The Voice January issue

Page 1


Community honours a football legend




Ready to rise: The ones to watch in 2020

Ismail Ahmed: The pioneer who changed an industry

The Voice Black Business Fair a big success

£100 MILLION ...for UK black businesses

This team of high profile investors believe the next Google or Airbnb will come from our community - EXCLUSIVE Page 4


Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin’s New Year message p8 Oscar winner Steve McQueen on his new Tate Modern show


Made By History – we celebrate the essay writing winners p50-53

Tributes paid to ‘warrior queen’

HUNDREDS OF mourners have paid tribute to their “warrior queen” Joan Campbell, a stalwart of the community, who has died after devoting decades of her life to helping victims of gang violence, while also uniting warring families caught up in the gang culture. The grandmother lost her fight against lung cancer and the effects of a stroke at the age of just 55, last month. Her funeral service was held at the New Testament Church of God in Birmingham.

TWO LEADING black Labour MPs are being targeted with online disinformation based on racist and misogynistic tropes, according to experts. Diane Abbott, the shadow home secretary, and David Lammy, a former government minister, have been the subject of edited videos, misleading claims and wild conspiracy theories on social media in the months leading up to the general election.


The reality of life after university p54

Birmingham City exec Lungi Macebo on diversity in the boardroom p70

Happy New Year to all our readers

Stephanie Boyce

News, views, stories & videos

Labour MPs subject of ‘wild theories’



1. Diane Abbott’s son charged over alleged assaults of two police officers 2. Community pays tribute to anti-gang violence advocate Joan Campbell 3. Police officer sentenced over possession of indecent image of child 4. Newly elected black MPs set out plans 5. ‘Racially charged’ false information used to undermine leading black MPs 6. Election night success for black MPs 7. Police search for missing 23-year-old from Milton Keynes 8. Louise Broni-Mensah on Shoobs, raising investment and staying true to her roots 9. Labour and Sadiq Khan “don’t care” about knife crime, says FGM campaigner 10. 15 black businesses to purchase from this Black Friday

STEPHANIE BOYCE is the deputy vice president of the Law Society of England and Wales – she will become vice president in 2020 and president in 2021. Her professional journey began in Buckinghamshire, where she still lives. Raised by a single parent in an African-Caribbean working-class home, she cannot boast to come from a privileged background. She is the first in her family to go to university and the first to qualify as a solicitor. Her grandparents and parents came to the UK from the Caribbean in search of faith, hope and greater opportunities. Stephanie encountered major challenges to joining the legal profession, at a time when many were told that those of certain socioeconomic backgrounds were never expected to make it. She was admitted as a solicitor in 2002 and holds a Master of Laws in public law and global governance from King’s College, London. Stephanie is an experienced general counsel and has worked in-house at the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. She currently sits on the Law Society Council, holding one of the seats from the Women Lawyers Division. Reflecting on her career and her recent appointment as deputy vice president of the Law Society, she said: “Throughout my journey I have faced challenges, but it is amazing what you can achieve when you are determined and resilient.”

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News Feature

NOW WE’RE COOKING! From begging on the street to winning awards as a chef trainer, Leon Seraphin is on a mission to put people affected by homelessness into gainful employment

By Darell J Philip


O SAY that life has been a rollercoaster ride for Leon Raphael Seraphin would be an understatement. Since 2013, Seraphin, 39, has been Chef Trainer for the Beyond Food Foundation, a charity which inspires people who are at risk of, or have experienced, homelessness to gain meaningful employment. It’s a role that he takes a lot of pride in since he was once homeless himself. “I left home at age 13 after suffering years of abuse from my step-father,” he told The Voice. “Being at home was really difficult. I was telling people what was happening but no one wanted to listen and what made matters worse was that my abuser was a social worker. I was crying out for help – even calling up organisations such as ChildLine. “But no one seemed to care. No one believed me. I was often told I was the bad one.” Seraphin also found himself excluded from school. He said: “The schools I attended in Hackney and then in Islington both excluded me for disruptive behaviour. I wanted to learn but there was a lot going on at home that had a negative impact on me and inhibited

me from speaking. As a result, I mixed with the wrong crowd and acted out, especially if certain lessons were uninteresting or if there were teachers who did not have any time for me.” He remembers feeling at an all-time low during his time away from home: “Often I would find myself at Stratford station begging. It was a scary time for me but I just kept to myself with a determination to survive.”


Seraphin’s luck would change after a chance encounter with a relative. “Whilst begging in the street one day, I was spotted by my aunty. As her eyes met mine I felt so ashamed, but I really didn’t have any other choice at that time,” he said. Soon after this encounter, his family attempted to save him from a further downward spiral by making arrangements for him to be sent to Dominica. “I thought I was going there on holiday for six weeks, but when I got there I found out that if I had not gone I would have been sent to a secure unit because I was uncontrollable,” he recalled. “I had been in care and this was the last chance to make a fresh start overseas and it proved to be the best choice ever made for me.”

Although it took a little while to adjust to his new surroundings, he quickly adapted. “It was a different world out there for me with different expectations,” said Seraphin. “While it was a lot stricter and disciplined out there, I felt that people believed in and wanted the best for me.” Although he didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life, Seraphin knew he wanted to change and be successful. Then an opportunity arose: “I was given the chance to work in a kitchen as a trainee cook. For a long time I had not known what I had wanted to do in life as a career. But after being given that opportunity I then realised what it was I wanted to do.” After his three-year stay, Seraphin returned determined to make a life for himself. But he soon found himself mixing with the same crowd of people he had left behind, and a prison sentence followed. “Whilst in prison, I thought to myself – ‘what am I doing here?’” he said. “After doing so well in Dominica I now found myself back to square one. That day, I decided enough was enough. Something had to change. I had to change.” Upon his release from prison, Seraphin made his mind up to pursue his dream of cooking to make a better life for himself. Making the decision to leave

HELPING THEM OFF THE SREET: Some of the apprentice chefs at the Brigade Bar & Kitchen

AMAZING INDIVIDUAL: Leon Seraphin has won plaudits for how he turned his life around behind a life of petty crime and homelessness, he signed up to the Hoxton Apprentice, a social enterprise which helped young people get off the streets and into training and employment. Seraphin began to make a name for himself in the kitchen, taking in everything he was taught to perfect his craft.


And his dedication saw him cook for some famous faces. “I spent a few years working in the Arsenal FC Diamond Club where I worked alongside top-rated chef Raymond Blanc, cooking meals for the entire Arsenal first team squad and the manager at the time, the legendary Arsene Wenger,” he said. He has also cooked a meal for none other than Queen Elizabeth II. “It was a special moment for me to shake her hand and have a brief exchange with her – not something that happens every day for a young man from Hackney,” he recalled. In 2013, Seraphin joined the team at the Beyond Food Foundation, which co-runs the Brigade Bar & Kitchen. The charity seemed like the perfect vehicle for Leon’s transition – founder Simon Boyle uses food as a catalyst to help vulnerable and disadvantaged Londoners break the cycle of

homelessness, through skills development, training and career support. This includes employing 16 new apprentices each year to undertake a fully qualified twoyear training scheme, which begins with a year working at the Brigade Bar & Kitchen. While he has enjoyed meeting celebrities and high-profile figures, Seraphin says his real passion is giving back to the community. And as chef trainer in the Brigade Bar & Kitchen, he is doing exactly that. He said: “I am responsible for all aspects of training apprentices – many of whom have experienced homelessness or are at risk of homelessness – with the view to helping them off the resistreets and into permanent resi dency and employment. “Remembering where I was before and the second chance I’ve now been given, there is no greater feeling than giving back to those in need and seeing them experience what I am experiencing now.” He was recently honoured for his work with a Rising Star Chef Mentor Award at the Hos-

pitality and Catering Awards (inset below). Boyle said: “Leon’s journey has very much continued from being the one needing support to be the one supporting. In so many ways Leon is best placed to help people with complex issues back on their own two feet. “He is proving that the hospitality industry is fantastic as you can literally start at the bottom with very little qualifications and experience and reach the very top as Leon is proving day by day. We could not have achieved what we have without Leon’s experience. He is truly an amazing individual.” If you would like more information about Beyond Food and Brigade Bar & Kitchen then visit

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News Feature

SOWING SEEDS OF SUCCESS VISION: CEO of Impact X Eric Collins; below, Collins with Paula Groves, Ezechi Britton and Yvonne Bajela Haizel

Impact X is ready to invest £100 million into under-represented groups to help them reach their full potential By Vic Motune


NNOVATIVE BLACKLED companies in the UK are set to benefit from a £100million investment fund created by a unique team of venture capitalists who are strategically targeting businesses that also deliver a positive social impact. Black-owned and managed venture capital (VC) firm Impact X has recently been launched to invest significant money in the businesses of under-represented groups such as the African Caribbean community and women in this country and across Europe. It is managed and advised by an accomplished and ethnically diverse team that has over 500 years’ worth of investment and management experience.


Among the founding members of the team are General Partner Paula Groves, a co-founding partner of the £54m technology focused fund Axxon Capital, which has over 20 years’ private equity and investment experience; Ursula Burns, Impact X Vice Chair, Digital and Technology, the first black woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company, Xerox, and named as one of the most powerful women in the world by Forbes; CEO Eric Collins, a serial entrepreneur who has helped sell companies to the likes of Microsoft and Nuance, as well as running a number of successful venture capital companies across the world; and Impact X Investment Committee Chair Ric Lewis, who is also the founder, chairman and co-CEO of the largest black-owned business in the UK, Tristan Capital Partners,

a real estate investment firm with £11bn under management. According to recent research by the Economic and Social Research Council, businesses run by black and minority ethnic (BME) entrepreneurs were estimated to contribute between £25bn-£32bn pounds per year to the British economy. Other figures, published in 2017 from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, highlighted the fact the Total Early Stage Entrepreneurial Activity rate among non-white Britons was 14.5 per cent, compared to 7.9 per cent for white Britons. Yet despite growing levels of entrepreneurial activity in the BME community, aspiring black business owners often struggle to get significant investment to help their businesses grow. Statistics also reveal that only one per cent of VC investments – a private or institutional investment made into early-stage or start-up companies that have huge potential to grow – go to black-owned businesses. Female-led businesses fare only marginally better, receiving just four per cent of such funding. Experts say the overwhelming majority of VC investments go to white, university-educated men. Impact X sees this as a huge gap in the market that offers real opportunities to investors. Speaking about the project to The Voice, Collins said the Impact X team felt it was important to address the disparity in funding. “Everyone can look at the numbers and say black entrepreneurs in Europe, no matter what country we’re talking about, whether it’s France with its eight per cent black population or the UK with its three

per cent black population, and realise very quickly that only a very small sliver of risk capital, or in our case venture capital, goes to supporting blackowned businesses,” he said. “And we find that, because of that, there are businesses that just don’t get opportunities or just don’t get created. “We believe that the next Airbnb or the next Google is going to come from a black entrepreneur who is sitting around thinking of creative ways to solve problems that their community sees.”


The idea to create Impact X came out of a meeting of highprofile entrepreneurs, investors and celebrities, including Sir Lenny Henry, that took place in May 2018. For those who attended the meeting, the challenge of how to support businesses that could contribute to the social and economic empowerment in the black community was as much on their minds as creating a new generation of globally successful entrepreneurs. Collins added: “About 30 of the good and great here in the UK got together and said, ‘We’ve got to stop talking about the problems the black community faces, we’ve got to do something’. “We brainstormed some ideas and there was one common theme, which was that money

sustainable where we wouldn’t have to go begging to gatekeepers to give us cash in order to invest in ideas we think are important. So we felt it should be our own money, but then we decided it was important to get other people who think similarly to come in.” Collins continued: “Because I’m known for starting businesses and growing businesses on both sides of the Atlantic, the group asked me to come up

We’ve got to stop talking about the problems the black community faces, we have to do something was needed to make the type of impact we were talking about. Some of those present suggested we write grants, but many others felt we couldn’t continue doing that same old thing. “We decided that what was needed was big money, as in tens if not hundreds of millions of pounds. “We also needed something


with a proposal. I came up with the idea of a venture capital fund of £100m which would invest in black-owned businesses at the seed stage. “Of the group of people who met, 20 of them pledged to come on board immediately, and that’s how it got started. “From there, we’ve been able to attract more capital. Under-


represented entrepreneurs, particularly black entrepreneurs, tend to over-index in hiring other black people. This then creates additional opportunities, so resumes are built, jobs are created, income is created. “We really believe this creates a virtuous circle that empowers a community that’s investing in its own, in finding great returns, and creating jobs and opportunities. This is very much an engine of economic development and empowerment.”


Over the past year, Impact X has looked at 400 firms, nine of which have met their investment criteria. Among them is UK company Pace, which uses AI to help hoteliers determine what price to set for rooms. Another firm that has benefited from investment is Ravlo, an iPhone leasing service which offers users a new handset every two years for a monthly subscription of less than £50. “Every week we’re looking at dozens of new companies because we’re trying to find the best of the best,” explained Collins. “And what we’re finding


is that companies in the digital and technology space, especially in the areas of artificial intelligence and machine learning, are offering great opportunities. “We’re seeing black founders who are doing all these things, both on the technical side and on the marketing side.” Among other members of the Impact X team are Erica Motley, an international acquisitions, packaging and financing expert; Yvonne Bajela Haizel, a former Senior Investment Manager at Mitsui & Co, where she led over $200m in investments; Ezechi Britton, founding CTO of the fintech company Neyber that raised £150m in equity and loans; Gary Stewart, a specialist in private mergers, IPOs and acquisitions; and Joseph Voyticky, CEO of Max International LLC. Burns said: “A fund is sustainable only if it can deliver returns and is only as good as its investment team. “The investment team powering Impact X is among the strongest I’ve seen. Having run several public companies and served on the boards of many, I know the value of a solid team that works well together. Impact X is one of those teams.”

The Voice team would like to thank you, our valued customers, for your continued support. We wish you all a prosperous and happy new year in 2020.


Exclusive Voice interview

A DRIVING FORCE Poor experiences in sending money back to family in Somaliland inspired Ismail Ahmed to set up WorldRemit – a company pioneering a mobile approach to transferring funds abroad By Vic Motune


S PEOPLE travel from their countries of origin to other parts of the world in search of education and employment opportunities, remittances — the money they send back home to their families — have been recognised as one of the most important impacts of migration. According to estimates by the World Bank, annual remittance flows to low and middle-income countries reached $529 billion (£404bn) in 2018, an increase of 9.6 per cent over the previous record high of $483 billion (£369bn) in 2017. Global remittances, which include flows to high-income countries, reached $689 billion (£526bn) in 2018, up from $633 billion (£483bn) in 2017. Remittances can transform the lives of people and communities.


An estimated 800 million people around the world are directly supported by remittances from relatives and loved ones abroad, according to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). They lift families out of poverty, improve health and nutrition conditions, increase education opportunities for children, improve housing and sanitation, promote entrepreneurship and reduce inequality. One man whose life has been shaped by the impact of remittances — both as a receiver and sender of money and now as the founder of a global remittance company — is entrepreneur Ismail Ahmed. As a young man in Somaliland, a self-declared war-torn state that declared independence from Somalia in 1991, he witnessed the powerful impact that both receiving and sending remittances had. He witnessed relatives and friends move from

his home town of Hargeisa in the 1980s and join thousands of others who moved to oil-rich Gulf Arab countries. The money they sent back provided an economic lifeline to families and communities that otherwise would have faced poverty. Remittances would again provide a lifeline for his family when, following the outbreak of civil war, prompted by the actions of the country’s President Mohamed Siad Barre. Ahmed

I counted myself one of the lucky ones when I came to the UK was forced to leave the country just before he was due to travel to the UK to begin studying at university on a World Bank scholarship. He was smuggled out of Somaliland and after a dangerous journey eventually arrived in Djibouti. With the help of a truck driver who helped smuggle him out of Djibouti he arrived in the UK. Soon after arriving, he attempted to get in touch with his family who were in a refugee camp in Ethiopia. “I lost a lot of friends in the war so when I came to the UK I counted myself as one of the lucky ones because I wasn’t in a refugee camp” he recalls. “But I really wanted to support my family and send money back to them. He continues: “I then did all sorts of part-time jobs not only to be able to send money back but to support myself because the scholarship only covered my tuition fees. Of all the jobs I did the one that I remember was strawberry picking.

“Back home in Somaliland I used to go to the countryside during the holidays and worked as a camel boy which was tough work. So in the UK when I learned about strawberry picking where you were paid by the number of trays you could fill and if you were fast you make quite a bit of money I said, ‘okay, fine’. I enjoy being outside, I’ve always been a fitness fanatic, and I thought it would be easy. “But actually it was the toughest thing I’ve ever done in my life. It was back breaking and it was a typical English summer where it was mostly raining. “I remember after my first day I went back to my hostel and fell asleep on my bed without even taking of my muddy shoes because I was so tired.” Despite the hardship the effort was worth it because it enabled him to send money to his family who were still in a refugee camp. “That is when I experienced the other side of remittances which was sending money. And it’s often hard-working migrants who have multiple jobs like I did trying to support their families.”


His experience of sending money to relatives gave him an insight into the problems faced by people using money transfer services in the UK and other parts of the world. Fees are often high, transactions take a relatively long time to complete and money transfer shops from where people can actually send or receive money can be difficult to locate. Ahmed recalls: “The nearest location for me to send money was either Southall or Tower Hamlets and that often meant a three-and-a-half-hour return trip from where I lived at the time. So not only were there the travel costs involved but the


time as well. I was in full-time education, I had multiple parttime jobs so I couldn’t always afford the return trip. Life takes on a different perspective when you think about the number of strawberry trays you have to fill.” The experience sparked a desire to make remittances a much smoother process. It was also the start of a journey that would see him go on to create a global money transfer company that has played a major role in revolutionising the multi-billion remittance industry and which also employs hundreds of people all over the world. In the early 2000s, Ahmed began working for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as an advisor to regional money transfer companies in East Africa. It was a seemingly dream job for a man passionate about re-


mittances and the positive impact they can have on people’s lives. However while working for the organisation, he uncovered several cases of corruption in the UNDP’s remittances programme. Ahmed decided to blow the whistle on what he had seen. “It was corruption involving senior officials of the UN and a consulting firm.” He was advised by his boss at the time not to speak about it as it could spell the end of his career in remitances Ahmed however was undeterred. “Honesty has always been a core value for me,” he says. “When I look back at my life one of the things I’ve always had is a very strong sense of right and wrong. Even at school I would never cheat If I saw somebody doing it I would report it.” Ahmed eventually lost his job.


Undeterred by a career that was now in ruins after he spoke out about alleged corruption, he got to work on developing a business plan for WorldRemit, which was aimed at making the process of money transfer cheaper and more efficient for customers and tackle some of the problems that he had experienced sending money to relatives as a student.


At the same time as he was in dispute with the UN over his dismissal he was studying at the London Business School. Ahmed eventually reached a settlement with the UN. The compensation he received in 2010 – one year’s salary plus expenses – was used to set up WorldRemit. The company’s business model is unique. Traditional money transfer services rely on intermediate


Exclusive Voice interview Feature

TRUE VISIONARY: Ismail Ahmed, founder of WorldRemit, a company that has shaken up the multi-billion pound money transfer industry. Clockwise from far left, a farmer using a mobile phone in rural Somaliland; an M-Pesa kiosk outside Kibera centre in Nairobi. The launch of the service helped inspire Ishmael Ahmed to create WorldRemit; Ismail Ahmed talking to members of his WorldRemit team; a man holds a smartphone showing a mobile money transaction at a mobile money kiosk in Kampala, Uganda (Pic credits – WorldRemit)

agents, typically small corner shops, where migrants go to collect their money. These agents will carry out identity and compliance checks. WorldRemit on the other hand transfers money via a smartphone. It partners with local banks and mobile networks so that recipients can retrieve the funds as a bank deposit into a local WorldRemit bank account. The company’s fees range from two to three per cent less than most major banks would charge for similar transactions. WorldRemit now has four million customers globally, who send money from 50 countries to recipients in more than 150 nations. It also has 800 staff worldwide of which 300 are based in London. However, when it launched, Ahmed recalls a lot of scepticism from industry players about whether the idea would work. “The remittance in-

dustry has been largely offline, so most of the traditionalists in the industry felt that WorldRemit wasn’t going to work,” he says. “They said migrants don’t have credit cards, they don’t use smartphones, they prefer something more cash based and so on. They were very sceptical but that didn’t influence me.”


One of the things that convinced Ahmed that the World Remit idea would work was listening to a speech by Mo Ibrahim, the Sudanese-British billionaire businessman who founded Celtel, a company that had over 24 million mobile phone subscribers in 14 African countries by the time it was sold. “In 2005, I attended a remittance conference at London Business School where Mo

Ibrahim was the key speaker,” Ahmed says. “He also faced scepticism that his idea could be successful in Africa. But very early on he saw how people in Africa would adopt mobile phones. It was really quite an inspiration.” Another inspiring moment

Ismail is a true pioneer. His story is an inspiration to us all for Ahmed came in 2006. While working in Nairobi he took part in the early trials of M-Pesa, a mobile phone-based money transfer and microfinancing service launched by Vodaphone for Safaricom and

Vodacom, the largest mobile network operators in Kenya and Tanzania. “I created an account as a user because I was quite curious. M-Pesa at the time was originally for microfinance for people in the countryside, it wasn’t for mobile money. But when I saw how it was working I actually felt that this was going to disrupt the international remittances industry. When I think about our first website, we focused heavily on mobile to mobile remittances and we said that’s the direction we want to go in.” Now a global business WorldRemit was also fortunates enough to enjoy the support of investors who shared Ahmed’s vision about how money transfers would be conducted in the future. “In the early days we raised money from what are known as super angel investors connected

to London Business School,” he recalls. “Over a two-year period we raised over $7.5 million (£5.7m). What we liked about the angel investors is that they gave us money and left us to run the business.


“We knew what we were doing so they trusted us. Looking back that was quite important because there was no pressure to rush because we were the first to market. We had time to build the platform, get the licences and build a culture of compliance.” Ahmed continues: “For me this a key area. There are a lot of tech companies who take the approach of thinking about compliance later. But in an industry like remittances you cannot treat compliance as an afterthought. If you mess up on compliance you end up in trouble. So we had the right inves-

tors at the time who enabled us to take our time and make sure that everything worked without wanting to see fast growth as a result of their investment.” Ahmed’s success has seen him gain several plaudits. Last October he was named the most influential black person in Britain on the Powerlist 2020. The list highlights the 100 most powerful people of African, African Caribbean and African American heritage in the country. Accepting the honour Ahmed said it was a testament to his team’s “hard work and passion for the company’s mission”. Michael Eboda, Powerlist 2020 publisher, said: “Ismail is a true pioneer whose company is shaking up the remittance industry and positively impacting the lives of people around the world. His story is incredibly powerful and an inspiration to us all.”



HAPPY NEW YEAR! Rev Rose HudsonWilkin, the Bishop of Dover, shares her message of togetherness as we go into 2020


N PREPARING this New Year greeting, I want to first look back and assess the road which I have travelled. As a young girl, approximately aged 14 years, I had an overwhelming sense of being called to ministry. There was, however, a big hurdle – women were not being accepted for ordained ministry within the Anglican Church (Church of England). I recalled at that very early stage telling God that I believed he had called me so I would be faithful to that call and leave him to work out how it was going to happen. It literally took years. I trained with the Church Army at first and became an evangelist and, some years later, I was finally ordained as a deacon. And in 1994, when women were first allowed to be a priest, I was ordained. Throughout all the ministry I have been engaged in, I have experienced much joy and fulfilment. However, this did not mean there were no challenging moments, because there were. Each time I came across a hurdle I would call on God and, in my typical Jamaican style, I would sing to my heart’s content. I loved all the people I was called to serve, even the challenging ones. This led to me becoming a Chaplain to Her Majesty the Queen and Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons. The latter role I held for just over nine years. It was a role that brought me into contact with a wide variety of political leaders, even meeting US president Barack Obama! However, 2019 had other

things in store for me. Just at the time when I decided that I would continue to serve our nation’s leaders, the Archbishop of Canterbury told me that I had been selected to be the next Bishop of Dover. I wept at the news (and they were not tears of joy, but disbelief). You see, I never thought that I would see this happen.


Fast-forward and, on tNovember, I was consecrated at St Paul’s Cathedral. It was a packed congregation as people came from all over the country and abroad to witness this event for themselves and to offer me their support. Jermaine Jackman sang “Precious Lord take my hand” at the point when the episcopal ring was being given to me. The Adventist Chorale also sang. I was deeply moved to tears (this time, of joy). On November 30, there was another packed cathedral, this time Canterbury, as people again wanted to share their support and solidarity with me as I was installed in this most beautiful of cathedrals. For these two occasions, I felt ‘visited’ by God. So many of the letters, emails, messages and phone calls said the same thing: “I am so proud of you.” This was a ‘feelgood’ moment! I am still feeling great about this rather overwhelming experience. In my life chart, 2019 will be the year with huge mountains climbed. What is fantastic is that I did not climb it alone. In some instances, I stood on the shoulders of those who went before (with their permission of course), as I tried to get a glimpse of the “promised land”.

NEW YEAR MESSAGE: ‘Let us travel together so that we can go far’ says Bishop of Dover Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin; inset below during her consecration in November (pic credit: Diocese of Canterbury); inset bottom, with former Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow, to whom she was the Chaplain I did not travel alone – my husband, my two daughters, my son and a whole host of others, accompanied me on the journey too. It’s been a long journey, but gradually we’re seeing the change that is coming. Together, we’re seeing the change that we want to see.

Let us build the kind of quality relationships with each other; model this to our children’s generation and, perchance, we might just ultimately discover God’s will and purpose for our lives as we are privileged to see another New Year.


There is a Chinese proverb that says: “If you want to get where you are going fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, take others with you.” I only got this far because you were willing to travel with me. Thank you. Going forward into 2020, let us continue where we left off. Let us travel together so that we can go far. What I have experienced from just being made a bishop is that my story has become your story and your story, my story. As we begin this New Year, 2020, perhaps we can live out the Zulu word, “ubuntu” – meaning “I am because we are”. In other words, I discover who I am because of my relationship with you.




TATE LIVERPOOL 13 DEC 2019 – 3 M AY 2020




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Theaster Gates still from the film Dance of Malaga 2019 © Theaster Gates and courtesy of the artist. Photo © Chris Strong.

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Social media star Kirly-Sue unveils new book that helps young people get interested in healthy food


N AN effort to encourage young people to eat healthily and motivate parents/ guardians to teach their children an important life skill, vegan cook, author and social media influencer Kirly Sue has released a new book. Kirly-Sue, aka Susanne Kirlew, is a well-known face on social media and is known for sharing information about healthy eating and demonstrating vegan recipes to her 35,000 followers on her social media platforms on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn. Kirly-Sue, who lives in Islington, north London, has had a love of cooking healthy food since she was very young and is

keen to share it with others. It is a passion that is reflected in the new book, Cooking with Kids. She hopes it will motivate families to enter the new year with a desire to consider cooking more vegan food and enjoy a healthy diet.


Kirly Sue said: “I just love cooking. It’s a skill we should all learn as we all need to eat, and there’s no better time to teach it than when people are young. “Cooking with Kids is filled with healthy, easy to follow vegan recipes that parents can cook alongside their children, as well as have fun and teach them in the process.”

Born in the UK, Kirly-Sue lived in Jamaica from the age of 5 unitl she was 10, a period that heavily influenced her culinary choices. She recalls: “In the 1970s and 80s, my great aunt owned a restaurant in Jamaica, on the corner of Law Street and Rum Lane in Kingston, and she made some amazingly tasty dishes that were loved by her customers. I think my love of cooking comes from her.” However, commenting on the Caribbean diet in an earlier interview with The Voice, Kirly-Sue said that the popular Caribbean meals and the way they were prepared could be perceived as unhealthy. But she

insisted that there are some valuable properties in the region’s cooking. She said: “Most traditional meals around the world are not healthy, but within the Jamaican diet there are a lot of things that are healthy. Because we’re NEW BOOK: Vegan cook and author Kirly-Sue so used to it and it’s never been drawn to our attention we don’t speaker in Singapore, Dubai, food. I also want this book to really think of it as something Norway. highlight that eating vegan food healthy to have, we kind of take Cooking with Kids contains need not be boring. it for granted.” “There are lots of exciting more than 75 vegan recipes as well as information about vegan delicious vegan recipes around food and how people can sub- and this book brings some of Kirly-Sue’s expertise has af- stitute food items they currently them to fore. Cooking with Kids will provide parents with the forded her the opportunity to use with vegan products. She said: “I believe that this perfect opportunity to introduce work with a number of leading companies and food brands in book will play a major part in their children to healthy eatthe UK and the USA, including helping people make the tran- ing by teaching them to cook it being an international keynote sition to eating healthy vegan themselves.”


Thinking about your next steps after school or college?


ou’re studying at school or college, but there’s also a lot of focus on what’s next. You have career goals and ambitions, but do you decide to start your career or go to uni? Perhaps you want a combination of both? You know you have to start work at some point, but when is the right time, and what’s the right path for you? PwC understand how challenging these decisions can be, so to help you make the right decision, they’re here to offer advice and support on where you might fit. They have School and College Leaver opportunities in Audit, Consulting, Deals, Tax and Technology.

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If you’re in Year 12 (S5 in Scotland, Year 13 in NI) and you want to explore your career options, then PwC’s Insight Week work experience programmes could be right for you. Spend an action-packed paid week in one of their offices during your summer holiday – meeting their people, experiencing the work they do and making new friends. Find out more at: work-experience

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You don’t need a degree to launch a successful career in the business world. Many of their senior leaders joined PwC without a university degree and have accelerated their career at PwC and beyond. Things are changing and they’re giving you more opportunities

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Flying Start degree programmes Alternatively, if you’re looking to gain work experience as well as a university degree, then why not apply to one of PwC’s leading Flying Start degree programmes in Accounting, Business, Computer Science or Software Engineering. For more details about these degrees, please visit their website at: p c co ing tart

If you’re agile in your thinking, adapt quickly to the changing world, excited about working smarter through technology, willing to work hard and care about making a difference in the work you do, PwC want to hear from you. With PwC, your career is just that; yours. You choose it. You live it. You make it happen. Join PwC. Take the opportunity of a lifetime.



