Thursday, 29 May 2014

A Dedication to the ‘would be’ movers & shakers!! ~ poem by Jaz McKenzie

Just thinking about all the people in the world who have big dreams but just don't get around to doing anything about them- they just turn over & go back to sleep~ little effort=little results!
'A Dedication to the ‘would be’ movers & shakers!!' 

Today is here- it has arrived
So what are you going to do about it?
Shout praises that you’re here alive?
Or waste time under the duvet wishing life away?
NO NO NO! That won’t do at all
Let your inner lion ROAR and have his say
Create a creation that tailors the hours to suit
Life’s not meant to be serious; it can be a hoot!
A mix of work and play benefitting the inner you
And whatever you do remain true to your core
Do it your way, pushing at every door
In anticipation of success till you shout ‘result’
Believe me friend-
That is what life is about! 

Jaz McKenzie © 2014



Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Aint No Stopping Us Now Mcfadden and Whitehead


Jaz McKenzie

Have Questions~ Have Answers #18- How easy is it to fool ourselves?

This is an interesting and very individual question which we will each answer differently. Clearly there are as many answers as there are people and situations however the betting is that we have all fooled ourselves at some point, probably in relation to an issue of great importance.

Everyday there are people walking around believing the best of a person whilst underneath they are experiencing doubt. People like to believe the best or the worst! Either way, where doubt exists your beliefs are working as a defense mechanism to elevate your position or to prepare you for the worst-' I knew that all along.' Romantic relationships are an obvious- is my guy/girl cheating on me? Depending upon our level of self confidence or pride it is easy to create mis-beliefs. We add up past experiences, apply them to the situation and form a conclusion- until we have proof we only have our gut feeling to go on!

Fooling yourself can have serious consequences and it will always undermine your inner confidence. If we start to listen to our gut instinct we can nip things in the bud before they accelerate and any real harm is done. To be honest with yourself can be quite hard, it might mean admitting faults, an unkindness, envy... many emotions that we prefer not to deal with but through such honesty we have the opportunity for self improvement and increased inner strength/self confidence.

Self honesty can be hard to swallow in relation to ambition. Look at the people who enter talent shows and clearly lack talent- especially those who believe they can sing whilst the world sits grimacing! It is unkind to encourage people in the wrong way- there is usually a way of saying what you mean without being overly blunt or cruel. To let someone think they can sing when they cannot is unkind in itself, especially if they end up being laughed at.

If you constantly fool yourself the question is why? What image are you projecting? Are you hiding from your faults or pretending they don't exist? An extreme example is an alcoholic who genuinely believes they are in control. Holding on to an acceptable image instead of seeking help- in whatever area of your life- is not a good move, so identify the true underlying problems.

Next time you find yourself fooling yourself stop to wonder why- self honesty is the best road to progress and good working relationships with others. Do yourself a favour and be honest with yourself- life may be challenging but it will also be more rewarding!

Jaz McKenzie

Sunday, 25 May 2014


It's Sunday ~ so let's go back to basics as this is traditionally a day for rejoicing in many religions so today we are sharing the sentiment with a less traditional yet equally pertinent Dancehall Flavour.

When we are speaking about social justice and equality we need to open our minds and accept everybody's contributions. To me, the words in this R.A.W. family song are just as powerful as any of the Gospel choir greats. God has created us all individually and therefore logic says that all forms of praise, worship, joy and thankfulness will be received equally by Him- so how come we often create 'pecking orders?' As a huge fan of Shishco BoB and 13K this is at the top of my play list along with more traditional hymn of praise. Please share to help spread the message~ Thanks.
Shishco BoB Facebook Page

Jaz McKenzie

Tuesday, 20 May 2014


JOURNEY TO JUSTICE~ J TO J~ is a powerful UK campaign set to launch shortly - Saturday 21 June, 7.30pm, 2014, Conway Hall, Red Lion Sq, Holborn. The evening will weave together an eclectic mix of song, poetry, film and dynamic speeches to reinforce the need for social justice.  As we all belong in the same world, the heart of this organisation beats to inspire us all universally.
Pauline Pearce
Compere Pauline Pearce, Hackney Heroine, will lead us through the performances,  presenting struggles from past and present generations with the aim of encouraging us to  formulate new approaches collectively  and individually; making ours a more just world.  Pauline will remind us that June 21st is the 50th anniversary of the murder of civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman in Mississippi, therefore this launch is dedicated in part to their memory.
Performances on the night will include: 
* The David Idowu Choir  (formed in memory of David, who was a 15 year old victim of knife crime)
* Tayo Aluko (who wrote Call Mr Robeson)
* Streetz Ahead dance
* UCLU Jazz Society
* Zena Edwards, poet and singer
* Jo Clarke singing some classic Nina Simone 
* Wayne Marshall singing classic civil rights anthems.   
Wayne Marshall
Light refreshments will be served in the interval.
The main speaker will be Leyla Hussein, co-founder of Daughters of Eve and campaigner against gender based violence. The launch event will conclude with a tribute to the late great Pete Seeger, a king of social protest music.

