Unique

They are Inspiring and Supportive

TCFT has brought an abundance of amazing people into my life over the years, including the awesomeness who is Geraldine, who I met in Bournemouth back in 2016.  Geraldine is inspiring, incredibly knowledgeable and extremely experienced in the media field, as well as being caring, down to earth and very, very funny.  When I invited Geraldine to TCFT Croydon last year, she was more than willing to come and support, bringing her friend, Patricia, along with her.

I met Patricia for the first time that Sunday, but somehow, I managed to make a major impression on her.  Ever since then, she has been one of my biggest – and I mean biggest – champions.  She is genuinely one of the most supportive, kind and driven women I have ever met.  She is also a master networker, just like Geraldine.  It is that supportive nature and networking brain of hers that recommended me to become a scholar for the eiClub.

I was beyond shocked when I received the email, but extremely thankful for the opportunity.  I knew that it would be a blessing for me and provide me with the opportunity to not only expand my network, but continue to develop as a person.  I would probably say that the biggest honour was being named the first ei Khadija Saye Scholar, named after the amazingly, talented young woman who lost her life in the Grenfell Tower disaster and was one of the scholars who came before me – I really wish that I had gotten the chance to meet her.

Being a Khadija Saye Scholar opened the door to a wealth of opportunities this year and introduced me to a whole lot of wonderful, stellar people.  Julia immediately comes to mind, the force of nature behind ei and the queen of networking, who is also thoughtful, intelligent and most of all, has a very big heart .  Julia is an amazing conversationalist, with some of the best stories.  She is inclusive and caring, ensuring that no one is ever stood on their own and taking time to introduce you to others.  Throughout this year, Julia has made me feel nothing but welcome and supported, also asking me to read poetry at one of the trips away and present an award at the Comment Awards – both unique and great experiences.

The trips taken as part of Names Not Numbers, to the beautiful Waddesdon Manor and Oxford, were kind of surreal from me, but never failed to teach me a whole lot.  They were filled with great people, including Angela, Louise, Mr Gee, Simon, Mr Gee, Justine, Deborah, Steven, Shanice and so many more.  I’ve also loved getting to meet and speaking to other members of the Editorial Intelligence team, like Alice and Karen – they’re so funny.

I’ve met other beautiful, supportive individuals over suppers, like Kat, who I sat down with for great conversation over coffee.  I’ve learnt from truly talented veterans and legends in their fields at various events throughout the year, buying brilliant books along the way, like The Empathy Instinct by Peter Bazalgette, who personally signed it for me with his nickname after being majorly impressed by a question I asked (I was surprised too, I was simply speaking about what I know).

However, I think I’ve most enjoyed spending time with and developing friendships with fellow scholars, Mayur, Dami and Rae.  These are three brilliant young people, overflowing with talent and making a difference in the lives of young people in different ways.

Dami never fails to make me laugh, or make me smile with his bubbly energy – he is a master networker in his own light.  Rae is very easy to talk to and a fun presence to be around.  And I enjoyed spending plenty of time with Mayur during the weekend away at Oxford, engaging in conversations on a variety of subjects and having him by my side when I felt out of my depth.  Mayur also touched my heart majorly that weekend, when he had my back and gave me an unexpected gift – those little things mean the world to me.

I have already gained and learned so much during my time as a Khadija Saye Scholar, which has a whole lot to do with the people I have met.  I feel beyond blessed to have met them and I look forward to developing the connections in the new year and beyond.  To my champions and supporters, Patricia and Geraldine, you are the most amazing and wonderful women.  I love you all.

 

They All Effected Me in Some Way

Yesterday, I started off my series of blog posts about the beauties who have played a part special part in my 2018 by writing about Billy and Ken, who I met in Bridport early this year as part of TCFT.  I’ve decided to spend a little more time on some of the other people I spent time with in Bridport, as it was a meaningful part of my year.

Tina and Robert have been a special part of every one of my years since meeting them in 2015.  They are caring and wonderfully supportive, always there with words of advice and encouragement.  It was lovely to conduct video interviews with Robert for a third year – it has become one of my favourite parts of TCFT – and also hear more of his amazing stories.  Tina was the usual wonderful Tina, taking time to speak to me about TCFT Croydon (I’ll focus more on that in another post), but was also on hand to speak to me all throughout this year through our email exchanges and meetings in London.  She is truly the most amazing woman.

I’d never met Louise before this particular TCFT residency, but I was happy to finally meet her on this one.  Louise is kind, supportive and a very good listener – speaking to her was just what I needed when I was struggling slightly.  In addition to Louise, there was Louisa, a beautiful poet who I had the pleasure of leading out on workshops with.  There was a real yin and yang thing between the two of us, with Louisa being more of a page poet and me being more of a performance poet, which worked well.