Guest column

‘WE CAN DRIVE REVIVAL OF LABOUR AT NEXT ELECTION’ Black people were loyal to Labour, yet the Tories still won. But what comes next, asks Lester Holloway


RITAIN’S AFRICAN and Caribbean voters could be forgiven for demanding an independence referendum like the Scots are doing. Once again, black Brits overwhelmingly supported Labour but they, like other disappointed voters, have ended up with a Tory government. Decades of integration has ensured there is not a trace of a black nationalist agenda, so any comparison with Scotland is preposterous. Yet the parallel with the Land of the Brave sheds light on a broken electoral system heavily weighted in favour of middle-class English folk in the Home Counties at the expense of everyone else. Democracy nerds babble on about how first-past-the-post disadvantages smaller parties and guarantees that the Tories need to win fewer votes per MP than any of their rivals. But the unfairness is twofold: the system also benefits the least diverse areas. We only have to look at the December 12 election; Labour held 61 of the 63 most diverse seats yet Boris Johnson’s party emerged with a 78-strong Commons majority.

Here are two more statistics for you – at least 70 per cent of all BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) citizens supported Jeremy Corbyn’s party. The figure is even higher for African and Caribbean voters. And the top 34 constituencies with the highest black populations all remained solidly Labour.


Black communities overwhelmingly stayed loyal, despite all the negativity thrown at Corbyn in the mainstream media.

by those who want to declare they have “taken back” their country. This will only get worse as disappointment at the failure to deliver both the white Britain of the past and any improvement in living standards is manipulated into anger directed at multicultural communities accused of holding back the dream of selfsufficiency. Let’s call it what it is: white supremacy. On the positive side, we have an opportunity to organise and build a new winning coalition based on solidarity and recognition of the common barriers

DISAPPOINTMENT: BAME voters backed Corbyn but, like other disappointed voters, ended up with a Tory government as Boris Johnson took 365 parliamentary seats to Labour’s 203 is possible and that they don’t have to take the prescribed medicine of over-work, under-pay and cuts to services so the rich can get richer.

Brexit is inevitable now, and with it xenophobia... anger at a failure to deliver will be directed HEARTLANDS Black communities are crucial at multicultural communities to making this happen. Labour Yet BAME people didn’t get the government they voted for. Again. So, what happens now? On the negative side Brexit is inevitable now and with it a rise in xenophobia and racism driven

holding the many back while the wealthy few fence off the economy for themselves and sell off our public services for parts. We have five years to persuade people to look forward, not back, to believe that change

needs to raise turnout of its support by around 10 per cent, especially in the small and medium towns in marginal seats. The key to that is renaissance community-building by finding more time in our busy lives to get involved.

WHAT’S THE FUTURE FOR THE LABOUR PARTY NOW? JEREMY CORBYN will surely be judged more favourably by history than the media judge him now. And the media will most likely be condemned for dreadful bias. The true heir to Corbyn, Diane Abbott, appears to have ruled herself out but other black MPs – such as Clive Lewis, Dawn Butler, David Lammy and Chi Onwurah – are all equipped to take over. Whoever does will face the same onslaught and character assassination. Only one Labour leader, Tony Blair, has ever been annointed by the media – and he is godfather to Rupert Murdoch’s kids. Some centrists argue the only way forward is to pander to powerful interests. But being centrist didn’t save Gordon Brown or Ed Miliband from a barrage of attacks. And ultimately what’s the point of

COMMUNITY VISIT: Labour’s John McDonnell and Diane Abbott at Hendon’s Bruce’s Barbershop. Abbott has ruled herself out of the race for party leadership when Jeremy Corbyn steps down Labour if it is going to pander to Toryism? What Labour lacked in the election was believability. It wasn’t that they offered too much, it was that they didn’t focus on one or two key messages that made sense

to people. And in an era of apathy and fatalism the sad truth is that voters just didn’t believe what Labour were offering was possible. It was possible, but it will take a shift in reasoning to get Britain to see it. This can be done.

Especially in post-industrial areas where well-paid manufacturing and mining have been replaced by call centres and Amazon warehouses. Literally bussing ourselves out of Labour heartlands and into places where personal interaction can change perceptions and make all the difference. We can beat the electoral system and the biased media, but only if we can reconnect communities and show that aspiration starts with creating a rising tide that floats all boats. Black communities, as the

most loyal set of voters that Labour has, are in a position to get out and combat the divideand-rule narrative and support people from all backgrounds that will be suffering under this government. Lester Holloway is a Labour and Momentum member, a former editor of the New Nation newspaper, and also previously worked at the Runnymede Trust and Operation Black Vote.

‘THERE’S NO EQUALITY WITHOUT RACE EQUALITY’ ETHNICITY REMAINS the one of the most accurate predictors of how someone will vote, more than Brexit or class background. The fact is, Britain remains divided along race lines on the key question of who rules us. And that throws into doubt the whole principle of governing by consent. This lies at the heart of the call for a new Scottish referendum, and there are fewer voters in the whole of Scotland than there are BAME voters in England. Attitude polls show people of colour think differently. Black Brits rate issues such as job security, public services, inequality and discrimination higher, while their white counterparts give more emphasis to immigration and Brexit.

Public opinion largely dictates policies which impact on our lives and futures. Look at the effects of austerity – it hit black communities harder, and black women hardest of all. The rise of low-paid, precarious work like zero-hours contracts and inequality in general has had a disproportionate impact on our communities. There can be no economic equality without race equality. For example, 85 per cent of all workers are in the private sector and four in five of those are employed by companies, which means any serious attempt to tackle racial disparities must be interventionist when it comes to capital. Only Labour and the Greens are willing to go there.



‘BUSINESS DIVERSITY IS A LONG WAY OFF’ Study shows that proportion of BAME members in British boardrooms has fallen – with all-white leadership and executives not uncommon in the UK


R ECENT STUDY has highlighted that the number of Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) top executives has decreased over the past year. This is a direct result of the UK’s biggest companies’ failure to improve the ethnic diversity within their boardrooms. Recruitment consultancy Green Park have revealed that the total number of BAME board members, both executive and non-executive, fell to 7.4 per cent this year, down from nearly 9 per cent in 2018.


Furthermore, the number of BAME chairs, chief executives and finance directors has stalled at 3.3 per cent. Green Park is chaired by former Equalities Commission leader Trevor Phillips. He spoke out about the findings and highlighted his dissatisfaction with the results which showed the UK’s FTSE 100 companies have been failing to follow their successful US counterparts “by properly resourcing change”. He said: “Our latest analysis

shows that after five years of monitoring, the promise that things would change over time for ethnic minority leaders in the FTSE 100 looks just as empty as the corporate pipeline. “Women are cracking the glass ceiling; but people of colour remain super-glued to the corporate floor.”


Phillips warned: “If companies want to sell across the globe, particularly the Far East, Africa and South America, if they have a leadership that doesn’t look like the modern world, then actually they’re not going to be able to compete with, for example, Chinese companies.” Some 47 companies still have no BAME people at board and executive director level – which stands at 14 fewer than in 2014. In response to the findings, the report has advised firms to hire a chief diversity officer – as 50 per cent of their US counterparts have done to help tackle the problem. Failure to do so could result in “commercial risk, regulatory attention and losing key talent to global competitors”.

The struggle for increased ethnic representation in the boardroom has been an ongoing battle. The Parker review set a fouryear target for FTSE 100 firms to appoint at least one boardlevel director from a BAME background by 2021. An update on progress for 2019 was due last month but was delayed by the snap general election.

Now is a crucial time to build a pipeline of future leaders But the 2017 report revealed managers were apprehensive about discussing race and ethnicity for fear of causing offence. One respondent told The Guardian in 2017: “The lack of BAME people in my company makes me feel ashamed. It is inexplicable unless you accept

OFF-TARGET: Research has found that achieving boardroom diversity is still a long way off there must be discrimination in our culture.”


However, a report published by Green Park in 2018 found that it will take FTSE 100 companies nearly half a century to meet government-backed targets to have at least one ethnic minority director on their board. Excluding non-executive directors, two-thirds of Britain’s

companies still have an allwhite leadership team. Raj Tulsiani, chief executive of Green Park, said: “The corporate pipeline is slowly adding women to the mainstream – but largely still only white women; and the pipeline marked ‘black men’ remains resolutely empty. “As a result, overall progress is stalling, and in practice it may mean that we risk failing

to hit the Parker target. Whilst most organisations understand the commercial and reputational impact a lack of diversity can bring, now is a crucial time to take pragmatic and sustainable steps to build a strong pipeline of future leaders.” The 2021 target for the FTSE 100 is voluntary, but companies that fail to abide by their requests will be asked for further explanation.

BBC taking ‘immediate action’ to boost senior BAME representation THE BBC has announced it is taking “immediate action” to increase the numbers of black, Asian and minority ethnic people in senior positions. The broadcaster has outlined several new measures it will introduce to develop a new generation of leaders, including the appointment of two new advisers to every key BBC leadership group. At least one of the advisers will have a deep understanding of issues affecting those from a BAME background. Existing BBC staff will be chosen for the positions and will manage them in addition to their regular roles. In addition to the introduction of

new advisers, the BBC will also stage the Creative Diversity Festival in May. Curated by June Sarpong, who was appointed as director of creative diversity at the BBC in October, the event will celebrate the “vibrancy, innovation and leadership” of BAME talent working in the UK’s creative industries.


Sarpong, whose role involves leading the corporation’s new drive to modernise and transform its culture, said: “These bold, inclusive steps are part of a much wider long-term effort by the BBC to ensure that all talent, regardless, of background can progress

and contribute to the best of their ability. “The Creative Diversity Festival will leverage the convening power of the BBC to bring together the best BAME creatives within the industry as a whole and deliver real results and change – it will be a vibrant event where ideas from BAME talent can be bought and sold. I look forward to working with people across the creative industry to help make inclusion the norm.” Dedicated HR resources will be allocated to support and develop BAME staff in applications for senior roles, following a similar initiative credited with helping improve the representation of women in leadership roles.


The BBC has also committed to having at least two BAME employees on each senior leadership group by the end of next year. Director general Tony Hall said: “Diversity of thought is so important to us. We can’t be the creative, inclusive organisation we want to be if we’re not representative of the whole of the UK. “We’re making some good progress, but we want to do more, particularly in relation to senior leaders across the organisation. So we’ve decided to take immediate action to promote a generation of talented leaders who’ll bring the diversity of thinking we need.”



REPRESENTATION: June Sarpong will curate the BBC’s Creative Diversity Festival



OVAL FOUR’S WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS OVERTURNED Winston Trew, among those for whom the 1972 ruling has been quashed, urges more who may be affected by corrupt officer to come forward


HREE MEN who were wrongly convicted of assault and attempted theft on the evidence of a corrupt officer nearly 50 years ago had their convictions quashed in December. Winston Trew, Sterling Christie, George Griffiths and Constantine Boucher were found guilty in 1972 of assaulting a police officer and attempting to steal. Christie was also convicted of the theft of a policewoman’s handbag. They became known as the “Oval Four” because they were arrested by undercover officers at Oval underground station.

Three of the men spent eight months in prison, while Griffiths was sent to a youth detention centre, after they were convicted as a result of evidence given by Det Sgt Derek Ridgewell, who led the investigation. Now, Trew, Christie, both 69, and Griffiths, 67, have had their convictions quashed. Boucher’s conviction has not been quashed as the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), which applied to the Court of Appeal to overturn the convictions, has not been able to trace him. Speaking outside the Royal

Courts of Justice, Trew encouraged those who were on the receiving end of wrongful convictions as a result of Ridgewell’s evidence to pursue justice and contact the CCRC. “If you are innocent, don’t give up,” Trew said.


CCRC chairman Helen Pitcher said: “We are delighted for Mr Trew, Mr Christie and Mr Griffiths and pleased that the court agreed with our assessment that the misconduct of DS Ridgewell rendered their convictions unsafe.” Pitcher added: “The CCRC

sought out these cases after we sent the conviction of Stephen Simmons for appeal last year based on the misconduct of the same police officer. His conviction was also quashed. “The passage of time has meant that few, if any, records survive to help us understand how many similar cases there may be. The CCRC would be very glad to hear from anyone who believes they were wrongly convicted where DS Ridgewell was involved.” Ridgewell pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal in 1980 and was sentenced to seven years’ in jail. His conviction, new evi-

JUSTICE: Winston Trew and his wife Hyacinth outside the court in London after his conviction was overturned dence surrounding his conduct and integrity, and the commission’s work on Simmons’ case key paved the way for the Oval Four convictions to be quashed. Ridgewell died in prison in 1982, aged 37. The men were between 19 and 23 when arrested. Trew, along with the others, unsuccessfully appealed against

his conviction at the time. After his release he made a complaint to the police and always maintained his innocence. In 2010 he wrote about the experience in his book Black for a Cause…Not Just Because. Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett expressed regret that the men had to wait so long for the “injustice to be remedied”.


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MY OWN GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST The toys were broken by Boxing Day and Her Majesty was ignored – but I still think about my father’s words of wisdom many years on


WAS THINKING of Christmases past. You know, when it was really cold and it used to snow and we used to be dragged across London by foot (because there weren’t no public transport on December 25, and taxis were way above my parents’ pay grades) to eat some dry piece of chicken at the house of uncle this or that. We boys used to look forward to the cheap toys we’d get which, despite the bells and whistles and the thrills, would be all mashed up before the Queen’s speech was through. I remember one ‘computer’ car I got. The ‘computer’ part was just a piece of card that you stuck into it and on which you had to cut out little indents that told the car to go straight or left or right. I thought I was James Bond or The Man from U.N.C.L.E with that little piece of kit. It didn’t last more than a couple of hours before it died a premature death and, before I knew it, the fun of Christmas was done for another year.


Talking of the Queen’s speech, I remember how my father insisted that we all gathered around some fuzzy black-andwhite telly to listen. Funny, really, as we couldn’t wait to get a fat piece of that turkey – dry though it was – because it was the one time a year that you got to eat as much meat as you could stomach. Yes, we may have been hardup, but the old man insisted on getting the biggest size turkey from the milkman, as a show of status to the neighbours or anyone who cared to be peering out from the side of their net curtains when it was delivered.

My old man had five young boys to feed and none of us cared for the Queen’s speech or understood the tradition or anything she said in it. Five young boys who would be scrapping with each other even before we had sipped the cider we were allowed in our teetotaling household. For some reason, Jesus’s birthday warranted an amber nectar of the apple kind. You may as well have forced gallons of Wray & Nephew down our throats because that Strongbow put fire in us and that fire served to remind my older brother Yinka that he had always wanted to give me a third black eye (geddit?) and I in turn realised I had always wanted to give my younger brother Fola a cauliflower ear, and he would be so incensed that he would give the next younger brother Tayo a headbutt from which Tayo would just give Diran (the youngest in dem times) a jab in the eyes with his fingers for having the audacity of thinking he deserved some dessert. Like I say, I miss those Christmases. It was whilst I was reminiscing on those days that I was reminded that it was not all cook and curry roast potatoes, Brussels sprouts and stuffing back then (you see how English we had become in just a few years over this side). It was during an interview with one of the most inspiring men it has been my privilege to meet that I realised what my old man must have been going through bringing up young black boys back in the day. You see, in dem times, the streets of London (and, I daresay, every major city in Britain and many industrial towns also) were like a warzone for young

black men. Christmas was like a day of truce, where we went out on the minefield and police officers said “Evening all” to us as if we were playing a game of football together like the warring British and German troops decided to in the First World War when they came out of the trenches for a friendly knockabout with a ball. But from Boxing Day we were marked men again.


I don’t know why, what we had done to warrant this kind of behaviour and when I was 12 years old I really didn’t think too deeply about it. But my old man must have, because he pulled me and my older brother to one side and told us in no uncertain terms: “If you ever get arrested by the police, do not under any circumstances sign any confession. No matter how much they beat you up and mistreat you. Do not – I repeat, DO NOT – sign anything. Wait until I get there.” For nearly half a century now I have wondered why my father decided to read us the ‘riot act’

TRADITION: We would watch the Queen’s speech at Christmas but, much like the looming threats of the outside world my father warned us about, we didn’t always understand it ing that the very same police officers who had sworn an allegiance to the sovereign could not be trusted under any circumstances. For all these years I have wondered what prompted my father’s insistence and how hard it must have been for him to effectively admit to his children that he had dragged them halfway across the world, from their country of birth, to throw them into a lion’s den of police corruption. Imagine how hard that must have been.

London was like a warzone for young black men back then, but Christmas was a day of truce that day. Like I say, this was a man who insisted that we all gathered around to listen to the Queen telling us what a wonderful country we lived in and how the Commonwealth was the greatest thing since sliced bread and that we were all her subjects, like one big family. And yet, here he was say-

I have wondered and I have wondered and I have not been able to come to a conclusion. But then I met Winston Trew to interview him about the night that changed his life in March 1972 when a corrupt police officer ‘fitted him’ and three other young black men up on false charges which

ended up in him serving eight months of a two-year sentence for a crime he did not commit. We know of course that the Oval Four, as the quartet became known (they were arrested at Oval Station in south London), were not the only ones who suffered in this way. There are scores, if not more, of innocent young black men who are angry to this day for being sentenced for crimes they did not commit. And that anger, that bitterness, that sense of injustice does not go away. And when you have to continue walking the same streets and living in the same country it must drive you into some kind of insanity. It took 47 years but Winston Trew and his fellow Oval Four defendants were exonerated at the Royal Courts of Justice a few weeks ago. But it wasn’t until he told me the story of that fateful night that it resonated with me and I started wondering if... whether... perhaps... You see, Winston Thew (in-

set below) had been at a black power gathering on Wightman Road in Haringey, north London on that night. He and his three friends had walked from Wightman Road to Manor House tube station. This is an area that I know well. It was effectively my manor (house) in those days. And I knew as he told me the story that to get from Wightman Road to Manor House Tube he would have walked down Endymion Road and onto Green Her Lanes and then past Hermitage Road, by which I lived, and on to the station. He would have passed my house. Did my old man know this? Was this the reason he decided to prepare us for what might happen to us as young black boys on the streets? I will never know. My old man’s gone now. But I cannot help wondering. The story of the Oval Four came so close to me that I cannot help wondering whether our Christmases ever brought tidings of comfort and joy to our parents.







ISLAND DELIGHTS : Sophia Stone (l) and Stacy Seeterram (r)



By George Ruddock


n just four years after Sophia Stone first came up with the idea of starting a natural herb tea company for the local market in Trinidad and Tobago, she has turned Caribbean Cure into an award-winning international business which now has its sights on the European market. Caribbean Cure has already got its foot in the door through leveraging support provided by the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) and the European Union. Through participating in Caribbean Export/EU funded programmes Caribbean Cure were able to attend SIAL, Paris where they were shortlisted for a Product Innovation Award in 2018.


They were back most recently in September of last year for Caribbean Export’s CARIFORUM-EU Business Forum and Authentic Caribbean Expo, in Frankfurt Germany where over 60 Caribbean companies showcased their products to the European audience. This gave Caribbean Cure the oppor-

tunity to be featured in the UK Coffee Expo in November through connections which were forged in Frankfurt. Commenting on the European push, Sophia said: “This year’s work is centred on how we are going to launch in the European market. We have done all the hard work of sorting out the

wellness, it wasn’t until she partnered with a friend and confidant Stacy Seeterram, a tea enthusiast in her own right, who embraced the vision of making these healing remedies more efficacious, convenient and attractive to today’s consumer. In a few short months Stone and

CARIBBEAN CURE: range of teas

Island Breeze in January 2018. Sophia’s passion for keeping Caribbean Cure teas unique and authentic lies in the processing of the product. “I wanted to honour our long history in the Caribbean of using herbs and bush teas. The tea leaves are slowdried to maximise nutrient content and each blend is also a delicate balance, formulated to create a memorable and unique experience in every cup,” she said.


manufacturing and the supply chain to sell our tea formulation using organic ingredients which are really healthy and wonderful, so we are now looking for a partner who will be interested in distributing for us.” While Caribbean Cure was initially Sophia’s idea of using nature’s herbs and bush teas to promote health and

Seeterram created five tea blends which were to gain Caribbean Cure official recognition as producers of world class teas. This was achieved by winning bronze medals at the internationally recognised Global Tea Championships, hosted by the World Tea Expo in Colorado, for their Tropical Relaxation blend in November 2017 and again for

There is also a little bit of history brewed in each cup of Caribbean Cure tea. Island Breeze, a delicate blend that includes cardamom pods and white tea, is a tribute to Sophia’s Afghan/Canadian heritage, and borrows from one of her family recipes; while Carnival Oasis with its inclusion of mauby bark, cinnamon and clove, transports Stacy – a Trinidadian, with roots woven throughout the Caribbean – back to her childhood as it conjures memories of her grandmother’s “magical” blends. Since August this year Caribbean Cure was launched in Japan, making

it the first tea company from Trinidad and Tobago to break into the Asian market. An obviously proud Sophia said: “The reason they are interested in our products is because of the health and wellness aspect of it. We are unique in the blend of herbs and natural healing ingredients paired with aromatic flowers and spices in our teas.” This article is part of a series featuring Caribbean entrepreneurs and businesses sponsored by the Caribbean Export Development Agency. Working together with the European Union, the Caribbean Export Development Agency supports the sustainable development of Caribbean brands ultimately to increase employment in the region, inclusiveness, particularly for youth, women and indigenous groups, and secure overall poverty reduction.


Midlands News NEWS IN BRIEF

SUPPORTING YOUNG PEOPLE: Campaigner Alison Cope £10,000 PROMPTS RETURN OF YOUTH AWARDS THE JOSHUA Ribera Achievement Awards is to return next month after receiving nearly £10,000 in funding. The awards are organised by Alison Cope, a Birmingham mother turned campaigner, who named the ceremony after her late son, who was fatally stabbed in 2013.

TRIBUTE: Joshua and Alison The awards will take place at the Birmingham Conference and Events Centre on February 1, 2020. Young people will be recognised for academic improvement, and also for strides made in “attitude, character and social action”. Alison said: “I am overwhelmed that The National Lottery Community Fund has recognised the awards evening in this way. “Now, thanks to National Lottery players we will be able to support 22 young people and show them that, regardless of our pasts, if we focus and work hard we can all have a positive, safe and rewarding future.” REDEVELOPMENT BRINGS JOBS TO NOTTINGHAM THE TRANSFORMATION of Nottingham’s Southside is fully under way. The redevelopment work has brought more than 1,000 jobs to the East Midlands city, with over 50 per cent of these taken up by local residents. Works include creating a world-class visitor destination at Nottingham Castle, a new Nottingham College City Hub

and other schemes including new homes, plus the refurbishment of existing buildings in the area. Councillor David Mellen, leader of the City Council, said: “Redevelopment gives local people from across Nottingham the chance to contribute to the enormous changes and the opportunity in the future to be able to say they helped build and change a growing part of our city. We’re proud of the work being done to prepare and improve Nottingham for the future, and that includes the investment by developers in local people to provide new employment and training opportunities.” Approximately 7 per cent of Nottingham’s 782,000 residents are of Black African/ Caribbean origin and according to recent statistics are 40 per cent more likely to be out of work than their white counterparts. HELP STOP FOOD WASTE AT JANUARY SYMPOSIUM A NETWORKING symposium on January 9 is aiming to minimise food waste. Organised by Nottingham Trent University, the event is part of a pan-European project, REAMIT, and seeks to build networks in the food supply chain industry. “It is important that we take note of issues that are wider than our community,” said Owen Marshall, owner of locally based wholesalers Trent Foods. “For too long we have only networked with our own and focused on cultural issues while the wider world and how it’s developing passes us by.” The all-day symposium is free and takes place at the Crowne Plaza, Nottingham, NG1 5RH. For more, visit

If you have a story for the East or West Midlands, call/text Veron Graham on 07954 572 988, email, or find him on Facebook or LinkedIn

by Veron Graham

WHO’S GOT THE WRITE STUFF IN CONTEST FOR NEW SCRIPTS? Competition hopes to boost new talents for stage and screen as script entries sought


WEST MIDLANDSBASED scriptwriting competition that is pioneering new routes to stage and screen success has scored a major partner and is spreading its influence into Ireland in its third year. Following its competitions in 2017 and 2018, Enter Stage Write is now in partnership with the Birmingham Hippodrome. Together, the start-up initiative and the historic entertainment venue, have put out a call for submissions for entries – 10-minute-long scripts, which can be adapted for the theatre or the screen – for this year’s competition by the closing date of February 11.


The Hippodrome’s Patrick Studio will host the Enter Stage Write Grand Final on March 11, where the scripts and the performances of five finalists will be judged by a panel of leading industry judges. Entries that make it to the top three will be made into short films as well as performed as a stage play. The writer/s of the winning entry will also win a £1,000 prize. Enter Stage Write was created by actress, producer and entrepreneur Natalie Edwards of the Transition Stage Company, with the distinct aim to level the playing field by opening up opportunities to aspiring writers, initially in the West


Midlands region and now to others outside London. Edwards said: “This move to one of the premier theatres in the UK will ensure that emerging scriptwriters and other creative talents will have an even greater platform to display their talent. This is an opportunity to bring creative leaders with the power to give visibility and opportunity for emerging writing talent nationwide and celebrate them here in the West Midlands.” Opened in 1895, Birmingham Hippodrome now welcomes over 840,000 visitors each year to a wide range of performances, including West End musicals, ballet, international dance, opera and contemporary performance, as well as hosting street festivals. Last year, the venue began to produce work at all scales, including a UK Theatre Award-nominated rendition of the iconic The Color Purple, a youth production of West Side Story and new works with associate companies. Chris Sudworth, director of artistic programme at the Hippodrome, commented: “We are delighted to partner with Enter Stage Write to showcase wonderful new work in the West Midlands. “The programme chimes perfectly with the artist development and producing journey we have begun at the Hippodrome, supporting the creation of work that represents and reflects our great city.” Previous competition cham-


EMERGING TALENT: Enter Stage Write creator and actress Natalie Edwards poses with 2018 winner Tonia Daley-Campbell pion Abraham Adeyemi, who won in 2017, was recently awarded £15,000 by SoHo House to write and direct a film which will open at the London Film Festival in the short film category.


Tonia Daley-Campbell, who won the competition in 2018, added: “Enter Stage Write was the competition that re-


ally gave me visibility, and put my work in front of industry professionals. The competition made sure my voice was not silent, but loud and proud.” Enter Stage Write will expand beyond the West Midlands for the first time this year when a franchise event is held in Belfast. Tickets to attend the Grand Final will go on sale this month.


Midlands News

NURSE BOUNCING BACK TO THRIVE AFTER DRINK AND DEPRESSION BATTLE Health worker who had to leave job over mental issues and alcohol back thanks to counselling programme


FORMER NURSE who was “in the depths of depression” and a heavydrinking lifestyle is among hundreds of people with longterm physical and emotional health issues who have been helped back into work by an innovative regional employment programme. Marcy Williams is now back enjoying her beloved career at an undisclosed healthcare facility in the Midlands, thanks to the Thrive to Work programme, which has been running for just 18 months.


She told the media: “I was referred to Thrive by my counsellor who felt returning to work would help me. “I had been through a difficult time which led to me having little or no confidence. I was suffering with depression and anxiety and this had also led to me becoming reliant on alcohol. “I was hoping that getting some help could build my confidence. “I had several issues in my last role and I doubted my capabilities. I was also worried

about making the same mistakes and the employer finding out about my health conditions. “My concern about returning to work was that I wouldn’t be confident enough to do the job I had trained so hard to do. “My employment specialist at Thrive made me feel at ease straight away. “I felt I could share information with her without her judging. “We worked through applica-

tain a reference as I couldn’t face doing this after my experiences with them.” Reflecting on the assistance she received, Ms Williams added: “Thrive to Work should have been around sooner. This programme helps people to build their confidence and realise that there is support out there to get into work if you have health issues.”

This programme should have been around sooner, it helps people with confidence

Government figures show there are more than four million people of working age with a long-term health condition or disability in the UK who are not in work and evidence suggests that as many as 90 per cent of non-working people who use mental health services would like to work. In June 2018, when Thrive was launched, there were at least 125,000 people in the West Midlands who were out of work with a disability or health issue, commonly to do with mental health or a musculoskeletal condition such as back pain. Thrive will continue until October 2020 and supports more than 1,000 people with health issues to find work.

tions and person specifications and interviews, and she even attended employers with me to help me get a job and this has made me feel so much more confident. “She also visited my old employer to try and help me ob-

THRIVING: Marcy Williams is back doing her beloved nursing job in an undisclosed facility in the Midlands after being helped back on her feet by Thrive To Work


Mayors band together in call for greater devolution A GROUP of directly elected mayors have met to prepare to make a call on central government to strengthen devolved powers to the region. The ‘M9 Group’ – which includes West Midlands’ Mayor Andy Street and Greater Manchester’s Andy Burnham – discussed the need for a framework for devolution, setting out an agreed set of principles for the next phase of the devolution journey alongside agreement of new powers devolved to the places they represent. “The value of devolution is there for all to see,” said Mayor Street. “In the West Midlands we are seeing record economic growth, record house building, record investment in our public transport, and record numbers in work.

“I truly believe that none of this would have been possible without the creation of the region’s Combined Authority and its devolved powers. “But devolution to date has been fragmented and partial, and there is so much more we as mayors can achieve with greater powers at our disposal.


“Our cities and regions offer huge opportunities for the UK, but we need to be allowed to unleash our full potential.” Mayor Street added: “We cannot do this without further devolution and I, alongside the other mayors, will continue lobbying government for a place-based approach to 2020’s Spending Review.”

NEED FOR A FRAMEWORK: The M9 Group of directly elected mayors met last month


by Abigail Reid

Northern News


Universities consider radical changes to better equip people for 21st Century


ORTHERN NEWS reporter Abigail Reid was invited to Kayseri in Turkey last month to take part in the Creative Catalyst conference – finding a role for universities in building creative industries. Connect for Creativity is an 18-month project led by the British Council, in partnership with Abdullah Gul University in Turkey, the ATÖLYE design agency, the Greek cultural centre Bios and the Nova Iskra creative hub in Serbia. Borne out of a need to assess the role that creative hubs might play in developing intercultural dialogue the Creative Economy Team of the Cardiff University was commissioned to analyse this with regards to Turkey, Serbia, Greece and the UK. The project aims to form a network of creative hubs across Europe to achieve the end goal of supporting intercultural exchange between the participating countries and support the future development of creative hubs and activities. Hosted by Abdullah Gul University and its students, Creative Catalyst was Connect for Creativity’s second networking event, welcoming more than 100 delegates, from countries including Germany, Belgrade, Athens, UK, Italy, Turkey, Serbia, Macedonia and Budapest. The event highlighted a need to bring creative industries to the light as they are the new gateway for economic and social change, but also the necessity for changes in the education sector and the importance of equipping young people with

the skills to adapt to a rapidly changing job market. The key message throughout was to encourage young people’s interest in creativity and STEM [science, technology, engineering and maths] and let their imaginations have no bounds. The skills required for the competitive job markets in the future will not simply be academic qualifications and specialist knowledge, but soft skills such as adaptability and resilience. Most importantly, delegates were told to allow children to dream of endless possibilities.


