Africans in Newcastle (2022): Demographic, Dilemmas and Debates

Writer: Tholani Alli * Blog: AfricanCultureBlog * Contact: africancultureblog@gmail.com * Languages: Zul/Swa/Lin/Yor/Hau/Bam/Eng/Fre * Proverb: Egyagaza omubi; omulugi takimanya (Luganda) ‘What makes the ugly person; the beautiful one will never know’ * Thank You!

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Recent Articles: * 100 Afrocentric Londoners Can Look Forward to in July 2022 ** Top 5 Apps Financially Supporting and Building Black British Communities (2022) ** 50 Africa-Related Job Vacancies in London (July 2022) ** African Community in Newcastle (Tyne & Wear) : Demographic, Debates & Dilemmas (2022) ** 7 Black British Designers that Inspire & Teach Fashion (2022) ** 25 African Supperclubs & Food Joints to Check out in London (July 2022) ** 100 African Tailors & Seamstresses in London ** 15 Traiteurs Africains à Paris pour vos réceptions, cocktail, marriage ** 7 Traiteurs BBQ Afro à Londres : (Hautement Recommandés). Anything else > africancultureblog@gmail.com

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Whilst Newcastle is yet to be in the top ten biggest cities in the UK; it’s the biggest in the North East and is still regarded as one of the most family friendly cities in the UK according to a recent study. Family-friendly factors being affordable housing (with a average price of £165,459), good air quality, lower childcare costs than its competing cities, a good metro system, cross national train links and an easily airport match the friendliness with accessibility. And with around 11% of Newcastle’s total population being Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME), which rises to 24% among school-age children; word on the street is that it’s a relatively growing multicultural and cordial place to raise one’s children amongst the BAME population.

Allan Saint-Maximin is actually of Guyana and Guadeloupe origin but represents a long list of black foreign international footballers that have thrived at St. James Park alongside Obafemi Martins, Demba Ba, Papisse Cisse and Shola Ameobi.

The ethnic groups in Newcastle are White British (81.9 percent), Asian (7.3%), other white (3.7%), Black (2.0%), Chinese (2.0%), Mixed race (1.6%), other ethnic groups represent 1.5% of the population. Now Of course, traditional barriers (which many BAME communities state will be everywhere across the UK) are present in the North East such as racism; access to employment and services and inequality.

This protest during which five people were arrested – mostly women – was organised by Abolish Detention and others in North East England bringing to attention to the June/July 2022 deportations of predominantly African refugees in Durham

There are believed to be around 1500 asylum seekers in and around city; many of whom are awaiting their refugee status and likely to have it accepted according to Newcastle City Council. The city has been welcoming asylum seekers for the last 55 years. The North East has taken three times as many Syrian refugees per 10,000 people as the UK’s two wealthiest regions, figures have revealed including Muzoon Almehallen (one the first to arrive, now hon phd student). While those seeking asylum have no choice over where in the UK they are dispersed to, the city takes great pride in the fact that so many refugees chose to settle here once their claim for asylum is determined. Afghan, Iran, Arab, French & Portuguese speaking Africans and south east Asian community refugees can be found in small pocket across the centre and westend. It would be foolish however to believe all are thriving.

Salha Kaitesi (pictured above) alongside many others believe hundreds of Africans don’t have their voices heard in Newcastle; especially African women. She has thus set up Teakisi; an online multi-user platform giving prominent access to free events and helping others learn new skills, ranging from creating their own social media accounts and helping them design their own websites to collaborations. Similar to other organisations such as NEECA, ACANE and The Angelou Centre; Teakisi are foremost in acting as an inclusive hub open to everyone in the North East of England inviting women from African backgrounds to share, teach and write. Well Done to her and the rest of the Teakisi team!

British Nigerian Chi Onwurah is the Labour MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central, and has been an MP continuously since 6 May 2010. 

Furthermore; Sangini is a Black and minority ethnic (BME) led, multicultural women’s organisation based in  Tyne and Wear. We seek to improve the quality of women’s lives by increasing their physical, mental and spiritual health through educational, creative and participatory activities that also celebrate cultural diversity.

Population demographics mean a much higher number of white people in the Tyne and Wear region are on the receiving end of force from police overall – but an individual black person living in the North East would be statistically more likely to have police powers used against them than an individual white person. But as the Kimbundu proverb (Angola) goes: Anjamba lima cukwene acoveko (Ó elefante trabalhe, do outro não é seu / O Elephant carry on working, the other is not yours). It’s not because one’s father has wealth that we stop working – 1st generation Africans have continued to push on and create a means within Newcastle and the wider North East.

