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SPEAKING FOR THE YOUTH: Jasmine says Siobhan Benita will get her vote

APRIL 14 came and all roads led to Ministry Of Sound in South London for Bite the Ballot’s Youth Vote London. There, London’s mayoral candidates Siobhan Benita, Brian Paddick, Ken Livingstone and more came out to meet and greet the assembled young people.

On the red carpet, there was a huge branding board, featuring the logos of some of London’s big youth organisations like Livity, Catch22, Lives Not Knives and many more.

Many of these youth organisations also had stands inside where youth could get engaged and on board with the hundreds of initiatives that are on offer to London’s young people. Who said there’s nothing out there for them?

There was so much going on at the event, I couldn’t keep up. There were voting booths and ballot boxes, showing the attendees how to cast a vote. In addition, there was a stage where DJs and music acts were all interacting with the crowd, while the outdoor area was awash with networkers and politicians.

STRAINED SMILES: Jas isn’t convinced about Ken Livingstone’s sincerity

UK MC Sway was in attendance, as was Princess Nyah, who came to speak to the kids and did a freestyle too. Comedian Kevin also spoke to the bloggers and press about why young people should use their vote to make a change for themselves.

Siobhan Benita got the most cheers and applause. She talked about issues that the audience all really seemed to feel and broke out into spontaneous applause for.

I wish Siobhan had started her campaign earlier as I think with the right championing on board to co-sign her, she could have really made a dent. Still, my first vote will be for her, as I really feel she is filling a gap by speaking for the under represented young people in London.

My second vote will go to Boris Johnson, as he has always honoured his commitments on the policies I have felt an allegiance for, and unlike Ken, he does care what the people say – in my humble opinion.


It’s theatre dahhhlings!

MAKING HISTORY: Matilda the Musical won seven Olivier Awards

NEXT, an old friend, ex-SonyBMG head honcho Mervyn Lynn called to see if I wanted to bring a group of friends along to the very swanky Laurence Olivier Awards.

The event honours achievements in London plays, musicals, dance and opera and winners in most categories are chosen by a panel of stage professionals and theatre-goers.

I scooped up a few of my nearest and dearest (after a very OTT drama about whether one of our male friends had left his black tie outfit at his country house) and there we were walking down the longest, poshest most fabulous red carpet I’ve seen this side on the Atlantic.

Make no mistake, this night at the Royal Opera House was about the biggest names in theatre and stage. The fact that a whole road –Drury Lane in Covent Garden – was rolled over with plush red carpet was testament to the fact.

Darlings, I must also mention that all theatre functions are a hoot to attend. When you see a ‘black tie’ instruction on an invite in the music world, too many people think it’s about flesh-baring, vulgar outfits that leave hardly anything to the imagination. But theatre folk like quirky, eccentric outfits. They’re all super creative people who wouldn’t be seen dead in a boring old frock from your average designer.

We were soon ushered into our seats and the show was off, with performances from practically every West End musical to entertain us between award categories.

Matilda the Musical – the musical is based on Roald Dahl's tale of an extraordinary little girl from an ordinary family – made history, winning seven awards.

In summary, we laughed, clapped, sang and jumped around in our seats with excitement all evening. Even the interval was fabulous as we were served champagne in our seats!
Oh the good life!

Post-show, we were guided into the reception where an abundance of starters and small bowls of scrumptious food were served. Our favourire? The sausage and mash!
Ball gowns, champagne and theatre…. just another day in the life of a media hustler and the Diva Dotiwala Diaries!

Jasmine Dotiwala is a TV producer, director and broadcast journalist. Email her at

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