Speakers from different countries and sectors contributed to the event and these were the messages from just a few. According to Professor Ihsan Sabuncuoglu, rector at Abdullah Gul University, traits such as being hardworking, loyal and smart are a thing of the past: “We have to change the fact that everything is based on exams otherwise millions of people will be useless. There is a digital revolution happening today. It is a challenge for everybody and we need to retrain people so that they will be what society is looking for. “We need more art, more music, more sport. We need more cultural activities and we should allow the kids to dream. We need to change the system because this new generation is ready. We [the university] are the obstacle. “They need to work in places that they are happy. The creative industries will create this environment.

COLOURFUL OCCASION: Clockwise from top left, Dr Ecmel Ayral, Professor Ihsan Sabuncuoglu, Zeynep Dereli, Buket Guler, master of ceremonies; a workshop explores possibilities at the conference; the crowd listens to a presentation at Creative Catalyst “There’s a new generation entering university and how they engage and communicate is completely different than their predecessors. This is Generation Z, or Gen Z. Unless we leave our comfort zone, the system will not change. All parties – students and universities –


should reconsider their roles.” Zeynep Dereli, founder of a technology high school, said: “If we are going to do something about the future, we need to change it now. There is no equity in education. Those who live in more prosperous neighbourhoods are doing much better. “Young people would do much better adapting to this new world and those in the workplace need to be reskilled. And if we don’t do that, we will have a major societal problem and this is going to happen throughout the world. “Technology is enabling changes to happen and we all now have to reform ourselves.” Paolo Montemurro of Materahub noted: “Universities should change in order to face the challenges of today’s world.” Dr Ecmel Ayral, of Istanbul’s Bilgi University, said: “Traditional skills are useless – there is a mismatch and irrelevance between that and what the


business world is expecting. They are short-lived skills and will not last more than five years. “Universities need to help students learn skills for cognitive thinking. University has a new role and it has to be based on a longer time period. “Life expectancies have changed and your skills have to take you through a longer life period. “Our lifespan has extended but the lifespan of our skills and expertise has shortened. We need to create something new – a new structure and a new mission which is based on an ecosystem rather than an infrastructure. “We are in the midst of a chaotic environment. What we will face requires us to be flexible, both mentally and physically. The inate and grown properties of ours will be the kindle to helping us to find the right jobs. “It’s a tough life and it will not be easy for new generations. Finding a job and stay-


ing there for 40 years will not be happening anymore. The term ‘employment’ will change and many will create their own employment and that’s why the creative environments will be important. “This will be the challenge and the opportunity that young people will face.”


Some key findngs from the research into creative hubs was revealed, showing that: l 97 per cent of hubs are platforms for people from different cultures; l creative hubs are enablers for communication, discussions and negotiations through services and events; l 40 per cent of creative hubs have cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue in some way integrated as goals in their mission statements; and l 50 per cent of creative hubs surveyed offer courses and training to develop intercultural competences.


Northern News


M A NC H E S T E RBASED consortium has launched a free 12-week course to help women kickstart a career in tech. Particularly aimed at women from ethnic minority groups, the funded programme will give participants the technical qualifications and support to turn their new skills into a career for the digital workforce. Working in conjunction with The Heroworx Institute, Tech Manchester and UKFast, The African Pot Project Ltd (TAP) spearheaded the initiative in order to combat the under-representation in this field and together they successfully applied for funding.


TAP director Angeli Sweeney said: “I attended a South Manchester business networking event and connected with Patricia Keating from Tech Manchester. “I asked her what were they doing to bridge the gap in regards to a lack of diversity especially as their organisation is in the Hulme/Moss Side area. “They invited me in and explained about their current programmes, which included working with an organisation called Solidarity in Tech. “They later invited us back in to discuss creating a con-

sortium and applying for a pot of funding from Greater Manchester Combined Authority to counteract this issue.” Although the course is open to women throughout Greater Manchester, priority will be given to candidates from Hulme, Moss Side, Whalley Range, Fallowfield and surrounding neighbourhoods. Women In Linux (WIL), delivered three mornings a week, will be facilitated by Red Hat,

award women with a professional Linux qualification. TAP director Otis Thomas said: “Along with Natalie Jameson from The Heroworx Institute, Angeli and I will be hosting soft skills workshops on confidence-building, selfesteem, mindfulness and mindset and incorporating the values-based, driven approach of the seven principles of Nguzo Saba.”

Black women need to have a say in how the future will unfold

Starting this month, participants will also benefit from a dedicated mentor and pastoral care, funded examination costs and a guaranteed interview at UKFast for successful candidates. And if successful, they could embark upon a career with a typical starting salary of £22,000-£24,000. “This is initially a pilot but we intend to reapply for a bigger pot of funding to make this a more permanent fixture,” added Otis. “We’d love to see this be the start of TAP playing a key role in shaping a new direction for the tech industry within Manchester and beyond. We hope this will raise awareness of the need for more black women to be involved in key roles and have a say in the way the future will unfold.” Iddris Sandu, a creator of codes and algorithms who be-

the world’s leading provider in Linux training, at the UKFast Campus in Hulme. Linux is an operating system, the basic software that runs a computer like Windows or the Mac OS. In fact, Linux is one of the most popular platforms on the planet. Android phones, for example, are powered by Linux. The consortia of partners will collectively deliver a compliment of technical and professional skills training as well pastoral support throughout the programme to prepare and

DIGITAL WORKFORCE: Back row, left to right, Otis Thomas (TAP), Leon Robinson (Red Hat trainer), Patricia Keating (from Tech Manchester); front row, left to right, Angeli Sweeney (TAP), Natalie Jameson (The Heroworx Institute)


gan the world’s first smart retail store experience along with rapper Nipsey Hussle, was quoted by Otis as saying: “The next 10 years of our people’s ability to adapt to tech will either advance us forward more than we could’ve ever imagined or set us back more than slavery. The most important task of our youth will be to create technol-

ogy and not consume it.” Otis said: “This quote has stuck with me since, so I’ve decided to create an initiative under the TAP umbrella which will focus solely on STEM [science, technology, engineering and maths], but the maths element will be focused on entrepreneurship. “I’ve started conversations

with Paulette Watson from Academy Achievers and Julian Hall from Ultra Education about the possibility of bringing these programmes to Manchester.” Women interested in signing up for the WIL course should visit techequity and the TAP website at

Dyslexia awareness soars to new heights MANCHESTER DJ Keisha Adair-Swaby took her public speaking career to new international heights when she flew out to Atlanta in November. Taking part in The Royal Event, organised by Shal B Ministeries, Keisha helped to uplift and inspire the US audience with her life story. She told The Voice: “I spoke about my journey, coming from Jamaica and how I overcame the challenges that I faced such as the immigration issues I encountered after losing my grandmother. “I also spoke about how I had to leave my job after it started to affect my health,

and being diagnosed with dyslexia and dyspraxia in the last few months of my degree.” Keisha, who assists with the running of internet station Radio Diamond, represented the station when US-based Dr Shaletta Borders toured the UK with her Princess To Queen ministry. Also invited were other UK speakers – broadcast journalist Kemi Olude, gospel singer and life coach Charity Bygraves and human rights activist Alfa Kuabo. Keisha, 41, who recently graduated with a BSc (Hons) Applied Sport and Exercise Science, was diagnosed with dyslexia and dyspraxia during

her final months of study: “So many could identify with my story about my dyslexia and came to me to thank me for enlightening them as they felt that this is something that they didn’t know much about,” she said. “However, they themselves have experienced many of the traits that I described.”


Dr Shaletta Borders, founder of Shal B Ministries, said: “This is a ministry that is building the world through compassion. Within the ministry was birthed ‘From Princess To Queen’ where I set the

INSPIRE: Keisha Adair-Swaby atmosphere for women to tell their stories because ‘we are overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and the words of our testimony.’ I recently held The

Royal Event in Atlanta, Georgia, where I invited Keisha Swaby, Kemi Olude, Charity Bygraves, and Alfa Kuabo. “Inviting them to America was not only exciting it was very informative. I invited Keisha to speak because when I was in Manchester in March of 2019, I found that she was a wife, mother and a student with dyslexia. I knew that her testimony would not only heal her from her struggle but would also help heal others. “Keisha’s speech on her life trials was enlightening. Everyone saw themselves somewhere in her story. People here in the United States of Amer-

ica are still talking about Keisha’s speech. Their lives were changed!” Following her success abroad, Keisha now aims to embark upon a mission of awareness about dyslexia in the black community. “I have lived the experience for over 40 years so I am very equipped in knowing how people are affected, along with the shame and stigma attached to these learning differences,” she added. “I want to inspire others through my radio show with a focus on helping people with dyslexia and dyspraxia to realise their true potential.”






Why backing black business really matters THE SECOND edition of The Voice Black Business Fair, according to the entrepreneurs and shoppers in Croydon, was a success. Encouraging each other to support black-owned business is not just a nice idea – it’s crucially important. It’s not hard to find examples of other communities of people who work largely to support each other. Despite what some critics might say, this is not an unsophisticated response to white racism. Nor is this support about rejecting mainstream marketing. Despite educational and income gains, black Britons are still playing catch-up to other groups in the UK in areas such as pay and employment opportunities. So trying to close that gap means working, supporting and developing resources in and for our community. Given the widening wealth gap between people from BAME communities and others it’s important to spread the message that we should invest in our future by encouraging each other to set up businesses, support each other when we do and prepare our youth for careers as entrepreneurs.

h t on m e f h t Letter o

If we seriously want to improve our community’s socio-economic situation, we must strengthen our collective economic position. And this means working cooperatively. It also means that the standard of success for black-owned businesses must be about increasing the quality of community rather than bank balances. As statistics would highlight, the potential is there. For example, there are approximately 16,000 businesses owned by people of black African and Caribbean descent in London – 4 per cent of all businesses in the capital. A further 27,000 black Londoners are selfemployed; up by 80 per cent over the past decade. We must learn to harness this economic power by redirecting our wealth, clearly and forcefully using it to create opportunities for future generations without going outside our own community. It’s a view that has gained increasing support. Black consumers have tremendous spending power, but we need to give our business owners a chance to thrive by investing in them.

Re: Police officer sentenced over possession of indecent image of child I FEEL this could have been dealt with better. Looks like someone was out for Williams. She didn’t open the post. I understand the seriousness of it. But police work is not easy! But to put her and the other two on the sex offender register – that’s so harsh.

Really feel sorry for Williams.

SO HARSH: Metropolitan Police Superintendent Novlett Robyn Williams was found guilty of possessing an indecent image of a child, sent to her on WhatsApp


All those years of hard work. All gone. She should not lose her job. The others have so again she will be the scapegoat. Wonder if it would have been different had she been...? Winsome Bygrave, via


Re: ‘It’s ridiculous’: Viola Davis blasts Hollywood for considering Julia Roberts for Tubman role YES, THE thought is and was ridiculous. And so is the fact that this Cynthia Erivo was cast. She is not historically black American and does not represent anyone in our history. Our long and sometimes bleak history is very rich and second to none, and we will never let anyone forget that it is our KICK IT OUT: Will the racism in football ever really change? history, starting in the US over 400 years ago. the acclaimed actor Michael we can impact the pockets Just because someone is Douglas. and livelihoods of the folks in black does not mean they In the last five or so years, charge. Their lip service to can be cast in the role of our they have started casting for- kick out racism will follow the historically black ancestors. eign blacks in roles about his- same model: racist incident Hollywood has been casting torically black Americans, who – threat of stiffer sanctions – foreign whites in the role of fought, and many died, for the light sanctions implemented – white Americans in increasing rights of their own historically move on black people … and numbers for the last decade black people in the United repeat ad nauseum. or so and finally white Ameri- States. Even the approach of your cans are beginning to speak Our history is different from noble group has not made up against this, including any other group in the US and much headway, if you’re honif Hollywood thinks that it is est and not afraid of construcgoing to hijack our history and tive criticism. hang onto foreigners, who If you want real solutions happen to be black, they are contact me for consultation. about to learn a serious lesson. David Nakhid, via Marine N Stewart, via



RIDICULOUS: Cynthia Erivo played Harriet Tubman in a recent film, but is she too British for it?


Re: ‘If footballers can’t be respected on the pitch, they need to make a stand’ TROY, ALTHOUGH your work and intentions are admirable, they’re not going to change anything. It’s like the slave begging the slave owner to set him free. We are doing exactly that. There will be no change, societal or otherwise, unless


Re: Labour and Sadiq Khan “don’t care” about knife crime, says FGM campaigner Nimco Ali OBE THE MAYOR’S budget is controlled by the Home Secretary. Last time l checked, that was a Tory MP who continuously cut the crime budget since 2010. Amber Rudd diverted money from the crime budget to the immigration budget to terrorise migrants subjected to



the Windrush illegal deportations. Andrea Coipel, via Facebook


Re: Labour and Sadiq Khan “don’t care” about knife crime, says FGM campaigner Nimco Ali OBE @NIMKOALI IS being disingenuous in saying #Labour & @SadiqKhan “don’t care” about knife crime. Better to say “not enough has been done” as that is always the case when dealing with such a complex critical issue as reducing the number of deaths from knife crime. #ActionNotWords Labour & Co-op Party London Assembly member Jennette Arnold, via Twitter

MAYOR: Sadiq Khan



International News

‘VENES’ CRISIS HITS CARIBBEAN Island nations struggling to cope with refugees as millions leave Venezuela for a better life elsewhere By Debbie Ransome


ITH NO end in sight to the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, its neighbours are still dealing with the consequences of the country’s economic implosion – and that includes several Caribbean territories. Trinidad, Guyana, the Dutch Caribbean and the Dominican Republic are among the destinations that have found themselves caught unawares by the mass exodus of Venezuelan migrants fleeing hard times at home. The United Nations has predicted that by the end of this year, more than five million Venezuelans – 15 per cent of the population – will have become refugees.


In mid-November, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) launched a fundraising effort to support projects aimed at helping Venezuelan migrants in 17 countries, including some Caribbean territories. The aim is to raise $1.35bn (£1.03bn) to help the migrants’ new host countries. The majority have gone elsewhere in South America: Colombia (1.4m Venezuelans), Peru (860,900), Chile (371,200) and Ecuador (330,400). Admittedly, the Caribbean immigration figures are nowhere near these levels – but they still pose problems for small island nations struggling to assimilate them. Earlier this year, Trinidad & Tobago conducted a registration period for Venezuelans who had settled there. Trinidadian newspapers reported the official count as 16,000 Venezuelans granted temporary residency. That residency included work permits for six months, with

ANGER: Venezuelans have protested economic conditions the possibility of a further sixmonth extension. In a recent opinion piece headlined “Venezuelan refugees need our help”, the Trinidad Guardian said: “Despite the challenges they face, Venezuelan refugees have managed to fit in and are contributing to the economy. Finding work primarily in the service industry, even with their broken English, they are proving themselves to be fast learners. “It’s ironic that locals would often roll their eyes at the lack of customer service and business owners would bemoan on how hard it is to find good employees. Well, now we have the ‘Venes’ to take the jobs that Trinis won’t do. So regardless of whether you like them or not, you have to acknowledge their willingness to do whatever it takes to provide for themselves and their families.” The Joint Special Representative of the UNHCR and IOM for Venezuelan refugees and migrants, Eduardo Stein, appealed to European donors to fund the 2020 support programme for Venezuelan migrants in Latin America and the Caribbean. While the needs of Venezuelans might seem very far away for Europeans, conditions in Venezuela continued to worsen, he said. “The Syrian crisis is much more immediate for Europe, it

is much closer than the Venezuelan crisis for them,” he told Reuters news agency. Meanwhile, international agencies continue to monitor the impact of Venezuela’s turmoil. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) placed the Dominican Republic seventh on its list measuring the impact of the Venezuelan exodus on countries’ public spending and Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The IMF said that the pressure on receiving nations came from the need to provide humanitarian aid, basic healthcare, education, validation of educational titles and jobs.


More positively, the IMF also predicted that Venezuelan migration could “potentially raise GDP growth in receiving countries by 0.1 to 0.3 percentage points during 2017–2030”. The IMF said that policies including greater support for education and integration into the workforce could help migrants find better-paying jobs and, ultimately, help raise growth prospects for countries receiving migrants. A recent IMF report on the region’s economic outlook said Venezuelan migration could reach 10 million by 2023: “The economic and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela has deepened further, with collapsing


economic activity, hyperinflation, and electricity shortages. As a result, Venezuelans have continued to emigrate. As of October 2019, the United Nations estimated that 4.5m Venezuelans had left the country, with 3.7m settling in other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean... “In the short run, they are expected to put pressures on the provision of public services and labour markets, where migration could increase informality in a context of weak economic activity. Over the medium term, they would raise potential growth as the size and skills of the labour force expands and investment increases... “There are also downside risks to the gains in growth if migrants are not integrated in an orderly way or if migration leads to social dislocation.”


The Venezuelan exodus is not the only migrant issue the Caribbean has been dealing with. At the other end of the Caribbean chain, the Bahamas has been tackling its long-running issue of illegal migration from Haiti – an issue thrown into the spotlight when many of the shantytowns where legal and illegal Haitian migrants had lived fell victim to Hurricane Dorian at the beginning of September. While the government of the Bahamas had housed all displaced people immediately after the devastation that Dorian brought to the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama, it made it clear that the shantytowns wiped out by the hurricane would not be rebuilt and that the laws of deportation would still apply to illegal migrants. The IOM produced a midNovember report tracking the deportation of illegal Haitian migrants from the Bahamas. Its team interviewed 153 people deported back to Haiti. Repatriation had been temporarily halted at the beginning of 2019 as Haiti’s political scene deteriorated into civil unrest.


THE WORLD AT A GLANCE Barbadians give Burgie a goodbye

BARBADIANS HAVE observed a minute’s silence to honour the memory of the man who wrote their national anthem. US-born Irving Burgie, who died on November 29 aged 95, was better known internationally for composing Day-O (The Banana Boat Song) and producing a string of songs for Harry Belafonte. His mother was from Barbados, prompting him to write a Broadway musical about the island and the lyrics for In Plenty and In Time of Need, which became Barbados’s national anthem in 1966.

Mangroves help reduce flooding

THE MANGROVES around Jamaica’s coastline help to reduce flooding and improve the island’s carbon footprint, says the World Bank. In a report entitled Forces of Nature, it said mangroves can reduce wave heights by 36 per cent to 55 per cent and that more than 70 per cent of damaged mangroves can be restored.

Shooter to sue Trayvon’s family THE MAN who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin is suing the teenager’s family for defamation. George Zimmerman, who was on patrol as a neighbourhood watch volunteer when he followed and killed Trayvon, has launched a $100m (£76m) lawsuit against the Martin family, their lawyers and prosecutors. Zimmerman, 36, who was acquitted of murdering Martin in 2013, claims that the family’s lawyers replaced a witness reluctant to testify, reportedly

However, in the post-Dorian recovery effort in the Bahamas, repatriation of illegal Haitian migrants restarted in October. The IOM report found that a large number of repatriated Haitians had been living on the most hurricane-damaged part of the Bahamas, the Abaco Islands. One returned migrant


Martin’s girlfriend who he was on the phone to at the time, with her half-sister. The allegations have been denied by the family and their lawyer.

Puerto Rico’s Taino search

US SCIENTISTS are rushing to document indigenous sites along Puerto Rico’s coastline before rising sea levels destroy them. A University of California team said they were taking 3D images of a ceremonial centre used by Taino Indians around 2,000 years ago. They said the site was “literally being washed away”.

Cricketersorryfor music video PAKISTAN-BORN US cricket heartthrob Ali Khan has apologised to his family for appearing in a music video with Trinidadian soca star Destra that went viral. Khan said on social media he had seen the final version, which shows the two hugging, but did not realise that “it would be too much for my family”. Trinidadian cricket star Dwayne Bravo, who had introduced the two, also apologised for upsetting Khan’s parents.

Brother hailed for forgiveness THE BROTHER of a man who was murdered by a white police officer in his own home has accepted an award from a prominent American police agency. Brandt Jean was recognised for his public display of forgiveness when he hugged the woman who shot dead his brother, Botham, in 2018. Brandt received an ethical courage award from The Institute for Law Enforcement Administration.

was quoted as saying: “We lost everything in the Bahamas because of Dorian. And now they bring us back to Haiti. What will we do?” Former BBC Caribbean Service Head Debbie Ransome currently runs the website


International News

FOOD AID SCHEME EXPANDS OPERATION IN ZIMBABWE Emergency response steps up after drought and economic hardship plunge millions into hunger


HE WORLD Food Programme (WFP) is to rapidly expand an already sizeable emergency operation in Zimbabwe where drought, flooding and macro-economic problems have plunged 7.7m people – half the population – into severe hunger. WFP officials say they plan to more than double the number of people they are helping by January to 4.1m, providing lifesaving rations of cereal, pulses and vegetable oil and a protective nutrition ration for children under five. The move is urgently needed to meet the growing needs of the hardest-hit Zimbabweans. WFP executive director David

Beasley said: “We’re deep into a vicious cycle of sky-rocketing malnutrition that’s hitting women and children hardest and will be tough to break. “With poor rains forecast yet again in the run-up to the main harvest in April, the scale of hunger in the country is going to get worse before it gets better.” Experts say that Zimbabwe’s hunger crisis – the worst for more than a decade – is part of an unprecedented climatedriven disaster gripping southern Africa. Temperatures in the region are rising at more than twice the average global rate and ever more erratic rainy seasons are hitting the country’s subsistence farmers hard.

Verity Johnson, of the Catholic Agency For Overseas Development, told ITV News: “You can’t discount climate change, it’s a huge factor in what is happening.


“Zimbabwe has been in economic crisis for many years now and there’s been a steady deterioration, there have been further shocks this year with currency changes which have seen food prices going through the roof. It’s an incredibly difficult situation for ordinary people to deal with.” Hilal Elver, a UN Rapporteur who visited Zimbabwe last month to report on the food crisis, said: “This doesn’t mean

that climate change brought the drought to the region. The problem is through the climate change, droughts are longer, deeper and much more severe and it comes very often.” The crisis is being exacerbated by a dire shortage of foreign currency, runaway inflation, mounting unemployment, lack of fuel, prolonged power outages and large-scale livestock losses, afflicting urban residents and rural villagers alike. WFP’s planned scale-up is a huge logistical undertaking, with the limited availability of Zimbabwean dollars and surging prices for basics presaging a near-wholesale switch from cash assistance to food distributions.

PENDING CRISIS: Millions of people in Zimbabwe are facing severe hunger as a result of drought. (PHOTO: Reuters) Beasley said: “We must not It envisages the sourcing, purchase and delivery to the let our immediate focus on land-locked country of more emergency aid distract us from than 240,000 metric tons of investing in the resilience procommodities through June, a grams that will help chronichallenge all the more daunting cally hungry people cope with because drought and flooding the ever-more severe impacts have eroded food supplies across of erratic weather. We urge the much of Africa. An estimated international community to step $293m (£224m) is required for up funding to address the root WFP’s response, with less than causes of long-term hunger in 30 per cent of that sum secured. Zimbabwe.”



ACTION NEEDS TO BE TAKEN SO NO-ONE FEELS ‘OUT OF PLACE’ A lack of diversity characterises higher education institutions. So we shouldn’t be at all surprised to hear about incidents of racism, argues Remi Joseph-Salisbury


N MARCH 2018, Rufaro Chisango (pictured inset below), a black student at Nottingham Trent University, tweeted a video of students chanting “we hate the blacks” outside of her dorm. This shockingly racist abuse quite rightly drew widespread condemnation. Whenever someone does something explicitly racist, it’s often framed as an isolated incident. This doesn’t just misrepresent the experiences of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) students who face racism in many forms on a daily basis, it obscures the structural and institutional nature of racism. It’s important and necessary stu to reprimand the offending students. But that’s the easy part. To make meaning-ful change, interventions need to go to the roots of the problem. Although the number of BAME students attending university is increasing far quicker than white students, black students report lower levels of satisfaction than other racial groups. They are also more likely to “drop out” and have lower attainment levels than their white peers – even when they enter university with the same grades.

The outcomes and experiences of black students in academia are symptomatic of institutions where white power structures have long dominated. This makes black students and staff seem out of place and lays the ground for experiences such as Chisango’s. Over the past few years, student-led campaigns have gone to great pains to point out the mechanisms that maintain the whiteness of higher education. Perhaps those of us committed to change should listen. The student-led Why Is My Curriculum White? campaign has challenged the white and Euro-centric nature of the curricula in higher education. One interviewee for the campaign recalled an unun dergraduate modern history course which covered the topic of empire over a week, looking at the ecoeco nomic competition between European countries, with all of her readings reportedly written by white academics. She is not alone. In a 2011 report conducted by the NUS, almost half of black students noted a lack of diversity in their curriculum. Overwhelmingly, white, male canons are too often the norm in universities, making it seem

like intellectual thought is the preserve of white people. Blackness, then, appears not to belong in universities.


In the Why Isn’t My Professor Black? campaign, students have drawn our attention to the lack of black professors – and particularly black women professors – and the problems that arise from such under-representation. Only 1.19 per cent of British staff on academic contracts are black – far less than the proportion of black people in the broader population, which is 3.3 per cent. The whiteness of the teaching staff reinforces the whiteness of the curricula, which both work to reinforce the association between whiteness and intellect. All this contributes to the conditions that make racism possible in higher education. Student campaigns have also brought attention to some of the ways that the myth of white intellectual superiority is perpetuated on campuses worldwide. #RhodesMustFall campaigners at Oxford University highlighted Cecil Rhodes’ role in histories of racism, colonialism and genocide. In so doing, those students

TAKING A STAND: Andre Dallas from the ‘Rhodes Must Fall In Oxford’ campaign group during a 2016 meeting at Regent’s Park College, Oxford University, following the announcement that the statue of British colonialist Cecil Rhodes would be kept at Oriel College have shown that their institution simply does not treat racism and colonialism with the seriousness it deserves. As those campaigners called for a more diverse curriculum and greater BAME representation in the teaching force, there

Those committed to change should listen

was a clear sense that these different issues were interlinked, and acted to reinforce the university as a space for white people – but not for people of colour. The I, too, am campaign

started at Harvard in 2017, before quickly spreading to UK campuses – most notably Oxford.


Holding up boards that noted the derogatory slights and snubs – known as “microaggressions” – faced by BAME students on a daily basis, the campaigners sought to highlight that “in their daily encounters at Oxford, students of colour are made to feel different and ‘othered’ from the Oxford community”. These microaggressions occur partly as a consequence of the whiteness that characterises higher education institutions – and, in turn, they act to reaffirm those conditions. Many students of colour are acutely aware of these cycles,

which is why they demand that discussions about race should be taken seriously, and that meaningful changes should occur. By looking again at the campaigns led by students of colour over the past few years, we can begin to see more clearly the institutional conditions that give rise to abhorrent racist incidents. To meaningfully tackle racism in higher education, we must listen when students point out how universities create conditions where black students are seen as being out of place. Dr Remi Joseph-Salisbury is Presidential Fellow in Ethinicty and Inequalities at the University of Manchester. This article originally appeared in The Conversation.

Black students with mental health issues ‘being let down’ UNIVERSITY REGULATORS have warned that the university system is failing black students who are living with mental health problems. The Office for Students (OfS), said that African Caribbean undergraduates experiencing mental health problems have some of the highest drop-out rates among students across UK universities, according to recently published data.

The regulator revealed that 77 per cent of black students with mental health problems continue their degrees after their first year, compared to 85 per cent of students of other ethnicities with mental health problems.


The OfS figures also show this group is significantly less likely to get a

graduate-level job. Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive of the OfS, praised the work done by universities to support students’ well-being and address issues, but said that the issue of mental health was one that provided a “barrier to the success” to this group of students. The report said: “Universities and colleges need to pay heed to the different experiences of students with men-


tal health conditions and put in place tailored support to close these gaps.


Studies have suggested that ways forward for universities and colleges might include the following: • Prioritising culturally competent approaches to support services; • Support services and campaigns



addressing black students specifically, as black people with a mental health condition are in general less likely to disclose it, and may feel less able to open up in a multi-ethnic group; • Linking up with black, Asian and minority ethnic groups and the students’ union on campus, to understand their unique challenges and support needs. This could help foster a greater sense of belonging.



UKVI-approved tests for visa applications Trinity has once again been appointed by the Home Office to deliver Secure English Language Tests (SELTs) in the UK. We’re looking forward to expanding our test centre network and to building upon our high standards of customer service for people who need to demonstrate knowledge of language to the UKVI for the purpose of settling, working or studying in the UK.

◗ We are the UK’s leading provider of SELT speaking and listening tests ◗ Trinity has a proven track record of providing Home Office-approved secure English language testing services in the UK since 2011 ◗ Trinity GESE speaking and listening and ISE reading, writing, speaking and listening SELTs are available at Trinity SELT Centres across the UK See what test takers typically say about their Trinity SELT experience on social media:

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Find out more about Trinity SELTs and about becoming a Trinity Listed SELT Course Provider at /TrinitySELT


0333 358 3183


Business & Money


Nobody’s safe from financial worries – but when it comes to the home or your own business, there’s steps you can take to keep yourself on track By Chima Obieze


ONEY, OR the lack of it, can cause many people a great deal of

stress. People often play mind games with themselves by worrying about certain situations: How will I be able to pay if my car breaks down? How will I cope if I lose my job? But there are some simple ways to de-stress if you are worried about your financial position or future. Worrying about money is especially true for people who are self-employed. They worry about what might happen if business becomes slow and fear that they will not be able to pay their mortgage, for example. Most businesses go through peaks and troughs and it is of course during the lean times when people start to stress. Even though new peaks are possibly just around the corner, it becomes very hard to remain positive. Others might be on zero hours contracts and fear that, at any time, they may not have work and hence not be able to pay the bills.

My advice to people who are self-employed or facing insecure work is to build up a financial safety net. You could, for example, set a goal to save enough money to live on for three months or so. This money can be saved when you are in a good period and it can support you when the income from your business hits a lean period or you find yourself without work.


