post The Wisdom of an Elder

February 13th, 2012

Filed under: Events — Natty Mark Samuels @ 17:49

As he advances into his septuagenarian period, a thought came to me. That by the time of his physical passing, at the age of thirty-six, he had acquired the wisdom of an elder.

Snow began to fall on the first night of the Bob Marley Festival (4th February), blanketing everywhere. So it was a welcoming change, to walk into a place of red, gold and green. A warming décor, to take away the chill and introduce the evening.

Although some were put off or blocked by the weather, I believe those who gathered and filled out the Bullingdon Arms, received a full blessing.

Natty Hi-Fi stalwarts, Garvin Dan and Nico, treated us to a selection from the Bob Marley treasure box; interspersed with music from other great talents, concluding with gems from Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh – his childhood friends and founder members of the Wailers.

Classics; early and later recordings. Plus their dubs, instrumentals and versions. A real panorama of his art. If my ears could applaud, they would have joyfully clapped, for what they received that night. I never tire of listening to his music, nor does my son Bingy, five years old. Like prayer, his music is forever.

Between the DJ offerings, the evening was enhanced by the featured band, Jamatone. A six-piece group; of bass, drums, keyboards, guitar and two vocalists. Regular features on Natty Hi-Fi promotions – solidarity reggae. So let me take a moment, to mention three of my favourites: ‘Rastaman Rise’, ‘How You Stay’ and ‘Black Is Not A Mask’, a song featuring the familiar rhythm of ‘I Shot The Sheriff’ .They truly embellished the night, continuing that great tradition of Roots Reggae live; pioneered by such heroes as Burning Spear, Little Roy, the Abyssinians, as well as the icon of this festival

Other ingredients enriched the mix; in the form of Sista Ali with saxophone and Ras Hugo on hand drums. Playing alongside the Djs, weaving in and out – a sweet tapestry of dub

We left the Bullingdon at 3a.m, face and spirit glowing, looking forward to part two.

Yesterday, Sunday, day two of the festival, which began at 1pm and was held in the Chester Arms; began for me with coconut dahl and peas and rice. A generous portion of great-tasting food, created by Pippa a.k.a Little General, a popular local caterer. After this culinary delight, came the musical ones.

These gifts of sound were given to us by Tony Dread, original Natty Hi-Fi DJ; Prince, who blessed us with selection as well as his own poetry: Two In One, featuring Nick and his daughter Delilah; Jah Paul and Keolan Roots; plus the resident, Garvin Dan.

Because it was a daytime session, finishing at 8pm, children were able to enter. Some played outside in the snow, with swings, see-saw and a slide. Others inside, chatting and dancing with their parents.

Due to their enjoyment the night before, Jamatone volunteered to play for free. A respectful gesture, especially as the featured live act, Ras Keith, couldn’t make, it due to illness. Because of a late arrival, they were only able to play a short set. Short but sweet. Including such highlights as the two vocalists, Bissy and Shumba, duetting on one of my favourites ‘The Way They Treat I’. Always good to have Jamatone around – our Combination Dub.

Before I finish, mention must be made of Simone Hendry, a film-making student at City and Islington College, London. She has set up her own company, called Toxic Productions. It was her and crew who filmed the whole proceedings, moving around with tripod and cameras. Hoping to catch the festive spirit on film; for us all to share and savour, in time to come.

At the end, volunteers helped to take down the hangings and to carry out the sound system. I think Bob Marley would have liked to have seen that. As well as the little children, dancing to his music.

This ghetto youth, whose music and life, is now studied by students, writers and academics, became wise beyond his years. A simple living sage, whose greatest love was music.

Wise enough to understand it’s power and to harness it: and then to heal us with it. Blessings for everyone.

Today, the sixth of February; I wish you a very Happy Birthday Bob Marley, 72 years old.

© Natty Mark Samuels, 2012.

post Will Smith

February 13th, 2012

Filed under: Youth Network — Lissan Magazine @ 17:12

Will Smith
By Klaidi Osmani

I like Will Smith because he does all sorts of things.
He inspires me with his spectacular films, rapping, producing and singing. Because it has action in.