Leyla Hussein
The night will promote Journey to Justice’s first project: a travelling exhibition about the US civil rights movement and its impact, as this provides a solid model that people can relate to. Primarily, ‘Journey to Justice' enables us to engage with our own rich history of the grass-roots movements that have led to massive social changes towards equality. Using the US civil rights movement, it frames the long journey we have travelled enabling us to recognise universal human rights. This exhibition will give people a real chance to engage with some of the key milestones in history, and will empower a generation’’ (The British Humanist Association.)
Journey to Justice will tour UK communities starting with Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Sheffield. As the exhibition travels,  it will connect with local UK histories of campaigns for change, the snowball effect creating a bigger picture of the move towards justice within the UK.

The launch coincides with Journey to Justice’s crowd funding campaign which aims to raise £20,000 towards creating and building the travelling exhibition Follow donations here Journey To Justice supporters expect the initial £10 donation to be richly blessed and ask for your support in sharing this venture by word of mouth and social networking (J TO J FACEBOOK.) If you wish to hold a fundraising event or become involved directly with this powerful, life-changing campaign check the website for contact details or email

~IB~ hopes that you will take this campaign to heart and book your tickets now. Grab some energy from the Streets Ahead dancers and get busy sharing!

Jaz McKenzie

Friday, 16 May 2014


Thanks to Mark Galloway ~IB~ was privileged to be involved with the Everybody Dreams campaign in 2012, a project that was conceived and executed by Gladesmore School in Tottenham, London, a year after the Tottenham riots. We are thrilled that Mark is keen to involve us in a brand new and equally serious venture called, 'Journey To Justice.'

Whereas 'Everybody Dreams' was specifically designed to create awareness that the children who live in Tottenham are not trouble makers but astute ambitious young people who aim to make a difference to the area and inspire youth across the UK, 'Journey To Justice' focuses on social justice and helping people learn how to overcome and create a better future. As you can see from the logo, Journey To Justice is about learning from the past and seeing what the current influences are to help support human rights. Journey To Justice is a high level campaign led by an experienced team.

Project Director Carrie Supple has been concerned with the welfare of young people for many years and was part of the 'Street Law' team that initiated Youth Act (2003-2011.) The team provided training and advice to staff at Gladesmore Community School' which ensured the success of their campaigns; the award winning Value Life Campaign and the record breaking Everybody Dreams Campaign.  It is worth noting Mark Galloway's monumental achievement last year when he negotiated the free provision of nine buses to take Gladesmore children from Tottenham to the Tower of London to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Value Life Campaign.

In the next blog we will be posting website links and information about the forthcoming Launch at Conway Hall, giving you a more in-depth look at this project; so get ready as this train is set to leave the station!!

Jaz McKenzie

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Who Am I~ Poem by Jaz McKenzie

Life is definitely a journey and at times we understand ourselves whilst at others we are confused by our emotions, behaviour, circumstances or so on. I think there are three main seasons that we travel between: Joy, contentment and pain; in differing degrees of severity. When we come to believe that we know ourselves, sometimes things happen to challenge that belief. Our world can literally be rocked as we find ourselves in unfamiliar territory where, on occasion, we might feel numb and inadequate. The alternative is much better, we feel strong, joyful and very much alive. This short poem is written to convey the challenge of life.
Who Am I?
Once upon a time I thought I knew
But as time unravels I see myself anew
The complexities of life come into play
So I’m no longer the ‘Me’ of yesterday
Emotions whipped like the wind
And tears, a spray
From the misty sea of dreams relay
With unfailing certainty
That the circle of life
Creates circles in me.

Jaz McKenzie ©2014





Saturday, 10 May 2014

Have Questions~Have Answers #17-Have you ever stopped to think about the importance of will power?

Have you ever stopped to think about the importance of will power?
The way we control our will power contributes greatly to the success we experience in life- FACT. Yet will power is something you might never give any real consideration to. We often hear people say things that acknowledge their will power in particular situations, such as: ‘I can never keep my new resolutions for more than a couple of weeks,’  but look at the effect this has on your life! Using the typical gym for exercise, if you stop going you will probably remain slightly overweight and considerably under toned; like the majority of the population. Does this matter? Only if it affects your self- esteem, but if you are genuinely unconcerned, have no immediate medical conditions and are comfortable with yourself it would appear immaterial.