The periods when business is slow can be used to recharge the batteries or think up fresh ideas for the direction you want the business to go in. However, the key to building up a financial safety net is having the self-discipline to, firstly, regularly put money into a savings account, and secondly, to track how much you spend each month. For all people it is important to know how much money is likely to be coming in every month and how much is likely to be going out. If you run your own business this isn’t all that easy to do, especially if certain times of the year bring in more money or incur more costs than other periods.

But it’s likely that your home budget is going to be fairly easy to predict. If the amount that is seemingly going out is more than what is coming in, you then need to look at what you are spending. This next idea might seem a little sad but can actually be quite fun.

I save a bit of money every month and invest in a unit trust

TIGHTEN YOUR BELT: Building up a financial safety net can help you in leaner times

ten, therefore saving on petrol costs? How much money do you spend on cigarettes? Do I’ve often advised people to you really need the latest fancy keep a record during one month television? During the good times we can of everything they spend. It is not as hard as it may afford to waste money. sound and will give you an insight on how much money you actually waste. However, if you are worrying For example, how many of about money, it’s time to tightus are members of a gym, but en your belt. never actually go there? I myself try to save a certain How much money do you amount of money per month spend on takeaway food per and invest it in a unit trust. month? Do you always need Over time the fund value to use the car? Is it not pos- builds up and if I ever need a sible to walk a little more of- lump sum – for car repairs, per-


haps – I just cash in some of the units. I also allow myself to take out a certain amount of money at the start of each year. This helps me to pay for my some essentials such as car insurance, road tax and to book a family holiday. This has been working well for me for the last five years and is something I plan to continue. It is always worth planning for the future in this way, not just to cover you if your car breaks down but also for many other reasons.

You may want to build up a little nest egg to: lbuy a new car lhave a great holiday lbuy a house lre-locate abroad lbuy a business lhelp your retirement lfund your children’s university fees. I am now aware of how much money I am likely to spend per month. I love to have treats and waste money as much as the next person. But when money is tight I am more than happy to give up these treats and see it as a battle of wills.

And if that doesn’t help, you can always earn a bit more THIS IS a wonderful time to think about how to make some extra income from home. Many people don’t know about the great opportunities awaiting them out there. Most people needing an extra income are not thinking about making millions. The extra £500, £1,000, £1,500 or £2,000 is all that matters. Before you start thinking that you need to be really good in computing to earn money, put that thought aside. Many of those that earn good money running online businesses know very little about computers. As soon as I started making money, I began outsourcing some of the work and paying others just a little bit of money to get things done for me.

They do the work while I enjoy all the profit. This is one of the great aspects of working online for extra cash.


You can make the extra cash online in different ways. You could go with taking some really wellpaying surveys online. I started with that and continue to earn money on a daily basis through this method. Other ways of earning the extra income you need include marketing products for other people, or what is known as “affiliate marketing”. It’s not as complicated as some people might think. Blogging is another great way to bring in


an additional income, if you do it correctly. To help make your blog successful, you want to have quality content that you upload consistently, including images to make your content shareable, and be sure that your blog is mobile-friendly. Selling your hobbies is another way to earn a bit extra. Maybe you like to paint, draw or cook. Many people have turned their hobbies or passions into a successful online businesses using platforms such as Instagram or Pinterest. The key to succeeding with this form of making money is learning from others. Get ebooks or other resources – there’s plenty online – that will show you how to go about doing this.


The opportunities available to make that extra income you desire are really quite huge. Don’t get distracted and quit procrastinating. You just have to do what I did and take action. Get going and go for the money!




News Feature

WILL EU CARE ABOUT THE CARIBBEAN AFTER BREXIT? It’s not just Britain’s attitude towards its former colonies that may change with its geopolitical divorce. Lyndon Mukasa says the European Union’s position is also of growing interest


HE EVENTUAL exit of the UK from the European Union cannot be thought of in terms of a British or European political and economic event. This process has consequences for countries and regions outside of Europe. In the context of the Caribbean there remains a degree of uncertainty regarding the regional organisation CARICOM, which is a trading partner of both the UK and the EU.


Historically the UK has acted as an advocate on a number of interests that favour CARICOM. However, with the UK’s eventual departure from the EU, CARICOM will have to consider what its future relationship with the EU will look like. In previous articles I have outlined what the economic consequences could be for the Caribbean in the advent of a “no-deal” Brexit. This time it is important to look in detail at the dynamics of the changing relationship between the Caribbean (represented by CARICOM) and the EU.

Caribbean trade relations with the EU go back to the 1975 Lomé Convention which designated African, Caribbean, and the Pacific group of states (ACP) as a group to engage with the EU (then the EEC). The aim was to integrate newly independent countries that were former European colonies into the global economy and provide a basis for co-operation. This was initially done with the implementation of preferential access to EU markets.

A far-right trend in Latin America could marginalise Caribbean interests The Lomé Convention would eventually be succeeded by the Cotonou Agreement in 2000 with an emphasis on reciprocal trade, as opposed to preferential access to the EU market that the ACP had initially enjoyed. With Brexit there is a now a

KEY DECISIONS: The leaders of CARICOM nations, seen here in a 2018 meeting, will need to decide how to approach the EU if Brexit makes them less of a priority in Europe

concern among CARICOM leaders that without the UK’s influence, the EU’s own priorities will shift – and the Caribbean region faces the danger of being left behind other countries in the Global South.


In 2017 the African Union (AU) and the EU held a summit involving 55 African countries. While the summit focused on enhancing cooperation between the EU and the AU, the pre-existing ACP Group arrangements were not brought up, despite the ACP Group comprising of 48 African countries that are currently part of the AU. With the 2015 “refugee crisis” as well as the ongoing investment opportunities across the continent, Africa is at the top of the EU’s political and economic agenda, with European leaders such as French president Emmanuel Macron and the former president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker emphasising that the state of Africa is crucial to the economic future of Europe. In preparation for the expiration of the Cotonou Agreement in 2020, the AU has started putting together an all-Africa position for future engagement with the EU. This comes despite an EU proposal in 2016 for the renewal in the ACP-EU partnership. Currently discussions among ACP members including CARICOM member states have avoided the issue of how to address regional cooperation dynamics after 2020. The hope is that a hybrid option comprised of an “umbrella” all-ACP agreement and the AU’s own ambitions for its engagement with the EU can be reached. However, according to Niels Keijzer and Alfonso Medinilla of the European Centre for

LEFT BEHIND: Brexit will have serious consequences for countries and regions outside of Europe; below, French president Emmanuel Macron and the former president to the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker have said that Africa is crucial to the economic future of Europe, raising questions about how important the Caribbean is to its future plans

Development Policy Management (ECDPM), ignoring these issues is risky and could result in an eventual fracturing of ACP engagement and co-operation with the EU if the AU really seeks to operate as its own separate regional bloc with the EU.


With EU priorities shifting away from the Caribbean and other ACP states, there is the possibility that CARICOM’s engagement with the EU could take less of a priority than that of relations with Latin America. This could be disastrous for the region’s long-term trade interests with the EU as the current priorities and interests of many Latin American countries could be at odds with the interests of CARICOM on matters such as climate change, migration, poverty reduction, corruption and human rights. Since the mid-2010s, a number of right-wing, nationalist governments have come to power in prominent Latin

American countries such as Brazil, Chile and Argentina. This “blue tide” or “conservative wave” is often characterised by ultra-nationalism with populist sentiments similar to the rise of the far-right across Europe and the United States. They are represented in leaders such as Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, who has sparked outrage with everything from homophobia to accusing the actor Leonardo DiCaprio of financing the devastating fires in the Amazon rainforest. The trend could potentially marginalise the interests of the Caribbean with the EU and subvert them even further in favour of right-wing, neoliberal economic interests which have been historically harmful to the region. Even if the EU mitigated these concerns and facilitated a prominent voice for the Caribbean in its engagement in matters of trade, CARICOM nations will still have to deal with internal and persistent economic issues that have historically

hindered competitiveness on a global scale. In agriculture, for example, there is an ongoing issue with high production costs and low production yield. As such, CARICOM states will struggle to make their voices heard regardless of the politics of their Latin American counterparts. With the EU, the postBrexit importance of the region remains limited without the UK to advocate based partly on its own strategic and old colonial interests. Moreover, the EU has shifted its approach to the region since 1975, moving from a position of preferential market access to reciprocal trade which has a mixed record among CARICOM states in terms of economic development. Regardless of what shape or form EU-CARICOM relations take after 2020 it is imperative that CARICOM states look at ways that they can collectively pursue their interests in order to avoid being politically and economically marginalised by larger regions and powers.


Black Business Fair VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE: Beauty company Lainai Malai was one of the many business stalls that were a part of another highly successful Voice Black Business Fair

PROVING THE POWER OF BLACK BUSINESS The Voice Black Business Fair is hailed a success by buyers and sellers alike

By Vic Motune & Alannah Francis


FTER THE success of last year’s event, hundreds of shoppers flocked to The Voice Black Business Fair held at Fairfield Halls in Croydon, south London. The Voice, Britain’s top black newspaper, which has served the African and Caribbean community for 37 years, organised the December 7 event as a demonstration of its continued commitment to supporting black-owned businesses. Following the recently published Voice Black Business Guide, the day-long event offered a platform for blackowned businesses to exhibit and showcase their products and services to shoppers, not only for Christmas but throughout the year. It also included a book fair featuring black authors in the UK. Shoppers took the opportuni-

ty to buy a wide range of highquality, unique products. There was everything from black dolls and books for children, natural hair care and skincare products to authentic African-inspired handbags to choose from. And the Fairfield Halls event was hailed a huge success by the entrepreneurs and shoppers.


Among those who were full of praise for the event were Debra, Kadija and Yvonne Harris, who run Debra Floristry. The three sisters were attending their first Voice Black Business Fair. Debra said: “The Voice Black Business Fair is very important for us. It gives us exposure to other markets and opportunities, such as corporate businesses who may want floristry services.” Kadija agreed. She added: “An event like this is so important because it taps into the networks in our community.

An event like this is so important... it taps into our community “We can come to an event like this and see other businesses here and see how we can support them. “It’s often said our community doesn’t support black businesses. I do see a change, but it’s still a struggle. “However, once we come out to educate each other at events like this we’ll see how important and valuable it is for us to research, to tap into each other’s business, network among each other and build each other’s businesses up.” She continued: “We, as a black community, tend to have a ‘me, myself and I mentality’. If one of us is being successful we


might tend to see it as a threat, but we shouldn’t see each other as a threat. We need to support and love each other.” Makayla, stallholder and owner of cake company Kaked London, inset right, said The Voice Black Business Fair has been the highlight of her entrepreneurial journey so far. “This has been really, really, really good, because I took a six-month break because I felt like I didn’t want to be selfemployed anymore, and so this is my first event I’ve ever done and it’s the first thing I’ve done cakes-related since I decided to start doing cakes again – and it’s gone really well. “I’ve had such good feedback. I’ve had a lot of people tell me really encouraging things, so it’s been really good.” Exhibitor Tasha, owner of Tasha’s Chic Boutique, inset right, sold and showcased a variety of island-inspired jewellery and clothing featuring empowering messages. Tasha said she believed The





Black Business Fair

PROUD OF OUR PRODUCTS: Clockwise from above, Peter Mason with a game from Mason’s Exclusive Applications; Fefus Design; the Grow Personal Success system; Naniso Shinga Voice Black Business Fair was important because it encouraged a certain mindset within the community. “I think it’s important because I think the black pound needs to stay within the community so that we actually gain from each other so we can progress and be successful because that’s how other communities are successful, and we need to adopt that too,” she said.


Her sentiments were echoed by other stallholders and shoppers. Pauline, a shopper, said: “I like to support black businesses. Because I’m a teacher I know our young black people need something to look up to, and if people are starting businesses then they’ve got something to take on as young people themselves instead of having to rely on the wider community, they can rely on their own community.” She added: “I was really impressed, because I have a business myself so I’ve done a lot of networking, but I was very impressed with the stallholders, the atmosphere and the whole sort of vibe of the place.” Another shopper, Jackie, said: “I thought it would be empowering to see what people sell.” Peter Mason, of Mason’s Ex-

clusive Gaming Applications, encouraged those holding back to support black business owners. “If other races are supporting us, we’ve got to support ourselves,” he said. Author JD Okoro agreed. He said: “The black pound needs to go round, basically. I’m all for that and anything I can do, whether it’s with The Voice or anybody else, you know, other black businesses personally. I

what we are doing within our own community, it’s inspirational, I love it and I’m looking forward to the next one, I’ll be there.” Okoro wasn’t the only author to benefit from black buying power on the day. Samuel-Jay Robinson, 15, was one of several authors exhibiting on the Peaches Publications stand. “I’ve just published my new No Dad, Big Deal, Still I Rise

I’ve sold out. This is my first time at this event exhibiting here and I totally underestimated the power of what the fair is like to keep our money within our community.” Okoro, a first time exhibitor at the fair, enthused over the success of the event. He said: “I’ve sold out. This is my first time at this event exhibiting here and I totally underestimated the power of what The Voice Business Fair is... and almost had to pack up early because I’ve got no books left. “Just going round and seeing the mix of what’s out here and

we need to use that economics, group economics, black economics, more frequently. “Also, I commend The Voice newspaper for putting on an event like this that actually has footfall. A lot of the time we have events, we’re not able to sell our products and make back the money on the table. So The Voice newspaper really does care about the black business – I salute them.”


Melanie Folkes Mayers, whose company Eden Meyers HR Consulting was one of the exhibitors at the fair, added: “It’s definitely important to be able to support other businesses. “Whenever I come to one of these events I don’t just come to promote my business, I come to find out about other businesses and to buy and see all the things book and I sold about 20 of our community does, because them, so it’s a good start,” he there isn’t anything that we said. don’t do. Reflecting on the atmosphere “For example, if you look for of the event, Samuel said he “felt at home” surrounded by other black business owners. Author and founder of Peaches Publications, Winsome Duncan, said: “I found the day terrific. It was very inspirational. The black pound was circulating and there were a lot of people wanting to support and I think

HAPPY DAY: Main right, Frank Employment Law Advice; inset above left, Winsome Duncan and Samuel-Jay Robinson; inset above right, Queen Esther Spa; inset above right, visitors talk at stalls

a black florist, you usually find one through word of mouth. “But here, they are easy to find, so I think it’s important to be able to come to an event like this and support other black businesses.” She added: “I went to The Voice Black Business Fair last year and that’s the reason I came back this year. “This venue is really lovely because it’s very spacious. I’ve spoken to a lot of people and

have made some good contacts.” Ruth Frank, from Frank Employment Law Advice, agreed. She said: “This event has been really important for me. “My business is fairly new, I established nearly a year ago, but I feel we tend to not support businesses in our own community. However, events like this tend to bring us together and it has given me an opportunity to provide a service to my own community.


Black Business Fair

PUTTING ON A SHOW: Clockwise from top left, Leicala Natural Products, OTC Beverages, Croydonworks and CND Drinks all exhibited their products to the eager crowds “That is so rewarding. It’s also been great to network with other businesses and be given a chance to learn about what they do and support them.” Selina Morgan-Gayle, of SMG Mediation, said The Voice Black Business Fair had given her a platform to showcase her company, which is in a field she felt not many people in the community know about. She said: “It’s been really important for me to be here, especially in my field, because you don’t have a lot of events where the legal field is covered. “There’s not a lot of people doing mediation, and many people don’t know what mediation is. “But it’s important for people to know that there is help out there and there is someone out there who can support them, help them in their legal disputes and be trusted.” She continued: “People in our community get into disputes every single day, and often they don’t know who to go to when they’re dealing with those disputes. They also don’t see anyone who looks like them, so here

they can meet someone who shares the same background as them. “A day like this, where you’ve got a platform where you can raise your profile and help and support my community, is very important. The response has been really good in regards to people signing up, people saying they’re going to call me after Christmas, and having one-toone consultations with people about their legal disputes. “There are people who came today specifically because they wanted to see me, and I’ve people who have said ‘let me take your card’ or taken some information away because the issue is not with them, but they have a friend or a relative who is facing a legal dispute, so the response has been really good.” Another of the business owners who had a stall at the event, Fiona Morrison of Fefus Designs, said: “An event gives business owners the opportunity to meet and sell directly to their customers. “On a day-to-day basis, it can be hard getting my products into high street shops, especially

when they are products aimed at black consumers. “So it’s nice going to events like these because people can see what you’re doing, they un-derstand and connect with the story. “I’ve had plenty of interaction with customers and they always tell stories about when they were growing up and how they fabric is sourced from Ghana, wanted products like these.” suppli and we have other black suppliers who give us fabric as well. We’re not going to grow unless Gwen and Michelle, from Essex- we re-invest. “Over the last few years, I based handbag design company Monsini G, said the day had think there’s been a change of mindset where our community been a great success for them. Gwen said: “This event has has realised we need to start rebeen really good in the sense investing in ourselves and we’ve that we’ve seen black people ap- seen a lot of that today.” Michelle added: “We’ve been preciate the work of other black creative people. This is our first really pleased with the reception. The feedback from customtime at The Voice Black Busiers has been amazing. We know ness Fair and the level of apour products are beautifully preciation we’ve seen for our made, but when you know your craftmanship has been amazing. customer knows what she’s buy“And that’s been crucial for ing, it’s a real boost to us.” us because our thing is about re-investing back into the community in order for us to grow. “Our bags are handmade here in the UK. We don’t do factories,

GLAD TO BE HERE: Above, Hair Porrn. Left, visitors to the fair. Below, swimming cap makers JoRae


COLOURFUL OCCASION: Left to right: Jupiter Soaps Ltd show off their wares, sellers and buyers get to know each other, while one lucky punter gets his hands on The Voice merchandise






32 |




First meeting attracts more than 100 students and staff to listen to leading line-up of eminent black speakers from University of East London


HE UNIVERSITY of East London’s (UEL) Black Academy met for the first time with its launch event. The first meeting, which took place on November 14, attracted more than 100 students and staff who gathered to listen to a line-up of eminent black speakers. The Black Academy is comprised of staff at the university who are motivated to support and develop students and staff in academia. As each speaker told their motivational stories, encouraging the audience to be inspired and to support each other as a group, Dr Winston Morgan, a

reader in toxicology, revealed that out of 20,000 professors in the UK, about 120 were black. Nationally, 1.4 per cent of

It has a special focus on social justice and anti-racism academics are black and 7 per cent of students are black, while at the University of East London 39 per cent of students are black.

The percentage of academics at UEL, however, was higher than the national average, but still only 5 per cent. This number should be higher, given the large black student body. “We must have a greater input into academic life,” Dr Morgan told the audience. “It is important to have black colleagues and academics inspiring all staff and students. A student who graduates without being taught by at least one black academic has not had a complete education.” “There is a lack of black academics at universities,” explained Lurraine Jones, the acting head of social sciences, and

Food & Guide 2019 - 2 0 ation Group P ublic A Voice Media

the key organiser of the event. “Our Black Academy at the university is one of the largest in the sector and has a special focus and passion for issues of social justice, racial equity, anti-racism and black representation.


“The Black Academy is committed to supporting all student study endeavours and wellbeing, and we have created a space of opportunity where staff and students can get to know us better, and we can get to know them. This, our first meeting, was a great success.”

The academy can already boast an accolade, as earlier this year UEL was awarded a Bronze Race Equality Charter (REC) Mark, which is an award that aims to support and encourage universities to work towards race equality. The award commits the university to identify and address barriers experienced by minority ethnic students and staff and to enable more students to graduate with good degrees and better employability opportunities. Professor Marcia Wilson, who was recently appointed as the first dean of the office of in-

stitutional equity at the university, said that it was important for black students and staff to be visible. She went on to tell the students that the staff are there to support and to help feed the pipeline from undergraduate to postgraduate study and beyond. Over 20 key speakers from the university took part in the meeting, including Dr Jummy Okoya, who has just been selected fourth out of the top 50 Most Inspirational Black Women in the UK, Dr Anthony Gunter, principal lecturer in criminology, and Dr Charles Prince, director of student success.





- 27, 2018






Meet the young entrepreneur shaping the future



708 us8h- 201 Windr194 ir

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The Powerlist: Britain’s most influential black people

£500,000 community fund to celebrate Windrush Day 2020


Revealed inside: The Football Black List 2019


Get ready to celebrate black football’s best...

Ahead of this year’s FBL celebration, we let you know who’s up to scoop awards, while Ashanti George-Faure and Andrew Bontiff provide an in-depth look at the nominees A word from Leon Mann and Rodney Hinds

TEAM: FBL co-founders Leon, left, and Rodney IT’S THAT time again! We reveal the nominations for this year’s Football Black List on these pages and there’s no doubt that the quality of nominations just gets better. This year, for the first time, we have a category dominated by women. In administration we have a quintet of women that are leading the way. A look at all the names reveals that women make up some 50 per cent which indicates that football is not the exclusive bastion of men. The judges had a real struggle on their hands. Creating the shortlist was demanding, but well worth it – so congratulations to our judges. But a bigger well done goes to those named on the Football Black List. If you didn’t make it, your time will come. All that’s left now is to deliver the FBL Celebration on Thursday, November 21. We can’t wait – it’s going to be another special night!

The judges are... Leon Mann, FBL Rodney Hinds, FBL Funke Awoderu, The FA Al Bennett, The Premier League Nick Roberts, The EFL Wayne Allison, The LMA Simone Pound, The PFA Troy Townsend, Kick It Out Lianne Sanderson, professional footballer Jordan Jarrett Bryan, broadcaster Michelle Moore, sports consultant Jeanette Kwakye, broadcaster Lincoln Moses MBE, community leader Rayan Wilson, Elite Sports Performance expert

Coaching and management Chris Ramsey MBE, technical director – Queens Park Rangers Chris is the technical director of Queens Park Rangers and most qualified football coach in England. He has a clear passion and commitment to mentoring young coaches from grassroots level to elite level, assisting in their development. Chris uses his tactical nous to assist the QPR first team in their planning throughout the league season and is responsible for the club’s academy. Colin Omogbeh Omogbehin, Under-23 academy head coach – Fulham FC Colin is the founder of Junior Elite and an academy coach at Fulham. He first took up coaching with

Crystal Palace in the community, with an impressive resume, nurturing the likes of Wilfried Zaha, Nathaniel Clyne and Victor Moses. He has an exceptional understanding of recruitment in London, heavily involved in trying to find the next generation of talent at Fulham. Coree Brown, Coreen acade academy coach fo Coreen formerly worked closely A with Arsenal’s leadership for girls development. She also oversaw the cohort of coaches that work alongside her at the club. She holds an UEFA ‘A’ license, her dedication to coaching has been acknowledged far and wide, working with England’s national teams as part of the FA’s BAME coach bursary scheme, an essential commitment to develop greater equality of opportunities.

CHAMPIONS OF NEW TALENT: Justin Cochrane, left and Michael Johnson are both up for gongs in the coaching and management category

ustin Cochrane, head Justin coach – England under-15 team Justin has gained a reputation ce as a coach, for his excellence currently working with the England U15 development team. The former Tottenham youth coach is a role model for aspiring coaches, holding a Masters in Leadership and Management, most recently

completing his Pro License. Justin is recognised for his innovative approach, boasting exceptional knowledge and understanding of youth football and the England player pathway.


of success for Birmingham City. Lungi, who sits on the board for Women in Football was also named as a NextGen Leader for 2019.

Michael Johnson, national team manager – Guyana National Team Michael enjoyed immense success during his tenure with the

Amanda Hudson, director of education – WADA Amanda HudHud son is the director of education of the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA), tasked with overseeing anti-doping policies and testing across the world of sport. A pioneer in her field, her involvement in sport and education spans over 30 years. Amanda’s focus has always been to harness the power of education, currently managing the WADA’s social science grant scheme and education committee.

Joanie Evans, co-president – Federation of Gay Games h been Joanie has a long standing com contributor to the LGBT community, championing inclusivity in sport, through her work with Hackney Women FC. Having tasted gold at the Sydney 2002 Gay Games, Joanie works tirelessly towards encouraging more people of colour to get involved with the Gay Games. She received a nomination at the British LGBT Awards in the ‘Outstanding Contribution to LGBT Life’ category.



gi Macebo, chief Lungi operating officer – rmingham City FC Birmingham Lungi’s role as COO sees her support the board of directors and senior management. Her efficiency in planning, organising and working collaboratively to influence, design and deliver initiatives, are essential to the accomplishment


Sarah Ebanja, CEO, Tottenham Hotspur Foundation current Sarah is currently the CEO of the Tottenham Hotspur FoundaFounda tion, a role culminating over 20 years working at a senior level in both local and regional governmental roles. She has previously worked in the London boroughs of Hackney, Islington and Lew-


“Being in a white society, I felt I had to wear different masks otherwise I would not survive.”

a as a deputy isham and also chief executive of the London Development agency. Vivienne A Aiyela, non-executive director – London FA Vivienne is the first black woman to be named as a non-executive director in football in the long and storied history of the FA. Commended for her great contributions to administration, in addition to equal her passion for gender equality, Vivienne is viewed upon as a pioneer, leading the way for many BAME women striving to work at boardroom level.

Sir Lenny Henry

“My parents said, ‘We have no money to bequeath, so make something of your life’.”

Sir Trevor McDonald


to drive or vote but running their own successful companies

A Frank discussion p46 about acne


how she hopes Lifestyle about inated world ah speaks to Louise Broni-Mens black women in a male-dom inspire she can help

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Guyana National side, recently guiding the Golden Jaguars to fina of the CONCACAF the finals Gold Cup for the first time. Michael is now involved in Engl the England U21 set-up as part Place of the FA’s Elite Coach Placement Programme, making waves as a board member of Peop the Sports People’s Think Tank and graduating from the UEFA MIP Master’s course.

speak Krept & Konan p56 through music

Lord Woolley of Woodford




“The power of the black vote could easily decide 100 seats at a general election.”




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Soul Stirrings


by Marcia Dixon


A New Year provides us all a chance to start over, set new goals and do things afresh; whether it’s to draw closer to God, step out and do something new or just become a better person. Soul Stirrings spoke to four experts in success to get advice on how our readers can achieve their own goals in 2020 – whatever those goals may be... Bishop Claion B Grandison BA (Theology) is Senior Pastor of Chrisma Christian Centre NTCG, in Woolwich, south London. He shares how people can have a better relationship with God in 2020. “In Matthew 25:40 Jesus states that whatever is done to the least of these – the poor, refugees, the hospitalised and the imprisoned – is done to the Lord himself. Our relationship with God is greatly improved when we improve our relationships with each other. “When the great philosopher Martin Buber was asked where was God in a particular tragedy, he responded that ‘God was not in synagogues or sacred spaces but in relationships. He was not just found in people but between them’.” “Even though 1 Corinthians 6:19 reminds us that our bodies are God’s temple, Matthew 18:20 reassures us that when a group of two or three come together because of Him, God will be present. Wherever relationships are being established or re-established He would be that third person in the unbreakable threefold cord.”

Do you desire to love yourself, like how you love your neighbour? Check out this advice from Kim Bacchus, a Women’s Empowerment Life Coach and Trainer, and founder of Kim Bacchus Solutions. “Be comfortable with who you are and live in alignment with your true authentic self, remember you are a work in progress. “Get to know who you are. How well do you know yourself? Your likes and dislikes? Your goals? Favourite foods? Your good and bad qualities? Don’t just think of answers; write them down. “On your journey to self-love, work on your mind and the soul too. This is where prayer or time alone comes in. With prayer, you tap into your spiritual self by learning to slow down and pay attention to what’s happening in the present moment. “You cannot be working on loving yourself better and be surrounded by toxic, negative people. Take action to distance yourself and to protect your mindset. Surround yourself with positive people who will leave you feeling upbeat and energised. “Self-love means acceptance of who you are and how you are. It’s all about being in alignment with yourself, your thoughts, and emotions without judging yourself.”

Pat Reid is founder of PJs Group, a business he runs alongside his wife Claudine Reid. Here’s his advice for those who want to set up or grow a business in 2020.

Amani Simpson is CEO of Aviard Inspires CIC. Last year he made a short film, Amani, which has been viewed more than two million times. Here’s his advice for those who want to step outside their comfort zones in 2020.

“My coach said: ‘Sometimes it’s not necessarily a business one needs to start, but to develop additional income streams’. It may not come from a business directly, because some people get terrified with the word business and panic, thinking it’s not for them. “It could be that they just need to create additional income streams from a business, property, their skills, ideas, digital platforms or investments. “If you who want to start a business, you need to write out your vision, be focused, have discipline and be prepared to work hard. “If you have a business and want to grow it in 2020 then you need to set goals, create targets, visualise where you should be and work towards getting there.”

“Stepping out of your comfort zone is never easy but I live by the mantra that ‘most things easily achieved are not worth having’. “At every stage of my journey success has been on the other side of a major adversity. Whether that was getting stabbed seven times at 21 and then working hard over seven years to develop into the youth activist and positive role model I am today, or even overcoming major obstacles and setbacks creating our short film. We started with no money and an almost impossible timeframe to shoot the film with our actor Joivan Wade. “By God’s grace and our hard work we were able to raise over £20,000 in five months and release the film to over a million viewers in four days. Therefore, please keep challenging yourself; the lower the valley the better the view at the top of the mountain.”







(Clockwise) ALL SMILES: Gina Miller, pictured with Amanda Pinto QC, Chair Elect of the Bar and Dr Shaun Wallace. GOOD TO TALK: Paulette Mastin, Counsel at Linklaters TOGETHER: Attendees at the event.


HE EAGERLY awaited 10th anniversary UK Diversity Legal Awards took place on November 28 at the prestigious Leonardo Royal Hotel in St Paul’s, London. These are the only industry awards which focus solely on recognising and promoting equality, diversity and inclusion across the legal profession. Showcased this year was an impressive line-up of finalists representing a broad spectrum of diversity, including gender, ethnicity, social mobility, mental health/wellbeing and access to justice.


Over 350 guests attended the event, which was presented by barrister and TV personality (ITV’s The Chase) Dr Shaun Wallace. There were also stand-out performances from the classical violinist and cellist duo, Braimah and Mariatu Kanneh-Mason, and soulful singer/songwriter, Amahla. Highlights from the glittering ceremony included the triple win by Duncan Lewis Solicitors in the categories of BSN Rising Star (Ahmed Aydeed), Law Firm Diversity & Inclusion Initiative of the Year and Access to Justice. Their success is attributed to the firm’s demonstrable commitment, as the largest provider of legal aid services in the UK, to providing access to justice for the most vulnerable and

marginalised members of society in the UK.


