Thursday, Nov 27th

Last update01:06:30 PM GMT

Africans in Uk

Modeste Hugues, Madagascan guitarist with raw talent

He manages to create a whole range of instrumental sounds with one acoustic guitar

Modeste Hugues has been playing guitar since he was 15 years old when he took an interest in his neighbour’s guitar, and then went on to build his own in a local workshop.

Even though he had to use fishing line for string and had to hold it very close to hear the sound, he persevered and discovered his love for all things musical. He “soaked in the sounds of the bush, the birds, whistling of the shepherds in the hills... any sound that appealed to [his] sense,” he admits.

I had the honour of catching him play for free at the Djanogly Concert Pitch, outside the Lyttelton theatre in The National Theatre. Hugues describes his music as being “unique to the Betroka region of Madagascar where it’s influenced by all the traditional sounds of the area together with some softer South African dance rhythms.”

As a spectator, I found his no frills performance captivating, as did many others, as a crowd drew round, the more he sang..

With one acoustic guitar, he manages to create a whole range of instrumental sounds, which makes it hard to believe that he is a self-taught musician.

The music was extremely relaxing and if you are not familiar with Madagascan music, it has a strong sense of afro charm enthused with slight Latino rhythms.

The best thing about Hugues is his voice though; listening to him play is a pleasure but listening to him sing is an honour. He has a beautiful, lilting voice, which connects well with the calmness that surrounds him.

Although he is a very gentle man with a very soft speaking voice, he managed to captivate many of the crowd for his full 1hr and 15 minutes set.

To learn more about this BBC Radio 3 artist, please visit: www.modeste.co.uk.

By Fiona Madden

 

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Save lives by organ donation

Kidney Research UK tackles death taboo amongst Black Community

A unique team of Peer Educators, trained by Kidney Research UK, Britain’s leading kidney charity, has successfully signed almost 150 people to the NHS Organ Donor Register over the last four months.

The signings took place in ethnic minority communities throughout South East England and the Midlands. The Peer Educators are talking to the public on a one-to-one basis after establishing a desperate need for donors from these communities.

Some 90% of people waiting for an organ desperately need a kidney. That is 7,000 people in the UK – at least 1,000 of which are from the black ethnic community.

Kidney Research UK established a deeper need for donors from African and Caribbean backgrounds due to the reluctance for people from this community to agree to organ donation combined with high rates of diabetes and high blood pressure, both which can cause chronic kidney Disease (CKD).

Peer Educators were trained by Professor Anthony N Warrens and Kidney Research UK’s Project Manager Neerja Jain, to tackle exactly why people were reluctant to help saves lives by organ donation. By talking through fears and helping to explain the processes in place they are breaking taboos and saving lives.

Professor Warrens, a Professor in Renal and Transplantation Medicine at Imperial College, London who carried out the initial research on behalf of Kidney Research UK, says: “The rate of organ donation from within the black communities and other ethnic minorities is much lower than from the white population. The irony is that there is a much greater need for organs within the black communities because they are hit with very high rates of diabetes and high blood pressure. That is why we need to understand the reasons some people are reluctant to agree to donation.”

Professor Warrens observes that: “There is a mixture of concerns, but there is also a sense of alienation from the medical establishment and a relatively low level of knowledge about organ donation for transplantation. We need to correct that to ensure that people are given the information they need to allow them to make an informed decision about donation and the impact on their own communities as well as society at large.”

As organs are matched by blood group and tissue type it is vital that the organ donor register carries adequate numbers of different people from ethnic groups so that there are enough organ matches available for transplantation. 

Only 2% of people signed to the UK organ donor register are of a minority ethnic background. Black people needing a transplant will wait twice as long for a donor to become available. On average 400 people die every year waiting for a kidney transplant, some of whom are children.

Jackie Uzoh, a Peer Educator working on the Kidney Research UK project entitled ‘ABLE’ (A Better Life through Education & Empowerment) says; “It has been so rewarding being involved with the project as a Peer Educator, it is unlike anything I’ve ever done before. Knowing that my contribution can help to improve someone else’s life is simply a privilege. Our team has signed over 150 people to the register.”

The Peer Educators are members of the targeted communities that have a combined knowledge of culture and healthcare.