The problem comes when this is not an isolated incident in your life and is a typical personality trait. If you are forever giving in to poor will power you are not respecting yourself therfore dismissing personal value. This might sound extreme but sometimes we are setting ourselves up to fail. Where exercise is concerned people fail because regular gym attendance is an alien practice and huge commitment in real terms. Better to start out gradually and find a form of exercise that suits- eg: Zumba is popular and probably cheaper than gym membership. One class a week is a more realistic commitment as people usually overdo the gym.
On a serious level, how many people find themselves stuck in a job or relationship because they lack the will power to move on? If you are ‘weak willed’ you will lack the mental energy  as continually giving in to please or appease others is mentally draining, leaving even less will power to attend to personal needs. It is a bitter circle and if you wish to move on you need to formulate a plan that strengthens your will power progressively.
One way is to set small targets that you can meet so you do not let yourself down. Maybe getting up when the alarm sounds. First you decide upon a realistic time and secondly, you get up at that time. If routine is one of your strengths yet you constantly give in to your partner or children, choose situations that you have definite views about so you can easily reinforce your decision. Example: your children always want some biscuits at bedtime. You know this is un-necessary and not good for their health so it is easy to decline and if need be, offer an alternative.
Will power is connected with self-belief, so if you strengthen it you will have more self-belief and a better self-image. This increases your ability to love yourself and command respect. Once you start building up your will power you are less likely to be taken advantage of and this is a blessing, being less stressful and often providing more time to do your own thing!
Next time you find yourself ditching an activity or agreeing to something you are not really in agreement with or would prefer not to do, ask yourself why this happened. Were you just tired or lacking in energy-Why? Did you feel intimated and afraid of the consequences? If so, time to make some changes, identify fears and clarify what you really want from your life.
Will power is the power to follow through with your thoughts, decisions, intended actions, interactions. If you lack will power you will be a shadow of the real you. To be the best you, exercise will power and praise yourself for all of your successes; only then will you find just how strong you are and how rich life truly is.

Jaz McKenzie
If you would like to write a short article for ~IB~ send to:


Friday, 9 May 2014

Letter to Hurt Girl -Part 2 by Kyillie-Ann Jones


Hurt Girl Part two- Road to recovery

Your insecurities don’t work for him

He don’t want to see you cry

So he won’t say bye, he will just walk out your life.

Now is your time to be your own glue, learn to depend on you

Nothing else will work

A new man won’t stop the hurt.

Diamonds are dug up from dirt and washed clean

Don’t let your rough edges  make you bitter and mean

Don’t cut the man who wants to love you

And don’t let him become your new glue

Only you can sort out you!

Only you know what to do

Hurt girl now is your chance to heal your elf

Before you become another pretty Girl on the shelf

Kyillie-Ann Jones 2014
A big thanks to Kyillie & if you would like to share your poems on ~IB~ contact:

Have Questions ~Have Answers #16- Do you trust your instincts?

Do you trust your instincts?
We are all born with an in-built safety system and this is called ‘instinct.’ Our instincts are basically automatic reactions to situations and may show themselves physically or emotionally depending upon the trigger! Sometimes we have time to react to our instincts and at others we have instinctive reactions, for example: if you walk into a lamppost you may well curse or, if the pain is really bad, cry. To hit back is also an instinctive reaction in some people whereas others have an instinctive feeling that it is best not to reciprocate and walk away. We usually react to our instincts when we have time to think about a situation. When we meet people we often have instinctive likes and dislikes, our instinct will dictate our action. I once interview a painfully shy young girl who had difficulty answering the questions but my gut instinct was that she was an excellent candidate for the job- so I hired her and she worked extremely well. It would have been easy to reject her as there was little on paper to go on.
This shows that there are times when we should trust our instincts and occasions where wisdom over-rides. But what about the personal decisions we need to make in life? When it comes to taking risks we can weight them up carefully or simply follow our instincts- what a great study that would make if it could be undertaken in relation to real life, but then of course we don’t know the direction the opposite course would have taken.
I heard in a seminar recently – I think it was by Caroline Myss (world famous spiritual healer) who said that we always end up where we are destined, however we have two choices when faced with any situation- the safe choice and the risky choice. Caroline  says that you can go through life making safe choices but the risky ones are much more exciting! Of course, if you trust your gut instinct which basically means trusting yourself, you will step into the arena of risk, usually without a safety net, with the result that in the majority of situations you will make the right choice. The more you trust your instincts the more in tune you will become with yourself and therefore personal understanding, acceptance and comfort.
Challenges are the food of life- no challenges, no opportunity for growth. Sometimes we find ourselves in a comfortable position which may tick over for many years- when suddenly opportunity is knocking on our door. This is when we refer to our instincts and may have to step out in faith and trust that we will serve ourselves well. If you have nothing and an opportunity comes along, you have nothing to lose. If you have nothing and create your own opportunity, even if you start with a few hesitant steps, through having faith it will be blessed. This may not happen immediately as most people have a few false starts along the way- but these are basically learning curves so that you acquire the knowledge to succeed, so keep going even if you have to adjust your course from time to time.
Ultimately, life is all about the living, not existing from day to day, so the more chances you take the more interesting life becomes. Fear has to become a word of the past and when it surfaces, replace it with faith! Both of these words refer to the unknown, the difference- fear is negative whilst faith is positive.  Make good choices, make poor choices but don’t stay stuck in a groove,  it’s your life so play the whole tune!
Jaz McKenzie
if you would like to write a short article for ~IB~ contact:

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Hurt Girl- Poem by Kyillie- Ann Jones

We have shared work on ~IB~ before from Kyillie-Ann Jones whose work is quite deep, always getting to the heart of the matter. In this particularly poem Kyillie looks at the need for us to be self reliant, looking inwards for our happiness and satisfaction in life rather than relying on someone else, particularly a partner. None of us like to be responsible for the happiness of another and those who like that level of control have the opposite effect upon their partners! The key to Kyillie-Ann's poem~ never lose your identity.
Letter to hurt girl
Girl I see you’re searching but there nothing to find

Girl you think you love him but your hurt has you blind

He can’t see you for all that your worth

He can’t see you cause you can’t see yourself

How is he supposed to know you

When you don’t show him who you are?

You’re just clinging on to him while he’s getting ready to leave

He doesn’t feel your love he only sees your pain

He doesn’t want to work things out

He wants to be free from this Roller-coaster ride

-          he cant take your darkness inside.

You use him for a safe place to hide.

You  can’t see he’s looking for an open door ,

You can’t see

He’s looking for the right time to run

Love is not supposed to be scary

It’s supposed to be fun.
Kyillie-Ann Jones 2014
If you would like your poetry featured on ~IB~ contact:

Sunday, 4 May 2014


~IB~ are thrilled to share our recent interview with Tinga Stewart Wiki Link, a veteran Reggae artist who has performed around the world and recorded with many artists over the years. Here Tinga gives us some very interesting insights into the state of the Reggae Industry, which seems to be a pretty sorry state of affairs; so who will accept the challenges Tinga throws out there?

Tinga is still making new recordings and keeping up with the times. I really enjoyed his recent performance at Cecil Ruben's Birthday Party at the Hootenanny where he delivered with great flair and conviction! Huge thanks to Patrick Boothe of Sollueshing Productions and Tinga for taking time out to give the interview.

Link Tinga on Facebook~Tinga Stewart Facebbok

Jaz McKenzie

Friday, 2 May 2014

'Thank You'~ poem by Jaz McKenzie

Sadly,basic courtesy so often seems to be lacking these days and at times we can feel irritated or even angry when we do things for other people and our efforts are ignored. These are two little words that can flow from our lips so easily and simply show that we don't take other people for granted. In some instances a word of thanks is just an acknowledgement, alternatively it can also be a very deep expression of gratitude for an act of kindness, support or straight forward appreciation. As you may have guessed I was a little irritable recently and made a mental note to write this poem!

Thank You!
 Why not say Thank You when I stand aside to let you pass-
Umbrella bending under the power of wind driven rain;
Allowing you to progress smoothly, gliding along the pavement
Like a ship on the ocean?

 Why not say Thank You while I’m holding the door open
To save you juggling with your shopping bags as you exit the store
Without even a glance of acknowledgement-
Are you really that pre-occupied?

Why not signal Thank You when I slow down
So you can swing out, noisily, into the stream of traffic
Allowing myself to drop back in the queue-
Is it because your car is bigger and better than mine?

 Why not say Thank You for all the help I gave
Willingly, eating into my precious time
Going that extra mile just for your benefit-
Or has familiarity caused you to take me for-granted? 

After all-
Words are free
Yet appreciation is priceless?
And impressions- long lasting. 

Jaz McKenzie © 2014

 If you would like to share your poetry on ~IB~ contact: