I was born in Kingston, Jamaica but came to live in Manchester, England in 1967. I am a qualified person-centred counsellor and cognitive behavioural therapist/trainer. I have been a foster carer for over twenty-two years. I deliver storytelling and story- writing workshops to people of different ages and cultures.
My first loves are writing and black history. I have had seven books published to date — two volumes of short humorous stories about my Jamaican culture, called Pardner Money Stories. The pardner, a
savings club similar to today’s credit union, was a pivotal part of the Caribbean community in the days when many people struggled to open bank accounts. The person who managed the pardner passed on important information when there were no mobile phones and most people couldn’t afford house phones. My fictional stories take a whimsical look at the interactions of four generations of the extended Jamaican family in Britain.
I have also had four volumes of poetry called Contemplation published. The last two volumes are called Contemplation — The Covid Era. These poems are what I call my therapeutic poetic processing to help me make sense of our current confusing times.
In 2020 I had a huge science fiction novel published called The Mandari Chronicles which tells the story of the original three races; dwarves (the hawsers), humans (the medians) and elves (the elemes), which were originally created on Earth.
For many years I have read my poetry and short stories at local events, and on local radio. Prior to Covid-19, I also presented a fortnightly African/Caribbean news and music programme as well as Black History Month programmes on local radio. During Black History Month and World Book Day, I go into schools and colleges and present black history workshops to children and heads of education establishments, emphasising the need for black history to be taught in schools.
I’ve always loved reading and began writing in my teenage years. I’ve tried to learn about black history and share this knowledge, which I didn’t learn in school, with as many people as I can.
Like many black people in Britain today, I am a product of two cultures which are equally important to me; my British and my Jamaican culture which is in danger of being amalgamated into numerous other cultures. I therefore make an effort to learn and preserve all I can about it in my writing because it is a vital part of me and my ancestors’ struggles which I feel I have a duty to preserve.