that the value of any award by the court is preserved for the person it is awarded to (by preventing solicitors from taking a share).

In summary, a CFA usually goes like this: • The solicitor does not charge you for their time. They pay for costs arising from running your case out of their own funds, looking to claim these back from your opponent should they win.

do not have to use the lawyers they appoint. European law clearly states that you have the right to choose your own lawyer.

3) Union membership If you are a fee-paying member of a union then it will often provide free legal advice, and may fund your claim. Trade unions usually have pre-selected legal partners and insist on using these to action the claim. Again you do not have to use the lawyers they appoint. European law clearly states that you have the right to choose your own lawyer.

4) Legal Aid Legal Aid is where your costs are paid by the government through the Legal Services Commission. You have to meet certain income criteria and it is not available for personal injury claims (other than clinical negligence). Also, many solicitors do not accept legal aid work.

5) Contingency fee This is where your solicitor agrees to not charge you an upfront fee, but instead takes a share of your compensation award, if you win. The maximum they can charge you is 35% of your award. Contingency fees are common in

• The solicitor takes out legal expenses insurance on your behalf, known as ‘After The Event’ or ATE insurance. This pays for your opponent’s legal costs and your own disbursements in the event that you lose your case. • If you win, then your solicitor will recover from your opponent three different charges: - Your compensation – which you should keep 100% of - The expenses they have incurred in running the case including the cost of the ATE insurance, and a fee for their time - A ‘success fee’, expressed as a percentage of the time charge (‘normal costs’), and never more than 100% The ‘success fee’ is a very interesting concept – not least because the government announced on 29th March that it would be seeking to abolish them (this is a massive topic of debate and one we will cover again). However it will remain in force for a while yet – probably at least a year – so it is still worth understanding what it means. Essentially success fees recognise that solicitors will win some cases and lose others. Success fees on the cases that they win allow them to cover the losses they make on the other cases. Technically, the person making the claim is responsible for paying the success fee, however it is usually recovered from the losing party. Indeed, usually the other party will

make an offer to settle the case before it reaches court. The success fee will then be less than 100%. Most success fees are pre-set by the court rules depending on the type of claim being made. With regards to the basic costs of running your case, if you win, they are usually paid by the other side, however, if the other side thinks they are too high, the court can decide that they do not have to pay the full amount. If this happens, you might have to pay the difference out of your compensation. Sometimes, a solicitor may agree only to charge you whatever you are able to get back from the other side. If this is the case, it must be written in the CFA. Depending on the circumstances, and the agreement you have with your solicitor, you might also have costs to pay if: • your solicitor advises you to drop your case and you choose not to • you refuse to settle out of court when your solicitor advises you to • you agree to settle out of court against the advice of your solicitor • you refuse to co-operate with your solicitor in some other way • the other side is ordered to pay costs but can’t afford to. It can be very daunting to see in the CFA you are being asked to sign, numerous examples of situations such as the above where you may be liable for costs. However if you are engaging a solicitor on a CFA basis, you should be aware that until they receive the signed CFA document from you, they will not start any work on your behalf. In reality as long as you always heed the advice of your solicitor, then it is highly unlikely you will have to pay any costs – it is technically possible but very few solicitors will want to earn a reputation for charging their clients unfairly under a CFA. By HAMILTON BRADY LTD, Tel: 0844 873 6081 E-mail: Address: Springfield House Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5BG Disclaimer: The above article is meant to be relied upon as an informative article and in no way constitutes legal advice. Information is offered for general information purposes only, based on the current law when the information was published in this newspaper. You should always seek advice from an appropriately qualified solicitor on any specific legal enquiry. For legal advice regarding your case, please contact Hamilton Brady for a Consultation with a Solicitor on 0844 873 608.