House of Jollof (NE1) have a wide selection of African food both eat in and takeaway available

Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Mozambique, Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Kenya, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Senegal, Mali, Cameroon, C’ote D’ivoire, Congo, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Somali, Morocco, Alegeria, Egypt and more are represented within the North-East with Byker, Walker, Westend, Benwell, large areas in Gateshead dominating the regions of immigrant activity and livelihood.

There are an estimated 14,000+ people identified as Black African living within the city as of 2022. Many are registered professionals in their own right working across various professions including business owners, housing, carers, nurses, qualified gas, electrical and engineer professionals and tradesmen amongst others. Multi-skilled Multi-cultural and Multi-lingual. That’s what many within these communiies are. Home renovation experts for example Salvador & Bryan (mentioned above) speak Swahili, Lingala, Isizulu, Tswana, Ndebele and Shona between them and that’s outside of English, French and Portuguese!

Within the wider region, Northumberland, Sunderland and Gateshead all have small yet growing family centred initiatives, some funded with lottery grants at helping African and Caribbean communities. In fact ; every year COMMUNITY FOUNDATION NE award grants to hundreds of small charities in Tyne & Wear and across North East England, through funds set up by our donors.
ACCANE (Sunderland) for example (pictured above) is a black-led community of people of African heritage, and others from lower socio-economic backgrounds, refugees, LGBT, the physically and mentally challenged. They deliver projects that support their supports their physical economic and mental wellbeing.

Others seek to help the destitute in their home countries such as as SPIRIT OF AFRICA, who raise money to create foster care homes for orphans, or children, in South Africa, who have no one to care for them or nowhere they can call home. SUUBI AFRICA UK (pictured above) aims to change the lives of the most vulnerable children living in some of the worst parts of Uganda. Hope For SA Children set up a village for children orphaned/abandoned and HIV Positive whilst Children with Cancer in Malawi donates towards the betterment of paediatric oncology in Malawi and COCO (Comrades of Children Overseas) are a children’s charity, providing sustainable sources of quality education to children living in poor and marginalised communities. Aside from COCO (Comrades of Children Overseas) which is based in Newcastle; the others are based in Northumberland.

Further out in Durham, BBKafrica (Books and Bread for Kenya) BBK (whose September 2022 event is featured above) has been a registered non-profit making charity for over 10 years, through the Christian faith, donating and demonstrating God’s love to the people of Kenya in a practical way. And from Sunderland, BAFA (Book Aid For Africa) provide good quality books and other educational resources to educational institutions and Communities in Africa and the North East of England.

Sharon Nwobi – ‘Humble and Hustle’ lifestyle vlogger giving her thoughts on Newcastle University

There are also various community and charitable organisations serving, assisting and inspiring communities especially those from the less affluent areas of Newcastle and North Tyneside. Success4All is an educational charity that runs Learning Hubs, Clubs and Summer Schools in ensure that children and young have the very best chance at success no matter their circumstances. STAND4 youth activism group received the Extraordinary Group Award 2022 (pictured below).

STAND4 youth activism group received the Extraordinary Group Award 2022

Let’s also not forget to mention CIC (Community Interest Groups) such as Harambee Pasadia, who hold an annual flagship Harambee Pasadia Afro-Fusion Arts Festival. A cultural organisation that produce activities & events showcasing music, dance, arts, theatre & film.

Common dilemmas our communities face are similar to elsewhere in the UK; and these include 1st gen vs 2nd generation expectation levels. 1st generation immigrants tend to have lower expectations upon arrival to their host destination and thus more willing to start with humble beginnings anywhere by either seeking to convert their ‘non-recognised’ qualifications to the UK equivalent, start from scratch again and/or work any job that gets them by. The children born or raised in the UK will notably have higher expectations and certain benchmarks they’re not willing to go below. Racism is everywhere and will be up in the north east. Employment barriers include racism; lack of opportunities and confidence. Whilst the “grass is greener” temptation to move to London for better access to more opportunities remains ever present; the balance between this and great scenery, infrastructure, friendlier people and a more relaxed culture make it still a difficult decision to move.

Former Newcastle Striker Lomana Lua Lua said he should have never left Newcastle! I understand why. I currently reside in Newcastle having moved from London last year and have not looked back neither do I plan on doing so. Family friendly; beach, airport and train links nearby; loads of things for the kids to do and an all round family centred lifestyle means it’s likely I am here for many more years to come. It is also a blessing to leave London (having solely been used to living in hyper-dense minority dominated suburban neighbourhoods) to a slightly lesser populated surround. Quite bluntly put, London is not the UK. A combination of being made to realise that just how Asian dominated Ilford and Chadwell Heath (where I use to live) is alongside having zero appreciation of the natural scenery and coastline northumberland has to offer; means that even the common BME community fears of risk taking and ‘sticking out’ by moving so far away from the ‘safe haven’ of the M25 is a weak argument.

