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Wilde International Network Newsletter July 2013
Does it touch you when someone takes the time to drop you a line to thank you or to say well done. Or to tell you they enjoy reading what you write or even to say you look beautiful? Does it touch you? I love it! So thank you for your emails of appreciation for the monthly e-newsletters, and not thanking anyone over anyone else, I’d just like to thank my writing buddy, the Herbalist consultant and reggae songstress, Kandake, who has enhanced the structures to my time to write, and one of my shero’s, the writer’s writer, Jackee Holder. Jackee’s idea for a writing manifesto is awesome, I’m on it Jackee, and for the writers among us check out Jackee’s website, to read her tips on putting together a writing manifesto.

July Issue

Ginja in Negril
It Started With Tears

I had one of them rush hour meetings over in Cyprus and was told the best way is to get there from my side of London was via Victoria, then get a train from there to Becton and from there onto Cyprus. Now I know I don’t have to tell you about our London transport system here in the UK, but I do have to explain it to some of my international social networking buddies in Africa and the Caribbean. Basically, you can be left waiting for your scheduled link and a disembodied voice comes at you telling you that due to a problem with the signal... or due to a door not working properly on the train ahead... you ain’t going no place for now!

So I sit on one of those uncomfortable chair-things on the platform, trying not to give in to illogical tears threatening to sneak out. Is it that time of month? Why am I tearful over a cancelled train? My friends and family can tell you how emotional I am, but still it’s the kind of tears that covers other things going on that you’re not quite ready to face yet. And I know that, but still I’m going to pretend it’s the delayed train because there is an element of truth to that.

So I start crying, quietly, but I’m crying. And this young girl comes and sits next to me and she’s concerned enough after a few side glances at me, to ask if I was OK. I look at her and I see velvet. I mean, smooth, near to night velvet skin with not one blemish, not one crease, not one line and I think, wow. I’m still crying over the delayed train, but I’m looking at this girl’s skin and marvelling how anyone can be so smooth. Through my tears I tell her she’s beautiful, her skin, and to my horror and cease of tears, she got mad at me.

Cut a long story short she thought I was taking the p*** out of her. She said no one, no one, she emphasized, had ever told her that her skin was beautiful. She said the worse were her own people ... African and Caribbean... and worse still, women! Yes, she said women of colour gave her the greatest complex about her hue. So much so that she’s now considering bleaching her skin, and even though I gave her my truth on that topic I know she remains convinced that skin as dark as hers cannot be beautiful and she’s still heading for that bleach.

By this time the train finally arrives and my tears are long dried, and as we board, my new acquaintance asks me why I was crying and I tell her I think it was because the train got cancelled - she looks at me amazed and says, ‘You too? They make you cry too? You know how many people I see the cancelled trains make cry around here?’ She raised the first laugh out of me for the day.
Queen of Lovers Rock, Carroll Thompson, UK Patron
for Every Woman Inspired Expo

Queen of Lovers Rock, reggae songstress/song writer, Carroll Thompson is the UK Patron of Every Woman Inspired.
The UK launch of Every Woman Inspired Retreat and Expo will be held at the Jamaican High Commission. For those of you who don’t know what EWI is, take a look at the website, 
If you haven’t booked your holiday for this year and you’re considering where to go in search of sun, sea and inspiration, consider coming to Jamaica with a group of inspirational women. We’ve had a number of queries from women who say they don’t have anyone to room-mate with – don’t worry about that because if you enjoy making friends and don’t mind sharing with a like minded woman, then your problem is solved.
Hell Hath No Fury...

As things hot up in preparation for our forthcoming event, Every Woman Inspired, I’ve felt really privileged and humbled to have met some of the women whose inspirational works are little known about outside of their communities or countries. I have to tell you all about Kona, a war survivor of the Sierra Leone civil war and who became a social worker with a thousand stories to tell you about the horrors of war and its effect on women and children. Yet her inspiration and her plans to return home and assist the youths in her country that was fed a diet of violence, guns and wars is commendable.

I’m proud of the achievements of the women I see around me and beyond. I’ve been able to make contact with some phenomenal women via the internet and I am so glad to see that Every Woman Inspired has been received in a positive spirit by most women and men who have made enquiries.
One of our Key Note Speakers from the African continent has the other side of the coin for you to reflect on. She will be airing her gripe about some of the more unflattering characteristics we as women can sometimes house, in her workshop titled; 
Hell Hath No Fury. And that is the ‘bitchy’ side of women. The side that loves to criticise, belittle and judge. We’re going to have to admit this unattractive characteristic can sometimes raise its head in us, and then we’re going to learn how to thrash it! I’m really looking forward to this workshop as I have my own gripe about how unflattering we as women can be about each other.
Poet Laureate

Malorie Blackman, children’s author has been made Poet Laureate and we at WIN are so proud of her. And good for Malorie, who classes getting families to enjoy time together in the library as one of her aims, we wish her great success because she feeds the minds of our children.
Local Hero

I was delighted to learn that I had been nominated as a local hero for my creative work with women and also for initiating the Protect The Girl Child Campaign and was recognized as such by Hammersmith & Fulham, the borough where I live. Well, what do local heroes do? We get busy making use of our new found title and see what doors it can open for us... watch this space; I’ll tell you if it works.
I had an end of week meeting with my local MP who says WIN is doing and has been doing work considered ‘The Big Society’ kind of work, well, where is the help to sustain it!
Protect the Girl Child Campaign

The Protect the Girl Child campaign continued with WIN’s annual sponsored walk that took place on Sunday 30th June. The excellent weather meant our numbers were down as people chose to spend their sunny Sunday doing something other than walking six miles to raise funds. We walked from Little Venice, in West London, along the canal, taking in the barges and the back of London Zoo. It was a lovely sunny day, and we ended it with a picnic on top of Primrose Hill. Big thanks to Henry and Pinky, Destiny, Shanese, Xena and Ava-Elise... not forgetting the co-ordinator of Wilde Walk, Najjah Edwards.
And that’s me for now... I leave you with this quote: Worrying is like praying for what you don’t want.
More health, wealth, love and joy!
Rasheda ‘Ginja’ Ashanti Malcolm,
Author, Broadcaster, Activist, CEO of WIN and The Wilde Foundation and director of Every Woman Inspired.
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