Other wins on the night included Jacqueline McKenzie (McKenzie Beute & Pope) in the Small Law Firm award category. An immigration and asylum specialist, Jacqueline works tirelessly to serve and assist people in the community who cannot afford legal

The work and achievements of the winners this year truly inspire us and others in the profession services. Paulette Mastin, chair of the Black A founder of Windrush Action, she blazing icon, Gina Miller. has helped and supported hundreds afMiller - business leader, campaigner Solicitors Network (BSN) and awards fected by the Windrush saga through and change maker - has paid a huge host had this to say about the event: pro bono surgeries and immigration personal price for the pursuit of justice “Our 10th anniversary awards cerstatus filings. A thoroughly deserving and to uphold the rule of law, which is emony was a celebration of excellence win for Jacqueline on the night. the cornerstone of existence for law- in equality, diversity and inclusion Of the many inspirational highlights yers in this country. For all that and across the legal profession. The work of the ceremony, the one that stood more, Gina was recognised and cel- and achievements of the winners this out was the presentation of the Life- ebrated as the worthy winner of the year truly inspire us and others in the voicenewspaper @thevoicenewspaper @thevoicenews profession to follow their lead in drivAward. time Achievement Award to the trail- BSN’s Lifetime Achievement

ing positive change”. Event sponsors were: LexisNexis, Linklaters, Thomson Reuters and the Solicitors Regulation Authority. For a list of all the 2019 finalists, those highly commended and winners, please visit






ARL JARRETT, chief executive officer of The Voice’s parent company The Jamaica National Group, has received an honorary doctorate from Nottingham Trent University. Jarrett was awarded the degree of Doctorate of the University on Wednesday December 11 for his contribution to the social and economic prosperity of Jamaica and its UK diaspora, as well as his commitment to expanding partnerships with Nottingham Trent. He was delighted to be acknowledged for his efforts, saying: “It’s a humbling experience. To be recognised by Nottingham Trent University has been a great honour. I’m thrilled.” Jarrett has received honorary doctorates from several differ-

Through their partnership with The Voice, students at the University gain valuable skills by contributing to content, covering local events and undertaking work experience. Jarrett hopes this partnership continues to grow in the future, saying: “We expect to continue to grow our business here. Things are changing in the UK and we are optimistic that those changes will be to our benefit. “I’m looking forward with optimism to our future here in the UK.”


He has been a key driving force in promoting cooperation between the private and voluntary sectors both in Jamaica and the UK. His service as chairman of the Jamaica Cancer Society and the National Council of Jamaica, alongside his role as a trustee

AWARD: Earl Jarrett with Nottingham Trent University vice-chancellor Edward Peck ent universities in Jamaica, but this is the first time he has been recognised by an institution outside his home country. “All of the other degrees are from Jamaica. This is the first international doctorate I have received and it feels really good. “My degree is a tribute to all the Jamaicans that came here many years ago to help rebuild this country after the war,” he said.


Jarrett has been instrumental in building a strong partnership between The Voice and Nottingham Trent University. “We have created new friends in Nottingham through our networks. Connecting people is the greatest thing you can do,” he said. “The value of the network has helped both the country and our own institution to achieve more.”

for the FIA foundation, helped him to enter the Council of Volunteer Social Services Hall of Fame and the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica Hall of Fame. He has received multiple awards throughout his career, including: the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander, awarded by the Government of Jamaica for service to the financial sector; Doctor of Laws degrees from The University of the West Indies and University of Technology Jamaica and Doctor of Education in Leadership from the MICO University College. He is also a Distinguished Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica and was appointed to the Order of Jamaica for exceptional contribution to the banking and financial sectors, public service and volunteerism in 2018.

RECOGNITION: Earl Jarrett, CEO of The Voice’s parent company The Jamaica National Group, was given an honorary doctorate by Nottingham Trent University










SPECIAL FEATURE BACK IN THE DAY: One of the photos featured in Eulogy. Early members of the Caribbean Cricket Club founded by Jamaican RAF servicemen in 1948, on the way to watch a cricket match in 1953 Photo: David Lindsay



HIS YEAR the Jamaica Society Leeds embarked on The Eulogy Project, celebrating the lives and journeys of first generation Jamaicans who settled in Leeds in the 1940s to 60s, and are no longer with us. The families of 76 Jamaicans shared precious photographs, keepsakes and memories of their loved ones. The collection resulted in the widely acclaimed Eulogy Exhibition at Leeds Central Library. The exhibition was poignant and uplifting, and was seen by over 18,000 local, national and international visitors - the most popular exhibition in the library’s history.

CELEBRATING: L-R: Susan Pitter, Eulogy curator and writer, Wade Lyn CBE, Jamaica’s Honorary Consul, Jamaica Society Leeds Chair, Rev Dorothy Stewart, RAF veterans Mr Alford Gardner and Mr Lionel Roper (seated), Cllr Judith Blake CBE, Leader of Leeds City Council, David Renwick National Lottery Heritage Fund Director (North). Photo: David Lindsay

of Leeds will always include the story of my parents’ generation of Jamaicans who helped to make it the great city it is today.” As well as reflecting themes around arrival, work and activism, the hardback book designed by Lee Goater, includes 20 family legacy portraits, of children to great-great grandchildren, alongside those of their first generation loved ones in younger days.


Now, the Chapeltown based charity has published Eulogy a photo book capturing the stunning images from the exhibition that told the story of a generation, their legacy and of Leeds. Jamaica Society chair, Rev Dorothy Stewart said: “The powerful images and real life stories in the Eulogy book are preserving for posterity the lives and contributions of ordinary and extraordinary Jamaicans in Leeds.”

Some 200 guests including family members of Jamaicans featured in the book and exhibition, attended a moving evening launching the book at Tiled Hall Café at Leeds Art Gallery. Eulogy has been written and edited

by Susan Pitter, who also curated the exhibition. Susan, whose parents came from Jamaica in the early 60’s, and are included in the book said: “The Eulogy book is a fitting culmination of a wider project which has helped to ensure that the history



The portraits were taken by awardwinning photographer Paul Floyd Blake on the site of the former Gerald Donne Photo Studio on Chapeltown Road, where most Jamaicans and other new to Leeds West Indians had formal studio portraits taken shortly after arrival to send home to family



back in the Caribbean. The premises are now the home of East Street Arts’ Union 105 studios In tribute to their peers, Eulogy also includes Jamaican-born Alford Gardner (age 93) and Lionel Roper (age 96) who, in 1944, both volunteered to answer Britain’s call for help during World War 2. The two veterans, thought be the city’s only surviving Jamaican WW2 servicemen, presented a copy of Eulogy to council leader, Cllr Judith Blake CBE who accepted on behalf of Leeds. Eulogy book retails at £15 and is available instore and online at Colours May Vary and from Petals & Stitches at 233 Chapeltown Road Leeds 7. For more information about the Eulogy Project visit



Lifestyle picks 20 famous faces who we believe could turn their vision into reality this year




‘Art literally saves lives, and we get to celebrate that’ BY JOEL CAMPBELL


HE ACCLAIMED British and Ethiopian poet, playwright, broadcaster and speaker, Lemn Sissay, has been announced as the 12th Brighton Festival guest director, following in the footsteps of Rokia Traoré in 2019. Sissay, an MBE, is a BAFTA nominated award-winning writer, best-selling author, prolific speaker and performer who has inspired audiences across the world. He was the official poet of the London 2012 Olympics and his landmark poems can be found on the walls of hospitals, libraries, pubs, universities and train stations, bringing his work to communities in public spaces every day.


In his 2019 memoir, My Name Is Why, Sissay reflects on his childhood, self-expression and Britishness, and explores the institutional care system he was raised in, as well as race, family and the meaning of home. His moving, frank and timely story is the result of a life spent asking questions, and a celebration of the redemptive power of creativity. On his appointment as guest director, Sissay said: “Art saves lives, it literally saves lives.

“Art is how we translate the human spirit. That’s why you have art and religions. That’s why people sing. That’s why we read poems at funerals and weddings, we need some bridge between the spiritual, the physical, the past, the present, the future. Something that lifts us to a higher place, that celebrates our humanity. “And here we get to celebrate together, in an arts festival on the edge of the sea, in the month of my birthday. What an honour that is.”

“He is a truly inspiring artist whose work connects with everyone and wakes us up to what it means to be human” Andrew Comben, the chief executive of Brighton Festival, added: “We’re thrilled Lemn is directing Brighton Festival 2020. He is a truly inspiring artist whose work connects with everyone and wakes us up to what it means to be human. “His generous, collaborative imagination

ruly inspiring’ wordsmith Lemn issay named guest director of south coast arts festival scheduled for May

AN OCCASION TO SAVOUR: Lemn Sissay, above, has been revealed as the guest director for the Brighton Festival; inset below, dancers at last year’s festival and Amadou & Mariam with the Blind Boys of Alabama, who will perform at the 2020 event ranges across everything we do and he has an instinctive feel for Brighton. We can’t wait to see his festival brought to life next May.” Sissay is Chancellor of Manchester University and was awarded an MBE for services to literature in 2010, PEN Pinter

Prize 2019 and Points of Light Award from the Prime Minister in 2017. Further Festival highlights announced include a contemporary adaptation of The War of the Worlds by Rhum and Clay Theatre Company at Worthing’s

Connaught Theatre. Inspired by HG Wells’ novel and Orson Welles’ legendary 1938 radio broadcast, the Brighton Festival co-production has been playfully reimagined for the ‘fake news’ generation and will leave audiences questioning what is truth and what is fiction.


’s best book

Also appearing exclusively in Brighton, ahead of their London date in May, are Malian musicians Amadou & Mariam, performing together with the Grammy Award-winning gospel group the Blind Boys of Alabama. The artists have forged a friendship that combines contemporary African sounds with African-American roots music, coming to Brighton Dome

YOU CAN’T get a copy until April, but Akala’s debut novel for teenagers and young adults is going to be a best seller – remember where you read that first! With cover illustrations by Kingsley Nebechi, The Dark Lady plunges the reader into the visceral, violent streets of Shakespearean London and Team Akala believe “it is a timely and daring novel that speaks authentically to a new generation about their lives, hopes and fears through the powerful lens of history”. Lifestyle can’t wait. The Dark Lady by Akala will be published in hardback by Hodder Children’s Books on April 16.

Concert Hall for an unforgettable Festival event. The festival opening weekend will feature the world première of Double Murder, by Hofesh Shechter Company. The thrilling, two-part contemporary dance for our times, has been created by the multi-talented choreographer Hofesh Shechter OBE and will be performed by 10 of his inimitable dancers. Established in 1967, Brighton Festival is the largest and most established annual curated multi-arts festival in England. Running from May 2-24, it opens with the popular Children’s Parade, produced in partnership with Same Sky. Community and participation events will appear across the city. Our Place will continue to bring free performances and arts activities programmed by and for the communities of Hangleton and East Brighton; Young City Reads encourages school children to share their love of reading and Without Walls family friendly events will pop-up in unexpected outdoor locations. Full programme details will be announced at the Brighton Festival 2020 launch on February 11 and online:

More books for 2020 on page 60.









Filmmaker and artist Steve McQueen will be subject of expansive Tate Modern show in spring BY JOEL CAMPBELL


ELEBRATED FOR his powerful and uncompromising vision, Steve McQueen creates work that addresses the urgent issues of representation, identity and history. In spring, Tate Modern will present the first survey of his work in the UK for over 20 years, offering a timely moment to reflect on these themes. Featuring 14 major works spanning film, photography and sculpture, the exhibition will be an unprecedented opportunity to experience the depth of McQueen’s visual art career in this country for the first time since he received the Turner Prize in 1999. Over the last 25 years, McQueen (inset above right) has created some of the most innovative works of moving image designed for gallery spaces, as well as four critically acclaimed films for cinematic release: Hunger (2008), Shame (2010), 12 Years a Slave (2013) and Widows (2018). Spanning two decades of his career, the exhibition will reveal how McQueen’s pioneering approaches to filmmaking have expanded the ways in which artists work with the medium, creating poignant portraits of time and place.

Visitors to Tate Modern will be able to view personal and intimate works such as McQueen’s earliest film shot on a Super 8 camera, Exodus (1992/97), which reflects on migration and multiculturalism in his home city of London, and 7th Nov. (2001), in which the artist’s cousin Marcus recounts the tragic day he accidentally shot and fatally injured his own brother.


These will be joined by immersive, large-scale video installations such as Western Deep (2002) and Static (2009). Originally commissioned for the landmark exhibition Documenta XI, Western Deep presents an intense, sensory exploration of the labour conditions of gold miners in South Africa, while Static’s aerial depiction of the Statue of Liberty visually scrutinises a familiar and heavily symbolic figure that can rarely be inspected up close. More recent work will include the haunting two-channel video installation Ashes (2002–15), offering a moving tribute to the memory of a young fisherman the artist met and filmed in Grenada in 2002, who was killed by drug dealers the following year. For the first time in the UK, audiences will be able to view End Credits (2012–ongoing), McQueen’s homage to the Afri-

can-American singer, actor and civil rights activist Paul Robeson (1898–1976) who, after a successful career as a performer, was blacklisted in the 1950s and put under surveillance by the FBI. The work consists of rolling slides of the FBI’s reports on Robeson with a soundtrack of voices reading from the heavily redacted documents. The exhibition will also feature Weight (2016), a sculpture first exhibited by Artangel at the recently closed Reading Gaol, where Oscar Wilde was imprisoned and wrote De Profundis (1897). Presenting a gold-plated mosquito net draped over one of the prison’s metal bedframes to create a shimmering apparition, Weight explores the relation between protection and confinement, the physical and the spiritual, and the redemptive power of the imagination. This major exhibition coincides with McQueen’s latest artwork Year 3, on show at Tate Britain until May 3, an epic portrait of London’s Year 3 pupils created through a partnership between Tate, Artangel and A New Direction. The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue featuring an in-depth interview with the artist and essays providing new insights into his work.

POIGNANT PORTRAITS: Steve McQueen’s art will be on show at the Tate Modern. Above, Carib’s Leap (1992-97), video still. Top right, Charlotte (2004), video still. Middle right, 7th Nov (2001), video still. Right, Ashes (2002-2015), video still. All images © Steve McQueen. Courtesy the artist, Thomas Dane Gallery and Marian Goodman Gallery.




36 HOURS IN STOCKHOLM Is it possible to soak up the sights and sensations of Scandinavia in a quick trip? BY LEAH SINCLAIR


’VE ALWAYS been a big fan of Scandinavia and its cultural exports. Whether it’s their minimalistic style and architecture, or the northern lights and the midnight sun, the region has always intrigued me. For my birthday, I decided to take my burgeoning curiosity and pack a bag for an impromptu birthday trip to Stockholm – staying one night in the historic town of Gamla Stan to soak up the culture from food to music and so much more. Making the most of this city in 36 hours is no easy feat, but with a bit of research, I managed to experience a lot during my time in Stockholm. Below, I’ve listed some key places to visit while on a quick trip to the friendly city.

provided a reliable service which was a great start to my weekend trip.

Travel with…

Stay at…

If you’re travelling from Stockholm Vasteras airport – one of the furthest from the centre of the city – then hiring a car is an absolute must. Vasteras is a small town located 103.4km outside of the city, and with limited transport options, travelling efficiently and in style is something Blacklane provides. As I arrived at the airport, I was greeted by the driver who kindly escorted me to the car. The journey time came to about 1 hour 15 minutes, and the drive was as pleasant as can be – especially on a rainy Stockholm Sunday morning. With their service offered to more than 600 airports in 300 cities, Blacklane (

As I arrived at Gamla Stan, I felt like I was transported back into a different time. I strolled along the cobbled pavements and gazed into the side streets in awe, as I took in the view of the historic town. Sven Vintappare Hotel ( is located right in the heart of Gamla Stan, close by to notable attractions such as the Royal Palace and the Nobel Museum, making it a perfect spot for someone looking to see the key attractions in a short space of time. If you’re looking for a boutique hotel with a Swedish feel, Sven Vintappare Hotel is perfect. Tucked away on a quiet, narrow side street and overlooking


HISTORIC: Stockholm has many delights from its sparkling rivers, cobbled streets (right) and the Royal Palace (below right) – and you can see plenty of it in the space of 36 hours (MAIN PHOTO CREDIT: Visit Stockholm)

Sven Vintappare Hotel

a tiny square, Sven Vintappare is based in an early 17th century building and is full of charm. Complete with only seven rooms and an intimate little cafe, this wonderful hotel immerses you in Old Town Stockholm.

Eat at…

Madam and Brinken

Stockholm is pretty large in scale with various neighbourhoods offering something different and over 14 islands and 57 bridges. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to explore much of the city, but I was able to access various neighbourhoods by taking the metro or even walking. From Gamla Stan, you can take a 20-minute walk to Södermalm – which is known to be one of the cooler neighbourhoods in Stockholm. Known for its trendy retail stores, restaurants and cafes, you can get away from the tourist feel of Gamla Stan and get a feel of how the locals socialise in this part of town. During my visit, I took a trip to Korean restaurant Madam – a quaint little spot that served a variety of meat and veggie options. The minimalist interior design and relaxed atmosphere made for the perfect spot on a drizzly Sunday afternoon and the selection of food was amazing, inset left. I dined on a mixture of Korean treats, ranging from tteokbokki – Korean stir-fried rice cakes – to dolsot bibimbap, a mixed rice bowl with marinated beef. Complete with great customer service, I’d recommend a visit to this Korean restaurant.


For dinner, I decided I wanted to try some traditional Swedish cuisine and ventured to the intimate Brinken restaurant in the heart of Gamla Stan. The inviting atmosphere made you feel as though you were in a warm cabin deep in the mountains, and their hearty meals made it feel all the more real. I had their traditional Swedish meatballs with potato purée and it felt as though I was eating a home-cooked meal! Washed down with a Sleepy Bulldog Pale Ale and Creme Brulee for dessert, Brinken is the perfect spot for a traditional meal complete with local brews and a feel-good atmosphere.

Drink at...

Temple Bar and @thevoicenews

Cocktails & Dreams

Finding a bar that is open until late in the morning on Sunday is pretty difficult. But if you’re looking for somewhere local with good drinks and fun – albeit a bit cheesy – music, then Temple Bar might be the place to go. The bar is open until 3am, and really gets busy around 12.30am-1am. The atmosphere is buzzing with a young and older crowd, as they mingle and sing along to classic rock songs into the wee hours. With enough alcohol in your system, this makes for a pretty fun experience! If you’re looking for a more sophisticated experience, Cocktails & Dreams is a great place to retreat to for a few hours to sip on their signature cocktails and enjoy a chilled atmosphere.



Stockholm Walking Tour

Unsurprisingly, 36 hours in Sweden’s capital is not a long time to see everything. So to experience some of the key attractions of the city, a walking tour is a must. During the ‘Must See Tour’, I walked around in awe as a group of us saw some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, including the Vasa Museum, St George’s statue, Storkyrkan (Stockholm Cathedral) and Skeppsbron 26 – a scenic public ferry offering the best views of the city from water. For a quick trip abroad, Stockholm definitely provides a mixture of sightseeing, bar-hopping, good food and much more.





9 questions for travel professional Scarlette

Everything the Channel 4 host knows about holidays BY JOEL CAMPBELL


OUR FAVOURITE travel presenter Scarlette Douglas will front a new show on Channel 4 this month where she discovers the secrets of successfully booking last-minute holidays – and goes head-to-head with a family who booked their trip in advance to see whether she can match their booking, and beat the price. Douglas teams up with travel experts to discover the latest insider tips which will help viewers save money and maximise spending potential abroad. Does when you book play an important part in the price of your holiday – and is booking at the last minute the key to grabbing a bargain? Talking to Lifestyle, she ex-

plained a bit about how she got the travel bug. Lifestyle: You went to Spain just before Christmas, what part did you go to and how was it? Scarlette Douglas: Mojácar, it was lush, highs of 23 degrees and lows of 17. L: You’ve told us that you’re ramping up the travel in 2020, why is that? SD: I love travelling and exploring new places and cultures. This year has been amazing, I’ve probably travelled, on average, twice a month and just jumping on a flight and leaving Blighty behind is the biggest stress relief ever! L: You must get asked this all the time, but where is your favourite destination and why? SD: Aruba! It’s like a mini Miami

with a tropical oasis spin on it! Pink Flamingos in the sea with you whilst you sip on a cocktail, palm trees shading you from the glowing sunshine, azure waters, white sandy beaches, amazing food, great scenery and exhilarating excursions to explore. L: What are your pet peeves when travelling? SD: Being told you have to put your hand luggage in the hold literally does my head in! L: As a experienced traveller what tricks and tips do you have for others? Do you fold or roll? SD: I’m a folder! Haha! But my main tip would be always wear a bum bag, because it’s on your person, they cannot ask you to remove it... it’s like a belt, and it’s perfect to store your passport in, your phone, a pen, mirror, lip balm, any of the essentials that

you may need access to quickly. Technically it’s another bag and so it’s great with airlines that only allow one piece of hand luggage. L: We’ve all got a holiday horror story – but what’s your worst? SD: I stayed in a motel with A Place in the Sun and I thought I was going to get murdered in the night! I had to get the office to move me. It didn’t feel safe, the room was dirty, there was an argument/fight outside of my room and so I had to sleep with a chair against my door so no one could break in. L: Where would you like to go that you haven’t touched down in yet? Or a top three, if you have a long list... SD: Thailand, Bahamas, Seychelles.

FOLD, DON’T ROLL: Scarlette Douglas (PICTURE: Boomerang) L: If you could travel with anyone in the world, who would that person be and why? SD: My best friend Sam! We have a travel Instagram page called My Travel Sista and we need to actually work on it, so yeah, jet me off somewhere with her please! � �


L: For someone looking to go away on a short-haul, quick weekend getaway, what would you suggest and why? SD: Check out a site called Cheeky Weekend, it’ll show you the best deals for a weekend getaway where you don’t have to take any days off work!

Professor of Social Work/Social Care





Leeds Beckett University, School of Health and Community Studies Permanent Full Time, Grade 10, £70,392 - £81,391 Leeds Beckett University is seeking to appoint a Professor in Social Work/Social Care in the School of Health and Community Studies. We have established taught postgraduate provision and a healthy cohort of PhD students within the School. The current Professor is retiring and we wish to appoint a replacement to support and lead academic staff in Social Work and Social Care in preparation for REF 2027. The post holder will work closely with the Director of Research for Unit 20. We are now seeking exceptional and inspirational candidates who have an established national and international reputation as a scholar in Social Work or Social Care. With a strong research profile, publication record and proven record of success in research income generation, you will be experienced in supervising doctoral students and evidence strong academic leadership in the research mentoring of staff. Experience of contributing actively to the further development of your discipline through established networks will also be important. You will be a highly effective communicator and an excellent team player. You will also act as a member of the School’s Strategic Leadership Team. In formulating an application and supporting information candidates should provide appropriate evidence in the areas of research leadership. Particular account will be taken of recent evidence of outstanding achievement. Successful candidates will be expected to maintain a high level of achievement in the future, and applicants are asked to indicate in their application ways in which they place the development of their academic and professional work in the broader institutional context. You will significantly contribute to the further development of the identity and agenda of the School of Health and Community Studies, and enhance our standing as interdisciplinary scholars.

For more information contact Sue Sherwin, Dean of School, on 0113 8121920 or email For the job application please use this link from 6th January 2020:

Tel: 020 7274 2242 201-203 Stockwell Road London SW9 9SL




‘WHEN I LEARNED WHAT HAPPENS FOR CHICKEN TO END UP ON MY PLATE I WAS HEARTBROKEN’ YouTube cooking star Rachel Ama reveals the horror and health issues that turned her vegan



ONSTANT BATTLES with her health made Rachel Ama decide to turn vegan four years ago and the results have been fantastic. The north Londoner’s foray into all things plant-based has seen her publish her first cookbook and on Instgram alone she provides a loyal following of nearly 100,000 people with inspirational tips on how to create imaginative and – most importantly – tasty, nutritious dishes.


As we step into a new decade it’s clear that veganism, which grew at a rapid pace in the last 10 years, is not going away. Never has the world seemed more conscious about what they consume and the effects on their bodies and the world at large. Talking to Ama at a private tasting session at By Chloe in central London, where she unveiled three new dishes for their menu during World Vegan Month, she told Lifestyle that her moment of awakening forced her to question everything she’d

been taught about food. “I had a lot of health issues,” she said. “As a teenager I would get really bad stomach pains and other problems. I went to see doctors and specialists and no-one could figure it out but also, no-one even referenced doing a food diary, what am I eating? No-one referenced it. “My mum studied nutrition and she suggested I might be lactose intolerant. At that stage I was in so much pain and for me I was too young to be in that type of pain. So I cut out dairy and it massively changed my health.” But that wasn’t all: “A couple years later I travelled and found the love of food and I wanted to cook more. “In doing that I came across what actually happens for chicken to end up on my plate and I was just heartbroken. “I went from eating chicken everyday – culturally, as well having Caribbean roots, it was normal to go to my grandma’s and have curried chicken, oxtail and all that stuff, to all of a sudden … I saw the animal welfare and didn’t want to be a part of it. “I felt tricked and I was a bit p****d that in school I learned my school chart of how to be healthy, eat fish, meat and dairy

– that’s your food chart, and I thought, ‘why was I taught this?’” Ama started her YouTube channel just as a way of sharing her ideas on new ways to present dishes, experimenting with friends and family. An aspiring footballer in her younger days, Ama says she didn’t really know what she wanted to do and flirted with dancing before going to university to study business management. Ama said a brief stint in the music industry led to her working alongside her entrepreneurial mum before her YouTube channel took off.


With conversations about plantbased eating becoming widespread recently, Ama gave her take on why people are more interested in their diets. “We’re in a digital age where we can access information so quickly and easily,” she enthused. “I wasn’t shown slaughterhouses in school, I lived in a city which is far removed from farming and was shown a ‘healthy food chart’ of meat, fish and dairy. “The chicken I would buy had a happy chicken on the label


whereas now, there are academic studies telling us that one of the best ways we can help our planet is to adopt a vegan diet. “There are academic books and documentaries where we are shown how plant-based diets can improve our health, which is giving people a more informed choice.” With her message received loud and clear by a growing army of food-conscious recipients, Ama has her own personal ambitions on who she would like to prepare food for one day. “Probably the Smith family,” she said. “I feel like Will Smith has been my uncle my whole life – he just doesn’t know it yet. “I grew up in a funny home and would love to make them a vegan Caribbean feast and joke over the dinner table. “Some plantain, channa, jerk oyster mushrooms, roti, even dumplings, my fritters, callaloo. All of it!”


Rachel’s got the answers What words or advice do you have for someone who is thinking of going vegan? There are so many positive reasons to give it a go, and it is really delicious! You’ve got to find your new go-to meals, which is great because there are so many vegan recipes out there. I share them weekly on my YouTube channel, which you can try out with simple ingredients you can get at the supermarket. Don’t be hard on yourself, take it step by step if that suits. If you love chilli, try a vegan one! My one won’t make you think you’re missing out on meat. Or if you have a favourite curry, use the same seasonings and swap the meat for chickpeas and vegetables. Your first cookbook, left, just won Best Vegan Cookbook. Congratulations! What can we expect to find in the book? Lots of flavour and over 100 recipes! There are really simple ones you can make in batch, such as chillies, curries, peanut


fried rice, ratatouille and so on. There are Caribbean recipes, plus my personal favourite, African peanut stew. There are a few feasts that take a little longer but are so worth it and are great for having friends over and really deliver on flavour – like the grilled aubergine kebabs. I put so much into this book, from adding the music I love, fabrics my Mum brought back from her last trip to Sierra Leone, plus recipes inspired by my Grandma Pat from St Lucia! All in the hope of making a really fun, flavourful cookbook. What food trends do you see emerging in 2020? Vegan food in general. I know there’s been interest in a lot of tropical foods, especially ones I see back in the Caribbean, like jackfruit and heart of palm. But I think we need to focus on seasonal cooking. Buying fresh plant-based produce from local farmers, it’s how we lived years ago, it aligns to our bodies natural seasonal rhythm and is far more sustainable.




Worship your gut

What we put in our body has a direct effect on how we feel. In order to improve your gut health it is important to cut out foods such as refined carbohydrates, grains, processed foods, artificial sweeteners, antibiotics and anything high in sugar. Once you’ve found balance here, there’ll be no stopping you.


Eating bitter foods can help to purge the liver naturally – this can include things such as greens, like dandelion, arugula, and escarole. Bitter teas are also an option; peppermint and milk thistle are good options.

Raw foods

Raw vegetables and low-glycae-

mic fruits like berries should be eaten as much as possible. A low-glycaemic diet is perfect for anyone suffering from inflammation, as it will support your body and slows down the cellular aging process.


The mind plays a major role in gut health, so it is important to be mindful of toxic relationships and toxic media. These will stress out the body and can slow down digestion and the elimination of toxins.


Raw cacao is a must when detoxing. Cacao is high in minerals and antioxidants and will support your body before, during, or after a cleanse.

Celery juice

The detoxifying properties of celery, right, help to remove bad bacteria, fungi, mold, viruses and other toxins from the liver. The phytonutrients found in the green stalks also can have a protective effect on the liver.


Kefir has a similar taste to a drinking-style yogurt, but it contains beneficial yeast as well as friendly ‘probiotic’ bacteria. The naturally occurring good bacteria and yeast in kefir combine symbiotically to give superior health benefits when consumed regularly. It is loaded with valuable vitamins and eas minerals and contains easily digestible complete proteins. Kefir can also help eliminate unhealthy food cravings by making the body more nourished and

balanced. If, however, you are intolerant to dairy then you can try coconut milk kefir or other alternatives.

High-quality water

Water is often overlooked on a cleanse, but it is recommended drinking filtered, slightly alkaline water. It plays such a major role in our bodies so don’t forget it.




HRISTMAS AND New Year is a time for overindulgence, but it’s not long before you start to feel the effects of the festive

season. Detoxing has become a regular thing to do as part of a healthy lifestyle. Most see it as an opportunity to eradicate all the bad stuff from their diets – be it alcohol, sweets and chocolates or processed foods. Yes, getting rid of old habits will prove beneficial to your health, however, introducing new ways to cleanse the body can have great results. Take a look at these detox tips you may never have heard of and try to incorporate them into your everyday life.


Medicinal mushrooms

Chinese medicinal mushrooms can strengthen as well as detoxify the organs. They can be drunk as a tea throughout the day or can be added to smoothies or any healthy drinks.

Combine food

It is not discouraged to eat a variety of foods on a detox, and can sometimes be very beneficial – for example, eating an acidic or enzyme-rich fruit like pineapple before dinner or a glass of apple cider vinegar in warm water before dinner can promote healthy digestion.

