Friday, May 16, 2014

Don't Let Anyone Talk You Out of Your Dream or Talk You Into Theirs - Freda McEwen


British Nigerian Freda McEwen is running an election campaign for the post of Councillor in Thamesmead’s Moorings Ward in the Royal London Borough of Greenwich. As a friend, I have seen Freda embrace the challenges of a number of public service roles in Greenwich and around London over the years – From local housing board member to local authority Children’s safeguarding board member, NICE institute representative and eleven years working with the Metropolitan Police. We don’t often see many ‘British Nigerians’ devote themselves to public service the way Freda has, so I decided to interview her to find out what motivates her to want to serve, and to share this with you.


Hi Freda. You're welcome to the 'Make A Mark' Forum on Spotlight. I have a few questions for you.

1. Tell us a bit about your background. Introduce Freda McEwen to us.

I am a single parent with 2 children, 18 years and 16 years old. 
I'm also carer of  my eighteen year old son diagnosed with Autism.
I would describe myself as a hard working and passionate woman.
I have volunteered in various sectors and been appointed as board member and trustee In various establishments.
I have a degree and a Masters in Law. I worked for metropolitan Police for eleven years until I was made redundant.

2. What prompted you to run for Councillor in your local community?

I've lived in the Moorings for over 16 years and have developed a passion and desire to ensure my community is well looked after and people live a sustainable life. These are my people and my community. I am part of them and they are part of me and have always been.

3. Can you think of life experiences that have prepared you for this role?

Being a single parent and having a special child has empowered me to become more ambitious and to achieve beyond expectation and recognition.

4. What other skills and qualities would you bring to the role of Councillor and how would this be of benefit to the people of Thamesmead?

Firstly, I will bring my passion for promoting an enabling community. Secondly, my caring nature and my compassion for the vulnerable. And thirdly, acting as a voice for the voiceless at all times.

5. Thamesmead has a diverse population and a lot of working class families. Having served the community for many years in a number of roles, what do you as the immediate priorities to tackle, if you do get elected? 

  • To ensure our children have activities that will engage them and keep them out of trouble.
  • Reducing youth crime and gang culture through mentoring and coaching

6. How have local people responded to your campaign so far and what do you make of it?

I've had very good responses from the people I have spoken to, as I have been a tenant representative. I have always acted as a voice for all the tenants and ensured a fair deal for all tenants.

7. Give us your own personal mantra - a slogan - for our "Make A Mark" campaign.
What would you say to young people looking to make their mark? 

Don't let anyone talk you out of your dream or talk you into theirs.

Wow! That's one great mantra to have and to share, particularly with young people. It's been great talking to you, Freda. Naijalines and its readers wish you the best in the local elections. 

It's been a pleasure, Adura. Thank you.

***End of Interview***

You can follow Freda on Facebook and her blog: Vote for Freda 

Elections take place on Thursday 22nd May.

Naijalines wants guests for its "Make A Mark" Forum for the next one year. I aim to feature at least one person every month for the next twelve months. If you live in Nigeria or the diaspora, are doing something of public interest anywhere in the world (the project itself does not have to be Nigeria-related) and you'd like an interview to share and promote your campaign/project, contact adura.ojo(at) The service is free.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Naijalines is 6 Today - Free Giveaway and a Revamped Blog!


Hey guys!

How una dey? Hope you're good.

Naijalines is six today. When I started this blog in March 2008, I had no idea it would still be here six years on. To you, I say "thank you." Naijalines would not be the same without you. Naijalines would be undergoing a transformation in the next few days. It's time to share the good, the beautiful and the inspiring in our community. 'Better than ranting. LOL. Can you please tell me what you would like to read about in the revamped blog? It will not be just a personal blog so I'm open to all areas of interest (and yes, I have a few ideas up my sleeve too). What do you think we need to know more about in our Naija community home or abroad that is not currently covered on the great blogs out there? I'm counting on your support o. Leave suggestions in your comments here or email me:

To celebrate our sixth anniversary of this beautiful journey we're on, I'm giving away a free copy of my first poetry collection (to be published soon) to the reader who gives the best answers to the following questions:

1. What do you like best about this blog?
2. What is the number of poems in my forthcoming collection?

Please leave your answers in the comment box below.


Adura (Naijalines) xx

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Voice UK: Best Talent Show so far this Season

I had briefly stopped watching musical talent shows. That was until Ms Minogue joined the panel of judges on The Voice UK for its season 3. One peek and I was hooked from the word go. Where do I start? From charismatic, classy and gorgeous Kylie Minogue who can flirt for the whole of Australia (haha, love her!) - to the incredible planet of Will-I-am, The Voice UK has become so entertaining and silenced its critics. The array of talent is impressive. See a sample of what is on offer below. I only wish that in addition to the musical talent, the BBC would make a video of all of Ms Minogue's er... antics for the sheer entertainment value. She is incredibly charismatic and playful. See Kylie's 'moment' with Tom Jones, below. The talent on offer do not disappoint either. Enjoy.