The Paths Across Waters project highlights the shared histories and the lost connections linking the Caribbean and Africa to the North East of England. Find our more here

Newcastle is certainly one of the hidden gems in the UK; and funnily enough – many of the locals i’ve spoken hope it remains that way. It is also far from mono-cultural! Chinese, Iranian, Bengali, Indian, Pakistani, Turkish, Polish and more reside within this city; most from abroad and some from London refusing to call anywhere else home but the North East. Attached below are some of reference points and pointers of African Community Success stories and venues in the North East!

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ANGOLA

L.A.N.E ‘LINK ANGOLA NORTH EAST’ COMMUNITY ORGANISATION

L.A.N.E Link Angola North East Community Association * Phone: 07721450671 * Emaillinkangolanortheast@gmail.com

Advice and help on immigration, housing, education, welfare benefits and social services for Angolans in London, including refugees and asylum seekers. LANE also engage in community empowerment projects back in Angola. They are a community based organisation set up to support Angolanis in the UK particularly those living in Newcastle and the North East.

Benedict (pictured above) is a North East dancer who came to the region as a six-year-old refugee from Angola who starred in a homecoming performance at Newcastle’s Theatre Royal later after overcoming adversity to rise up the ranks of UK theatre.

Benedicta Valentina Mamuini will take on the lead role in family dance theatre production The Lost Happy Endings in the city she now calls home, before ending the UK tour at London’s prestigious Sadler’s Wells Theatre in April. Furthermore; Joana Geronimo (pictured above) an Angolan Actress and Writer based in Newcastle whose most recent credits include playing Pauline in “HERE” at Northern Stage and ‘The Curious Monkey’ brings high energy and some lightness of touch to the character Pauline, a young Angolan refugee whose overwhelming desire is to gather the stories of the people that surround her – both in the plays that she is involved in and in real life.

Marisol is the first Portuguese Mini Supermarket based in Newcastle Upon Tyne where we hope you find all that you need. Whether you are looking for food, drinks or ingredients for favourite for Angolan typical dishes such as “Moamba de Galinha” ( Palm Oil Chicken Stew ) Marisol can help you or our caterer below:

NEEAASS – Northeast Angolan Associação
ASSANI – Associação de Angolanos no Nordeste da Inglaterra

Charity – Associação trabalha voluntário em prol de uma comunidade unida.

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CONGO

* Venue: ACANE Community Centre, 1 Raby Cross, Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 2FF * Main Telephone: 0191 265 8110 * Email: acane2003@hotmail.com

All Africans, asylum seekers, refugees and local people around Byker can access activities and centre’s facilities. Acane provide support in French, Swahili, Lingala and Portuguese .

  • advocacy
  • a drop in session
  • information and advice
  • activities and training
  • afterschool club for young people with free access to IT, internet, table football and art & craft. Monday to Friday 3pm to 5pm

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GAMBIA

Whether you’re in need of Make-up for the weekend Ngenteh or Christening or Wedding or Jovial Occasion; Fully trained freelance makeup artist based in Newcastle Upon Tyne Layo is ready to buffer, blossom and boom your facials to glitz any occasion. Gambian beauty and hairdressing maestro Layo is available in Durham and Newcastle for your beauty services and beyond.

Insta: /LayosLayo * FB: /Layos-Beauty

Lamin Gibba started Jerry J Clothing in 2016 after attending college in Newcastle and created a highly visible brand with the slogan “For Elevated People.” The phrase comes from his upbringing in Gambia where he dreamed and aspired to make something of his life.

He hasn’t looked back since! Lamin a then young student from Heaton, Newcastle, who came to the city from his native Gambia to better his chances in life, won the prestigious Prince’s Trust and TK Maxx & Homesense Enterprise Award in 2019 and has then gone on to grow his distinctive range of clothing to be worn by young people around the UK and even professional footballers.

