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Newsletter: Autumn 2012

A LETTER FROM THE DIRECTORS OF UJIMA RADIO

A warm welcome to all Ujima listeners & supporters to the Autumn 2012 newsletter! As a community radio station, Ujima always wants to be part of important cultural events and is often honoured to have special guests. This Autumn is no exception.

We also seek to engage with young people and give them opportunities to become part of our team. Ujima Radio has celebrated the 50th anniversary of independence for Jamaica with a project for youngsters in radio broadcasting and filmmaking. Either live or via the Listen Again feature on our website, you are able to listen to all three parts of the broadcast from the ”Dubplate to Dubstep” radio and film project. These shows are researched, written, produced and broadcast by young people aged 11-19 who have taken part in the 8-week (Heritage Lottery Funded) youth project, delivererd in partnership with Bristol Records Office, M-Shed and Watershed.

Ujima 98FM were proud to be a part of what has been described by many as the best street party this year! And in fairness, it’s hard to argue with the 50,000 plus people who came from far and wide to be part See no Evil. That historic event was a huge success, which firmly put Bristol on the map as the Graffiti capital of the UK.  This week-long event featured a daily hour-long programme with a host of key voices from the city’s leading institutions. There were also Access All Areas behind the scenes chats with the Artists and organizers who gave Ujima Radio exclusive interviews about their challenges and triumphs.

Various celebrities and personalities have visited Ujima Radio in the last few months. Hip-hop legend Afrika Bambaataa honoured all of the Ujima team with his enriching appearance. Other luminaries that visited Ujima included Troy Ellis, the son of reggae legend Alton Ellis. We also hosted Mr Reggae Reggae himself, the one and only Levi Roots, reggae musician, celebrity chef and general lover of Caribbean cuisine. Well-known rapper and actor Ashley Walters (aka Asher D) gave us a telephone interview.

We can’t forget that a man who was at the heart of the UK Government also visited at Ujima Radio on Friday 19 October. The Former British Foreign Secretary and Labour Party politician David Milliband came and spent some quality time with us.

One of the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the Bacardi brand was conducted at Ujima Radio. Team members had the chance to try their new “spiced” rum “OakHeart”. It seems that quite a few anniversaries and celebrations have been held this Autumn. Black History Month has received strong support from Ujima Radio. We are proud of our role in supporting events across the city this month and we are equally pleased to have helped and supported other community groups and organisations.

The entire Ujima Radio team would like to pay tribute to Narmara Whisker a person who unfortunately is not here with us anymore. Always smiley young mum Narmara tragically died on 21 October 2012. We express sincere sadness of the loss of and we send our condolences to her father, our very own DJ Nitro and to all of her family and friends.

SOUND READS PROJECT

This is a community-based project to start Reading Groups in the St Paul’s, Easton and Lawrence Hill areas of Bristol. The idea is to link Reading Group discussions about various aspects of the books they are reading to Ujima Radio 98fm during Paulette’s ‘Outlook’ show every Thursday 11am – 1pm.

There is a further aim or ‘twist’ to this. We are encouraging the readers in the groups who already read for pleasure, to help their friends, relatives or neighbours with their reading. We want to share tips and methods which will enable people who do not read for pleasure to improve the way they read – and hopefully get more fun and confidence out of reading. Here are the main points of the project:

  • The Presenter of the radio show is Paulette North. She presents discussions and news on the project during the first hour of the show. The other hour is in a magazine style with local events, political and community issues.
  • The Reading Group Organiser is Brian James and he goes out contacting existing community groups as well as holding a Drop-In session every Thursday (10.30 – 1.30) Brian also helps in starting and supporting the reading group meetings.
  • The project is for any adult (over 16) in the areas mentioned.
  • The groups can meet and help each other in anyway they choose. We will only guide and inform, not instruct! We hope readers will pledge to help another group member.
  • Through the radio programme, we can invite local leaders and officials to come and discuss with our reading groups the issues that have been raised, or answer questions.
  • Also through the programme, Facebook and Twitter, we can explain some of the educational methods that can be used to improve reading.
  • We aim to start 25 Reading Groups by the middle of January 2013.
  • Drop-In sessions at Ujima Radio 97-107 Wilder Street. BS2 8QU.
  • We currently have 3 groups of elders started, one young mother’s group and one with a youth activity provider plus 2 others. Plans for groups linked with schools including the City Academy Bristol and ESOL courses are well advanced. We are intending to make further links with other Community Groups.
  •  If want to know more please get in touch. Please contact Sound Reads by email: bjamesb03@hotmail.com or call 07770414459.

