ROCK on 2021. Let us all have a good year that will have less manmade pain. Soundbites detected. Music will be the driver of our dreams this year, artists don’t sing for the day, theirs is a fairy-tale of lyrics but this is what will continue cheering our souls: songs. The lively Nigerian Afrobeat artist Fela Anikulapo Kuti used to remind the world that the resistance lyrics he was writing in his day to shame elite ruling classes would haunt them infinitely if they didn’t behave. His genre of music was a fusion of Western jazz, traditional African beats and storytelling.
I have learnt over time to respect my genetic formula of protesting against injustices in our society. Kuti used to sing truth to oppression: don’t give up any time soon, sing the songs of joy, tears, dance until you can’t sweat no more but don’t stop, because if you do, the clever powers at the top will forget that you have been singing about them. Then oppression will continue and this shouldn’t happen. With confidence, an optimist hopes that 2021 is the year of transition from the total chaos of 2020 to one resembling reforms. Immigrants working here want to be taken seriously, not by virtue of much-hyped multiculturism festivals, but by being treated fairly at work. Recruitment drives are essentially biased towards one direction, things should change, it is up to your employer to do what is right and that is not positive discrimination but equality at all levels.
Here in Northern Ireland, the nation retains some European Union characteristics in the economic sphere and this is a good thing. Despite the hollow reassurances of Downing Street that the Brexit Deal is workable, Britain has forced itself to be the unwanted former partner. On her way home from Brussels, London jived with self-assurance that she has bagged what she always craved once and for all: sovereignty, no interference by Germany and France in disguise. 
On a lighter note, there is a character who has been keeping everyone posted. A relentless Anna Richardson on our TV sets, the host of Naked Attraction, is something else. Given the nature of the Naked Attraction, her confidence, professionalism and ability to maintain eye contact is not to be underestimated. Richardson has helped Channel 4 to preserve its creative, witty, provocative no-holds-barred approach to anything on our screens when we are used to seeing people turning up spinning out of control with political rhetoric on current affairs interviews.
Every culture has its thing that they will answer for in death, purgatory. I doubt Naked Attraction should be one of those, it has kept audiences entertained and this is good. Some don’t like it; people don’t like to know what is happening underneath the skins of strangers so they would like to be spared from a nude parade. Not really, nudity as a model for modern and old-fashioned dating is not something from planet Mars. To date many cultural heritages in Africa embrace appearing in front of others in a birth suit. If Richardson continues this way, many previously nervous people will be the principal beneficiaries.
Our little one, soon bidding bye to nappies, got the attention of her mum when the old Donald was on TV the other day. We were listening to the now infamous Georgia State audio recording of the US President. It is easy for children to recognise Trump. So, the three-year-old snaps and says to mum rather diplomatically: “He only likes you, Trump likes you.” When mum looked across and asked why her daughter said this, she said: “Mummy, because you are white.” She just had to get a reassuring hug that Trump may be eccentric but he likes you!
I can see who really needed the hug.