Custom Search 1

Black men doing it big

INVESTMENT: Artist manager and founder of record label Disturbing London, Oburota right) is best known for developing and managing the career of UK MC Tinie Tempah

IF, LIKE me, you watched the recent Panorama documentary Jobs For The Boys? and were left feeling dejected and disheartened, this might be just the tonic you need.

The BBC documentary, presented by ex-footballer Sol Campbell, investigated why the unemployment rate for young black British men is almost double that of their white counterparts. Frankly, it was depressing.

Yes, these are issues that need to be tackled and there’s no sense in pretending these problems don’t exist. But with our young men often getting a bad rap in the media, we felt compelled to put the spotlight on a selection of black men from various fields, whose achievements are worth shouting about. Fellas, we salute you.

....................................................................

Josh and John Okungbaiye

WINNERS of the 2013 Pitch To Rich competition, which enables young entrepreneurs to pitch their business ideas to Richard Branson, brothers Joshua and John Okungbaiye (right, with Branson) are the creators of innovative backpacks designed to deter thieves.

The young entrepreneurs from south east London scooped the competition prize of £5,000 after pitching their brightly coloured backpacks, which feature a double zip system – with one zip on the inside – making it more tricky for pickpockets and opportunistic thieves to delve inside. The backpacks are sold through the brothers’ company High Spirit, and in select retailers.

Follow the company on Twitter: @HighSpiritBag

....................................................................

Mandem on the Wall

DEE Kartier, Joivan Wade and Percelle Ascott (L-R) became YouTube sensations with their online comedy series Mandem On The Wall. Launched in 2011, the hilarious series – as the title suggests – charted the daily adventures of the three youngsters, whilst they sat on a wall.

BRIT School graduates Wade and Ascott, along with comedian Kartier – all of whom are writers for the series – earned further prominence this year when the Mandem graduated to prime time TV, starring in the E4 series Youngers.

Visit www.mandemonthewall.com

....................................................................

Arnold Oceng

HAVING made waves in both the music and acting worlds here in the UK, news broke earlier this year that Oceng is set to star alongside Hollywood golden girl Reese Witherspoon in the upcoming film, The Good Lie. The film tells the story of a young refugee of the Sudanese Civil War [Oceng] who wins a lottery for relocation to the United States.

The actor and rapper, known to his music fans as Snakey Man, began his acting career in the children’s programme Grange Hill, and went on to star in films including Adulthood and My Brother The Devil, as well as the hit Channel 4 drama Top Boy. Of his upcoming Hollywood role, Oceng told The Voice: “Getting this role has changed my life completely. I've always wanted a role to take me to Hollywood and this is it.”

Follow Oceng on Twitter: @SnakeyManUK

....................................................................

Femi Ogun

ACTOR and writer Femi Tay Oguns founded Identity Drama School in October 2003, in a bid to encourage actors from all backgrounds “to know themselves and celebrate their identity through acting.”

With TV credits including EastEnders, The Bill and Holby City, Ogun was named as a UK Film Council Breakthrough Brit in the fields of acting and writing in 2010.

Visit www.identitydramaschool.com

....................................................................

Dean Atta

WINNER of the 2009 Spirit of London Award for Achievement through the Arts, Atta is one of the leading talents of London’s poetry scene. Renowned for his reflections on race, identity and sexuality, Atta rose to prominence with his debut poetry collection, I Am Nobody’s N****r.

Visit www.deanatta.co.uk

....................................................................

Dumi Oburota

ARTIST manager and founder of record label Disturbing London, Oburota (right) is best known for developing and managing the career of UK MC Tinie Tempah (left).

Realising the importance of the business aspects of an artist’s career, Oburota established Disturbing London in 2006, and successfully built a following for Tempah, who went on to score number one hits; earn a prestigious Ivor Novello Award for Best Contemporary Song for his huge hit Pass Out; and see his single Written In The Stars go platinum in the US.

Oburota has since invested in several other artists, including All About She and Dot JR, who are also on his Disturbing London roster.

Visit www.disturbinglondon.com

....................................................................

David Ajala

ANOTHER British actor making waves in Hollywood is David Ajala. Having featured in TV shows including Misfits and Silent Witness, the actor landed a role in the Hollywood blockbuster Fast And Furious 6 and is currently filming the upcoming flick Jupiter Ascending, which will see him star alongside Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum.

