Tobi’s Arts Performed Podcast

Ep 22. June Reid, Nzinga Sound System

March 26, 2018

Podcast Show Notes: All links below



Hello everyone and welcome to the 22nd episode. I am your host Tobi.

In today’s episode there’s a slight change to the previously planned episode.

That episode with Dave Pickering will be published next week.

This week’s interview will be with June Reid. She is a fellow masters student who is also a sound system operator, with DJ Ade in Nzinga Sounds, where she plays dub reggae and other music around the Lewisham area. She talks about her studies in relation to African Caribbean female sound system operators, and also her struggles of being a female sound system operator in a very male dominated culture.

She also talks about when she was a DJ at SLR pirate radio station, 99.5. Amongst the people she interviewed was Betty Wright and Ziggy Marley. This was really interesting for me as it reattached me to my roots, of listening to this music in East London and my own West Indian background.

Also before I start the interview I’d like to introduce you to two poets I meet at that weekend. Dee Boo General AKA Donavan Christopher, who organised a toasting workshop for me and several other people. And also a poet I meet at the workshop called GNia, the Diction, Conviction, poet. They gave me poems for you to listen to so please enjoy.


Dee Bo General:

My name’s Donavan Christopher. I’m a Yorkshire lad, with a Jamaican mum and dad.

We don’t have a Yorkshire accent, we have a Yardshire accent!


When did you really stop and think, sometimes you haven’t even got time to blink

This one’s simply called, Different! And it goes like this!

Who decides, what different is like, are we sure of wrong and right

To be different, is a strange thing, if you really know what different is like

But who decides, what different is like, what’s different, brown, black or white

For you to know I’m different, you must be different too

So whose different difficult, is it me or is it you

Do I complain, now I refrain, from trying to be like you

That makes me different difficult, for not agreeing with your view

Well many are called, called are many, the chosen are only a few

So let’s try to compromise, my wrong could be your right

But I don’t care whose different, is it brown, black or white

­­­­­­­­­­­Greetings people, my name’s GNia:

I’m a poet from Forest Hill and part of Torridan writers group. Shalom. Peace. This is about identity.

So stop barking about the entity, the one called trump who a try to segregate all a we

Stand up and fight for your identity, for your heritage and all that are for we

From Africa in ships dem capture we, sail we to  Carib lands in slavery

Some of us was indentured too, you no see?, my god dem try brock the spine a we

A we identity

But stand strong, look sharp. As Marcus said, we can astonish the world!

Look for your roots indeed, and I’m not just talking about Kizzy and the one Kuntakinty

For me, I went to Zimbabwe, I touched the ground in the 80s

 Sang at the big Zim, Zimma stadium, ya see, to selbrate dem independence, scene

Me even have a picture to show Tobi, and to salute dem, independence and identity

Well, the struggle still a gwan, don’t you see? So me a ring de alarm for all a we

We no longer affie say, “I am a man, value me!”

Naaagh! Forget Trump, who a fart on the people ya see are just jealous, him jealous affie we identity

He is de orange one, him jealous a we identity, scene!

Dee Bo General: Asylum Seeker

Asylum seeker, refugees. What kind of words are these?

Refugee seeker, refugee asylum seeker, the voice I hear from every corner

Corners filled with voices of anger, again no sleep tonight for the refugee seeker

You might as well be a biblical leper, the would give you a place outside their border

Still making sure the kept things in order

At least they would keep their distance, a peaceful nights sleep without the violence

Refugee asylum seeker, why do you come, for you there is no future

It sounds like something I still remember, those ancient voices used to call us nigger

My blood runs cold, my bones shudder, from the dark abusive days my parents still suffer

I was also persistently, verbally, racially abused, we had to walk in crews, not ones and twos

Refugee asylum seeker, no sleep tonight, watching winda

Someone please tell me, what’s changed n the last fifty years? Racial abuse still brings violence and fears, with mother’s, children’s and father’s tears

Please check your past and history, you might find a family of refugees, in the branches of your family tree

On of those could well be me!

GNia: The Stand, or Harambee!

Hall and pull up, pull up, sickle and cease, hear the strain, hear the creak, after the maangmizi

The black holocaust

Do not release the gains that we hold

Pull for freedom, pull for peace, pull, pull and don’t release

Pull on your side, don’t release the gains and the strides

Pull, through strains, sinews and back, through you thighs, squat down deep

Take a hold, hold on to daily hope

Come on! Cause help will surely give us a shove

Pull selector, pull, stand firm, stand your ground, stand your ground

Every time trouble comes around, take the stand, and don’t you allow it to bring you down

Come, let we pull together

Our noses are wide, wide, wide

Our lips are thick, thick, thick

Our hair is black, black, black

I am beautiful, you are beautiful, we are all beautiful



This episode really was important to me. It has reconnected me to the music I heard around my childhood, but also in a strange way to my West Indian background, that for most of my life I’ve felt quite alienated from. So meeting June on the course and at the Outernational Sound System, Strictly Vinyl weekend, and also GNia and Donavan Christopher AKA Dee Boo General.

So next week I’ll be resuming with the second part of Dave Pickering’s Masculinity Mansplained, so, see you next week.

 Sound System Outernational, Strictly Vinyl facebook page

Dee Boo General, AKA Donavan Christopher's Rappa Man web page

Niehter June nor GNia yet have a website for their work

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