The youngest Civic Mayor in London (I think) is the most kind and humble, yet impacting is Cllr Sanchia Alasia.
I spent a reflective and fun day with the beautiful Madam Mayor, Cllr Sanchia Alasia.
Very easy to talk to, soft -spoken and direct, we were spending the time raising funds for her three chosen charities: Endometriosis, Pennu and Afruca. They could not be more diverse as they catered for:
- sufferers of a condition where womb tissue grows outside it;
- for wellbeing of the maturing people;
- and campaign against child abuse / human trafficking, respectively.
So after the night before the morning of excitement I had been writing and responding to emails when one glance at the time piece reminded me that I needed to get on “with it”. I had to get stuff done. I needed to pick up some information from the library on opening so it was a quick dash there before heading off to town — and seat of power in our council.
On arrival, I watched the Madam Mayor put on her official gold chain before we embarked on our first journey – a walk through the busy high street in the town centre. Surprisingly Madam Mayor did not want to draw attention to us so she had a zipped up coat which she wore every time we walked to ward off “too much excitement”
I’m not sure they were ready for our arrival as there was rushing around. Any way it was good to see the other side of things. Finally it got started as we had a delightful group of People join us for photos, interviewing and small talk. I think we were able to record some radio interviews, at least until the photojournalist from the local BDpost arrived.
There was more excitement as we huddled together to fit into a photograph which was being made a tricky quest due to the fact that the wall refused to move backwards to make room. I think it was a laughing moment as we practised taking different positions to accommodate everyone.
Photos: Molly Okolonji and team meet Mayor.
I think 🤔 you always remember the first of a new experience so this one will stick in my mind for longer! Molly Okolonji is a business woman, mum and Entrepreneur to meet. Smiling, warm and good looking, she welcomed the Madam Mayor to listen in to a staff briefing as they planned how to deliver a project to provide respite for “less abled” Kids and families – a mission close to the mayor’s heart. Delightful.
Our next stop was to the BEC phase 2 to meet another entrepreneur, mum and beautician- Hannah Kupoluyi. This turned out to be a lot of fun as mummies, Kids and friends took turns to apply powder, foundation and lipstick as directed by master beautifier Hannah. The little girl begged to put on mummy’s lipstick and there were cheers for getting the technique for fixing eye lashes. Madam Mayor seemed so comfortable as we sat down to watch and later take pictures.
Photos: Hannah and the soulful mamas and Kids.
I had got the times mixed up so gracious as she was Mayor had agreed to go to our next business – the new Turkish restaurant, Wood Oven which was situated a minute’s walk from the Barking Station. It boasts of a large interior, glass display shelf of fresh food ready to sizzle for the choosing. A confusing phone call prior to arrival revealed that our main contact was not in today so we were going to have to make do!
We had the pleasure of meeting the manager who turned out to have a name spelt “Sally”. Mayor asked him if he knew he had written down a girl’s name and he explained it was a short form of his real name. A few chuckles later, we were being offered drinks and a promise to support the mayor’s charities. With this mission complete, and in the bag, we walked to McDonalds.
Photos: “Sally” at Turkish restaurant- Wood Oven
Lunch time – when we arrived at McDonald’s!
It was alive with so much activity and children. People who recognised the August guest were pointing at Madam Mayor and I asked if they wanted to be photographed with her. Shyness must have taken the best of a few but not the managers who were excited and happy to see the Mayor. They talked shop as I wondered around in the background looking for a good spot to take a cute shot – of pictures! I found them and because I was so hungry at this stage I accepted the offer of drink and food – apple pie. My favourite. Not a fan of “fast food” but I remember their pie was good. Deal and agreements with business card exchanges over, we stopped at the Turkish’s to take some pictures before I shoot off ahead the madam to check that the arrangements with Nandos were communicated and they were expecting us.
Photos: Meeting the men with access to purse strings at McDonalds.
Nandos was so “cool!” We had more guests join the mayoral entourage at this point. And was it all guns blazing (trying to remember the right phrase) or something else – to say I needed to sit down and eat is an understatement. We were treated to platters of chicken, salad fries and garlic bread. Phew…
Hunger abated. Business discussed and photos taken before the final car (did I say the mayor had me share the car with her?) journey to the Mayor’s office. We hugged and I said thanks to the most polite man who drove us carefully and made us feel like ladies.
Thank you Lord for my amazing friend and mayor, Sanchia and for the opportunity to support as a Business Adviser / Champion to her office!
My Daddy does things like this. 💃🏾💃🏾😆🙏🏿
Photos: After the treat at Nandos, with restaurant managers.