Follow Chantelle on Instagram: @Chantelle_Kimberley, on Twitter: @Chantelle_k1m, or email







Bold performance piece explores the violence and oppression of our society BY JOEL CAMPBELL


ROJECT O returns to Sadler’s Wells dance theatre with thoughtprovoking work Voodoo, at the Lilian Baylis Studio from January 16-18. Artists Jamila Johnson-Small and Alexandrina Hemsley have been making work together as Project O since 2010, intending to expose some of the structural workings of racism and misogyny and their impact on bodies. In Voodoo, they invite audiences to join them in an immersive performance. Voodoo examines how dance can explore, heal and challenge the violence and oppression that haunts society today. Its unfolding becomes a science-fiction that addresses the desire, confusion and responsibility of being a single subject who is also a symbol of many persecuted people. The piece received its London premiere in 2017 at the Lilian Baylis Studio. After previews in Bristol (In Between Time) and

Liverpool (LEAP), it was developed through a series of siteresponsive short works titled Native Instincts: Psychic Labours, and presented at a range of venues including Somerset House; K.R.O.P.P. festival, Uppsala (Sweden); Submerge, Bristol and London Contemporary

“Project O has been working since 2010 to expose the structural workings of racism and misogyny” Music Festival. After a sabbatical period supported by LADA and Sadler’s Wells, Project O revisits Voodoo for three performances. Project O made its first appearance at the Lilian Baylis Studio with O in BELLYFLOP’s curated evenings as part of Wild Card in 2013, kicking off this se-

ries, now a regular part of the Lilian Baylis Studio programme. Project O became a Sadler’s Wells New Wave Associate Artist in 2018, an initiative supporting distinctive choreographic voices in their development. Both artists have also taken part in Sadler’s Wells’ ‘summer university’ professional development programme for dance artists. Jamila Johnson-Small’s solo performance project as ‘Last Yearz Interesting Negro’ was at the Barbican from November 28 to December 1, with new work Heavy handed, we crush the moment. Alexandrina is currently working on an interdisciplinary solo project Words Collect In My Mouth: All is Fire and Flood attending to how one (an individual or overlapping communities) returns to intimacy – of self, of performing – in relation to others after violence. Project O are Sadler’s Wells New Wave Associates. Voodoo is a Sadler’s Wells commission, co-commissioned by Cambridge Junction and Chelsea Theatre (2015).




Sustainability is the future Finding those great designs that don’t ruin the planet BY AALIYAH HARRY


HEN THE clocks struck 12 on December 31, a decade and all the style pieces that defined it became a thing of the past. As we march into the new decade, we must turn our attention to the future of the fashion industry: sustainability. With the rise of fast fashion and Instagram’s unwritten ‘wear once’ rule, it is imperative that we incorporate this new way of thinking and being more mindful about recycling, reusing and producing sustainable clothing. Sustainable fashion is a key movement and process of change within the fashion industry towards increased ecological

integrity. However, sustainable fashion looks beyond just addressing the textiles used to create garments. It also comprises addressing the whole system of fashion and a modern, throwaway culture. There isn’t a 100 per cent sustainable brand at this point in time. However, there are a number of brands who are entwining sustainability in the way they design, produce and think. Here are five sustainable fashion brands that you should keep your eyes on…

1) House of Aama

House of Aama is founded by mother-daughter duo, Rebecca Henry and Akua Shabaka. Based in Los Angeles and

catering for men and women, many of their pieces are made with 100 per cent organic cotton. Their incredibly unique designs are inspired by the postbellum southern United States, a critical period for black culture. To discover more about this dynamic duo and shop their pieces visit

2) Subrina Heyink Vintage

An online vintage shop full of stylish key pieces that look like they were hand-picked straight out of a 90s romantic film. If you’re looking for unique pieces to spice up your styling game, check out Sabrina’s collection. Worldwide shipping is available. See @subrinaheyinkvintage on Instagram.

3) Bourgeois Boheme

Alicia Lai used her passion for veganism to create something special. Her cruelty-free footwear is both stylish and practical. Bourgeois Boheme is based in London, but her team have connected with artisans in Peru to produce a selection of shoes for men and women. The new range is launching in February, perfect for a new year’s treat. Keep your eyes peeled on the site

House of Aama

4) revivalldn

Revivalldn, founded by Rosette Ale, is described as a shop that sells “handmade and bespoke pieces, all made from reclaimed textiles”. This company is extremely unique and includes denim items that you will reach for again and again!

5) People Tree

This UK-based company deals mostly in fashionable women’s wear but features a few basics for men. Over 80 per cent of its clothes are made from organic cotton, and all of them are dyed with non-toxic dyes. All of its products meet fair trade standards.


The most effective choice of all is to reuse and recycle clothing. Recycling is a brilliant first step that many of us can make daily. Recycling clothes reduces waste and energy use, but reusing clothes eliminates waste products altogether. The easiest way to reuse clothing is by passing on old clothes to another user. Take a look at a site such as Depop, which is a sustainable way to move on from clothing you no longer want. Swap or buy from fellow users and reduce the need to use landfills. Also, there are some incredible thrift shops with items you can revamp to cater to your style needs. Even when clothes start to wear out, salvaging usable material is another sustainable option. Some sustainable brands




have made it a part of their business to reconfiguring old clothing. Reusing of this kind is often called “reworking”.

Fabric Swatch

Take Fabric Swatch, created by Piarve Webber. They are a small London-based group who collect fabric scraps from manufacturers, designers and fashion houses. The next step is to then share the fabrics collected with others who can make use of those scraps.

RZR denim

es, that you won’t find anywhere else. Being sustainable starts from home, so do your part. Reusing and recycling as much clothing and fabric as you can is an easy and efficient way to make a difference. If we can all start making small changes it will have a greater impact on our planet in the long run – what better time to start than in a new decade! You don’t have to give up your glamour to be sustainable.

RZR denim describe themselves as a brand that “create one-off unique pieces using recycled vintage denim”. Don’t miss out on these effortlessly cool handcrafted pieces.

Urban Renewal

The Urban Renewal line from Urban Outfitters takes vintage and unsold garments to create new pieces. The incredible result is recrafted edgy and modern piec-


RZR denim



Caribbean Export




undreds turned out for the 4th CARIFORUM-EU Business Forum held in Frankfurt from 26 to 28 September 2019 at the Union Halle. The conference held on the 26th of September welcomed over 200 participants as a series of panels discussed trade between CARIFORUM and the EU under the theme ‘Building Strategic Partnerships in a Dynamic Global Economy’. In a panel led by Damie Sinanan, Manager – Competitiveness and Export Promotion at Caribbean Export, Sinanan unveiled the results of a study commissioned by the Agency which highlighted rum and sauces as the two most successful exports from the Caribbean since the signing of the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) in 2008. “The CARIFORUM-EU EPA was signed in 2008 and we wanted to understand from companies the challenges and the successes they have experienced within the framework of the agreement” said Sinanan. Over a period of 6 months, the Agency interviewed and surveyed CARIFORUM based firms about their experiences exporting to Europe. “The Dominican Republic followed

by Trinidad and Tobago are the largest exporters of products and services to Europe. The Dominican Republic is the largest rum exporter in CARIFORUM with almost 7 times the value of rum exports of Jamaica. And exports of sauces and seasonings to the EU increased by 59% between 2014 and 2018” informed Sinanan.

vestors conduct some 150 business to business meetings with the sixty-three (63) carefully selected exhibitors from the Caribbean’s f o o d , cos-


The report presented also showed that EU imports of rum and related products from CARIFORUM increased by almost 31% (in value) from 2014 to 2018. Further, in 2018 The Dominican Republic exported almost 70 million euros in rum products to the EU, a 32% increase from 2014. The encouraging news was well received by the audience of CARIFORUM firms and European business support organisations who are keen to form strategic relations with CARIFORUM to further trade. Three Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) were signed between Caribbean Export, GIZ and BVMW as a symbol of the commitment to further trade and investment. The following two-days of the event saw over 70 industry buyers and in-

metics and cultural industries who presented their products at the Union Halle. The fair recorded over 600 visitors who came to discover what the Caribbean has to offer.


“We were in Carifesta in Barbados and now we are here in Frankfurt. There are a lot more companies ready for the European market and so, yes it’s really, really, nice. We hope that there is opportunity to do something ” said Erica Ramsay (Manager) Spa Vivent Vertiebs GmbH. Anthony Bradshaw, Officer in

Charge at Caribbean Export, expressed his satisfaction with the event. “The CARIFORUM-EU Business Forum was designed as a platform with a view to strengthening business networks and promoting closer trade and investment relations between the Caribbean and, in this case, Europe. We are very pleased with the response to the fair, just as we have been in the past.” “It’s been really great. I’ve met a lot of people who have been interested in our products and I will go to the Netherlands to have followup meetings as a result of what has happened here” Ruben Kranenburg – Sales and Operations Manager, Suriname Alcoholic Beverages. The highlight was the consumers’ day on 28 September, which saw visitors enjoy Caribbean products, as well as Caribbean culture. In addition to rum tastings, cooking demonstrations and courses, more than eleven music performances were also put on by renowned artists. Visitors were particularly impressed by the film Bazodee, featuring international soca artist Machel Montano, while Montano’s mother tantalised taste buds with a special vegan chocolate. Berlin’s most popular Caribbean chef – Troy Lopez from RosaCaleta

– served up a surprise with a new German-Caribbean fusion dish, making Swabian Spätzle out of breadfruit flour, and combining it with chicken marinated in Superblend’s Chicken Marinade.

(Clockwise) Ribbon cutting: Minister of Trade and CARICOM Affairs from Grenada, the Hon. Oliver Joseph (l) and Mr. Anthony Bradshaw,(r) Officer in Charge, Caribbean Export open the Authentic Caribbean Expo. The Authentic Caribbean Expo showcased more than 60 of the region’s leading producers in agro-processing, natural products, sauces & condiments and the creative sector. Closing event featuringn Barbadian artiste Tabitha.


Young Voices

ALL PICTURES: Black Ink photography

Made by History 2019

Meet the winners of our annual Made By History essay writing competition



ORE THAN 200 children gathered at City Hall for The Voice’s Made by History essay competition presentation ceremony last month. The question posed to entrants of the competition – which is in its fifth year – was: “Who is your favourite black author and why?” It saw the children celebrate not only the writers that inspire them but one another, too. The schoolchildren and their supporters were welcomed to the venue by deputy mayor Debbie Weekes-Bernard, who congratulated them on their achievements – and stressed the need for positive depictions of black people in books. With research revealing that just one per cent of children’s books feature a main character who is black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) and only four per cent feature any BAME characters,

the competition topic served as a reminder that black children and their stories matter. London Assembly member Jennette Arnold OBE highlighted the progress that has been made since her parents had to request for books featuring black characters to be shipped over from the Caribbean, but called for action to be taken to address the lack of representation. “We have to rebalance that current deficit. It cannot be right,” Arnold said. “It is just not good enough that currently only four per cent of books reflect the beautiful diversity of our city and our country.” The inclusion of two guest authors – Winsome Duncan, inset above right, and James Okoro, inset below left – in this year’s programme drove this point home and gave the children the op opportunity to ask an author their burning questions about the book-writing process. Duncan galvanised the young audience with her enthusiasm about words and writing and her call to action for those

in the room to write their own stories, be creative, original and follow guidelines. Okoro challenged the children to an impromptu spelling test and showcased his books, including Beetle Reich and The Scruffapillar,, to the delight of the young readers. Each child was presented with a certificate of participation, while the winners of the different age group categories, inspiration award and overall winner were invited to the podium to read their essays aloud. Ava Murdock, a student at St Michael’s Catholic, won the aged 10 category with her personal essay on Maya Angelou. She said that winning had helped to “bring out my confidence in speaking out loud”. “I wanted to enter because my mum would like me to try something new and she wanted me to see, even if I didn’t win, she would still be proud of me for putting my effort in and trying,” Ava said. She added: “It’s inspired me to speak more instead of just hiding away in the corner, in


the shadows. I can speak more and do lots of loud speaking in front of people because that’s bringing up my courage to do it.”


Also encouraged by his mum was overall winner and winner of the aged 1314 category, Malakhi Best. “I feel like I’m always motivated. Like, whenever I’m down, I just come back to that motivation and I think that comes from my mum because she’s the one that always pushes me to do my best. “She gives up so much time for me and my mum’s just like probably the biggest hero in my life,” Malakhi said. Malakhi, a student at Willowfield School, wrote passionately about Angie Thomas, her best-selling book The Hate U Give and the importance of the speaking out against injustice. The two wins took him by surprise. “It feels amazing because I literally just sat in my room and I wrote that and I wouldn’t even have thought that it would have


been something that I would have had this much credit over,” he said. He added that the competition had given him the confidence to pursue a degree in journalism or literature. Daniel Richmond, a history teacher at Willowfield School, was struck by the quality of the essays his students submitted. He said the competition was important for multiple reasons, especially its celebration of representation. “It encourages the students to get involved in something that represents them. We need it in the community, they need to see themselves in the community,” Richmond said. “I think for me, the key thing is the students being able to see so many different black people in different positions that they wouldn’t usually see. “Black people involved in politics, black people involved in writing, black people involved in news reporting – so much that they’re not exposed to and it’s these sort of events that expose them [to that].” Natasha Joseph, of St Michael’s Catholic, won the 11-12 category with her essay on Mal-


orie Blackman, and she echoed Richmond’s sentiments. “It encourages children to pursue their dreams, even if they might give up on it, and it’s nice to be recognised for achievements,” she said.


D’shaun Ansah, winner of the most inspirational award, used his entry to recognise his sister’s achievements. He won for his essay about his sister L’amour, a 16-year-old author of three books. D’shaun, who along with his five siblings is homeschooled, said he was “really happy” to have picked up the prize. Reflecting on his win, Bussa Bradshaw, aged nine, of St Anthony’s Catholic, said: “It feels amazing because I never thought I would get this far. To be honest, I thought I wouldn’t even be shortlisted and now I’m the best nine-year-old.” Bussa, who wrote about slavery abolitionist and author of the memoir Twelve Years a Slave, Solomon Northup, said he had learned that “anybody can win, basically, no matter what skin colour you are, you still have a chance”.


Young Voices

Bussa Bradshaw, winner in the nine-year-old category My Favourite Author: Solomon Northrup By Bussa Bradshaw Solomon Northrup was born between 1807 to 1808. He was born in New York, USA. At the time slavery did not exist in New York, so Solomon was a free man. He was a farmer and musician. In 1841, when Solomon was 34 years old, he was offered a job as a travelling musician, that went to Washington DC, America. But in Washington DC slavery was legal. Luckily for Solomon he was not a slave so then he would not be sold as a slave. It all went wrong in Washington DC as he was kidnaped and robbed. Then taken 1,000 miles south to New Orleans (still in America) with nobody knowing where he was, including his family and friends still in New York. He was taken away by a white coloured slave trader called James Bird. James sold him to a plantation owner in Louisiana. Solomon was sold to a number of different people over the next 12 years. Solomon was treated very badly, for example he was beaten for very small things like using nails the owner did not like. He was almost killed a few times by his owner. As he was a slave, his owners had the legal right to kill him as he was their property. Solomon should not have been a slave as he grew up in New York, where there was no slavery. In the end Solomon Northrup was very lucky as he was helped by a white Canadian man named

REBELLION: Winner Bussa Bradshaw of St Anthony’s Catholic Primary with Paula Dyke of The Voice

Samuel Bass. Samuel was the first person Solomon told of his true name and origins since he had been kidnapped 12 years ago. He had not told anyone for that 12 years that he was born a free man. The good thing is that Samuel basically came to the rescue. He agreed to write letters to Solomon’s family telling them where Solomon was. Samuel did not sign the letters as he was worried he would get arrested. Eventually Solomon was set free from slavery. He returned to New York, all OK. There his family told the police what had happened. But no one was punished. In Washington DC the slave trader James Birch was arrested but freed because Solomon, as a black man, could not challenge a white man in court. Then Solomon started writing a book about what happened to him. It is called “Twelve Years a Slave”. It talks about his enslavement, what happened in Washington, his experience with James Birch, slave owners and slaves, and his friend Samuel Bass. It describes the horrible life of a slave, how Solomon got kidnapped and all the ups and downs in his life. It’s a very sad book. Solomon Northrup is my favourite author because I am named after the leader of the last slave rebellion in Barbados. And this author reminds me of how hard life was, the sacrifices others have made and how lucky I am.

My favourite black author and why? By Ava Murdock, age 10, St Paul’s class, St Anthony’s Catholic Primary School Maya Angelou is one of my favourite black authors because I find her inspiring. Her poem Phenomenal Woman makes me feel powerful, because it tells me how black women are beautiful and how strong they are. This reminds me of my mother and all the women in my family who are phenomenal women. My favourite part of the poem is “I am a woman phenomenally, phenomenal woman that’s me”.

WINNER: Ava Murdock


It makes me think about how much women must go through so much in life that no one really understands a person’s journey but them: “It’s the fire in my eye and the flame in my teeth and the swing in my hair and the joy in my feet I am a phenomenal woman!” I always wonder what it was that Maya Angelou was going through that made her write such an ironic poem. From what I have researched about her life she didn’t have easiest of childhoods and it makes me think about my life and how lucky I am!

ENCOURAGING: The judges, left to right, were Joy Nichols, Neal Deans, Angelina Deans, Maxine Webster, Heather Chevannes, Robert Reid

Ava Murdock, winner in the 10-year-old category Maya Angelou has some very inspiring quotes like: 1. Nothing will work unless you do 2. If you don’t like something, change it, and if you can’t change it, change your attitude 3. Prejudice is a burden that confesses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible 4. We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty These are just a few and there are many more. Those quotes I feel reflect on Maya Angelou’s life, like “Nothing will work unless you do” because she had to work hard for her achievements. I guess because of what she experienced in life she found writing things helped her. Before she was a writer she was living with her grandma and was abused and did not speak for five years but one day her mentor told her something about poetry and she started

talking. She must have so many thoughts and feelings she just had to write them all down. I think this was a brave thing to do because she was letting people know her true thoughts and feelings and many other people I believe may have wanted to keep them private. Maya Angelou read all the books in the black library and some of the books at the white library, in those days black people and white people were segregated.

My Mother always says some of the hardest experiences we go through in life make us who we are, and I guess that is true in Maya Angelou as without those difficult times in her life she may not have been able to write the way in which she has. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings was one of her best-selling novels about her life and although I haven’t read yet I am keen to understand so much more about her life. Simply because she is an inspiration to me and demonstrates that you can still achieve

great things in your life no matter how hard your life may have started. Maya Angelou has shared very intimate details about her life which are sometimes very hard to read but it does make me feel grateful for the life I have and shows me her strength and how strong she was as a person. Maya was an extraordinary person and she is most definitely one of the many heroes within the black community that can inspire us all no matter what race we are. Maya Angelou’s writings teach us that you can be anything you want to be; no matter what people think of you can still rise because you are great. My recommendation if you do not know about Maya Angelou is get one of books or look up a poem and see how great they are for yourself because there is probably a little bit of Maya Angelou’s story in us all and therefore she is one of my favourite black authors. I salute you, Maya Angelou, may you rest in eternal peace!


Young Voices Natasha Joseph, winner in the 11- to 12-year-old category Why Malorie Blackman is my favourite author by Natasha Joseph, aged 12 “I don’t want to live in a world where what I am isn’t good enough...” – Lynette McGregor, Noughts and Crosses. From a young age, I really enjoyed reading and I still have a great passion for literature. Excluding early childhood, I have read over 100 books (most of them twice). As I grew older and read independently, I rarely came across black characters that had prominent roles. It wasn’t until I read Malorie Blackman’s books that I saw characters that had the same colour skin as me and had significant roles in the storyline. It didn’t matter if they were good or bad. It mattered that they were there. Malorie Blackman is a black British author who has written over 88 novels. She loved reading from a young age and enjoyed writing her own stories and poems. After spending 20 years in computing, she still knew that her ambition was to be a writer. This way, she could directly address the problems she went through and share it with a wide audience.

TOP: Natasha Joseph, centre, with mum Andrea and Patrick Forrest of Jamaica National

Malorie’s books explore complexities in our past and present societies, such as prejudice, love, hate, the authority of the government and poverty. Usually in children’s books, these issues are not explored. The way she writes makes me feel like an older person, even though it is directed towards children of my age. Malorie has made me more aware of the flaws in society and has helped me understand the struggles real people

have had and still are experiencing. I think the main messages in her books are to speak out if you feel something is wrong and not to be afraid of the world outside. She has encouraged me to have confidence in myself. I love the Noughts and Crosses series because it represents the struggles people went through and the negative experiences they felt because they were seen as “different”. The story is about two best friends who have opposite economic and social statuses, but they fall in love. However, because of their circumstances, their relationship is frowned upon. The story is so compelling as it shows how racism can tear society apart. Additionally, a number of Malorie’s personal experiences are included, which creates a sense of realism and is quite shocking to imagine what others had to face. Once I had read the first few sentences of Noughts and Crosses, I was fully engrossed and literally couldn’t put it down. I finished it within one evening and was desperate to read the rest of the series. The fictional narrators had heart and emotion, and Malorie wrote with no boundaries. Learning about Malorie’s struggles and many rejections, has made me feel motivated to carry on in whatever I am doing because it can have a positive outcome. During her journey of becoming an author, she experienced 82 rejections before her first book was even published; yet didn’t give up. To quote Malorie, “Trying and failing is better than not having the guts to never try at all.”

D’shaun Ansah, winner of most inspirational essay Out of all the many black authors around the world that I could have chosen to write about, like Maya Angelou and Olaudah Equiano, I have decided to write about someone who is very close to home. The author that I have chosen to write about is my sister L’amour Ansah. Publishing her first book at the age of 15, she is a real inspiration to me and I like to read her books. Among her many talents she is also a baker, musician, cook, and tennis player. L’amour was born to Mr and Mrs Ansah in Ealing, London, UK on September 28th, 2003. She is the oldest of six children and the only girl in the family. L’amour is now currently 16 years old. She started reading fluently around the age of three. This then led to her having a big appetite for reading books, inspiring her to start writing her own stories at a young age.

The first book L’amour has published is called Effie and Mama at the Market. It is about a little three-year-old girl named Effie who goes with her mum to the market for the first time, enjoying and learning many new things. The second and third book L’amour has written is called Effie and the Castle part 1 and part 2. Part 1 is called ‘Great-Grandma’ and tells her story where Effie and her family travel to Elmina to visit her mum’s family. Here her GreatGrandma tells a story about slavery linked to the slave castle in the Elmina town of Ghana. The third book she has written is part 2 of Effie and the Castle, called ‘The Door, The Lady, and The Shell’. Here Effie and her family go to the castle mentioned in Great-Grandma’s story and learn about the use of the castle during slavery times and she sees a lady that looks like her mum! What I enjoy about L’amour’s

books is that they are very educational, introducing the reader to the culture, history, sights, smells, and tastes of Ghana. She uses vivid adjectives to describe objects, the environment, and the scenery, giving the reader a real sense of life in Ghana. She also incorporates suspense and mystery into her story lines and plot, keeping you captivated, wanting to know what will happen next. L’amour intertwines Twi (the local language spoken in Ghana) into her text, giving the reader the opportunity to learn basic words of a new language.

anything big, but can be just a small storybook.

series to be turned into animations and audiobooks.

L’amour is my favourite black author not only because she is my sister but because she has written educational books for children at a young age. This shows other young people who want to be authors that they don’t have to wait till they are older, but can do it now. It doesn’t need to be

L’amour would like her books to go worldwide and in many different libraries. Having a heart for her people, she is also writing other African novels for older children/teens. She hopes to reach and educate people from the diaspore and other cultures through her books. L’amour also wants her

If you are interested in her books you can look up the website: and you can also follow on instagram @aftermykind.


WINNER: D’shaun Ansah with Jennette Arnold OBE


Thank you. Written by D’shaun Ansah Aged 11



Malakhi Best, overall winner First of all, I would like to start off and say Black History Month can sometimes be comprehended as a bad thing. From slavery all the way to now. Modern day racism but as a black teenage boy myself I would say ME once and MY PEOPLE have gained so much from it. We were and are creators and inventors. We were, and are, doctors, politicians, athletes and religious or not we all have one thing in common. This is OUR month and OUR history. Words are so much more than something that is spoken out the human mouth. They are POWER. They are EMOTIVE. But most of our words can resonate in you and change the way you view the world. That is why my most inspirational black author is the one and only Angie Thomas because like most of us she has gone through hectic and heart breaking things but she didn’t just forget about them or pity herself. She wrote them into books.

My favourite book by her is The Hate U Give because without even knowing it doesn’t matter if you are black, white, mixed, Asian or other – it represents us. Everyday. Not some days. Everyday you more than likely see something that you know in your soul does not look or feel right but we choose to turn our heads and pretend it never happened.

In The Hate U Give, a girl named Starr Carter witnesses her friend Khalil dying from being shot by a white police officer under suspicion of carrying a gun. There was no hesitation or thought before shooting him. It was just because on the inside the officer was scared but wasn’t thinking in the moment, something we all can do. So, Starr grieved about this injustice at her whole until the point where she couldn’t take it anymore, so she protested for justice. She cried out for justice. Her words brought


Young Voices WRITER: Malakhi Best with Dianne Augustin of Jamaica National

justice. The book was seen as inspirational and so was Thomas, but law enforcement saw it as hate given to the police and it was removed from the shelves and taken off the Summer Reading List in 2018.

But this is what I cannot stress enough: the adults have to know; the youth have to know; and you have to know. We have to know that the words of this book and the trauma Thomas faced, such as witnessing a gun shoot-out herself, are all real. Racism is real. The truth is real and no matter how far or fast you run it will always catch you up. So no matter how rich you are, how beautiful you are inside and out, or how loving you are, you should know that money can’t buy happiness but words can and once you find happiness in other people’s words or your own then you will be able to see me, my skin colour and the me on the inside for me.

INSPIRING: left, Jennette Arnold; right, Willowfield School with The Voice’s Garfield Robinson; below, all the winners of the contest

CELEBRATE: Deputy Mayor Debbie Weekes-Bernard


Young Voices

The reality of life after university After the grandeur of graduation students confront the real world and it’s not always easy to cope BY AALIYAH HARRY


RADUATION DAY is a joyful occasion; students gather excitedly in a lavish hall brimming with family and friends eagerly awaiting their names to be called. Towards the closing of the ceremony multiple colourful hats are thrown into the air simultaneously to mark the end of an emotional few years. But for the majority of students, the dream job they believed would be waiting on the other side of this day is not in reach. The high of graduation day wears off fast with the realisa-

tion of limited job prospects on the other side. Before graduates can even get to ‘adulthood’, a place of limbo follows. For the last 18 years life was structured with education guiding their way; which simultaneously provided a sense of security. With the abrupt ending of timetables, seminars and lectures students are faced with a daunting question: “So, what’s next for you?” Sera Look Hong came from Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago to study in the UK. She graduated from the University of Kent with a degree in Economics and Business. While her university experience was amazing, the transi-

tion to adulthood has not been as straightforward... Young Voices: How has life been after university? Sera: Slightly depressing, it’s very weird when you leave university [and no longer] have a routine. Going from seeing all your friends regularly to not seeing them as often because everybody is working. Especially in my case it was very difficult because I hadn’t secured a job yet. There has been a huge shift in my life, just like it was moving to the UK originally. YV: What struggles have you faced after university? S: Apart from material struggles like finance, there were a lot of

STRUGGLES: The real world can be tough after university mental health issues. Finding a job is very difficult and it did take a toll on me getting rejection after rejection, and I started to feel like the stress of it wasn’t worth it. I haven’t seen my family in so many months, I haven’t seen my grandparents for a year.

YV: How has the transition from student life to adulthood been? S: You’re definitely thrown into the deep end. University does prepare you a bit, but you’re never truly prepared for what can be thrown

at you. So, it really is about learning to swim and maturing quickly. University doesn’t teach you about income tax or about the costs of living – that’s something you have to learn on your own.

eople misunderstand mental health, which is why ’m educating them’ MISS HONG’S comment leads me to the topic of deteriorating mental health after university. The charity Student Minds produced a report on the topic using graduate focus groups. They gathered more than 300 recent graduates and found 49 per cent of those surveyed said their mental wellbeing declined after leaving university, while 44 per cent felt their friends were doing better than them. Social media often promotes unrealistic life expectations. The daily routine of viewing your peers and celebrities constantly posting things you don’t have can fuel negative thoughts and an inner critic that chips away at one’s self-esteem. A recent graduate, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “My parents ask, ‘Why don’t you just not look at it?’ It’s easy to say but it’s all we know as a generation. It’s difficult not to engage in social media and it does make you feel worse. It’s a vicious cycle.” He added: “As a young black man, I still don’t feel like I am able to admit that I am struggling with my mental health in the world of adulthood.” Young Voices was able to meet someone who has made it her mission to educate people about mental health. Celine Erorh, a graduate from the University of Leicester, created Celu-

tions – a social enterprise dedicated to creating solutions to the problems surrounding mental health. Her innate passion for this topic and helping others shone through in every word she spoke. Young Voices: How was your life during and after university? Celine: I had a hard time in my three years and my third year was the most challenging. At first my issues were due to personal reasons, and as a result I struggled with anxiety. The people around me were not able help me with my mental health because they just didn’t know how to help me. If they had the tools, it would have helped and that is why I started Celutions, to teach people about mental health. YV: Explain your motivation to create a platform like Celutions. C: The motivation came from having conversations with people. I discovered how many people misunderstood mental health as a whole or did not know how to help themselves or help other people; which is why [Celutions] is so education-based. We educate people through events, workshops and speaking out.

INNATE PASSION: Celine Erorh has set up Celutions to help students suffering with mental health problems

YV: What are your thoughts on the African-Caribbean community, and their fear on speaking out about their mental health? C: It comes from our parents. I’m African, and I feel like our parents’ generation have a lack of awareness. It’s almost become a conditioned response to brush it off when we feel down. Especially for black men it’s even worse; the response is always ‘You’re not acting like a man”. This is where Celutions comes in to educate. If we can get into the minds of the young people now, by the time we have children we will not have this issue.