No. 25. 8th - 14th November 2011


Interview with Jacqueline Moudeina, winner of Right Livelihood Award

“I have a duty to contribute to a just life” Leading Chadian human rights lawyer, Jacqueline Moudeina has won a Right Livelihood Award, widely known as the Alternative Nobel Prize. Jacqueline has been honoured for her fight to win justice for the victims of the former Chadian dictator Hissène Habré. For her activism she has received numerous death threats and survived an assassination attempt. The Afro News spoke to Jacqueline to learn more about her activism. Congratulations on winning a Right Livelihood Award. How do you feel about it? I am overwhelmed by winning this award as it proves that the work which I have been doing for years has been followed outside the borders of my country, Chad. Although I have been neglected and despised by many of my fellow compatriots, this recognition shows that my fight is just and laudable. You were one of the first women to practice law in Chad. Why did you decide to become a lawyer? When the civil war broke out in Chad in 1979, I was forced to leave my homeland and move to Congo. It was during this time that I wanted to become a lawyer. I knew from an early age that I wanted to help people. I believe that the death of my father was a contributing factor; a man who had links to the government poisoned him. I was born three weeks after my father’s death and my mother died when I was 11. I always say that it was due to my status as an orphan that I am more attentive to those who suffer. Can you briefly explain what life was like living under Hissène Habré’s rule? Within a short space of time, everything came to a halt. Tensions were aroused between ethnic groups and things were made worse by heartless politicians forcing southern Chadians to return to the south. My husband and I had no choice but to leave the country; my husband had openly criticised Hissène Habré, who was then

Prime Minister, so we were in danger. Life for the Chadian people was one that was lived in fear. Many people were tortured, imprisoned, forced into exile, raped and above all killed mercilessly under Habré’s regime. In short, life was a living hell. In the face of death threats and an assassination attempt, what has kept you motivated to carry on with your work? The fact that the perpetrators tried to kill me, and have still not been brought to justice makes me work harder. In Chad, there are violations against humanity every day. You can either stand by and be a victim or decide to try and fight against them. I decided to fight back. I have tried to conquer my fear; I no longer have the word fear in my vocabulary, but it is a real struggle on a daily basis. I am working with women who can’t understand why the dreadful atrocities they experienced are not being recognised by the court. They have no patience with the system and I can understand this. The fight against impunity which I lead and which I will win by the Grace of God is what drives me on. What would you like to achieve through extraditing Hissène Habré to Belgium? I want justice for Chad. I want those who have suffered at the hands of Habré to have their day in the sun. I want justice making sure that those who committed crimes do not go unpunished. I think that if Habré is extradited to Belgium the case will be under an international spotlight. This will make it easier for the world to see and understand what the people of Chad went through. How has working as a human rights lawyer changed your outlook on people and the world in general? I only know that it is not easy to fight for human rights. It is often a thankless task although it is always a noble one. Those who one defends are not always grateful. I have problems with my family who yearn for a better life, one I could provide financially, and not one that makes them afraid that I may be killed, yet I firmly believe I have a duty to contribute to a just life and to help prevent violations

“The fact that the perpetrators tried to kill me, and have still not been brought to justice makes me work harder. In Chad, there are violations against humanity every day. You can either stand by and be a victim or decide to try and fight against them. I decided to fight back. I have tried to conquer my fear; I no longer have the word fear in my vocabulary, but it is a real struggle on a daily basis” Ms. Jacqueline Moudeina, Winner of Right Livelihood Award against humanity. Finally, how will the Right Livelihood Award help you in your work? The protection the award offers is very important to me. Receiving the Right

Livelihood Award will raise my profile internationally and make it difficult for people to attack me as they have done in the past. By Chinwe Ojielo

AU condemns terrorist attacks in Damaturu, Nigeria The African Union condemned the bomb attacks carried out by in the north-eastern town of Damaturu.

