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27Episodes
Comedy Interviews

In this podcast, special guests pop round to visit parent, comedian and writer Athena Kugblenu

Episodes

This week I am joined by a fabulous creative comrade, Sanjit Chudha. We have a lovely virtual catch up that includes ponderings on staycations, how the media patronises the "white working class" and why getting out of the city is good for the soul.

More about the wonderful Sanjit:

Food fuels Sanjit's love for communication; apparently, it's a family motto 'good food is everything'. When not battling to control his waistline, Sanjit is a Marketing and Comms supremo with a variety of clients across Theatre, Publishing and the Arts - notably Talawa Theatre Company.

Follow Sanjit on twitter: @sanjitchudha

Go visit his website where he writes about food, culture and society: https://sanjitchudha.com/

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Louise Power is an entrepreneur and CEO of company iOrbit. We chat about starting a business, getting to know your kids and redefine the word 'minority'.

Find Louise on instagram: @the.powerhour or search for her on LinkedIn (how professional is that??)

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Pamela Nkyi is a Chartered Psychologist (CPsychol) and an Associate Fellow of The British Psychological Society (AFBPsS). Specialising in public health, she's an expert in wellbeing, mental health, training and policy. She's a very useful person to know during these strange times. We talk about her baking addiction, including her 'Bake and Chat' sessions that she runs for her community, lockdown and anti-black racism. 

 

Find out more about Pamela here: https://about.me/drpamelankyi

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This was recorded before people had to be reminded that Black Lives Matter but so much of this conversation is pertinent. It's not al conversations about travelling whilst black and white privilege in the arts, I find out what wine goes with my omelette and chips. 

More about the wonderful Vicki:

Vicki Amedume initially trained as a research scientist, entering the circus world in 1997. She performed and created aerial and circus based work in the UK and worldwide and has worked across all spheres of circus from traditional touring tented circuses to large-scale outdoor spaces and intimate touring indoor theatre. She founded Upswing to bringing new artists and experiences to the stage and beyond that reflect a dynamic, diverse and modern world

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It's the first lockdown edition of Keeping Athena Company! Put your phone down and refrain from snitching, no actual company was kept during the recording of this podcast. Recorded via our laptops, I catch up with my friend Shaherah to talk about working as a new mum, environmentalism and why people made too big a deal about panic buying. I also relive my ill fated attempt to start a hashtag. Enjoy.

Shaherah Jordan is a Communications professional currently studying for a PHD. Amongst other things she's an ex pro-volleyball player, body builder and nutritionist. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram @shaherahjordan 

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Bilal came round and the child picked him as her favourite so far. He had her smiling throughout! We chat about feeling bitter as creatives, grandparents, dating rich people and the inescapable reality of identity politics. 

Bilal Zafar is a Stand up Comedian, Actor and Writer from and based in London. He was nominated for Best Newcomer at the Edinburgh Fringe 2016 and won the Hackney Empire New Act Award (NATYS) in the same year.

Witty and absorbing…highly entertaining.  I look forward to whatever Zafar cooks up next

Dominic Maxwell, The Times

“Delivers big laughs”  Brian Logan, The Guardian

Follow Bilal on Twitter: @ZafarCakes

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Rahnak Patel has spent almost 20 years working in television and is now head of development in a big ol' television company, which means at some point in the past decade or so you would have watched a show that she invented! As well as that, she's my friend innit. She came down to talk about meal preps, diversity, dating whilst sober and our twin mothers. I also come up with a business idea which I beg you not to steal please. Find her on Instagram: @rahnakpate1. Enjoy!

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Chris Enti and I go waaaay back. He knew me before the dreadlocks. We used to work together hatching up major life goals in local authority offices and now he's a businessman with an even bigger plan. He came round to chat about dating, entrepreneurship, sustainability and explains why I have a thing for big black horses. 

Chris is the inventor of a brilliant card game: What He Really Thinks. We talk about it, I play it and you can buy it here: www.whathereallythinks.co.uk

You can follow Chris on Instagram: @whrt100

You can find out more about Eden Textiles, his ethical used clothing company: http://www.edentextiles.co.uk/

The child is especially noisy and disuptive in this one but as always, poor quality recording is made up for with top quality conversation, I promise!

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LIVE AND DIRECT FROM ACCRA!

Whilst in the capital of Ghana I had to connect with my sis Sylvia Arthur. Writer, journalist, communications guru and now librarian of Libreria, a small library that makes a big difference in the country we are both from. 

We talk about working in a different country, how being in Africa doesn't mean you are free from Euro-centric thinking and how to survive without saveloys.

Keep up with Sylvia by following her on Facebook and Instagram (@liberiagh) and find out more by checking out all her juicy press:

More about Sylvia:

Sylvia Arthur is a British-Ghanaian narrative nonfiction writer whose work explores identity, diaspora, politics, and place. Her work has been published in The Guardian, the BBC, and The British Journalism Review and her essay, Britain’s Invisible Black Middle Class appears in the anthology, Know Your Place: Essays by the Working Class for the Working Class.

She has been awarded fellowships to Hedgebrook and Santa Fe Art Institute and received a grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation via 516 Arts to produce a publication on immigration and art produced in and about the US-Mexico border region. Her short play, Haze, had a six-night run at The Vaults theatre in London and her one-woman show, Obama & Me, was performed in London, Brussels, and San Francisco to a sold-out audience. She holds an MA in Narrative Nonfiction Writing and has worked as a consultant to the European Commission on communicating Freedom of Movement. Much of this experience of living and working in mainland Europe informs her writing.

She's currently working on a collection of interconnected narrative essays called African, & Other Curse Words. She lives in Accra where she has turned her vast collection of books into Ghana's first private lending library.

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In this episode I talk panto, history, improv and Great British comedy with the uber talent that is Ben Van Der Velde. This was an absolute pleasure to hear Ben share his vast knowledge, curiosity and his most favourite fact.

More about Ben:

Ben Van der Velde is a stand-up comedian, actor, improviser and presenter. He is a regular host and act for respected British comedy clubs such as The Comedy Store, Komedia, The Backyard, The Glee, Covent Garden Comedy Club, The Stand, Comedy Loft, Top Secret Comedy, Outside the Box, the Frog & Bucket and Comedy Club 4 Kids, as well as hosting stages for Bestival, Festival No.6, End of the Road and Sunday Papers Live. 

 

On top of that, he has taken commissions to perform a voodoo re-marriage ceremony, founded the Church of the Holy Kazoo with comedy legend Mark Thomas, walked the entire London Underground network to raise money for The Refugee Council, hosted a comedy tour of the FIFA Museum in Zurich and even took part in experiments at The Royal Society that revealed him to have the most infectious laugh of any human, rat or monkey.

 
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