Lamin DJ Jah Gammeh is a #DJ #radiopresenter #eventorganiser * 🎵🎤MUSIC PROMOTER🌐 🇬🇧🇬🇲🇯🇲🎤🎧🔥 * #Reggae #Dancehall #Afrobeats#Rnb#Hiphop * Insta: /GahProSound * YouTube: /Sound1Boy

Tabara’s Beauty Lounge : At Tabara’s Beauty Lounge they offer a bespoke hair and beauty service, this consists of wig making, braids, makeup and much more. * Email: tabaradampha@gmail.com * Insta: /TabarasLounge * FB: /Tabaras-Beauty-Lounge *

Jollof Services : If you looking for cheap and quality service for your house move or have a single item to transport or need house clearance. 🚛 Man And Van Service 🏠 Small or Large House removal Services 🛋 Delivering or Collecting items ♻️ Recycling or disposing of your unwanted items 🚛 Same day courier service 📞 Call or Message for a quote 07861697076 or jollofservices@gmail.com

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GUINEA BISSAU

Afagb Newcastle Reino Unido : Provides broad services for the community in Newcastle and the North East, catering for people welfare, social well-being and educational needs of the Guinea-Bissau Community.

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MAURITIUS

Insta: /TheSweetestToothUK * FB: /TheSweetestToothUK *

The Sweetest Tooth is how Aisha shares the culture and culinary richness of Mauritius, baking her fresh breads and irresistible sweet treats for food lovers across the country. She believes that food is key to connecting people with other cultures, which is why her recipes are a great place to start. And yes; currently based in Middlesborough and Newcastle; her delicacies are available to bless the tastebuds of willing enthusiasts throughout Tyne and Wear and Beyond!

* Newcastle mini-pâtisserie. UK delivery & local collection * DM to order * Vegan & vegetarian options * Zero waste

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NIGERIA

Georgia May is a Soulful vocalist, born and raised in Newcastle upon Tyne with Nigerian roots. Her sound is defined by soothing timbres exposing contrasting emotions of lust and heartache with a poetic lyrical narrative. She’s heavily influenced by 90’s hip hop, RnB and acoustic soul. Georgia’s captivating live vocals are complimented by Daps on keyboards and production, bringing jazzy chords with a gospel influence. 

* YouTube: /GeorgiaMayMusic * FB: Georgia-May-UK * Insta: /GeorgiaMay.UK * Spotify: Georgia-May * Apple Music: /Georgia-May * SoundCloud: /GeorgiaMayUK * BandCamp: /Georgia-May * Twitter: /GeorgiaMayUK

Next on the queue is Victoria; the RGN Nurse and Vlogger who at the moment is the most consistent YouTube Nigerian Vlogger in the North East. Known as ‘Dat Naija Girl’; whether it’s a day trip to the Newcastle town centre, where to buy African food products; life as an RGN in the North east; things Nigerians and Africans should know before coming to the UK and more; Victoria is there to advice; instruct and encourage via her videos.

Dat Naija Girl: * YouTube: /DatNaijaGirl * Insta: /DatNaijaGirl * FB: /DatNaijaGirl * Email: naijalifeinuk@gmail.com

Insta: /IbbyBereibi * Twitter: /IbbYBereibi * YouTube: /IbbyBereibi

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ZIMBABWE

Alberto is better known to many online as ‘The Original African’.

His viral videos – often of him interviewing drunk Geordies – see him switch between “African and Geordie accents”. And they have made him a social media star and with 100K followers across his channels : * Insta: /The_Original_African * FB: /DumbaProductions

Michael Ndiweni born 02/12/2003 in Throckley plays as a Centre Forward for Newcastle United U23. He is eligible to represent Zimbabwe and England at international level.

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Afro-Hairdressers

Sweet One Beauty

Insta: /SweetOneBeauty

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Layo’s Beauty

Insta: /LayosLayo * FB: /LayosBeauty

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AUREL HAIR & BEAUTY

FB: Aurel – Afro – Hairdresser

Her service include Cornrows, Twist, Weaves, Braids, Ghana weaves, Relaxing, Wash and set etc…

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Community : North East of England African Community Association

NEEACA was founded in 1997. It is a united body for all Africans, those of African descent & anyone committed to the well-being of Africa and Africans. * 07412 844546 * info.neeaca@gmail.com

Writer: Tholani Alli * Blog: AfricanCultureBlog * Contact: africancultureblog@gmail.com * Languages: Zul/Swa/Lin/Yor/Hau/Bam/Eng/Fre * Proverb: Egyagaza omubi; omulugi takimanya (Luganda) ‘What makes the ugly person; the beautiful one will never know’ * Thank You!

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Content Randoms for African Communities in London and Beyond! Community App Enthusiast currently addicted to Bloom Money! See: 100 Afrocentric Londoners Can Look Forward to in July 2022; 7 Black British Designers that Inspire and Teach Fashion (2022),  100 African Tailors & Seamstresses in London (2017) or 15 Traiteurs Africains à Paris pour vos réceptions, cocktail, marriage or 7 Traiteurs BBQ Afro à Londres : (Hautement Recommandés). Anything else > africancultureblog@gmail.com

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