Having dinner in the evening with my fellow artists was also one of the highlights of my week, with lovely food made by Alex, Rachael and Francesco, which I was incredibly thankful for.  I loved being able to spend some more time with my darling Francesco from Italy, who I felt like I bonded more with during that week.  I was able to have him read some of his beautiful poetry to me and we spent quite a bit of time dancing – he truly does bring me joy.

A lot of time was spent dancing when around the beautiful AK as well, who has the most amazing taste in music – his laptop and speaker brought me joy over and over again.  He also took a liking to my name, like the lovely Sam, Qan and Awais, who made me laugh a whole lot.

I developed a special bond with the talented Kaitlyn, whose energy would astound me.  We would have some really nice conversations and I foundnd myself offering words of advice as one of the older individuals there, but more than anything, I loved watching her grow in confidence and throw herself into the TCFT process.  Another young person I developed a bond with was Aimee, which seemed to happen over poetry.  What was hilarious to me was Aimee saying that she begun to read poems in my voice after seeing me perform, as I still don’t think that I’m that great of a poet.  I do know that I was able to inspire her in that week, which means a lot to me.

Being in a smaller group, I also got to spend some more time speaking to people from previous TCFT residencies that I had spent minimal amounts time with, like Finn, who is very funny, Kierra, who is very sweet, and the force that is Jade, who continues to grow more every year I see her.

However, the two individuals who played the biggest part in making my week special were my beautiful, beautiful hosts, Imanda and Makeda.  I had met them back in 2016 during the TCFT residency in Bournemouth, but I didn’t spend much time with them unfortunately, which is a shame because they are such inspiring individuals.

Imanda is one of the fiercest, loving, strongest women you will ever come across – a Mother Lion who will do all she can to protect her cubs.  She treated me with the most care and consideration, making me feel at home immediately.  I also enjoyed our evening chats, especially when she would share her life stories.  I am not exaggerating when I say she is amazing.  And then there is her lovely daughter Makeda, who is wise beyond her years and good at holding conversation herself.  We had a lot of laughs, a lot of fun and she definitely made me feel at home.  I loved staying with them and was actually sad to go.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to mention everyone, but I enjoyed spending time with every individual involved and they all had some sort of effect on me.  Every one of them is part of my TCFT family, who I love with all my heart.

My Top 5 TV Shows

So yesterday I let you in on my Top 5 songs by one of my favourite singing groups, The Corrs, in honour of them reforming.  Today, I’m gonna let you in on one of the easiest categories, my Top 5 TV shows.  I bet you can guess which will be number one.

 

5. Gilmore Girls

Gilmore Girls is one of those shows that I watch and sit there wishing that I was living in it.  The fictional town of Stars Hollow comes across as unique, hilarious and so warm, full of fun, interesting characters that I would want to know.  It is the supporting cast that make this show so great and their weird anecdotes never fail to make me laugh, particularly watching the rudeness of Michel and Sookie’s clumsiness.  And then there is the theme song — you cannot help but love that.

4. The Wire

I only watched The Wire recently, but I fell in love with it instantly and it quickly became one of my favourite TV shows.  There has never been a show that has messed with my emotions more than this one and being based on real life in the city of Baltimore just brings it home more to me.  It broke my heart when the teens in Season 4 got screwed over by the system and I was sickened by the unethical reporters in Season 5, not to mention how devastated I was when Wallace and Bodie were murdered in Seasons 1 and 4 respectively.  The storylines are gripping and the acting is amazing, but it is the characters that truly stand out, as I fell in love with so many of them.The Wire

3. Diagnosis Murder

This may surprise you, but I’ve got crazy love for Diagnosis Murder.  I can watch episodes of that programme over and over and over again, and still not get tired of them, even when I know who the culprit is.  There is something so captivating about Dick van Dyke as Doctor Sloane, and I love that his real life son plays his son in the show.  I like all members of the supporting cast, even when Jack left and Jesse came in as his replacement, which is not always the case for TV shows.Diagnosis Murder

2. PhoneShop

I love, love, love PhoneShop.  I’m not a huge fan of comedies, because I don’t usually find them funny, but PhoneShop is one of those few comedy shows that I do find funny.  In fact, I find it funny over and over again.  It uses British, urban humour perfectly and it has a great mix of characters that all amuse me.  I cannot believe some of the ridiculous situations they find themselves in and some of the foolishness that they come out with is just too much for me.  This show is hilarious and I will happily watch it again and again.PhoneShop

1. The Tribe

Of course, my number one has to be The Tribe, my most favourite TV show in the world.  I can’t really explain why I love The Tribe so much, especially as I’ve come to notice some of the dodgy acting and annoying characters as I’ve got older.  However, I’ve always loved the original story of children and teenagers being forced to survive and make their way in a world where all the adults have died.  My favourite thing about it though is the quirky, unique outfits which remind me of DIY fashion culture, the bold make up and the cool, but sometimes ridiculous, hairstyles.Tribe Cast 2

There you have it, my top 5 favourite TV shows.  Are you a fan of any of these shows or are any of them your favourite?  Let me know your favourite TV shows.