A series of (long, overdue) skool trip updates…Tee Cee speaks.
Rudy’s Rare Records
In September myself and Shara watched Lenny Henry and a super-talented cast grace the stage with a phenomenal (standing ovation worthy) production of Rudy’s Rare Records. Just before the production hit the big stage of The REP Theatre, Birmingham, I interviewed Man Dem on the Walls – Joivan Wade who stars as ostentatious fly boy – “Richie”. Joivan also pre-warned me that Richie especially can’t keep his hands off the ladies! He wasn’t kidding. The show exceeded any possible expectation I ever anticipated, filled with the humorous and touching conventions of son Adam (Lenny Henry) and his stubborn Father Rudy, a shop owner. The production is set in an old reggae record shop at risk of re-development in Birmingham, and with Rudy’s health conditions growing worse and refusal to sell his shop, Adam reluctantly moves home to look after him and offers a helping hand to run the shop, as well as make a few unwelcomed changes. The show innovatively brought me back and forth in time as it showed the dynamic between three generations of Rudy, Adam, and Richie. One central theme that stood out was the importance of a strong family unit, in the end the show demonstrates that it’s only when the three musketeers came together that everything else in their lives would also fall into place. Joivan says, “When everything else is gone that’s a big chunk of what you have left – your family, close friends, those people who you value around you. Every time that something like this goes missing, you feel a bit lost.”
Celebrating Youth Excellence Awards 2014
Taking place at the prestigious Holiday Inn, Smallbrook Queensway, Birmingham, this year’s 6th Annual C.Y.E awards saw an incredible 200 guests in stunning black tie attire, alongside some of the most inspirational, authentic speakers and artists the region has to offer including The Bishop of Birmingham – David Urquhart, Craig Pinkney, Rem Conway, ACE Youth, Natty of Complex and Reis Dixon. This year we were also privileged to welcome The Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Cllr. Shafique Shah who delivered a compelling opening speech, also attended by his lovely wife Lady Mayoress, Sadia Shafique.
Organised by our young team of four – Talisha Johnson (myself), Sunjay Kohli, Tisha Whyke and Jade Richards (Skool Girl writer), the evening was certainly an uplifting occasion to remember, especially with Smash The Entertainer, C.Y.E’s hilarious host of three years who sadly waved goodbye this year (not forever) just from his hosting spot. We saw Smash humbly pass on the baton to the next host Rem Conway. We were ecstatic to see some new faces grace the audience including Stephen Clarke (Lloyds Bank), Leon Hamilton (Jamaica National), Cllr. Sharon Thompson and Khalid Mahmood (Birmingham City Council). We are confident that guests left the evening feeling on an inspirational high, each spoiled with a gift bag filled with scrumptious treats including Cadbury chocolate, Island Delight Patties and Sunrise Bakery spiced bun. With some stiff competition, there were a plethora of phenomenal finalists who not only impressed the judging panel, but we heard some of them were even reduced to tears. A huge applause and standing ovation for all the award winners this year who definitely raised the bar of excellence.Were we left speechless or WHAT?! Just ask the overall Youth of Excellence Award winner – Daniel Bridgewater who was more than stunned in his winning speech to say the least! Make sure you check out this year’s award winners on the Youth 4 Excellence website.
MADE Entrepreneur Festival 2014
This year’s MADE Festival saw success stories and business wisdom from some of the most inspirational entrepreneurs including: Levi Roots (Reggae Reggae Sauce), Michelle Mone OBE (Ultimo), Jamal Edwards (SB.TV), Doug Richard (Dragon’s Den), Shaa Wasmund (Smarta), Rekha Mehr (Pistachio Rose) and Wayne Hemingway MBE (Red or Dead). It was slightly overwhelming not only to FINALLY meet and interview the likes of Jamal Edwards, someone who I’ve been more than determined to interview for like TWO years – but it was a gratifying experience to be surrounded by hundreds of young people my own age; who were determined to make their footprint in the world and make something exceptional of themselves. One person in particular who caught my eye was Sheffield’s 20-year-old Baker Chikumo Fiseko, owner of Mostly Muffins and Tiger J Chocolates. As I watched this young entrepreneur sit on stage amongst the likes of global business men and women twice her age, I couldn’t help but admire her achievements only hoping that one day I can also sit on the stage of the MADE Festival and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs. From the start until finish, the festival was truly a one of a kind, inspirational and motivating occasion, here are a few key quotes that stood out to me in particular:
“If you want to make an impact you need to be in the room.” Nigel Risner
“Stop taking notes and take notice.”Nigel Risner
“In the next 21 days find a problem that you can solve.” Jamal Edwards
“I launched my bras with 12 actors and £500. It was the biggest bra launch in history and Selfridges brought 6 months’ worth of stock. The least money you have the more creative you become with it.”Michelle Mone OBE
“Always go with your gut instinct.” Michelle Mone OBE
“If you want to be a success you need to wake up an hour earlier than everyone else and go to sleep an hour later.” Michelle Mone OBE
“To stand out from the competition you have to create OMG moments; not ‘Oh My God’ but ‘Observational Moment Greats” Geoff Ramm