COMEDY CAPERS: Eddie Nestor and Jas
WILD HORSES couldn’t have dragged me away from Hackney Empire where entertainment company GeeStor Productions recently put on what was described as urban comedians all discussing one common theme – sex!
I invited the whole London360 reporting team and we all made a night of it. I knew this wasn’t one to be missed! Hosted by my old dance partner, MTV Base presenter and friend Kat Boyce, the show did not disappoint.
As expected, the theatre was full from the stalls to the upper circle, and comics including Kane Brown, Kevin J, Glenda Jaxson and my favorite comic Slim, all did their thing.
SAY CHEESE: DJ Abrantee, Jas and Slim
DJ Abrantee – the man whose name is currently on everyone’s lips, thanks to the exposure he’s given to Afrobeats music – was on the decks that night and he did a great job.
Each set from the comics was side-splittingly hilarious, especially when at different intervals, the ladies would be laughing raucously at their men, and vice versa. The comedians spoke of everyday stories and situations regarding sex that we could all relate to and every few seconds, me and my better half would slap each other knowingly or cut an evil eye at one another in amusement.
Kat is an absolute natural as a host and the crowd clearly adore him. He should have his own TV show!
A great moment came when BBC London presenter Eddie Nestor stepped into character, Dominic Dominica; an elder gentleman from – you guessed it – Dominica, who was absolutely hilarious. Mr Dominica also hosted a version of Blind Date where a lovely lady had to choose a gent from a panel of three. The visual antics of watching these three, totally up for it contestants had to be seen to be believed! Gyrating hips, attempting to whack tennis balls hanging from string, and… wait for it… pole dancing!
When I first read that pole dancing was on the bill, I was prudishly dismissive. But it was included in a fantastic way! An extremely lithe bodied dancer demonstrated three moves that the males had to copy to see how strong they were; it was visual comedy heaven!
Kat ran on stage in shorts and had the ladies in the crowd fainting, wolf whistling and all sorts! A great show with so many unique moments – well worth the money!
YOUNG PEOPLE UPRISE TO THE OCCASION
GIRL POWER: mayoral candidate Siobhan Benita and Jas
HUNDREDS OF young people recently made their way down to Channel 4’s headquarters in London to take part in an event called UpRise.
The event was put on by the UpRise team, who used to put on the annual UpRise anti-racism festival, before its funding was cut.
Not to be outdone, the team now continues to make positive moves with one-off events that empower different people in various communities. This one was about our city’s youths. All the mayoral candidates had been invited to sit on a panel and talk to youth about their policies, with May 3 – the date of the mayoral election – drawing closer.
Originally, Ken Livingstone had confirmed to attend and then at the last minute pulled out, as Boris Johnson wasn’t coming. Both Boris and Ken sent their deputies, which didn’t go down well with all attending. The youths heckled and booed the stand-ins who could barely answer any youth-related question.
Young people from a variety of London youth organizations – namely London360, Media Trust, Reprezent Radio, Sola, BSIX 6th Form College, Elevation Networks, Lives Not Knives, FYI, Hype and 2 Fingers To Violence – were able to ask the candidates specific questions.
Each asked their questions and then, bizarrely, hosts Bonnie Greer and a heavily pregnant Konnie Huq asked their questions before the panel answered any of the young people’s questions. In fact, the young people’s questions never did get answered! The audience was perplexed and angry and before you knew it, the event was over, much to the frustration of the young people and myself.
One great thing though was that independent candidate Siobhan Benita won the youths’ hearts with her very natural, heartfelt, youth-engaged speeches. But I found it disgusting that Boris and Ken didn’t think enough of London’s young people to bother attending.
It’s a vicious cycle: The politicians don’t canvas youth opinion because many young people don’t use their vote, but many young people don’t use their vote because they think they have no power and can’t make a difference. As a result of young people not voting, local boroughs have no record of the correct number of youths in their borough, and therefore cut youth-focused initiatives. In turn, young people have no resources in their local area and so move to frustration and say no one cares about them.
The mayoral election is on May 3. Will London’s youth prove that the government must now listen to them? Let’s see.
Jasmine Dotiwala is a TV producer, director and broadcast journalist. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org