YV: There is still such a taboo about going to therapy in our community. Do you believe therapy is a good thing? C: I will always be an advocate for therapy. I’m the type of person who encourages people to speak about things. Talking allows you to process. A lot of times we are in our own heads and can’t really see things from any other perspective. When you start to say things out loud during therapy you might see things differently. Also, it’s always good to get help. You wouldn’t sit there with a broken arm or leg and not get the help for it. The



goal is to start viewing physical health and mental health as equal. YV: Do you have any advice for recent graduates about how they can remain mentally strong? C: Firstly, don’t be hard on yourself. Life is a journey and we put a lot of pressure on ourselves. We all think “I’ve just finished university so I should have a job straight away”. It doesn’t always work out like that. Don’t be so caught up in needing a job that you lose everything else. Secondly, keep pushing and don’t give up. It may sound cliché but don’t give up. You will get noes, but don’t take no as a rejection or that you’re not worthy of the role. It’s probably just not the right time YET. Having that mindset that is the key to being mentally strong. Finally, don’t compare yourself. Comparison really is the thief of joy. You don’t know how long your peers have been working for, you can’t compare your day one to someone else’s year two. Visit for more information, or look for @Celutionsuk on Twitter and Instagram.




2020’S TOP TWENTY In business, sport, culture and politics – these are the people to watch out for in the new year this young lady then you know that the sky is the limit for her. So if you don’t see her on your level, look up.



OU’RE GOING to hear a lot of people talking about having a 2020 vision and how they are clear about their targets and focus this year, if indeed you haven’t heard it a thousand times already. Lifestyle has their (third) eye, however, on those we feel will turn their vision into reality. Those whose work rate we believe will embody the manifestation of their deepest desires...

ca’s leadership, the programme sent participants to attend the 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup.

WIN STREAK: Leon Edwards

Warren Haughton

Director at Haughton Consultancy

Shanie Ryan

TV/digital/radio presenter, beauty expert and influencer

Leon Edwards

Mixed Martial Artist This Birmingham fighter is on the type of win streak that makes people sit up and take note. If you’re into the UFC then you would have seen him declare that this year he will be a world champion. It’s been a tough road for him but an endorsement by the current welterweight champion Kamaru Usman has helped.

Bobby Kasanga

Founder – Hackney Wick FC

She literally does it all. If you haven’t kept up with Shanie’s new podcast, Influence Me, then do so today. A bundle of positive energy, Shanie is on a mission and you only need to click on The Voice’s website to read about the extent of that ambition. With 45 per cent of the world’s population now using social media on a daily basis, we are more influenced by the people who we follow. But social media is a tricky space to figure out what is real and what’s the “highlight reel”. Shanie’s podcast really digs deep to get to know the person behind the digital fame.

This former digital sports reporter took the plunge last year and went it alone, starting his company. Now he’s thriving. A former professional footballer at Leicester City who also played for Tamworth, Woking, Havant and Waterlooville, Haughton has attracted and placed some great clients in his first 12 months of trading and if the trend continues 2020 could yield a very positive outcome.

Ricardo P Lloyd Actor

Carina White Bobby Kasanga is the founder of London’s most notable community club. The club works tirelessly towards transforming the lives of many at-risk young individuals within the community. Since his release from prison, Bobby has been a driving force and a true inspiration to youth, using football to create environments for safe participation.

Francesca Brown

Founder – Goals4Girls Francesca is the founder and CEO of Goals4Girls, a community organisation in east London. The initiative works towards improving the life opportunities of young women from marginalised communities. Under Frances-

Head of business affairs and partnerships at Tongue Tied Media

A board member of BCOMS (The Black Collective of Media in Sport), an elected school governor and a person who is regularly organising and taking part in charity events and initiatives centred around improving positive outcomes for BAME young people – if you don’t know the name, remember it. Her role at Tongue Tied Media has raised her profile over the last year and if you know or have worked with

Ricardo, a budding young actor, has managed to get the attention of celebrities, including Hollywood actress Naomi Harris. Once excluded from Capital City Academy, Ricardo turned around his life and has been keen to inspire other young people to do the same and use their abilities to either stay on the right side of life, or to use it in helping to build a stronger community. He featured in an exciting topical play entitled Excluded at the Intermission Youth Theatre. His journey is an unconventional one but only he can put the brakes on it. Look out for this young man.


DJ, presenter Fast becoming the face of

plying his original trade it’s hard not to be impressed with his tenacity, growth and fervour for the scene. Lifestyle can’t see the wind slipping from his sails any time soon, so look out for the continued growth. urban content, Chuckie cut his teeth as a DJ for years before amalgamating his skillset to sit in the online space as an influential figure. Real name Lloyd Lothian, whether you watch him on Noisey, his own HalfCast podcast or attend a dance where he is

Inspiring Vanessa

Author, speaker, vlogger and more … When we featured Inspiring Vanessa on the cover of the Lifestyle section over a year ago we

knew she would go on to do big things. Already an author and an accomplished speaker at that point, Vanessa has since represented The Voice on the red carpet premiere of The Lion King, where she mixed with the great

continued on next page...


Lifestyle and good from Hollywood. Her most admirable characteristic is her clarity of vision. This young lady knows what she wants from life and to have that at her age is impressive. There simply is no limit to what she can achieve and we’ll be there to cover the journey. Follow her today.

Deborah Ababio

Executive assistant for Edward Enninful of British Vogue

years on this planet is amazing. Just under 50,000 people on Instagram are already in the know where Litty is concerned – don’t be one of those who slept on him. Big 2020 coming.

Bolu Babalola Writer and author

Tobi Oredein

Journalist and founder of Black Ballad

Lifestyle have the personal vantage point of seeing this young lady graft and grow. A workrate like few we know, Deborah has earned her position as the lady who is always beside the great EE. As well as executing her role as EA she is head of events and her insta page @Asaradee gives you a greater understanding of why she’s a style queen in the making. If ever you were lost on how the EE team is so strong, look little further than Deborah for an example of the type of backroom muscle required to run the ship and keep it, well, Vogue.

This freelance journalist relaunched Black Ballad as a lifestyle subscription platform for Afro-Caribbean women. The tail end of 2016 saw the King’s College graduate start a crowdfunder to achieve this purpose, alongside Black Ballad’s cofounder Bola Awoniyi. The campaign garnered a lot of attention from local media outlets and the online community at large. And it was successful; with £10,000 raised, over 200 memberships and a clear ethos at the fore. Still making waves, 2020 marks a significant year for the entrepreneur.


Grime Godfather


XO Man

Musician (inset) He’s promised to drop 20 tracks for 2020 and if you’re a fan of XO Man you know there is no way on this earth you can predict anything about how the music will sound. That’s the fun part of the anticipation where the 7ft south London artist is concerned. Unbothered by mass appeal or conforming, a trait we just love here at Lifestyle, XO Man says 2019 was all about building for this year. We wait with baited breath.

As with most of the people on this list, Bolu Babalola does multiple things. She writes scripts for TV and film, is a columnist for Dazed and, in 2016, was shortlisted in 4th Estate’s B4ME competition for her short story Netflix & Chill. Last year there was a lot of noise surrounding the upcoming Love in Colour anthology, set to be published in April. The synopsis states the book will be “a step towards decolonising tropes of love, and celebrates in the wildly beautiful and astonishingly diverse tales of romance and desire that already exist in various cultures and communities”. Look out for more from Bolu as the year passes by.


Daniel Dubois

Boxer (inset below left) Undefeated in 13 fights, Daniel is coming for “all the belts”. The 6ft5in orthodox boxer has been more and more visible since his debut professional performance at the Manchester Arena. His last fight against Japan’s Kyotaro Fujimoto was another indicator that 2020 is going to be a big year for the big man.

Kim Johnson Politician

Litty Lightz Rap artist

Kristal Awuah

Athlete It has been an upward curve over the last two years for Kristal and, if she’s honest with herself, there is no time to slack as the Olympic Games gets closer and closer to the opening ceremony in Japan. Last season she finished a credible sixth in the 100m rankings but having

This man was active last year, especially on social media. He seems at one with himself, happy even. The release of a Grime project on January 1 prompted a few other ‘old skool’ artists to do the same and as such we may see the genre experience an upsurge of interest this year. Everything the guy does resonates, for good, bad or indifferent reasons. Most impressive to Lifestyle is that way he continues to foray wherever his musical heart desires with significant effect.

Owner and founder, Luv natural This man is simply a genius. The guy who has transformed a road in east London for the better with this salon. If you have locks, long or short, go and see the team when your next appointment comes in. Lifestyle cannot recommend him highly enough and while they don’t shout about the many famous heads they work on, don’t be surprised if you walk in one day and are sitting next to some of the most recognisable celebrities from our culture. The secret is out, but did you know?

banked that first senior season under her belt, Lifestyle expects her to keep on leaving others trailing in her wake. Don’t blink, she’s that quick.

Jadon Sancho

Footballer (inset above) When the Borussia Dortmund player became the youngest in history (19y 267d) to reach 22 Bundesliga goals, surpassing


Horst Köppel’s record from 1968 (19y, 269d), it was just another reminder that England have a hell of a gem on their hands in the form of Jadon Sancho. He will come home, but where? That’s the question. Liverpool seem like frontrunners but will the likes of Manchester City or Tottenham have a say? Either way, 2020 is going to be an exciting year for the player for both club and country.


The “fully independent rap artist”, has been described by his peers as delivering fire flows and nostalgic grime instrumentals to match. His debut EP Grime Back gave a wider audience an insight into his skillset, which for his 13


Kim Johnson became Liverpool’s first black MP after last year’s poll. The 59-year-old will now represent the Liverpool Riverside constituency after receiving 41,170 votes – a 71 per cent share. Representing Labour, she has a job to do for those people in 2020 and beyond but her tenacity in reaching where she has tells us there are a few more mountains she intends to move.


This is Brukout!


by Seani B

My 2020 vision for reggae – a genre in transition After an eventful and successful 2019, what will the coming year have in store for all our favourite music genres? Women leading the way and hopefully a few more festival slots


S THE New Year rolls around once more, let me take this opportunity to wish you and yours all the blessings for the next 12 months. The annual cycles seem to be coming around quicker than ever as it only feels like five minutes ago since I sat to write about what 2019 could bring. I hope it was an eventful and successful year for you, and that many of your dreams (both personal and musical) came true. For me it was a year of firsts, highs and higher heights, for which I am truly thankful. From my annual visit to Jamaica early in the year, to presenting a radio programme which focused on Protoje on the BBC World Service to a global audience of over 72 million, to touring alongside Sasco and Damian Marley, to launching my BrukOut & Chat series and finishing the year with last month’s Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise. This was the sixth year of that adventure, and somehow Damian Marley and his team manage to keep the experience on the ascendency. The line-up included the usual range of today’s favourites alongside some of the genre’s trendsetters from yesteryear. Personal highlights for me included the superbly executed performance from Buju Banton, the showmanship and artistry of Pinchers, the coming of age of Ding Dong as a true dancehall giant, and the crowd anticipation which was felt across the entire ship in seeing Koffee performing live. It lived up to its billing as one of the true highlights of the reggae calendar, and hats off to Junior Gong, Dan Dalton and the entire team for their amazing work. One of the great things about being on a vessel that size for five days with many of your DJ colleagues from around the

world is that it gives you an opportunity to chat, discuss and thrash out what is going on in your respective markets. Much has been made about the “decline” of dancehall, particularly alongside Afrobeats (as I wrote about last month). The general consensus amongst DJs on the ship was that reggae and dancehall was in a time of transition in many ways – generationally, soundwise, inspirationally, radio-wise and gender-wise!


The ladies of reggae and dancehall are leading the way right now. There is an energy and vigour that they are bringing to the music which seems to be hitting the spot across the board. As well as the Grammy-nominated left, who Koffee, inset left has recently been exposed to new audiences across America on the Daniel Caesar tour as well as the Jamrock Cruise, you have the quartet of Lila Ike, Sevana, Jaz Elise and Naomi Cowan. They are all incredible artists in their own right, and they feature on an EP called Rock & Groove Riddim, produced by Protoje (who has been a stalwart in supporting new talent from Jamaica). And 2020 should be a breakthrough year for them all, with solo projects on the horizon and respective touring duties to boot. One of the key elements that assists them is the level of camaraderie between them. This is a definite plus and not only aids the music, but the scene as a whole. We could do with a lot more of that across the scene in 2020 for sure. I’ve been doing a lot of talking about the “business” of reggae and dancehall, particularly in relation to the wider markets here in the UK. When you look at the festival scene there isn’t the level of representation from the genres that there should be, and I am


Jamaican rising stars Lila Ike, Sevana, Jaz Elise and Naomi Cowan teamed up to record an EP together

hoping that the start of a new decade sees this change. We want to see more opportunities

have on the wider scene. There isn’t a promoter in the world who can tell me that the likes

“We want to see more opportunities for new artists to hone their skill” given to some of the new artists who can hone their skills and show the impact they can

of Ding Dong would not bring their festival to the next level – I refuse to believe that – so it

seems that what is needed is opportunity.


From a wider perspective, some of the younger artists and their teams need to use the resources around them – namely artists and managers who have been there and done it all before – for advice, guidance and tutelage. It’s all well and good trying to plot your own path, and that is to be commended, but some-

times the knowledge gained over time can make your journey a lot more easy to navigate. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness and the passing of the baton is something I firmly believe in. With all that being said, the next 12 months promises to provide us with the usual twists, turns, peaks and troughs that the last few years have done. Hold onto your hats, it may be a bumpy ride!





With the right trainers and achievable targets, 2020 could be the year you run 20K BY JOEL CAMPBELL


VERYONE IS running into the New Year with a renewed focus, but whatever direction you’re heading in, one goal should be on all of our minds: better fitness. I started pounding the streets a few months ago and after years of inactivity and poor cardio, to call it hard would be a massive understatement. But I started slow – really slow. Running has never been my favourite thing, but the older I get the more important I recognise a strong beating heart to be. My issue, though, wasn’t a misunderstanding of the benefits regularly running could do for me, it was simply applying the discipline to get started and stay the course. Things to consider before you start: Thanks to Hoka and the Runners

step in getting my mind right before I got started.

Need Store in Clapham, I managed to get an appointment to gain a better understanding of how my body moves when I run. Basic running gait analysis allowed me to identify the right footwear (in my case the Hoka One One – Clifton 6, above) in order to give me the most comfortable running experience. I cannot stress enough how this part of preparing myself for the actual running has helped me stay the course. Coupled with an interesting breakdown of why wearing the right socks, right, was also important (working moisture away from the foot, reducing blisters and holding shape for longer), taking time out to speak to experts was an integral

If you’re in your own lane, then you’re the only winner, so DON’T CHEAT! It’s very important to set a target. Remember how I said I started slow? This is my target: I want to run 20K in 2020. This is how I’ll get there using Interval training: Run for one minute… walk for one minute. Run for two minutes… walk for one minute. Run for three minutes… walk for one minute. Run for four minutes… walk for one minute. Run for five minutes… walk for one minute. Run for six minutes… walk for one minute. Run for seven minutes… walk for one minute.

TAKE IT SLOW: You might not be able to beat Mo Farah any time soon, but stick at it

Run for eight minutes… walk for one minute. That’s three-quarters of an hour of running and walking (it’s actually 44 minutes in total: 36 minutes running and eight minutes walking). I usually do this three times a week. When I can do this comfortably, I’ll start to run over measured distances, 3K, 5K, 10K and so on.

Timetable: I actually got started on this in November, because I knew I would be taking three weeks off for Christmas and I didn’t want to start from scratch. I literally wanted to hit the ground running going into 2020. However, I have a whole year to hit my targets, so there is no rush. I have already experienced injuries not connected with my

running that have affected my routine. In short, set your own timetable. This your race, take your time, there is no hurry. Ultimately you want to incorporate a regime that keeps you healthier than you were before – and keep it in your life as a permanent fixture. It’s 2020, the perfect time to focus on what’s most important: you.





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Kedesha Dallas Goode reveals how she wrote two books BY JOEL CAMPBELL


EDESHA DALLAS Goode signs her emails with “keep your passion blazing”, and that’s exactly what the author, speaker, educator and creative enthusiast is doing as we enter a new year. Lifestyle sat down with the allrounder to discuss how dealing with bumps in the road along life’s journey, focusing on her end goal and having a baby saw her write her first book, Sorrow Soothers: Mind Pleasers & Victory Verses.

Lifestyle: Describe your passions – what drives you? Kedesha Dallas Goode: I am passionate about encouraging people to pursue whatever sets your soul on fire. I strongly believe that everybody has a set of God-given gifts that you are supposed to give back with for Him to use, so that you are not just living your life, but you are living a better version of yourself everyday. So that you don’t feel like you’re going through the motions or you’re looking at someone else, wishing and hoping that you were them, but focus on what you have been given and using it in the best way that you can so that your soul is soothed, so that your soul is at peace. That is what I encourage people to do.

STICKTUITY: Goode hopes that her writing will embody the principle of holding onto your dreams until they are truly fulfilled; right, her first book

LS: Talk a bit about au your journey to authorship. teach KDG: My core is teaching Spanish and French. I’ve been teaching for 14 years. I studied in Jamaica, Puerto Rico, France and did my masters in Spain. I’ve always had this insatiable lust for personal and profes professional achievement because God just dropped these bombs in my heart and I know I can do it with faith in Him and just keep it moving. I love writing. I love to play with words


and I love being funny but at the same time let the words have some sticktuity, so that people will never forget it. Not forgetting it means it will stick in your head and it will slowly seep into your soul so that you start acting as the words say. LS: So what was the first thing you wrote? KDG: I started writing poems. I love writing poems. When I was almost finished with my manuscript in 2013-14 when I was pregnant, I was at work and had left my computer on my desk, when I returned someone had stolen my laptop and my writing dream crashed right there. I was devastated, but then the joy of my daughter coming into this world distracted me and then after I had her I had to get back on the train. I didn’t publish a book until 2017, when I published Sorrow Soothers: Mind Pleasers & Victory Verses. The book might sound like a long title but trust me it’s worth a read. LS: So when did the second book come along, Empowerment Conversations: Motivating Your Mental Muscle? KDG: The second book was available in March 2018. That book took me an entire year to write. I was going through a year of ups and downs, thinking about actions in what I wanted to achieve and I felt like I was on a journey where I had to go through the valley. I found a lot of value in what I went through. I think that disappointments are blessings in disguise because you only build grit there, you only build stamina there, you only build sticktuity there. Sometimes it feels like the worst thing when you are going through a rough situation but if you change your perspective a little bit, just rewire it a little bit, it’s possible to find something valuable that you need to learn at that point in your life that will catapult you into the place of greatness, or even greater, that you want to get to.

Find out more about Kedesha Dallas Goode at her website,


Books Four for your shelf... IT’S A new year, new decade and a chance to develop and bring about some new reading habits, so Lifestyle has picked out a few literary options to help you along the journey. Inspiration comes in many forms and if experience is anything to go by then that at some point during the next 365 days we’re going to need a lift, a little assistance generating motivation. Perhaps one of these will do the trick for you... Special Hidden Talents: The Missing Link — Amadi’s Story Written by Chineme Noke One mother’s personal journey through the world of special education needs: Have you ever wondered how it’s possible for children to come out of the school system without being able to read and/or write? “On navigating the mainstream school system with my own child, it became shockingly clear how disturbingly easy it was for individuals to get left behind and effectively be excluded from the curriculum, despite their physical presence in the classroom, especially when they have special, additional learning needs. Following my daughter’s diagnosis of Williams syndrome, a congenital disorder resulting in many and varied cognitive and medical health issues, one thing that was clear in my mind was that Amadi could and would learn to read despite her developmental delays.” Hood Feminism Written by Mikki Kendall Today’s feminist movement has a glaring blind spot, and paradoxically, it is women. Mainstream feminists rarely talk about meeting basic needs as a feminist issue, argues Mikki Kendall, but food insecurity, access to quality education, safe neighborhoods, a living wage, and medical care are all feminist issues. All too often, however, the focus is not on basic survival for the many, but on increasing privilege for the few. The Pursuit of Happyness Written by Chris Gardner At the age of 20, Milwaukee native Chris Gardner, just out of the Navy, arrived in San Francisco to pursue a promising career in medicine. Considered a prodigy in scientific research, he surprised everyone and com himself by setting his sights on the competitive world of high finance. Yet no sooner had he landed an entrylevel position at a prestigious firm than Gardner found himself caught in a web of incredibly challenging circumstances that left him as part of the city’s working homeless and with a toddler son. Motivated by the promise he made to himself as a fatherless child to never abandon his own children, the two spent almost a year moving among shelters, “HO-tels”, soup lines, and even sleeping in the public restroom of a subway station. You may have seen the film adaptation with Will Smith. Nudi Branch Written by Irenosen Okojie The collection focuses on offbeat characters in extraordinary situations – a mysterious woman of the sea in search of love arrives on an island inhabited by eunuchs; dimensional-hopping monks navigating a season of silence face a bloody reckoning; an aspiring journalist returning from a failed excursion in Sydney becomes what she eats and a darker, Orwellian future is imagined where oddly detached children arrive in cycles and prove to be dangerous in unfamiliar surroundings.




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What’s on & where


HERlarious: International Women’s & Mother’s Day Comedy Special All Stars Of Comedy Productions, fresh from their recent sell-out UK tour, presents HERlarious in celebration of International Women’s and Mother’s Day. This season’s star-studded all-star female line-up is headlined by internationally acclaimed award-winning comedian Shazia Mirza. There will also be Maureen Younger’s frank, fast, feisty, sharp and engagingly honest humour with attitude! Plus Annette Fagon’s anecdotal, observational and refreshingly honest razorsharp material that appeals to all audiences. March 8 The Wardrobe, Leeds Doors 6pm, Showtime 7pm 07522 39426 £16.65

an exploration of race, America, history and the human condition as seen through the prism of her own literature. Released March 6

arts and the world of ice skating in a stunning new production that will take the audience on a journey into a whimsical frozen playground where stunning skating combined with jaw dropping acrobatic feats defy the imagination. March 6-8 TBC FlyDSA Arena, Broughton Ln, Sheffield, S9 2DF crystal £33 to £156

London Short Film Festival 2020 Now in its 17th year, London Short Film Festival is recognised as the premiere UK showcase for cutting-edge homegrown and international short film. The festival’s New Shorts programme proves the grassroots of the film industry are stronger than ever, with an eclectic repertoire of short works and artists’ film from across the globe. LSFF 2020’s curated special events look to an enduring agenda of experimentation and subversion – from an opening night curated by Fringe! Queer Arts & Film Fest to Public Intimacies, which looks to autoethnography, representation, and the power of selfdocumentation. January 10 – 19 The ICA 020 7930 0493 Contact venue


Gypsy – A Royal Exchange Theatre production Broadway is back in Manchester with this wild production of the magnificent Gypsy. Directed by Jo Davies, and with a songbook bursting with classics WILD PARTIES: Hip-hop and RnB celebrations will take Santorini by storm in June (Everything’s Coming Up Roses, Some People, Multiple venues Brighton Centre – Brighton; curated by UK hip-hop Rose’s Turn), Gypsy Royal Concert Hall – theatre legend, Sadler’s is theatre’s ultimate Various Nottingham; Hammersmith Wells associate artist and celebration of the grime, Apollo – London Breakin’ Convention artistic graft and glamour of show Positive Vibration – director Jonzi D. Toni Morrison: The Festival of Reggae 2020 business – and the power From £45 - £65, up to May 2-3 of the mother-daughter Pieces I Am After a year-long hiatus, £70 in London 6pm (doors at 4pm) bond. The critically acclaimed the UK’s award-winning Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Book by Arthur Laurents. Toni Morrison: The Pieces celebration of reggae Supa Dupa Fly Rosebery Ave, Music by Jule Styne. Lyrics I Am will open in UK music and Jamaican Santorini 2020 Clerkenwell, cinemas the weekend of culture returns to the Baltic by Stephen Sondheim. For the fifth year running, London Suggested by memoirs International Woman’s Day. Triangle, Liverpool. Supa Dupa Fly is taking EC1R 4TN of Gypsy Rose Lee. The film offers an artful Since its inception in their celebration of hip-hop 020 7863 8000 MUSIC Original production by and intimate meditation on 2016, Positive Vibration and RnB and blending it David Merrick and Leland the life and works of the has established itself £25 to £40 (£18 An Evening with Whitney with four days and nights Hayward. Entire production legendary storyteller and as one of the country’s of wild parties in some of concessions) BASE Hologram, the originally directed and Nobel prize-winner. most exciting and eclectic leading live event producer the world’s most stunning choreographed by Jerome From her childhood in reggae festivals, playing locations on the paradise The Four Tops and The of cutting edge holographic Robbins. the steel town of Lorain, host to internationally island of Santorini, above. Temptations 2020 UK live entertainment tours Until January 25 Ohio to ‘70s-era book renowned bands, Get ready for 12Tour and attractions worldwide, Old Bank St, tours with Muhammad Ali, has announced – in hour beach parties on Motown legends The Four legendary sound systems from the front lines with Tops and The Temptations and selectors, and some of Manchester, M2 7PE partnership with the estate Santorini’s most exclusive 0161 833 9833 Angela Davis to her own the brightest new talent. private beach, parties on are returning to the UK of renowned songstress riverfront writing room, Toni and legendary performer Next year’s festival is the edge of a volcano and in November to perform Standard tickets from Morrison, below, leads an exclusive villa parties on some of their most popular no exception, with some Whitney Houston – the £19 assembly of her peers, absolute heavyweights and award-winning songs UK dates of the upcoming this idyllic Greek island. critics and colleagues on already confirmed, June 5 – 9 that continue to inspire hologram touring Rags – The Musical including: Hollie Cook + Santorini, Greece musicians around the production. This is the Following the critically General Roots, General supadupaflyfestivals. globe. only production authorised acclaimed season at Levy + Joe Ariwa, Neville com/products/supa-dupaThe Tamla Motown by the Whitney Houston Staple Band, Mungo’s Hi Fi the Hope Mill Theatre, fly-santorini-2020 label broke down cultural estate, and features Manchester earlier this ft. Charlie P, African Head £89pp and social barriers and the chance to hear her year, Katy Lipson for Aria Charge, Mad Professor, The Four Tops and The renditions of classic hits Entertainment and Joseph Tippa Irie and more… Breakin’ Convention Temptations were at I Will Always Love You, Houston and William June 12-13 2020 the very forefront of that I Wanna Dance With Whelton for Hope Mill The Baltic Triangle, The influential festival of transformative period. Somebody (Who Loves Theatre are delighted to Liverpool hip-hop dance theatre Original members Duke Me) and Higher Love. announce the transfer of £16.75 to £44.25 returns to its Sadler’s Fakir and Otis Williams, February 27 to March 10 their production of Stephen (under-12s go free) Wells home for its 17th of the Four Tops and M&S Bank Arena 2 Schwartz’s Rags – The anniversary on May 2-3, Temptations, respectively, Arena – Liverpool; Apollo Musical (right) to Park before embarking on a hold a special place in the – Manchester; First Direct THEATRE Theatre, London, for a national tour until June 6. hearts of British fans, and Arena – Leeds; SEC limited season. An unmissable date they are both delighted to Armadillo – Glasgow; P&J Cirque du Soleil’s With a ravishing score in the annual hip-hop be returning to the UK for Arena – Aberdeen; Bord Crystal by the songwriters of calendar, Breakin’ the 2020 8-date concert Gais Theatre – Dublin; Cirque du Soleil is gliding Wicked and Annie and Convention features tour in October and Arena – Birmingham; into the UK with its coolest the bookwriter of Fiddler November. Bournemouth International unparalleled line-ups of arena show yet – Crystal. On The Roof, this is both local and international Kicks off on October 29 Centre – Bournemouth; This one-of-a-kind a sweeping saga of at Cardiff Motorpoint Arena arena show blends circus Motorpoint Arena – Cardiff; hip-hop performances,








Windrush Legal Surgeries at Black Cultural Archives


Black Cultural Archives (BCA) will hold a public meeting for all those affected by the Windrush Scandal on January 18. This will be followed by free legal surgeries every Wednesday and Saturday from January 22 until the end of February (our first phase) to help people access the Windrush Compensation Scheme. These are the second set of surgeries hosted by BCA. Their purpose is to give first-step advice to those from the community who were wrongly detained, denied legal rights, threatened with deportation, and, in at least 83 cases, wrongly deported from the UK by the Home Office. The appointments will be led by immigration specialist legal firm McKenzie, Beute and Pope, who have dealt with a number of these cases since the scandal erupted in 2018. January 18 Black Cultural Archives, 1 Windrush Square, Brixton, London, SW2 1EF BCA Reception 2023 757 8500 Free

America’s immigrant past. January 9 to February 8 Mon – Sat 7.30pm; Thurs and Sat 3pm Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, London, N4 3JP 020 7870 6876 From £18.50

Back to the Future – The Musical Producer Colin Ingram (Ghost – The Musical) and the creators of the film Back To The Future, Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, are delighted to announce Tony Award winner Roger Bart, as Dr Emmett Brown in the world premiere of Back to the Future – The Musical,

which will open at the Manchester Opera House for a strictly limited 12week season, prior to transferring to the West End. February 20 – May 17 6pm – 7pm Opera House Manchester, 3 Quay Street, Manchester M3 3HP 0844 871 3018 From £19.55

Large with lighting by Paul Keogan, sound by Ella Wahlstrom and casting by Will Burton. February 3 – 8 Contact venue Theatre Royal Plymouth, Royal Parade, Plymouth PL1 2TR 01752 267222 Check venue

King’s Head Theatre’s revival of Kevin Elyot’s Coming Clean I Think We Are Alone Following a criticallyA production by Frantic acclaimed sell-out run, Assembly and Theatre the King’s Head Theatre, Royal Plymouth, coMaking Productions and produced with Curve, I RGM Productions are Think We Are Alone is a delighted to announce the bittersweet and funny take smash-hit play, Coming on our ache to connect Clean. with those voices we need Adam Spreadburyto hear again, those arms Maher, artistic director of we need to feel around us the King’s Head Theatre, and those faces we need will direct the production, to see again. which will run for a strictly It is about letting go and limited four-week season holding on to what we love as it returns to Trafalgar the most. Studios 2. The production features January 8 – February 1 Chizzy Akudolu, whose contact venue credits include Edmond Trafalgar Studios 2, De Bergerac (Birmingham 14 Whitehall, Rep), The Rec Room London (Triforce), and The Vagina SW1A 2DY Monologues (UK Tour), 0844 871 7632 and is designed by Morgan Monday – Thursday and

Saturday matinees: £25 – £30 Friday and Saturday evenings: £30 – £40

EXHIBITIONS Her Lens, His Story: Female Directors and Masculinities This explores complex, revealing and often provocative takes on men and masculinity, as seen through the lens of female filmmakers around the world. As the Barbican Art Gallery explores how masculinity has been depicted by artists and photographers over the decades, the Barbican Cinemas present a series of feature films by female directors, including Edith Carlmar, Kinuyo Tanaka, Larisa Shepitko and Shahrbanoo Sadat, many of which are very rarely screened in the UK, that offer interesting and insightful depictions of its male characters. February 26 – March 1 2 Barbican Centre, Silk St, London EC2Y 8DS 020 7638 8891 Contact venue

Gone Too Far! (12A) with introduction As part of the Barbican’s Her Lens, His Story series (see above), Destiny Ekaragha adapts Bola Agbaje’s fast and funny play about London teenager Yemi. Yemi (Malachi Kirby) is hoping to attract the attentions of Armani (Shanika WarrenMarkland), but his prospects are thwarted by the arrival of his loud Nigerian brother (OC Ukeje). When the brothers are sent to buy some okra, their day rapidly spirals out of control when Armani’s ex (Tosin Cole) goes on the hunt for Yemi.