CHAIR’S STATEMENT

 2012, WHAT A GREAT YEAR

Welcome to the latest edition of our newsletter!  As the year draws to a close and with the festive season near, it is high time we updated you on a momentous 2012.

Nationally, the Olympics, the Para-Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee brought millions to the streets and stadiums. Internationally we have had the re-election of President Barack Obama and locally Bristol chose its first Elected Mayor, George Ferguson and its first Police Crime Commissioner, Sue Mountstevens.

However, whilst all that was taking place, here at Ujima we have had a few great occasions of our own to celebrate as we continued to make great strides as both a radio station and as a social enterprise.

Firstly, I must pay tribute, after 12 years of excellent service to the local community, to our Operations Director, Tim Kirby. Tim stepped down in September for pastures new and helped train and develop many presenters past and present. We wish him and his family well in the future.

Tim’s departure prompted a major behind the scenes restructuring and we are grateful to have found an able replacement in Donald McTernan as General Manager. Donald has over 30 years’ experience in community work, broadcasting and radio we welcome his expertise to the Ujima family.

We were part of a number of excellent initiatives over the summer created new opportunities and recognition.

Ujima’s first major community media project Dubstep to Dubplate was launched following a screening of the film about the life of Bob Marley. Thanks to Heritage National Lottery Funding in the year of Jamaica’s 50th anniversary there was a need to tell some of the stories of the Caribbean and its Afro-centric roots that would be relevant in 2012 for young people. Project Manager Caroline Oldland and her team certainly achieved that through their telling of the roots of reggae to its influence in modern music. Look out for more screenings soon and the radio shows are available as a podcast.

We were part of the acclaimed See No Evil project in which not only graffiti artists took over central Bristol, but they also took over the Ujima airwaves to discuss urban art and participation in the Arts and Creative industries.

The Sounds Reads project ran by presenter Paulette North and Brian James has received acclaim by encouraging people to read books again. Mistri was front and centre on the Ssh Takeover, The Station’s opening (Creative Youth Network) and the Blood Donation Campaign (Each One Reach One). A number of Ujima presenters and artistes also supported the Harbourside and Brisfest festivals.

Locally, Lady Nia’s Bristol’s Got Talent continues to develop new stars for the future with our thanks for the support from Easton & Lawrence Hill Forum & Voscur. Our Citizen’s Journalism project including our very own Ms Divine covered the Mayoral & PCC debates; this work was supported by Paul Hassan and Bristol Watershed’s Liz Milner. Kevin Philemon led work on the St Werburgh’s Arts Trail show.

Ujima is becoming the place to visit – amongst our guests has been The Jamaican High Commissioner, Afrika Bamabata, David Miliband, Chuka Umunna and Macka B as well as a host of others.

Finally we would like to thank all our supporters and community who came to celebrate our 4th anniversary birthday party in July at the Blue Mountain Club which featured a host of live performers and DJs, all produced with help from DJ Style, Linda Oliver, Dick North, Rhiannon and Asher.

Our website continued to provide regular updates on what was going on in the region. You still have the opportunity to listen to all our shows on the website. Simply find the show you want to catch up on, click and play, it’s that easy!

With some great new projects such as our new residency at the Elbow Rooms there is plenty to hopeful for in 2013. We are in talks with a number of organisations including Bristol University, University West of England and Bristol Partnership as well as many Bristol based organisations for exciting new projects.

We will continue to involve old and young, black and white and those who are local or new to the country, in our continued growth and we will continually seek to represent you as your local community radio station.

With your help and thanks to you all we’ll Keep on Moving!

Roger Griffith

Chair of Ujima Radio CIC

Presenter of the Back 2 Life Show – Friday’s 7-9pm

November 2012

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