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Book Review: Pitfalls by Ferdinand Fru

A novel about people and problems that can beset a relationship across cultural and religious divides

A new novel explores the way race, religion, culture and social class influence the way people relate in the modern Britain.

“Pitfalls” by Ferdinand Fru takes the reader through an intriguing fictitious journey while at the same time provoking serious reflections on how diversity can be forced into becoming an obstacle to love.

How many potentially successful love relationships have been aborted for fear of not obtaining approval of parents? How many young people seriously suffer by hiding their love relationships from their families, simply because the partner is considered different? These are some of the questions anyone reading “Pitfalls” has to face.

“Pitfalls” is not just a love story. It is a story about Annabel Fold, a modern, ambitious 22 year old young woman about to attend a post-graduate course at Bonn University to further her dreams of becoming an international journalist.
Her upbringing in a Catholic family has been sheltered by strict, but loving parents, and attendance at an all-girls school.

On the day before her departure to Bonn, Philip Fold, her father, delivers what Annabel regards as his ‘pitfalls mantra’, an oft repeated sermon about the dangers of liaising with black and ethnic people. She has heard it all before and ignores his warnings, deciding that she will make up her own mind about her relationships…

“Pitfalls” is a novel about people and problems that can beset a relationship across cultural and religious divides. It is a fictional novel with a contemporary message about social values, race, culture and religion in Britain today.

“Pitfalls” has been published by Melrose Books and can be ordered from Marketing Department, Melrose Books, St Thomas’ Place, Ely, Cambs, CB7 4GG, UK. +44 (0) 1353 646608. Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . www.melrosebooks.com

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Top Model Ibukun Jegede's challenges

"I am not going to live a fake life just to please people"

International Top Model Ibukun Jegede recently handed over his title to the next Top Model of Colour (TMC) after holding it title for a year.

Mr. Jegede confessed that he faced many challenges during his reign as TMC. “It was very enjoyable being a Top Model of Colour but being in the public eye can also be stressful as people have high expectations and you need to always look your best and dress well. People expect you to live like a millionaire but I still live my normal life like everyone else. I earn money as a model and I am not going to live a fake life just to please people.”

Whenever he goes to a social event, people expect him to be outgoing but he is a quiet person. This at times, makes people think that he is not being friendly. “I try to speak to all of my fans, but it can be overwhelming at large events” where all the fans want him to spend more time with them. 

For now, Mr. Jegede will be doing some modelling jobs but his main priority is to concentrate on his education and get his degree in Information and Communication Technology. He is also concentrating on active politics.

By Stephen Ogongo


 





































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Registration open for Miss Southern Africa International

The pageant celebrates the beauty of Southern African people and cultures

All beautiful girls from Southern Africa are encouraged to register for this year’s Miss Southern Africa International beauty pageant.

This is an international event celebrating the people of Southern Africa, its amazing cultures, the colourful and vibrant fashion of its many tribes, its expressive and emotive music and the fantastically beautiful talent of its women.

Contestants come from all over Southern Africa. One of the aspirations of Miss Southern Africa beauty pageant is to bring people from all works of life together and celebrate the beauty and shared cultures of Southern Africa.

Miss Southern Africa International also seeks to promote tourism amongst the region’s people. There are so many beautiful landscapes and wildlife sceneries to enjoy.

The regional finals will rotate from one country to another, giving the participants a chance to enjoy the majestic Kingdom of Swaziland, the amazing Victoria Falls, the Deserts and wildlife of Namibia, the vast landscape and beautiful beaches of South Africa, the amazing Lake Malawi, the deserts and rich history of the people of Botswana, the paradise in Mauritius and the unexplored beaches of Mozambique.

The winner of Miss Southern Africa International crown will become an ambassador of the pageant’s charity partner, Southern Africa Action for Change (S.A.A.C) and will be required to lobby governments for women and children’s welfare and do goodwill work.

Miss Southern Africa International is being organised by the CM Events headed by Mr. Conrad Mwanza and a fantastic team of co-coordinators and management professionals. The organisers have successfully rolled out this International Franchise to over six countries throughout Southern Africa. The grand finale will take place towards the end of the year. 

All who would like to register as contestants should log on to www.miss-southernafrica.com

For Corporate Branding and Sponsorship please send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

By Stephen Ogongo

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