(AU) has est terrorist acts witnessed in the country to less violence, which cannot be justified of terrorism, and its determination to comunder any circumstances.” bat its scourge in accordance with the reland gun date. The Chairperson of the Commission of Dr. Ping sent his most sincere condoevant AU and international instruments. terrorists the AU, Dr. Jean Ping, said he was shocked lences to the families of the victims and to Dr. Ping encouraged the Government Nigerian

The attacked left over 100 people dead and dozens wounded, in one of the bloodi-

and deeply disturbed to learn of the attack. He condemned in the strongest terms “these mindless criminal acts and sense-

the Government of Nigeria, and wished those wounded a speedy recovery. He reaffirmed the AU’s total rejection

of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to spare no efforts in bringing those responsible for this horrific attack to justice.

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No. 25. 8th - 14th November 2011


The People’s National Party of Jamaica is committed to the elimination of zones of political exclusivity which are bolstered by political violence, Leader of the Opposition, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller has said. The commitment was contained in a letter from the Opposition Leader to Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who had written to her in a letter dated 27th October, inviting her to walk in what he termed “garrison” communities. In her response on 31st October, the Leader of the Opposition said while symbolic actions such as walks may play a role, addressing the substantive issue of politically exclusive zones would take much more than walking in them. “Before we walk, I wish for us to sign-off on a programme of social transformation that serves to convert inner cities and depressed communities across Jamaica into ‘winner cities’, that will positively impact the lives of the persons who live within these

areas,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said. The Leader of the Opposition added that she was vehemently opposed to the stigmatization of these communities by them being described as ‘garrisons’. “This not only negatively affects the psyche of the honest, decent residents of these communities, but also elevates and emboldens criminal elements that live there,” Mrs. Simpson Miller pointed out. She reminded the Prime Minister of the tremendous progress and political reform achieved in the last two decades as part of the process of addressing the phenomenon of zone of political exclusion. These reforms have included the intro-


Eliminate politically exclusive zones - Jamaica’s opposition leader “We expect that the legal reforms recommended by the Electoral Commission of Jamaica, and agreed to by the Parliament, will be passed into law speedily, before elections are held. We are also of the view that steps should be taken to review the Political Code of Conduct, with a view to its strengthening” Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, Leader of the Opposition

duction of the Electronic Voter Identification and Ballots Issuing System (EVIBIS) and associated legal reforms, Mrs. Simpson Miller said. These gains, she added, now need to be consoli-

dated and advanced. “We need to be assured for the upcoming election, that the electoral process will at least be conducted at the level it was in 2007, and preferably extend those gains to other potentially volatile areas,” the Leader of the Opposition said. She added that before embarking on the symbolic activity of walking, she was therefore, seek-

ing a tangible indication of the Prime Minister’s commitment to these processes and principles. “We expect that the legal reforms recommended by the Electoral Commission of Jamaica, and agreed to by the Parliament, will be passed into law speedily, before elections are held. We are also of the view that steps should be taken to review the Political Code of Conduct, with a view to its strengthening,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.

UK ‘climate loan’ to Jamaica will increase indebtedness - Campaigners UK money will be used for a ‘climate loan’ to Jamaica, increasing its already heavy debt burden, following a decision by the World Bank last week. Campaigners have condemned the loan, which will drive the Caribbean nation deeper into poverty. Jamaica’s foreign debt stands at $2,500 per person, and the country spends $1.2 billion a year on debt repayments. The government’s foreign-owed debts are 55 per cent of national income, making its debt burden one of the heaviest in the world. The $10 million loan agreed last week is intended to help Jamaica adapt to the effects of climate change. But campaigners say countries like the UK should give climate funds as grants rather than loans. Jubilee Debt Campaign spokes-

person Tim Jones commented: “Debt has devastated lives across the world, bringing economic collapse and diverting money from essential public services. The

