For many, 2019 has been a tumultuous year but for me, it has been amazing!
From being able to go to the Monaco Yacht Show and the Ecoluxe Luxury gifting suite at the Oscars to having an article written about me and being involved in a BBC podcast (Coming in early 2020), 2019 has most certainly been “My year!”
Let’s start right at the beginning with London Fashion Week Mens. Thanks to Laura McCluskey, AOFM Pro, and Brendan O’Sullivan, I had the chance to go backstage at LFWM and I had one of the best experiences of my life. I realise you have only seen the main videos I posted and the Instagram stories so you may not have seen these pictures:
Closely followed in February was London Fashion Week with Oxford Fashion Studio at Devonshire Square (Little did I know it was for the last time) and then right after this, my family and I flew straight to Los Angeles for the Oscars!
This beautiful website was relaunched and also around that time, I was in talks with Oxfordshire Youth about bringing the Youth Awards back. The public process for this started a bit later on in the year.
Then the exciting month of May hit… The time where things get very busy! The Hackney half marathon (where I got terribly unwell and had to go to the hospital) and the Monaco Grand Prix were highlights of May!
June and July welcomed a new audience to TeamDJG as we went to Salisbury and I was featured in a local Bristol newspaper. We were able to take Soulful House Hugs to Salisbury and to Oxford City centre. Both were amazing experiences that brought joy to many.
Later on, in July, things got a little more interesting for me personally. After performing at Bristol Carnival, Asics 10K run and Cowley Road Carnival, I was none the wiser that the people of Bristol were on the lookout for me after the performance I gave as I was dancing to a remix of Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love” that my dad DJG was playing on the Soul2Soul Sound Stage. After receiving Facebook messages – which I initially thought were spam – Neil Maggs got in contact with me and wrote an article about me which I am still shocked about. Just little me from Bicester being searched for in big old Bristol. I still feel so humbled by that whole experience.
August marks the most important time in my year… My birthday! My 21st Birthday was amazing with so many additional surprises that will be revealed in 2020…
Keep your eyes peeled!
September marked my 3rd fashion week of the year which was fantastic. I was back with Oxford Fashion Studio except this time we were at the Royal Opera House:
As a family, we also managed to go to the Monaco Yacht Show which was absolutely amazing. September was an amazing standout month second only to October. If you can remember from the blog post I wrote, whole Yacht Show experience was something so different from anything I have ever experienced in my life and it’s something that I do not take for granted. Thank you Jesus!
One of my proudest moments to date has to be when we officially launched the Youth Awards at the Westgate with Messy Jam.
The spark for this specific Youth Awards started with a conversation I had over 2 years ago, the preparations for the whole event started over 12 months ago and the preparations, choreography and logistics for 3 minutes of performance started 6 months prior to this event in Westgate. And this is only the beginning.
On 19th January 2020, we will be holding auditions for more acts to perform on the New Theatre stage on 13th May 2020 at the Youth Awards. The realisation of this event is genuinely a dream come true. To have something that I said quite naively almost 2 years and 3 months ago to now be in an extremely tangible place is mind-blowing.
I can’t wait to give you more updates about how it is going, what fundraising we are doing and when tickets will be on sale so you can come and watch.
I also had the opportunity to speak about racism that I had faced in my lifetime on a BBC podcast. When this comes out, it will be such a hard-hitting listen. It’s a conversation between me (A Black Christian), Isra (A Muslim Woman), Bradley (A Jewish Man) and Laura Anderson. Personally, I cannot wait for you all to hear it!
You may have heard some of my stories before but I don’t think you will have heard the ones that I say in this podcast. I genuinely believe (Just like Jesy Nelson’s BBC Documentary) that this podcast should go into schools because of how hard-hitting it will be. Laura speaks to some of the worst represented people groups in the media, politics and the news: Jews, Muslims, and Black people!
God wasn’t quite done with me yet as he gave me the opportunity to be able to speak a Blenheim Palace. Things like this will feel surreal to me for a long time. Previously in October, the amazing team of Young people and I got to feature in a magazine called B4 and attend the launch of a new business magazine for young people called NX Mag. It’s well worth checking out.
After meeting the CEO of Blenheim Palace, Dominic Hare and the Creator of NX Mag, Ed Rosser (Such a great guy), I ended up speaking in the Orangery in front of some of Oxfordshire wealthiest people talking to them about why they should invest in young people and in the Youth Awards. Who would have thought that a young black kid from a working-class background would have the opportunity to be front and centre in a room that was predominately the opposite of that? In the position that I have, my aim is to help to make more seats at the table for more young people to be trustees, for more people of colour, for more diversity and for more change.
2019 has been one of those years where I have done a lot of self-discovery and I have found a lot inside that I never knew was there. Things such as leadership, team motivation and being able to say no. There have been lots of personal little victories that to most mean nothing but meant everything to me such as stepping outside of my comfort zone in certain areas regarding confidence.
It’s also been a year of a lot of lows that I have wanted to share as equally as the successes. With having to go to the hospital with the issues I have had with migraines and other health-related issues – I am a lot better now – it has been a year where my dependance on God has had to increase. From having faith in God that he would provide the funds to get us to the Oscars, Monaco Grand Prix and Yacht Show were all nerve-wracking yet exciting moments of 2019.
It’s been a year of doing and not a year of speaking or writing hence why you have not had many blogs from me this year which I am sorry for. I want to get that back to normal in 2020 but I will make no real promises as I will be going so much harder to reach my dreams by God’s grace!
Thank you for all of your support and love.
Countdown to 2020