The UK Corner

Urban Entertainment from a British perspective

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Lol: Kojo’s Live N Kicking DVD on the way

One of the UK’s finest comedians Kojo, will be ringing in the New Year with laughter.  This follows his The Fresh Prince Of Hackney performance which was broadcast on MTV Base.   After five years conquering America, including appearing on the NBC show Last Comic Standing In America, the witty Kojo returns to the Hackney Empire (a venue he sold out in 2006 and 2007),  on January 21 and 22 to tape his premiere DVD Live N Kicking, which will be released by Revolver Entertainment at the end of 2012.

Best known for Kojo’s Comedy Fun House, his weekly comedy club, Kojo 31, branched out into other aspects of entertainment including presenting on the Choice FM Breakfast show and screenwriting. His latest venture is film with a debut role in Noel Clarke’s The Knot.

Kojo has written a show which will focus on a range of topics including the capital’s dating scene, being raised in foster care, the likelihood of a black prime minister and the London riots.

Kojo says:  “I’m one of many urban voices that need to be heard as the things politicians ignore are the things we’ve had to make jokes out of to stop us going crazy!” You’d be mad to miss the show.

For more information about Kojo, visit: www.officialkojo.com

Live N Kicking

20-21 January 2012

Hackney Empire, 291 Mare Street, London E8 1EJ

Tickets £15.50-£25 Hackney Empire Box Office 020 8985 2424 http://www.hackneyempire.co.uk/?lid=238

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Peace from broken pieces: How to get through what you’re going through By Iyanla Vanzant

When I first saw Iyanla Vanzant on The Oprah Winfrey Show, I was saddened to hear about her losing her daughter to cancer, her defunct TV show Iyanla, and becoming bankrupt. However, as someone who brought Acts of Faith for my mother and who went to see Vanzant in London, from what she revealed about her sense of self, I couldn’t help but wonder if I had invested time and money in a ‘self-help guru’ that did not have all the answers.

But, intrigued by her story, I just knew that this book was worth reading. I was right. The book speaks to the soul and is addictive but one can only wish that the work were fictitious. It is almost unfathomable that one person; one family should be afforded such pain.

Yet, it is the strength that Vanzant writes about in this memoir; a universal strength, which reminds us that we can all overcome. Though primarily a woman’s tale, it is underlined by a fundamental understanding of the human spirit. A spirit, which both endures and soars.

Vanzant writes a raw account of her losses and gains. Many of the issues she addresses are recognizable from death and bereavements, to divorce and abuse. What is most interesting, is her analysis of pathology and family patterns, which if left unchallenged; are unconsciously passed down from generation to generation. It is no surprise that this New York Times best-selling author can write, but that she could write a book so well after facing so much pain, is no easy feat.

In 330 pages, Vanzant, the founder and executive director of Inner Visions International and the Inner Visions Institute for Spiritual Development, summarises the most important lessons of the last decade in her life; none more powerful than the death of her daughter Gemmia, her precious jewel, on Christmas Day in 2003. Her faith is the only thing that Vanzant, a Yoruba priestess, credits for helping her to overcome her grief. The book inspires as it affirms a route to healing for the faithful.

Each of the 20 chapters are prefaced by quotes such as “Your life will only get better when you get better”, as well as Yoruba proverbs and biblical references. Each chapter is titled in a characteristically Iyanla way (Blind in one eye…can’t see out the other). The main message I receive is that people need to remember who they are and who they can be; remember all the positive things about themselves that they have forgotten.

I have remembered what first drew me to Vanzant – her wisdom. Her wisdom supports those who want to bridge the gaps in their lives. For those who are deficient in their faith and spirituality, or who question emotional freedom techniques, it is easy to dismiss this book. Certainly not everyone will accept Vanzant’s premise that we choose our families but it is less easy to dismiss the karmic laws, which Vanzant professes. It is less easy to deny the power of rejecting personal lies in favour of self-confidence, self-esteem and self-worth, which she has now qualified.

Vanzant’s book chimes with the summary of Oprah Winfrey’s lecture in her show finale. Both offer reminders about the power of choice and responsibility, both are reminders to release fears and attachments to physicality; to follow our calling – to learn what we need to know better so that we can do better. Vanzant says, “Our spiritual curriculum is chosen by our souls to facilitate growth, learning, and healing.” After reading the book and re-watching Vanzant reunited with Oprah, my initial doubts made sense but were also diminished. Good advice doesn’t mean you know all the answers, it can mean that you are at least asking the right questions. Though Vanzant has left TV behind and now lives more modestly scrap-booking and making herbal soaps, she still has all the ingredients to help us all clean up our lives.

Peace from broken pieces: How to get through what you’re going through By Iyanla Vanzant is published by Hay House price £10.99

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The UK Corner comes home!

Way back in May 2007 I launched a column on www.eurweb.com called The UK Corner designed to promote British Urban musicians abroad. After three years of building up contacts, expanding to focus on film and theatre and people commenting on my ‘blog’ I decided that the column needed to grow…that’s where Wordpess came in.

Here you can get even more from the The UK Corner the digital platform designed to promote British urban entertainment at home and abroad and to give a British perspective on urban entertainment from around the globe.

The web space will allow British urban entertainers to gain exposure in new territories  in front of an international virtual community. In a regular update, The UK Corner will highlight the best of British urban entertainment and the unique experiences that British fans of global urban entertainment  receive on their own soil.

So Jump on board and enjoy the ride!

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