Jamaican government already spends $450 per person annually on debt repayments, more than on education and healthcare combined. The World Bank and UK government should be cancelling Jamaica’s debt, not adding to it “Debt has devastated lives across the world, with new unjust climate loans.” bringing economic collapse and diverting World Development money from essential public services. The Movement campaigner Jamaican government already spends $450 per Murray Worthy added: “The UK and other rich person annually on debt repayments, more countries than on education and healthcare combined. industrialised bear the responsibility The World Bank and UK government should for causing climate be cancelling Jamaica’s debt, not adding to it change, both historically and currently. We with new unjust climate loans” owe it to countries like Jamaica to help them Mr. Tim Jones, adapt to the ravages of climate change – in fact Jubilee Debt Campaign spokesperson we owe them money,

rather than the other way round. Climate loans do nothing to correct this injustice, and will only make life harder for Jamaicans as their government is forced to spend ever more on debt servicing.” Climate loans using UK funds were also agreed for Bolivia and Yemen. The World Bank has so far lent $1.1 billion to developing countries in the name of climate change. Nearly 90 per cent of the UK’s funding to help countries adapt to climate change is through loans, not grants. The Jamaican government spends 28 per cent of the country’s revenues from exports on debt repayments, the highest amount of any developing country. This figure is a good measure of a country’s debt burden, because it is specifically export revenues which are needed to pay foreign debts. By Ekklesia staff writers

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No. 24. 8th - 14th November 2011



Meshell Ndegeocello shares intimate thoughts in “Weather” The eclectic songwriter plays two nights at London’s Jazz Cafe Meshell Ndegeocello has released her latest record “Weather” on Naïve. In this release Meshell, who is an eclectic songwriter, expands on her iconic style, writing a lush album of intimate song writing. “Weather” is produced by Grammywinner Joe Henry (Ani DiFranco, Solomon Burke). A strikingly organic record, the album finds Meshell experimenting with the sparse, orchestral melodies paired thoughtful lyrics, all performed by a band of fearsome musicians. On “Weather” Meshell’s usually deep vocals slip into a register more like a whisper, sharing secrets about subjects that are straightforward, almost light-hearted. She has pared down her style to something like pop. “I started to write this album on the guitar and you can hear it. The final atmosphere’s gentler.” Despite the pop-folk sound of “Weather”, jazz remains a major source of inspiration. “I love jazz musicians. They’re free; they have no fear. I’ve done pop and there are lots of barriers, lots of holding back. You have to stick to the conventions. Jazz musicians embrace uncertainty and adventure, even in their private lives. They’re more open and often more skilled, both in the studio and on stage.” On “Weather”, Meshell sings of the ups and downs of love, one of her favourite subjects. Her heroines are marked by the

Meshell Ndegeocello releases her new LP “Weather” this month void left by the loved one (“Object”) or else, like a game of mirrors, pour out their heart about the hurt they have caused others. She does a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Chelsea Hotel”, dedicated to Janis Joplin, an extremely sad and somewhat sexist song, as well as “Don’t Take My Kindness for Weakness” by Soul Children, a sixties soul band, whose message she has made

her own. Her own lyrics are always concise, precise or allusive, full of images and poetry (“I want to be your answer”). “They’re like mantras, some phrases cast to the wind, images that pop into my mind. Then I add the music.” She also talks about the wider world on a few tracks. “Oysters” is about “the change that everyone talks about but never comes”. Meshell explains that


Lyrical Soldier releases debut music video UK Gospel Rapper Lyrical Soldier has just released a debut music video for his latest single, “Unconditional”.

Gospel Rapper Lyrical Soldier

The Trailer of the video, released on 18th October, is already causing great excitement and anticipation within the music industry both in the UK and Internationally. The video features appearances from Simply Andy, and the 2011 BEFFTA winner and 2010 MOBO Nominee Faith Child. This ground breaking video was produced and directed by the talented Patrick Odur (Trail Pictures). Patrick also directed the video for the UK Gospel conglomerate Writeway Music for their hit song “Alienated”. Lyrical Soldier has also currently been nominated for three prestigious awards: GMA Ireland Awards; Best Rap Artist and Best International Song of the Year; and GUBA Award: ‘Best New Music Act’. For further information about Lyrical Soldier, please visit http://www.lyricalsoldier. com/

