Wisdom Can Only Come From Being Unwise

Wisdom Can Only Come From Being Unwise

Michelle is a Caribbean entrepreneur with a story to tell. Grass-fields explores Michelle’s wisdom.

Over the years I have often thought that it would have been easier if I didn’t achieve anything. I was 21 and fresh off the boat. I had arrived in the UK. My auntie and my uncle were my only family. They lived in Nottingham. So, I went straight to Nottingham.
My plan when I landed in the UK was to become a hair and beauty professional. My aunty offered me a room in her house. So I moved in with her. She lived in an area that was mainly Caribbean; Just like me.

 

In the 70s many Caribbean people fled from Jamaica to find work in the UK. Many were promised by the government that they would become nurses and high paid professionals. This was not true. They found themselves wiping bottoms and cleaning bed pans. 
 I was determined this would not be my destiny
June 20, 2017 by Bianca Watson
How Do You Keep Your African Spirit When You're So Far From Home?

How Do You Keep Your African Spirit When You're So Far From Home?

Rata is a powerful entrepreneur who generates opportunities not just profit. Grass-Fields spoke to her husband and herself about how and why she started her business:
My husband and I moved from Ghana to East London to Nottingham.
When I moved to Nottingham I noticed that the culture is about "I" and not "we". This shocked me because in Ghana is it about "we". You wouldn’t often hear – “I want this. I need this. I don’t have time for this.” I guess it is a different way of thinking. In Ghana, "we" are "I" and only "we" can help "I".
I never wanted to loss my Ghanaian spirit.
But how could I keep it?
How can I move freely when the place I live doesn’t share my views?
How?
June 14, 2017 by Bianca Watson
Memories From My Childhood In Cameroon

Memories From My Childhood In Cameroon

This week, we decided to visit our formal primary school in Yaoundé Cameroon, and it brought back so many lovely memories.

Michele and I attended Government Bilingual Primary School Biyem-Assi. As far as I can remember, the minimum number of pupils in my class was always around a 100. To people from the developed world or private education, this might seem a lot but this was quite 'normal' for a public government school in Cameroon as the school fee was really cheap.

 

We always sat 3 or 4 in a bench to my greatest happiness as it meant I could easily copy during exams. To be honest, I wasn’t a very clever pupil, I was always among the last to pass, whilst Michele always managed to be among the top 10! She knows I still hate her for that as she was considered the 'clever' one...

June 12, 2017 by Christelle Nganhou
African entrepreneur

Define Who You Are. Define Who You Want To Be.

 At Grass Fields, we want to explore new African entrepreneurs and artists, which we hope will show a different side to the beauty and the entertainment industries.  After all, you never know who’s going to be the next big thing!

Kemi is a unique music artist born and raised in East London. Kemi has had some very unique experiences that brought her to music. She told Grass Fields all about it.

“I am only 24 years old and I have chosen a career that defines me.

I first realised that I could sing in church. I never really believed that singing would become my overwhelming passion.

I am from a Nigerian family. I was raised knowing the importance of education...

How Do You Empower An African Woman?

How Do You Empower An African Woman?

Interview with Entrepeneur Prisca Morse, Supertress hair extensions 
"I studied finance. I worked in Finance. I hated finance.

I was raised in a very traditional African family. I was taught that jobs in finance was the only way to empower yourself as a young African woman. So I took my parents advice and went to university and studied finance. Once leaving university I gained employment in finance.

I noticed that no matter how hard I worked I never could move up in the company that I worked for.  I would complete task faster than anyone else in the office and always remained positive and polite.
May 30, 2017 by Bianca Watson
Africa Day 2017

Africa Day 2017

Why do we celebrate Africa Day?

A riot of color, music and celebration, Africa Day (otherwise known as African Liberation Day) celebrates the first Organisation of African Unity on May 25th 1963 - later to become the African Union.

It’s an incredible keystone date because it commemorates the 17 countries that gained independence from European colonisers between 1958 and 1963. It’s celebrated by millions of Africans across the world - both in and out of Africa!

In recognition of this amazing event, here are Grass Fields favourite facts about the day...

May 24, 2017 by Christelle Nganhou
What Good Can Come Out Of Africa?

What Good Can Come Out Of Africa?

Interview with Kouassi Atta

I was born and raised on the Ivory coast. I have always been an entrepreneur. However, business wasn’t always my main passion.


I have always had the passion to communicate with the world. The power of language allows us to do this. The power of philosophy allows us to understand the world that little bit more. So, when I was living in the Ivory coast I decided to study literature, philosophy and foreign languages.


When I had finished my studies, I set sails to Italy.  It was in Italy I truly started to realise the lack resources for the African community. The African and Caribbean voice was not express or heard. I begin to become more and more interested in organising events within the African community.
 I did not desire money. I desired social change...
May 22, 2017 by Bianca Watson
A little help from a friend

A little help from a friend

The manager made me wait until 3pm to see him. I showed him our website and laid out our plans for the business.
His words to me were, 'What makes you think you'd be able to pay us back? It's obvious you're just trying to scam us, get out!'
I was absolutely devastated; where on earth had he got that impression of me from?
November 21, 2016 by Christelle Nganhou
A bittersweet return and a crazy idea

A bittersweet return and a crazy idea

I had to walk to an internet cafe to speak to her online, because we couldn't afford the internet at home; so when she told me she could no longer afford to live in the UK, we sat and cried together for what felt like hours. It felt like our dreams had been shattered. How would we make enough money to support ourselves?
November 14, 2016 by Christelle Nganhou
I had no idea how we were going to survive

I had no idea how we were going to survive

The final straw came when I asked my uncle for a loan, but he said no. Feeling defeated I sat and cried... I'd never wanted to end up in a situation where I was at the mercy of others. Africans are very proud people but at that moment I felt deeply ashamed.
November 07, 2016 by Christelle Nganhou