Death has this weird way of shocking us into feeling. It never comes at the right time, for there can be no right time for someone to depart this earth. It hits you like a truck out of nowhere and then your mind starts racing to piece together memories and moments that are suddenly the most precious thoughts in the world.

We’re experiencing a lot of collective trauma right now, connected by the threads of a man's life who’s energy spread to so many people.

Ty was of my elders’ generation — one that I don’t give enough credit to…

I went to a friend’s Barbecue last year and had a life-changing moment. Let me tell you about it.

The sun was shining, the temporary grills had chicken laid on them, drinks were flowing and we were all smiling in a garden with 10 or so people.

We began talking about the recent The Grapevine episode that was filmed in London. The Grapevine is a show that covers topics that are important to the Black community. We talked about the intersections of culture and music off the back of their Knife Crime video. While we sat and talked, an argument…

Another 365 days have passed and in that time I have experienced new things, grown as a man and quite frankly, surprised myself. Surprised at how I’ve dealt with certain situations. Surprised by what life has thrown at me and what has come from the results.

My friend Brogan asks me the following three questions each year. They’re a great way of assessing where your head is currently at and review the past year.

Ollie Trenchard

So, here are the questions.

1. What was the best part of the past year?

I made a documentary about Swim Dem Crew called Beyond The Blue. We launched it in December 2017 with over 100…

Photo by Jakub Dziubak on Unsplash

Last week I came face to face with one of my problems. As I sat there opposite my partner (and friend) I felt weak, vulnerable and didn’t know what to say. I could see the concern in her eyes but I couldn’t find the words to explain why I was doing what I was doing.

She asked me why I drank by myself so often and I didn’t have a clear answer. On the surface, it’s because I enjoyed it. Why wouldn’t I? There’s something about taking the edge off with a cool, amber-coloured pint. When those bubbles slide down…

Natasha Rothwell’s character, Kelli, in Insecure is one of my absolute favourites on the show. She just lives her life and is one of the few to still root for in season three if you ask me. There’s a famous Kelli gif about Growth that has been a staple on Twitter timelines since the show came out.

The past 365 days have been about Growth for me.

I felt so weak and helpless in 2016.

But in 2017, I learned how to take control of my life, be bold and live for me. You know what that is?

Growth.

Growth…

image by James Carnegie

This is the final write up of what as been an eye-opening, heartwarming series for me. When I started this project, I wondered if I would be able to actually do it, I wondered if I would find enough people, but the reality is that there’s a plethora of talented Black creatives and activists to choose from so Blacxellence is just getting started.

So, ladies and gentlemen, let me present to you, the original Don Dada, Charlie Dark.

I met Charlie six years ago on the Run Dem Crew Youngers project. He called me up while I was in my…

You are looking at the best Yoga teacher in the world. Well, she is to me anyway. Let me explain why Sanchia Legister is great.

I met Sanchia many moons ago in a park in East London, working out while shouting and sweating a lot. Then we started running together. Then we started swimming together. Now, we do yoga together. To be honest, she does the yoga and I try my best to copy it.

Sanchia has given me a connection with my body that I didn’t know was possible, and that’s why I say that she’s the best Yoga…

This is Tamika, she is awesome. The End.

I could stop there, but I won’t because Tamika deserves so much more than that. I wouldn’t actually be writing anything if it wasn’t for her 2016 article titled, ‘When you’re tired of London, you’re tired of life’. It inspired me to start my original writing project to further understand my poor mental health and the rut that I was in. I now type this in 2017 from a much happier, healthier place and would like to thank Tamika for being a catalyst for it all.

Tamika does a ton of shit

image by Seb Barros

It’s hard to know where to start with Peigh. We started out as acquaintances at Run Dem Crew and over the years have we’ve gone on a journey to become brothers.

We’ve run together, cycled together, swam together, ate together and shared some pretty epic moments together too.

Peigh is a musician, creative, selector, mentor and above all else, my friend.

He’s also the co-founder of this thing called Swim Dem Crew. Swim Dem is an inclusive swimming community that inspires people to do the unknown. The unknown may be flying to Croatia on a whim to teach people how…

I met Dede on Twitter during some post-Brexit blues last year. She’s opinionated and not afraid to speak her mind.

Dede is an incredible singer from South London. When I saw her live recently, I couldn’t believe how truly powerful her voice was. The power and range really reminded me of Denai Moore and how she can shut a crowd up with one note, drawing and commanding attention each time she opens her mouth to sing.

We were treated to four of her songs that night and there was one particular song that stayed with me because of the emotion…

Nathaniel Aaron Cole

I'm a writer/workshop facilitator/co-founder/researcher from East London. I talk about my Mental Health and self development…a lot

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