“Consumerism is gaining ground all the time. We all live to get a new car or a new computer, but what’s the point?” So, join the great world party? “Not for me,” she replies in “Dirty World”. “I live two hours from New York. I ran away from all the dirt. There’s a farm where I live, and healthy food. I love cooking – it’s not all that different from making music. You need ingredients, and the greatest pleasure is when you share it with others.” The album features all-star collaborations with the likes of Chris Connelly (exRevolting Cocks, Ministry), Benji Hughes, and Joe Henry. Meshell is wary of politics. She believed in Barack Obama. She now realises that “he’s not as progressive as I hoped and he hasn’t got as much power as I imagined”. She’s not disillusioned, though; her children are a great source of joy to her. She speaks very tenderly of them, as she does of her partner, who “helps me keep things in balance”. Meshell will stage two concerts on 18th and 19th November 2011 at Jazz Café in London. The concerts will begin at 7pm. Tickets: £22.50. To book, please dial 0843 221 0100.


Matt Quaicoe releases Gospel-Reggae LP Italy based Ghanaian musician Matt Quaicoe has released a new Gospel LP titled “24th Hour”. Matt, who has previously released three successful LPs,

mixes different genres of music in this new release. The new LP is already doing well in Ghana and some European countries. His key message in this LP to the believers is that they should never give up in life, even when things really go wrong. God will

always intervene at the 24th hour, at the very last minute, he says. Matt emphasises this message in the first track “24th Hour” which is the title track. Matt became famous in Ghana in the mid 90’s with his highlife album “Wo Beyin Abeto” meaning the young shall grow. He has composed Gospel songs for Ghanaian stars like Stella Dughan and the late bishop Michael Osei Bonsu, just to mention a few. The “24th Hour” LP contains ten songs, five in English and five in Twi, (a Ghanaian language). You can watch the songs in the “24th Hour” LP on YouTube. To contact Matt Quaicoe, please dial any of these numbers: +39 3270571946; +39 3463517627; +233 244418517.


No. 25. 8th - 14th November 2011


Questioning Mayor’s Black mentoring scheme Last year in summer I reluctantly attended a public meeting held in City Hall by Boris Johnson and his team. The meeting was meant (or so I was told) as an information/consultation to gauge the black community’s feelings towards the Mayor’s proposed mentoring program. The program’s remit was clear: 1,000 Black men to mentor 1,000 black boys. Seven London Boroughs were chosen by virtue of their black crime statistics. Funding of £1.4m was secured and the Mayor claimed he wanted this to be a community led program. He claimed he and his team understood the need for experienced trusted organisations to lead and deliver the program. I know this because I, among others asked the question repeatedly and that was the answer given. I remember clearly during one such City Hall meeting, several brothers expressed deep concerns about working

with City Hall and sadly I defended the City Hall, by saying that irrespective of their past behaviour toward Blacks in London and irrespective of whether this was purely a political move by Boris to curry favour with the black community (after all he has done nothing else for us), we as black men should seize the opportunity, take their money and make a change in our community. For ALL our communities. So, can anyone explain to me how The University of East London (UEL), London Action Trust (LAT) and some unknown group called Ethos ended up being awarded the program? It is reported that the actual winners of the Mayor’s selection process, a black consortium of London’s finest black mentoring and training organisations, were not awarded the contract because they ‘failed on the financial due diligence’ ……….. Well, all the companies in the black consortium continue to trade, but LAT, I understand has gone bust and Ethos has disappeared back to the land of nod, leaving UEL to scrounge around for community partners. City Hall claim 2,100 mentors (note the words black and men have disappeared) have signed up for the program. A program which they would have us believe is on schedule to deliver 1,000 relationships.

