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Showing posts from March, 2011

Friday Five Questions: Asya Satti, Singer-Songwriter

Photo © www.aysamusic.com Every so often Twitter can bring to light something a little bit special. This may be anything from something free you never thought of asking for, to a musician starting out in the big bad world of the music industry. Asya Satti is of Sudanese extraction, but has spent time in both Sweden and Egypt before starting out in music from her North London home. Her website describes her musical and lyrical style as 'unhinged', 'honest' and 'humourous' and she has just released her debut EP online. Ayohcee: Music, many people feel, is “in their blood”. Is this true with you or did your interest in singing and song writing really only start in your teenage years? Asya Satti: I definitely think singing is in the blood. According to my mum I'd lie on my back after having my nappy changed and 'croak' to myself for hours - I must have been enjoying what I was hearing! Lol! I started working on my singing technique in my teens

Friday Five Questions: Matthew Jenkins, trustee of Solomon's Children

Photo © 2010, Tugce Ozcan. Navigating your way through the maze of charitable ventures is seemingly getting more difficult. There is quite literally a UK-based charity for everything imaginable and I am convinced that they all deserve our attention. In amongst this labyrinthine web of .orgs, one charity that I have become close to is Solomon's Children . Matthew Jenkins is one of the trustees, a colleague and a good friend of mine. Along with his university professor and fresh batch of trustees, he is transforming Solomon's Children as a charity, expanding its remit and preparing for a large relaunch later in 2011. Matthew talks to Ayohcee about the charity and where it is going. Ayohcee: What are the main goals or objectives of Solomon’s Children and how do you go about accomplishing them? Matthew Jenkins: Our primary goal is to provide an ever expanding network of support for disadvantaged young people in Uganda. Our main focus in achieving this is to provide a link be

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Duit!

Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona duit, or that's Happy Saint Patrick's day to you if you're not up to speed with your Gaeilge (Irish Gaelic) lessons - which I'm not anyway! If you've ever met me in person you'll know that it isn't immediately apparent from my voice, but I am actually a proud passport-wielding Irishman. Back in 1959 my father left Ireland as a little boy and settled in the United Kingdom, albeit via Luanshya, Zambia. From a very young age, and much to the confusion of my friends during the 1994 World Cup in the USA and thereafter, I was taught to cheer for a team that wore green jerseys, not white ones! A few years later, I have for some purposes re-adopted the Gaeilge spelling of my name - there is, after all, no 'k' in the Gaeilge alphabet. I then used this name when I started this blog  back in 2005. Anyway, by way of a Saint Patrick's Day offering, I have included Sinéad O'Connor's version of 'Óró, Sé do Bheatha 'Bhai

Friday Five Questions: Chris Horner, member of The People's Supermarket

You would have had to have had your head buried in the sand to have missed the buzz that has been growing concerning The People's Supermarket recently. This supermarket takes aim at the ruthlessness and soullessness of the big supermarkets in attempting to create a local supermarket that sources its produce ethically. Chris Horner , a colleague and friend of mine, is responsible for bringing The People's Supermarket to my attention. He is a member and thus a worker at the supermarket in Lamb's Conduit Street, Holborn, London. He agreed to take part in a Friday Five Questions interview for Ayohcee about his involvement in the project.  It must be stressed that his views are his own and don't necessarily reflect the views of The People's Supermarket. Ayohcee: The People’s Supermarket (TPS) has risen to prominence over the last month or so, thanks in part to the Channel 4 documentary about it. What’s all the fuss about? Chris Horner: I’d say it was an idea whose t

A Grain of Wheat by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o

My desire to read something by Ngugi wa Thiong'o stems from a couple of different things. On the one hand my involvement with developmental and cultural exchange projects in East Africa meant that it was about time I read a work by an East African author. The second reason was curiosity aroused by the author's name which, to this day, I am still slightly unsure of how to pronounce. That aside, this book does not disappoint. In a manner that is typical of postcolonial literature, the richness of the language use and narrative style surpasses a large number of texts written by English authors of a similar period. The story that Thiong'o creates feels epic. The weight of the book's content and the intertwining of its characters' tales, as the small Kenyan town of Thabai prepares for Uhuru - Swahili for 'freedom' - from the British Empire, almost seems too much to take in. We follow the story of a seemingly simple man, Mugo, who is revered by all of the villl