As I reflect on 2015, one of the things that keeps coming to mind are the people. If you know me, you know that I love people (most of the time) and that the people in my life play a major part. They are the ones who support me, make me laugh and help to create lasting memories, so I thought I’d shine a light on some of those beautiful people.
I love my family so much, in spite of their imperfections. My Uncle Keith and Aunty Cynthia made me feel completely at home when I stayed with them in Huntsville, and I loved having the opportunity to get to know my cousin Kaleem better.
Of course, there’s someone in my family who is a stand out time after time. My sister, Rhianna, was a star again this year and despite some bumps in the road, we’ve come through 2015 tighter than ever. She’s been my main supporter in all I do, provided a ton of jokes and supported me through my madness — I genuinely don’t know where I would be without her. I’m also prouder of my sister than I’ve ever been, as I’ve watched her display great strength, start a degree and finally get the job she deserves.
I also have to mention my adopted brother, Jemel. Now my parents didn’t actually adopt him, but I’ve adopted him as my brother. The support Jemel’s shown me this year has been amazing and touched me more than I think he’s realised. I was incredibly thankful to him for taking part in my short film and watching him want to do well for me provided me with so much joy, as well as laughter.
Then there are my crazy, dysfunctional, beautiful, church family, who never fail to play a big part in my life. I’ve enjoyed conversations with my girl Sh’kira, who I’m always excited to see and is always interested in what’s going on in my life. I’ve laughed with my darling Elliott, who came out with some classically weird lines this year which had me dying of laughter. But most of all, it meant a lot to see the love and support shown by my church family on my 23rd birthday.
I’ve been fortunate enough to stay friends with a number of girls from school and sixth form, who continue to show me love and support year after year — I was overcome with emotion when Ope unexpectedly gave me flowers and a card at my launch. However, I’ve got to shout out one of my special Textiles girls, Nahed, who’s been there for me big time in 2015. She was in my short film and came out to the launch, just like Jemel, but she’s done so much more than that. She’s constantly checked up on me, shown huge amounts of love, and we’ve been able to connect on similar situations that have been affecting us. Anyone would be lucky to have a friend like Ned.
I’ve also made a whole load of new friends this year, mainly because of my travels to Bosnia and the USA. In the USA, I met some lovely people, like Matthew, Glen, Kojo and Khyle, but most of all, I had the privilege of meeting Britney, one of the nicest people you will ever come across. Britney’s got a skill for writing and she’s a spoken word ninja — I was lucky enough to see her perform at Oakwood and she gave some of her wonderful words to my own spoken word script. And just like most of my friends, Britney is funny; just last week she brought me a lot of cheer with the best Christmas message ever.
Then in Bosnia I met an abundance of beautiful people — Lidija, Lara, Katarina, Nina, Marko, Biljana, Sandra, Ellie, Amy, Izzy, Jessie, Rory, Ljubiša, Nemanja, Tina, Alex, Mikica, Nevena. My house sister Naomi, who was also in my short film, and the hilarious Julia, who was kind enough to come and support me at my launch. The list is endless and there are so many others I would love to name, but I wanna spend a little time on my friend Filip.
Filip is a beautiful being, full of kindness, caring and sincerity. He’s intelligent, serious and wise beyond his years, but fun, entertaining and witty. He’s a writer, like me, and a musical romantic who shares my love of Florence + the Machine. I feel blessed to have found a friend in Filip, who’s bought me plenty of laughter and put many smiles on my face in a short space of time.
There are so many other beautiful individuals who have been big a part of my life in 2015, including my talent coach Teresa, my best friend Mells, my girl Jhanielle, the lovely Aisha, my hilarious grandparents and of course, my own parents. I’m so thankful for the people in people in my life, and looking back, I can see how blessed I am. I’m looking forward to developing these relationships and meeting more beautiful people in 2016.