They began in July, that’s four months ago and yet only 21 relationships have started. I am pretty good at maths so you can trust the following figures. If for every fourmonth period they double the amount of mentors working it will take them almost two years to get to their 1,000 target and at least a year more for the last relationship to end. And this figure does not take into account the dropouts. Do you think UEL knows this? Speed of take up of such a program requires what the UEL just does not have - community credibility and community access. Not their fault, just the facts. Now since the Mayor and his team were warned, could we say this was purely an incompetent selection process, that they had no one better to choose from or is there something else going on? An emerging viewpoint among the better informed than I, is that this program was never meant to work. Yep you read right. The collapse of LAT was the first sign. City Hall employers are said to have close links to LAT so surely they knew of the state of the organisation. Next, the fact that UEL came third….. not second, third, after the interviews, so why choose them, if as you say you want the program to work? If I didn’t know better I would say UEL were handed a poison chalice. If they fail it is their failure, if they succeed then our Boy Boris has a huge public success on his record. But let’s drill a little further on this “they never wanted it to work” theory. The white middle classes have been fed a constant

diet of tripe pointing all social ills to black kids, our boys in particular. An effective mentoring program targeting 1,000 boys would make a huge difference. I suspect Boris and crew don’t want that difference to happen. Why? Let me tell you why and even I can’t believe I am typing this. a) If black boys clean up their act, City Hall and UK politicians will have to face the truth, which is that the UK underclass are the true source of the UK’s issue and they my friends are from all races, poor uneducated and living without hope or opportunity. b) The huge industry which feeds off our boys would collapse. The prison service, security firms, probation officers, CCTV, etc. All scaled back or now focused on white kids. c) The Daily Mail would have to find someone else to blame for every ill in the UK. Guys I hope I am wrong, but understand that if I am, then it means that the City Hall selection team are grossly incompetent and merely chose the wrong team and then I must ask, could anyone be that dumb? Watch this space. This does not end here. Next year is an election year and already Boris is listing this program as one of his successes (yes, I did visit his reelection page). If you are white, reading this and wondering what this has to do with you, then perhaps you too should be concerned, as YOUR money has just been wasted too. This is not a black issue. Remember what David Starky said, your innocent white kids are corrupted by these black kids, so fixing them is in your interest too.


Krumpli with paprika

By Paul Lawrence

A savoury dish to warm you up in cold autumn evenings. A spicy Hungarian potato goulash, served with smoked sausage and crusty bread and a dollop of soured cream. Serves 4 Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients • 1 large onion, sliced • 90g (3 oz.) bacon fat • 1-2 tablespoons paprika • ½ teaspoon chilli powder • 750g (1½ lb) potatoes, quartered • ½ teaspoon caraway seeds • 1 teaspoon salt • 200g (7oz) smoked sausage, sliced • sour cream

Preparation Slice the onion and fry it in

the bacon fat until golden; mix in the paprika and the chilli, stir well. Add the quartered potatoes and coat well with the fat and spice mixture. Add caraway seeds and salt and add enough water to cover. Simmer covered for 15 minutes or until tender. Add the sliced sausage, heat through and serve with chunks of crusty bread and a dollop of sour cream. Get ready for a wave of warmth to stir your spirits!


No. 24. 8th - 14th November 2011


Catholics now allowed to marry future sovereigns Sons and daughters of future UK monarchs will have equal right to the throne The Catholic Church has welcomed Prime Minister David Cameron’s announcement on the Royal Succession allowing heirs to the throne freedom to marry a Catholic without being removed from the line of succession. “This will eliminate a point of unjust discrimination against Catholics and will be welcomed not only by Catholics but far more widely,” said the Most Reverend

Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster and President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. “At the same time I fully recognise the importance of the position of the Established Church in protecting and fostering the role of faith in our society today.” Mr. Cameron made the announcement at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit in Perth, Australia. The changes to the succession laws were unanimously approved by the leaders of the 16 Commonwealth countries where the Queen is head of state.

