Price of admission
Entry is free, but only if you can perfectly spit any verse from 21 Seconds by So Solid Crew. When I was younger, I used to watch the video on repeat, with all the cool people wearing leather and climbing over fences into no man’s land. I worked hard to memorise every lyric. Anyone who can match me deserves my respect.
Great glass elevators from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory arrive at the doorsteps of all attendees. Attendees and their bubbles ride them across London’s skies. The elevators’ walls then double as screens.
Attack the Block: All the cool kids went to see it and I was like: “Whatever.” But this was the first film I saw where people who looked like me were the heroes. The image of John Boyega outrunning the aliens will for ever be aspirational.
Pressure: Horace Ové is a film-making genius. This is such a tender film about so many first-gens. It is a love letter of being stuck between two cultures I think so many people can relate to.
Babymother: The whole musical is just the epitome of energy, from the costume to lyrics to music and the acting. It is bold, energetic and defiant. I would love to live my whole life in her clothes.
Bullet Boy: I bought the DVD from an “uncle” in a hairdresser when I was a kid. It was so blurry, but I was in love with a London that sounded and looked like home to me, from the train stations to the streets.
Second Coming: This is a beautiful film, by an icon and legend of story-telling. I want to be Debbie Tucker Green when I grow up. Her voice is so undeniable, you hear the intensity in every swallowed letter and dropped syllable. Her portrayal of black characters is always filled with such complexity, generosity and love.
My brother’s jollof rice and ayamase, which is the superior of all stews and I will fight anybody who argues with that. My sister’s suya. My best friend Corinne’s mum’s oxtail and rice and peas. Vegan options taste just as good. And lotus biscuit cupcakes.
Water, because drinking water and minding our business (and not being racist) gives you clear skin, and rum punch from Mama’s Punch which has been made by the same Grenadian family in Hackney, east London, for generations, usually to sell at Notting Hill Carnival.
Tethered clones are available for all attendees to send to work, marriage or school on their behalf. The festival never ends. This is your life now!