Asked about the current Stateside success of UK actors like himself and Arnold Oceng, Ajala told The Voice: “The US is embracing UK talent. They're not romanticised by the fact that we're British – we have to be good. You don't get access to work on certain things because you're a Brit, you get access because you're a Brit and you're brilliant at what you do." 

Follow Ajala on Twitter: @iamDavidAjala

....................................................................

Labrinth

HAVING made hits for artists including Ms Dynamite, Emeli Sandé, and perhaps most notably Tinie Tempah – whose number one hit Pass Out he produced – Labrinth has established himself as one of the UK’s hottest producers. Also an artist in his own right, the hitmaker is famed for his own tracks Earthquake and Let The Sun Shine.

Visit www.labrinthofficial.com

....................................................................

Akala

RENOWNED for his reflections on politics, race and social conditioning, Akala is both revered and respected in the UK hip-hop scene. The London-born rapper and poet, and younger brother of British MC Ms. Dynamite, is also the founder of The Hip-hop Shakespeare Company. Founded in 2008, the music theatre production company was set up to explore the social, cultural and linguistic parallels between the works of English writer William Shakespeare and that of modern day rappers.

Visit www.akalamusic.com

....................................................................

Noel Clarke

FAMED for his hit films Kiduthood (2006) and Adulthood (2008), the director, writer and actor was awarded a BAFTA Orange Rising Star Award in 2009.

Keen to push the boundaries of black British filmmaking, Clarke stepped away from street dramas with his 2010 diamond heist adventure 4.3.2.1 and then turned his attention to alien adventures with last year’s Storage 24. Clarke also founded the film and TV production company Unstoppable Entertainment in 2007.

Follow Clarke on Twitter: @NoelClarke

....................................................................

Jamal Edwards

MAKING the 2012 Sunday Times Rich list with an estimated worth of £6 million, Jamal Edwards is one of black Britain’s most celebrated young entrepreneurs. Taking advantage of the digital age, Edwards launched the online youth broadcaster SB.TV in 2006, to showcase music, freestyle, interviews, and various aspects of youth culture. The company now boasts more than 314,000 subscribers and 165 million total video views, with spin-off channels focusing on comedy, fashion, games, sport and business.

Visit www.sbtv.co.uk

....................................................................

Tunde Okewale

A DEFENCE barrister at Doughty Street Chambers, Okewale won the Young Lawyer of the Year Award at the 2012 Lawyer Monthly Barrister Awards. His comprehensive practice comprises of general crime, serious crime and extradition, as well as appellate work in the Court of Appeal and the Administrative Court. Last year, he was also shortlisted in the Young Legal Aid Barrister category for the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year (LALY) Awards.

Visit www.doughtystreet.co.uk

....................................................................

Sebastian Thiel

POPULARLY known under the pseudonym, Sir-Bastian, Thiel is a rising young entrepreneur and film director, who, last year made the Evening Standard’s list of London’s 1,000 most influential people.

With experience in editing, camera operation and youth workshops, Thiel’s credits include the films Friday UK, Illegal Activity and Fill Me In, all featured on his online channel Upshot TV.

Visit www.sir-bastian.com

....................................................................

Edwin Broni-Mensah

THE Manchester-born entrepreneur hit the headlines in 2010 when he launched GiveMeTap; an organisation that raises money for drought-stricken countries through the sales of a special aluminium bottle. Earning a first class degree in Mathematics and Computer Science, Broni-Mensah went on to be named Britain's top black graduate by Future Leaders magazine.

Visit www.givemetap.co.uk

....................................................................

Jason Njoku

THE University of Manchester graduate turned millionaire is the founder of Iroko Partners; the largest online distributor of Nigerian movies and music. With employees in London and Lagos, the company boasts over 3,000 Nollywood titles and is famed for showing Africa’s best content to a global audience.

Visit www.irokopartners.com

Subscribe to The Voice database!

We'd like to keep in touch with you regarding our daily newsletter, Voice competitions, promotions and marketing material and to further increase our reach with The Voice readers.

If interested, please click the below button to complete the subscription form.

We will never sell your data and will keep it safe and secure.

For further details visit our privacy policy.

You have the right to withdraw at any time, by clicking 'Unsubscribe'.

Facebook Comments