As the visitors of Bancroft’s school approach the Great Hall on the Friday evening of 10th of November, the sound of steel drumming and the mouthwatering smell of Jamaican food welcomed them. The motive of this was to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the ‘Carnival and Black history month’ the aim being to raise awareness of Black History in the UK and to pay tribute to the many Black British people that contribute to British society.

The event was entirely organised by the members of Bancroft’s Afro Caribbean Society. Simi Solanke, one of the organisers said, “Siama (Siama Mmah - the other organiser) and I have thoroughly enjoyed organising and putting on a show to acknowledge our Black British heritage and to celebrate black excellence”.

Indeed, the show was a moving mixture of music and dance, complemented by the painfully funny presentation of the show's host – Zayne Avril.

From the opening act with Alex Lee, who was singing with her angelic voice, through to the boys’ rapping trio; to Ved’s box tapping skills accompanying his peers on stage, Tom and Suzi.  -  they made the evening full of joy and laughter.

And then she came, brightening up the stage – ‘The Queen of Lover’s Rock’ – Janet Kay. Singing her hit ‘Silly Games’ awakened long forgotten teenage memories in some of the parents and her unique performance of ‘Walk on By’, accompanied by the pannist (steel drummer) Dougie Dallaway, made young and old to dance.

As the theme of this year’s Black History Month was black BRITISH excellence, I think that Janet was in no doubt the right figure to show this achievement, as she made history by becoming the first British born black female to have a reggae song at the top of the British charts. Her song ‘Silly Games’ reached the UK Charts peaking at No.2 in 1979.

I am very grateful that despite her busy schedule Janet has kindly allowed me to ask her a few questions and the follow up after this interview will be coming soon.  

I would like to thank Janet once again for taking part in our school show to celebrate the Black history month and for making our evening so special. It was a great success and has raised nearly £500 which will be donated to the Sickle Cell Society.

Raya Uzunova 

Bancroft's School