March 9 2 Barbican Centre, Silk St, London EC2Y 8DS 020 7638 8891 Contact venue Steve McQueen at Tate Modern Celebrated for his powerful and uncompromising vision, Steve McQueen (below left) creates work that addresses the urgent issues of representation, identity and history. Tate Modern will present the first survey of his work in the UK for over 20 years. Featuring 14 major works of film, photography and sculpture, the exhibition will be an unprecedented opportunity to experience the depth of McQueen’s visual art for the first time since he received the Turner Prize in 1999. For more, see page 41. February 13 – May 11 Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG Open daily 10am – 6pm, and until 10pm on Friday and Saturday 020 7887 8888 Contact venue



by Joel Campbell

Something for the family People might be surprised to see such a slick Vitara, but it’s a million miles from the old style Car: Suzuki Vitara 1.4 Boosterjet SZ5 ALLGRIP Price: £25,099


THOUGHT I’D start the year off with some of the bigger options available for those who are more family-focused when considering a new vehicle for 2020. Having tested a range of options that would be fitting of carting around my kids and significant other, this Suzuki Vitara wasn’t on my radar. Only God knows why. But I thank that same God for bringing forth the Ice Greyish blue/black beauty that rolled up to my doorway for me to enjoy a week’s worth of driving delight. Such was the array of positives, I’ll start with the one negative: if you like a bit of zip off the mark, this vehicle isn’t the one for you. It’s kind of like an athlete that can never spring from the blocks, but when they get going they look like world-beaters. It’s a bit frustrating, but you can’t

have it all – not for the £25,099 on the road (including options) price of the one I experienced. I only clocked the price of the vehicle about four days into my test drive as I was beginning to like what I was

“Everyone can fit inside but the car doesn’t feel super bi getting. It’s a very good price. Sure, as a Londoner, I want to get where I am going quickly and feel like it even if it’s not actually the case. But if you’re not a Londoner and don’t need to feel like you’re flying all of the time, then consider this Vitara for the following reasons. Everyone sits inside comfortably

without the car feeling super big. There’s good space in the boot for those who still do a weekly shop in real life and not online, and the sound system is up there with the best. Not to get too bogged down with technical stuff, but one thing about having this vehicle in London is the 1.4 Boosterjet engine. You can drive anywhere in the capital and it won’t break the bank. The ride is great, the drive is smooth, and the gear box might feel a bit clunky at first but you get used to it. Everyone will take a second glance because the shape of the Suzuki Vitara 1.4 Boosterjet SZ5 ALLGRIP leaves most surprised when you tell them what it is. Most still have the Vitara of yesteryear etched in the forefront of our minds. That old skool vehicle is a million miles away from its contemporary cousin.

The 1.4 Boosterjet engine gives a great ride, smooth drive and it won’t break the bank wherever you’re going It’s a bit slow off the mark if you want to feel like you’re flying along the roads of a busy city

Safety, sensors and plenty of space You can fit everyone in the spacious X-Trail and all its hi-tech features mean they’ll all want a go


HE NISSAN X-Trail Tekna 1.7 dCi 150 4WD is literally a tonne and a half of comfort and fun, accommodating not just the family, but a few cousins too. If you’re itching to be a big daddy on the road but don’t want to part with half of your soul to acquire an all-encompassing vehicle, then this is for you. Don’t let the roar of first gear fool you, this heavyweight is people-friendly. In fact, so conscious of others are Nissan that the X-Trail seems to have sensors where previously no sensors were ever even deemed a requirement. In short, with what they’ve called the “Smart Vision Pack”,

your blind spot and everything else you can think of is covered. Safety has obviously been a big part of the car’s design and while you do have the option of turning the sensors off and letting good old-fashioned instinct guide you, there are those who would be put off by the sheer presence and feel of the X-Trail if those sensors weren’t present. If you read my review of the Qashqai last year then you will know that I fell in love with all the camera angles which make parking so much easier – the XTrail has even more. The ease of configuring the boot space into two extra seats, leaving a smaller boot space, is another plus.

It’s worth highlighting that the Tekna 7-seat upgrade comes in at £660 extra, but at £34,830 on the road, it’s a steal. After all, no one wants to be fiddling about with a complicated seating system when the time comes to drop that extra person home that you didn’t arrive with.


If you want to feel like you were in an even bigger space than the X-Trail feels like naturally, the one-touch panoramic roof gives it that airy feel. Like any car you get into in the winter, leather seats mean it’s cold. But everything is heated within seconds – even the steering wheel, if that’s what floats you boat.

I did 100 miles before the needle started moving from the full line. The fuel consumption was amazing. Diesel might not be vogue for a lot of today’s earth-conscious road users but the X-Trail is stamped as Euro 6d-Temp in terms of its emissions level category. I had a six-speed manual and, to be honest, I felt like the big juggernaut only really felt comfortable on the road when it hit between 60-70 miles per hour. That feature alone meant it wasn’t a practical first car for someone who doesn’t travel long distances very often. However, if you’re sold on the best bits of this vehicle, it won’t break the bank to run it around town.

Car: Nissan X-Trail Tekna 1.7 dCi 150 4WD Price: £34,830

The Smart Vision Pack adds sensors and camera angles to cover all your blind spots and help with parking This juggernaut only really feels comfortable when you’re doing 60 to 70 miles per hour




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JOB DESCRIPTION: Spend an action-packed, paid week in one of our offices during your summer holiday, and find out what it’s like to work at PwC and which skills you’ll need for a successful career as a Chartered Accountant. The Accounting Insight Week will give you an insight into our Audit business, and the experiences that you gain should help you understand what we do at PwC, why we do it, and where you might fit. You’ll see how our accountants support household brands, governments, charities and global companies with everything from planning for the future, to how they can make the most of their technology and meet the challenges of the changing world of business. During your Accounting Insight Week, we’ll welcome you with a day’s training so you can meet other students on the programme and staff at PwC. You’ll set up your PwC laptop and find out more about what we do, and we’ll help you prepare for the rest of your week before you get started with shadowing and workshops from your second day. You’ll have the opportunity to gain lots of valuable skills, build your network and learn more about our Flying Start Degree programmes in Accounting, which are available at the University of Reading, University of Nottingham, University of Manchester and Newcastle University. You’ll spend time with students who’ve completed the programme, experiencing the kind of work you’ll really do, learn more about the Chartered Accountancy qualification, as well as exploring what life could be like at uni on the Flying Start Degree. Make the most of your summer and take the opportunity to develop new skills, meet new people, and pave the way for a future career in professional services. You will also have the opportunity to fast-track your Flying Start application following your week with us.

Become an Assessor. We’re looking for people from all backgrounds to help us recruit the right police officers. In return you’ll be paid, trained and supported to give something back to your community.

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Driving Instructor Trainee Stonebridge Park, North West London (NW10) From £20,000 to £35,000 per annum Job ID: 88578279 Around 1.6 million people take their driving test every year, teaching people how to drive is not only an industry proof profession but one which grows every day due to the expanding population of the UK. Each driving instructor has their own designated territory within the local area, work the hours which suit them (Monday - Sunday) and get their very own branded car complete with duel controls. If you don’t hold an ADI license don’t worry! We provide a fully comprehensive training programme, which once completed results in our newly qualified driving instructors becoming ADI certified. In order to become a driving instructor trainee and teach people how to drive for money, you must hold an ADI badge. Our training package is the most competitively priced in the UK! Our prices range from only £200 - £2,000 with a pay as you go options available. Once you have completed your training and have worked with us for 1 year, we refund your training fees on a weekly basis up until year 3. Anyone can become a Driving Instructor Trainee, recently we have recruited candidates from driving roles such as HGV Drivers, delivery drivers, van drivers, taxi drivers and bus drivers. We also have successfully recruited candidates who decided to completely change their career from sales right to engineering. For more information, please visit the Voice website recruitment.

For more information and to apply please visit The Voice Recruitment

WHAT YOU’LL NEED: You’ll need to be on track for at least 136 UCAS points from your BTEC, top three A-levels or equivalent qualifications. (Excluded subjects are General Studies and Critical Thinking) You’ll need to have obtained a Grade 6 in GCSE Maths and GCSE English. WHEN TO APPLY: The deadline for applications is 14th February 2020

Digital Insight Week JOB DESCRIPTION: Spend an action-packed, paid week in one of our offices during your summer holiday – meeting our people, experiencing the work we do and making new friends. Technology is changing the way we work, and we’re at the forefront – exploring new technologies and trends as they emerge. From Artificial Intelligence to Augmented Reality and 3D Printing to Drones, we’re using technology to help our clients work better and prepare for the future. On this programme, you’ll take part in interactive and engaging workshops, led by our Technology experts to explore what Digital means to us. Apply now to secure your place on the PwC Digital Insight Week in one of our offices: Birmingham, Leeds, London, Manchester, Belfast or Edinburgh WHAT YOU’LL GAIN You’ll spend timing getting excellent tuition from a range of business areas across PwC, as well as gaining key employability and professional skills for your career going forwards. This actionpacked week is a great way to network, learn and kickstart your career in technology and beyond. WHO ARE WE LOOKING FOR? Students who are keen to pursue a career in technology Students who are committed to learning and developing new skills Students who want to grow their professional network and meet new people Students who are motivated, engaged and have a thirst for knowledge! WHEN TO APPLY: The deadline for submitting your application form is 14th February 2020

For more information and to apply please visit The Voice Recruitment


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IS LEWIS APPIAGYEI THE NEXT LEWIS HAMILTON? All the signs suggest 16-year-old is in pole position to achieve F1 glory By Rodney Hinds


NEW year is a time of hope and renewed ambition – and for one young talent that most certainly is the case in 2020. There is a young British racing driver who shares an uncanny connection with his F1 hero Lewis Hamilton. His name is also Lewis and his father’s name is Anthony – just like Hamilton’s dad. Lewis Appiagyei, 16, from London is also a racing driver born on the 7th, just like world champion Hamilton. Late last year Lewis and Anthony (Appiagyei) walked through the doors of McLaren, just as the Hamiltons did many years ago. It was like history repeating itself or lightning striking twice in the same spot. If Lewis Appiagyei goes on to

sign for McLaren, then his destiny of becoming a world champion will be hard to bet against. Lewis Appiagyei also stands at 1.74m tall – yes, the same height as the six-time world champion.

“Young Lewis has predicted he will be a future champion” On numerous occasions in the past, Lewis Appiagyei finished his races in the same position as his idol, racing on the same day/race weekend.

Young Lewis has predicted that he’s going to be an F1 champion in the future. He first made the news as a seven-year-old go-karting child prodigy. He broke several track records and won championships as he moved up the ranks. He is the current junior champion at Buckmore Park (Winter Series), one of the breeding grounds of British motor racing legends.


Over the years, the protégé has amassed records for fastest laps and race wins, one of which includes a Guinness World Record for sim (simulated) racing. He also holds a record for one of the fastest laps on Buckmore Park, the race circuit owned by the late John Surtees. The record he set back in 2012 still stands today. Just as Anthony Hamilton in-

WORLD CHAMPION IN THE MAKING: Lewis Appiagyei at McLaren HQ troduced his son to radio controlled car racing, Anthony Appiagyei introduced his offspring to sim racing on his PlayStation Portable. Both Lewises were just seven when they were introduced to the world for their racing skills.

Netball’s Vitality Roses are ready By Karen Palmer

The competition kicks off at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham on January 19 – the first time since 2011 that an international netball competition has come to the city. The action will get under way with England playing newly crowned world champions New Zealand and Jamaica facing South Africa in what promises to be an exciting start to the series. The Nations Cup will then move to Arena Birmingham for another double-header

EXCITING TIMES: The Vitality Roses will be hosting the world’s best teams on January 22 and will conclude at the Copper Box Arena in London for the final two days of the competition on January 25 and 26. Vitality head coach Jess Thirlby said: “This is going to be an extremely exciting event; competition is higher than ever and teams are out to prove themselves following the incredible exposure of the World Cup. “Not only will we be gaining a valuable

opportunity to face some of the world’s best teams, we will also be competing in a completely brand new international competition. “It is also the first time that the Roses will compete on home soil since the Vitality Netball World Cup and the first time we will be taking netball to three different cities in one series. There’s so much to look forward to and we’re really excited to see all the Roses fans back out in force.”

Appiagyei believes that on some level he has been dealt similar cards as his hero. The first couple of times it happened it seemed just a weird coincidence, but the frequency with which this is happening now is quite astonishing


THE VITALITY Roses, England’s elite netball team, will play in front of a home crowd this month for the first time since the Vitality Netball World Cup, as part of a new international series. The Vitality Netball Nations Cup will pitch the Roses against the Jamaica Sunshine Girls, the New Zealand Silver Ferns and the South Africa SPAR Proteas across four days of action in three cities.


Hamilton appeared on BBC’s children’s programme Blue Peter, while Lewis Appiagyei featured on the back cover of The Voice for winning back-to-back races at Brands Hatch. The similarities they share are startling to say the least. Lewis

DEANDRA DOTTIN and Stafanie Taylor have become the first West Indian women players to join the inaugural edition of The Hundred next summer – signing for London Spirit and Southern Brave respectively. The eight women’s teams in the exciting new cricket competition each announced a new marquee signing just ahead of the festive break. West Indies captain Taylor, inset, said: “I can’t wait to join Southern Brave. The other three players we’ve already announced are very strong and it’s going to be such a

great competition. I’m really looking forward to working under (coach) Charlotte Edwards again. “There’s also a strong Caribbean vibe in the men’s team at Southern Brave – with Andre Russell, Jofra Archer and Chris Jordan – so it will be nice to play alongside them and hopefully both teams can have success.” The five-week competition will start in July and features eight new city-based teams: Manchester Originals, Northern Superchargers, Trent Rockets, Birmingham Phoenix, Welsh Fire, Southern Brave, London Spirit and Oval Invincibles.




CLASS ACTS: Serena Williams could break all the records in 2020 providing her body holds up while Tiger Woods will be aiming to add to his 15 major titles


2020 promises to be a memorable one for sports fans around the world By Joel Campbell


THE DECADE kicks off with the ultimate sporting showcase scheduled during the middle of 2020 and what a spectacle it promises to be. The Olympic Games is everyone’s cup of tea due to the all encompassing nature of the multisport competition. But as significant as the actual sport will be it’s a pivotal time for the region in which it will be held as the Japanese look to continue exposing their wonderful part of the world to all and sundry following last year’s fantastic Rugby World Cup. Cast your mind back 10 years and we opened that decade (The Ten’s) with an equally significant sporting occasion in Africa, with the World Cup. The football tournament offered the perfect opportunity for those who wouldn’t usually be able to find an excuse to travel to the continent, giving the likes of Durban, Free State, Bloemfontein and Polokwane in South Africa the chance to share in the limelight usually bestowed upon cities such as Johannesburg, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. I’m eager to see what Tokyo has to offer and I have been brushing up on my Japanese in order to unearth stories you wouldn’t usually read. The Olympics aren’t the only sporting event I’m looking forward to.

Euro 2020 offers the chance to visit multiple countries during the competition, with a host of nations getting involved. This, for me, increases the odds of England being able to lift the trophy. I expect a young and red-blooded England team to be chomping at the bit to make history under Gareth Southgate’s tenure and this tournament represents the best opportunity in years. Another chance for young British athletes to shine comes in the form of the European Athletics Championships, which take place in Paris this August. With the Olympic Games having just concluded a few weeks earlier, the team that travels to Paris will almost inevitably be filled with second tier talent

and those who didn’t make the Olympic team. This provides a great chance for new stories and new names to grab the headlines. Competitions and events I’m most looking forward to in 2020: Who will be the new 100m king? Christian Coleman took the World Championships gold medal in Qatar last year and will head to Japan (provided he qualifies of course) as the man to beat. What about the ladies? Well, in 2016 Elaine Thompson was the woman who left Rio sitting on top of the throne, but there is a feeling Jamaica’s dominance in the sprints at Olympic level ended that year. Will the Caribbean island represent at the top

of the podium once more? Time will tell.

the game and she’ll have the records to go with the moniker.

Tennis: At the time of writing this I’d just come off social media where I saw Serena Williams hitting the heavy bag in a quick boxing session coached by Iron Mike Tyson. If that isn’t ominous, I don’t know what is. Not for a long time have I seen Serena in the type of shape she looks in at this early pre-season point. Go and check out her Instagram and see for yourself. I’m going go out on a limb here and suggest that 2020 is the year she breaks all the records. Provided her body holds up and she plays the circuit as smart as she always has, then this time next year we’ll be hailing the best we ever saw play

Horse racing: We saw Frankel retire in the last decade, but I wasn’t one of the lucky ones (unlike the sports editor Rodney Hinds) who got to see him run. I’ve never been to Royal Ascot or the Grand National, but I am going this year. Every year in this decade I will experience a sport in an iconic venue that I have never attended before. So, I’m starting with the sport of Kings. This year’s National takes place at Aintree on April 4, while Royal Ascot is held from June 16-20.

WORLD-BEATER: Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the British Grand Prix earlier this year

Tiger Woods: He’s not finished, far from it, in fact he’s very much in the game and if anyone had suggested this at the start of last year it might have got the biggest roar of laughter in the room, but I’m going to say it: Tiger Woods can win in Augusta this April. Woods won the Masters, which was his first major championship win in 11 years and his 15th major overall. He can do it again. In fact every year this decade he could win one, which makes for an exciting future where the sport is concerned. But can we see another Tiger coming soon? MMA: Those of you who have ardently read these column inches over

the 37 years we’ve been in print will know that for the last decade we’ve covered and supported Mixed Martial Arts from close quarters in a time of rapid growth for the sport. The last decade saw the biggest and most powerful of the MMA organisations, The UFC, change hands of ownership for over four billion dollars. If that isn’t growth I don’t know what is. The sport is a mainstay now, part of the calendar, here to stay. We have produced a host of homegrown representatives in the UFC over the years and next year could see a new face crowned champion of the welterweight division. Leon Edwards is a humble fighter from the Midlands, remember his name because he’s on a mission and has been tipped on our Lifestyle pages as one to watch this year. If you didn’t get involved with this sport in the past decade, jump on board now, it’s not too late. Before you know it you will be hooked. Lewis Hamilton: I’m so excited to see what will be a highlight of this decade, the day Lewis Hamilton is crowned the greatest Formula 1 driver there ever was. If the previous decades trajectory is anything to go by then, surely, this is a home run? It must happen? And when it does, ohhh will I celebrate!




The Voice of Sport caught up with Birmingham City’s COO Lungi Macebo to discuss the club’s aspirations, being made to feel welcome and how she handles role model status…

By Rodney Hinds


OW BIRMINGHAM City could do with Lungi Macebo in the dug-out. The club’s chief operating officer (COO) is down-to-earth, candid and has a clear view on things. The club languish mid-table in the fiercely competitive Championship with very little hope of returning to the halcyon days any time soon. But Lungi, quite simply, is a winner. That fact was borne out when she collected the administration award at the prestigious Football Black List celebration just prior to Christmas. Lungi’s role as the Midlands club’s COO sees her support the board of directors and senior management. Her efficiency in planning, organising and working collaboratively to influence, design and deliver initiatives are essential to the accomplishment of Birmingham City.


She is also a board member for Women in Football and was previously head of HR at Charlton Athletic before her move to the second city. Arsenal fan Lungi told the Voice of Sport: “I never dreamt that I would be working in football. “Nothing has shocked me just yet. Football clubs are sometimes stuck with tradition and I hate that. I feel that sometimes that tradition is used as an excuse but I understand it. “I’ve had to drag them kicking and screaming into the 21st century. “There were a lot of things I expected, like our brilliant academy. It is forward-thinking in terms of performance management. “Succession planning is clear, as are the objectives. “My first remit was to put some direction and structure into the club at senior management level – objectives for the season, three and five years, in terms of the board’s vision. “The club want to get to the Premier League. My question is

how are we going to get there and what does that look like? “We now have departmental objectives, something we’ve not had before. “Things have been ticking along in terms of our communication. Internal communications is an age-old challenge within clubs. “My focus and passion lies within people and development.” In post since February 2019, Lungi’s South African father injected her with the football bug. Her early recollection is of supporting the Orlando Pirates in her native country. Having arrived in England, she badgered her father to take her to Highbury as a teenager before making her way to the Gunners’ new home, Emirates Stadium, the best part of a decade ago. So just how has she been received by football, still sadly a bastion of so-called male dominance? “The simple answer to that is overall there have been no incidents to speak of that I can recall, but I haven’t always been made to feel welcome,” Lungi confessed. “They are very much isolated incidents by people that don’t know me but they do stick out. “They’ve not told me why I’ve not been made to feel welcome. “At Charlton I was completely accepted even if it meant that people had to come round to it. Here I feel accepted. “I like going to other grounds. I did that for a number of years. “I do stick out. Going to a game for a black woman is rare. I would give my name at reception in terms of picking tickets up. It was often assumed that you were a player’s partner, not as a black woman representing a club (Charlton at the time) and heading to the boardroom. “People can’t help themselves. There’s never been anything direct in terms of racism, but people are surprised. “People are intrigued, I feel. Football people, dare I say it, are quite simplistic in terms of getting a conversation going. But nothing has put me off.” Lungi positively illuminates when talking about City’s wom-

DIRECTION: Lungi Macebo dragged football ‘kicking and screaming into the 21st century’; inset, at the Football Black List celebration en’s team, clearly something she feels passionate about. She admitted: “The team has come a long way. They are treated the same way as the men are and that is a big step. “We lost a lot of players in the close season and had to bring some in.

you’ll see a distinct lack of diversity, bearing in mind the club’s catchment area. There’s a high percentage of black and Asians just minutes from the ground, but they refuse to attend, like so many others around the country. “Our fan base is 98 per cent

“The coaching team is diverse but our fan base is 98% white... we need to welcome women too” “We have the backing from the board and owners, but it is tough because our budget, compared to others, is small. “It’s where we are at the moment and we just have to compete.” Take in any game at City’s famous St Andrews ground and


white working class, so no, it doesn’t reflect our catchment area,” Lungi admitted. “The English Football League have taken the lead in trying to change things. “Our workforce is quite diverse, but on the football side things are different.


“The coaching team at the academy is very diverse. If a white man is intimdated by coming here, what chance do other people stand?


“If I’m completely honest, we don’t have a real strategy in terms of getting a more diverse crowd. We need to work on the current supporters that we have. “How welcoming are we to families, women, etc, before we move on to minorities?” Even before the Football Black List recognition, Lungi had been something of a role model – a role with which she is not entirely comfortable.


“There is a lot of pressure associated with being termed a role model. As long as my employer is happy with me, that’s what counts for me. I don’t really want to draw attention to myself. “Privately, I’m happy to speak to people and guide them where I can. Do I have all the answers? No,” she said. “I’m constantly asking the question; how can we open more doors for people? “Maybe we need to focus a little less on the senior roles and help people get their foot in the door. “The senior roles can sometimes be about who you know and that is awful. It doesn’t serve the game well.”




WHO CAN STOP REDS? Liverpool look set to end 30-year wait for league title as Mane and Co march on

LEADING THE WAY: Jurgen Klopp, left, has seen his side establish a 14-point lead over reigning champions Manchester City and are 10 points clear of nearest challengers Leicester, led by Brendan Rodgers, below left, and Kolo Toure. Far left and below, Jack Grealish and Aaron WanBissaka are having excellent seasons

By John Portch


IVERPOOL TOPPED the Premier League table at Christmas last year but, a year on, the mood at Anfield is a complete contrast. Jurgen Klopp’s side enjoy a 14-point lead over reigning champions Manchester City and their advantage looks unassailable regardless of any mishaps that may lie in wait. The list of star performers in red is extensive but Sadio Mane is in the form of his life, Virgil Van Dijk remains imperious, and Trent Alexander-Arnold continues to grow as the division’s premier full-back. The Reds’ closest chal-

lengers are Leicester City and Brendan Rodgers, supported by Kolo Toure, who has successfully blended the Foxes’ band of seasoned campaigners, bright academy prospects, and astute signings. Those that say the current vintage surpasses the surprise title winners of 2016 are probably right and Leicester at least look like a top four club here to stay.


And what of Manchester City? Their performances and fortunes have suffered in Aymeric Laporte’s prolonged absence and it is valid to question if this is another team beyond its

peak, even if Raheem Sterling and co are capable of the sublime. Those three are about as far as the title challengers go. Chelsea currently sit in fourth and have excited at times under Frank Lampard, although it often feels as if the admittedly superb performances from youth academy graduates such as Tammy Abraham bail out a team with a soft underbelly. Now that the Blues’ transfer ban has been lifted, we await the impact it will have on the project Lampard has overseen with uncharacteristic patience from all at Stamford Bridge. Below Chelsea are OleGunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United, who while capable of giving the so-called bigger names a bloody nose, too often fall short. It is not good enough asfor a team with such grand as pirations. Aaron Wan-Bissaka, however, may be the best man marker in the Premier League. Next are Wolves, whose remarkable season began in July. That Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have maintained their level in the league is all but without precedent for a club of Wolves’ status. On to Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham – a sentence that still inspires an element of disbelief in your correspondent. Results bethave taken a turn for the bet

ter since the Portuguese’s ap-pointment, much like the form of Dele Alli, and the top four seems more likely than it did when Mauricio Pochettino was still at the helm. Below those seven names sits a band of teams who seem to make up the Premier League’s accordion-like midtable. A win here or a loss there sees teams move up and down from week to week.


Let us, however, continue with Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United. The Blades’ exploits are a result of adroit coaching and marshalling of limited resources. Should they maintain their level into the New Year, there is a real case for United to be lauded as the success story of the season. If Brighton played with overlapping full-backs then similar things might be said about Graham Potter’s Brighton, who have switched their style in admirable fashion and look to have shrugged off their relegation woes of last season. Equally, Steve Bruce and Newcastle have enjoyed a surprisingly happy relationship. Bruce underwhelmed most fans when appointed and any concerns that the club may have hit a glass ceiling with their affable manager are just the tip of the iceberg. Which brings us to Arsenal.

Freddie Ljungberg has taken temporary charge but even a master marksman such as captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang cannot mask the serious challenges that the interim head coach faces. The Gunners should not, given their resources, be duking it out with the teams that surround them. Crystal Palace are typical of the sides who have troubled the Gunners this season. Roy Hodgson’s charges currently sit in midtable and look fairly secure. In several ways their situation resembles that of Burnley, who sit three places lower: two unremarkable teams blessed with savvy coaches who fashion sides with enough wit and drive to do the necessary. The style at Bournemouth is different, for the most part, but the fluctuating form of Eddie Howe’s charges, which is exacerbated by having to draw his players from a wafer-thin

squad, suggest that midtable is their rightful place in the pecking order. Still, these teams could be unWest Ham or Everton, who un derwhelm despite the largesse continually flaunted at both. Mauricio Pellegrini is another bad result from the sack at the EverLondon Stadium, although Ever trigton have already pulled the trig ger on Marco Silva. Everton are oplooking up with a degree of op Fertimism again now Duncan Fer guson has returned as caretaker manager. There is hope for the league’s remaining quartet, however slim. Aston Villa and Norwich are newly promoted and their committed performances may not be enough to save them, although the quality of talents such as Villa’s Jack Grealish might. It is not quite the same at Southampton, who descended into Premier League ignominy in being shot down 9-0 at home by Leicester in October. The Saints betray the look of a once promising team stuck in a downward spiral. That said, even their survival cannot be ruled out given the lack of quality around them. You would not, however, plead such a case for Watford, who in appointing Nigel Pearson are on their third manager of the campaign. With the Hornets bottom at Christmas and seven points from safety, Pearson’s task is not enviable.





Jason Roberts Foundation to prove real winner on tribute night for legendary striker By Rodney Hinds


IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Former England and Manchester United star Andrew Cole, left and above, will be at Bush Hall on January 16 to help raise cash for a very worthy cause

NE OF football’s greatest strikers will again be centre of attention on Thursday, January 16. Bush Hall, Shepherd’s Bush’s iconic independent music venue, will stage a special onenight-only event as it hosts a tribute to Manchester United and Newcastle United legend Andrew Cole, with all proceeds going to The Jason Roberts Foundation (JRF).


The Jason Roberts Foundation was established in 2007 by former professional footballer, media personality and social activist Roberts.

The former frontman started his career at Hayes before signing for Wolves, and going on to play for Bristol Rovers, West Bromwich Albion and Wigan Athletic, before retiring

from professional football in March 2014. Now a respected football pundit, appearing regularly on BBC’s Match of the Day and Football Focus, he set up JRF

as a means of putting something back into the community he came from, and to underpin his belief in equal opportunities, rights and representation for individuals, regardless of background or circumstance. Initially focusing on the Stone-

to young people who otherwise had little chance of accessing coaching or opportunities to progress as players. Cole is most notably remembered for his time in the Premier League, with Manchester United, where he spent six years

“Cole is one of the few players to have won every domestic honour” bridge Estate in the London Borough of Brent, where Roberts grew up – as well as Grenada, from where his family originated and the country he represented as an international footballer – the foundation originally focused on football-based social inclusion projects that offer participation and playing opportunities

of his career, winning numerous trophies in the process. He is the third-highest goalscorer in Premier League history with 187 goals.


Cole has the distinction of being one of the very few players in England to have swept all possi-

ble honours in the English game. That includes the PFA Young Player of the Year award, as well as the coveted UEFA Champions League title. Cole was also capped 15 times for England between 1995 and 2001, scoring once against Albania in a FIFA World Cup qualifier in 2002. Tickets for the event can be obtained from seetickets. com/event/an-evening-with-andrew-cole-in-aid-of-j-r-f-/bushhall/1469200.

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