Will Smith was born in September 25, 1968 in Wynnefield Pennsylvania. He started his acting career in a television sit-com called Fresh Prince of Bell Air in which he starred in for 6 years from September 10th 1990 to 1996.
Here is a list of a few hit movies:
• Bad Boy,
• Men in Black,
• I Robot,
• Hancock
• Enemy of the state
• Independence Day

His music career started as a mc of a hip hop duo - dj Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince.Dj Jazzy was a childhood friend, who used the turntables and was also a producer, alongside Ready Rock C, whose real name is Clarence Holmes. He was the human beat box. They were a hit on the radio for their radio friendly songs like “Summertime”
In 1990 Will Smith was nearly bankrupt, which led him to being sighed by NBC, which started the Fresh Prince series off and also his acting career; where he dreamt of being the biggest and best movie star in the world.

Here is a list of a few albums:
• And in this Corner
• Code Red (dj Jazzy & the Fresh Prince)
• Greatest hits (d Jazzy & Jeff & the Fresh Prince album)

He has had major success in all areas of his career; for example as a rapper, (just the two of us 1998). Also, he has acted in ‘I am legend’. Another thing is his family, who are also successful in life, like his son, who starred in ‘Karate Kid’. Plus his daughter got the hit song “Whip my hair”.

© Klaidi Osmani, 2012.
Information: Wiki

post Champion

February 13th, 2012

Filed under: Youth Network — Natty Mark Samuels @ 16:45

As the summer approaches, bringing with it the Olympics Games; we who love table tennis, look forward to observing the expertise of the Chinese – their on-going, pin-pong supremacy.


In the meantime, we continue to marvel at the skills of Fabian Audifferen. This young man rightly deserves the nickname ”Champion”; defeating all-comers - youth of all ages and adults too. Regularly winning the C.D.I.table tennis tournaments, which are open to any young person, who walks through the door.

This fourteen year old, who is working towards G.C.S.E. awards in Maths and French, is a pupil at Wheatley Park School. The school has outdoor table tennis tables, so he gets to indulge his passion on a daily basis, during the times of break and lunch.

Further to this, he has become a member of the Kidlington club, which plays in the Oxfordshire table tennis league. Playing against adults as well as youth. He’s obviously thriving, on the coaching received at the club

I’ve noticed his willingness to advise and assist the novices, especially the younger ones. Happy in victory, he is also a good loser, on the rare occasions that he doesn’t win.

Propelled by his passion for ping-pong, it is a real highlight to see this young man at the table; his skills in full flow, a wonder to watch.

Until the coming of Zhang Jike, the current world champion to the Olympic Games; we in the Oxford area, will find pleasure, in watching the brilliance of Fabian Audifferen.

© Natty Mark Samuels, 2012.

post A Talk with Zacc

February 7th, 2012

Filed under: Youth Network — Natty Mark Samuels @ 11:28

A Talk with Zacc

Confessing my low aptitude for the mysteries of mathematics, I’m always impressed by those who have a passion for it. One such person is Zacchaeus Hyde-Thomas, a.k.a. Zacc. Where I get tangled up in logarithms, he has the know how, to unravel all the enigmas.


With this capacity for numbers and formulas, he is taking A’ Levels in Economics and Maths, as well as a BTEC in Sports. After his sixth form time at the Oxford Spires Academy, he hopes to study to be an accountant.

During a recent conversation with him, it was thrilling to hear him express a certain desire; that following the qualification award and relevant experience, he would like to put a few hours aside each week, to use his expertise, in the service of a local project. Helping with the annual budgeting and the bids for funding. Or in the educational area, giving much needed numeracy support. Helping to light the way, from the dark room of incomprehension.

It warms the heart always, when young people make positive decisions about their neighbourhood, as well as themselves.

So it was really uplifting to talk with Zacc the other day. To listen to his dreams, and his confident stride towards them.

© Natty Mark Samuels, 2012

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