Mr. Cameron announced that sons and daughters of any future UK monarch will have equal right to the throne. The change will mean that a younger son will no longer become a monarch instead of an elder sister simply because he is a man. For instance, a first-born daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would take precedence over younger brothers. “The idea that a younger son should become monarch instead of an elder daughter simply because he is “The idea that a younger a man just isn’t acceptany more. Nor son should become mon- able does it make any sense arch instead of an elder that a potential mondaughter simply because arch can marry someone of any faith other he is a man just isn’t than Catholic. The acceptable any more. Nor thinking behind these does it make any sense rules is wrong. That’s people have been that a potential monarch why talking about changing can marry someone of them for some time,” Mr. Cameron said. any faith other than Equalities Minister Catholic. The thinking Lynne Featherstone said: “The time for behind these rules is has arrived. wrong. That’s why people change Women should have have been talking about equal rights to men in changing them for some every aspect of life, including our time” Monarchy. I welcome this change and I am Prime Minister David proud that this government is unafraid to Cameron tackle this issue.”

“I welcome the decision of Her Majesty’s Government to give heirs to the throne the freedom to marry a Catholic without being removed from the line of succession. This will eliminate a point of unjust discrimination against Catholics and will be welcomed not only by Catholics but far more widely” Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster

Quit smoking, children ask parents The best present smoking parents can offer their children for Christmas is to quit smoking. Children are so concerned about the impact of smoking on their parent’s health that they’d go to considerable lengths to get them to give up, a new research published by the Department of Health shows. The research revealed that over half (54%) of children with a parent who smokes say that their one wish for Christmas is that their Mum or Dad give up smoking. Almost all (98%) children with a smoking parent wish that they would quit. Almost three quarters (73%) of children with a

smoking parent worry about the risk of their parent dying. A further 58% worry about the risk of heart disease. The research also revealed that 94% of children thought smoking was either stupid (52%) or dangerous (42%) while 88% wished nobody in the world smoked. Ninety percent say they have never tried a cigarette, and 91% say they never will. The children are strongly against smoking that 93% of them wouldn’t want their own children smoking, when they grow up. When it comes to what children would do to get their parents to quit, over a third (37%) would go without any Christmas presents; over half (59%) would give up pocket money; and seven out

of ten would commit to doing their homework every night (78%) and going to bed when told (76%). Almost a third of children surveyed (29%) admitted to hiding their parents’ cigarettes in a desperate attempt to help them quit. The research, which polled 1,000 children in England aged 7-13, coincided with the launch of a second wave of a Department of Health advertising campaign aimed at getting loved ones to quit smoking. NHS smokefree ambassador and TV star Linda Robson, said: “Having seen my own Dad die from lung cancer aged 57, there’s no way I wanted to put my own children through that experience.

The thought of my kids visiting me in hospital was a strong motivation for me and since I decided to quit, my three kids have been a huge support. “There are times now when I still want to reach for a cigarette, but for my own health and for the benefit of my family I’m committed to staying smokefree. Since quitting I feel much better about myself. I’m feeling healthier, I have more energy and everyone is commenting on how good my skin looks. Knowing that my children are much happier since I stopped is also really important.” Anne Milton, Public Health Minister said: “What’s clear from the research is that children really want their parents to give up smoking. It’s not easy to give up,

but we hope the campaign will give people that extra bit of encouragement they need to quit. Around half of all regular smokers are eventually killed by a smoking related illness.” Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive, Action on Smoking & Health (ASH) said: “Evidence shows that smokers need to be motivated to quit and need advice on how to quit. This campaign does both. Smokers may also find it easier to stop smoking not for their own sake but for the sake of their children or other members of their family.” To order your Quit Kit visit or text KIT to 63818, for help and advice about quitting call the NHS helpline on 0800 085 5052.

Happy holidays!


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The AfroNews No. 25. 8th - 14th November 2011  

The AfroNews No. 25. 8th - 14th November 2011

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