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Face of Portsmouth - Majid Dhana

Published: 23rd April 2018 12:44

 Majid Dhana is a Portsmouth-based artist and poet originally from Zimbabwe. Majid has been working with the City’s British Red Cross for over four years, building relationships with members of the refugee and asylum seeker community and supporting them in sharing their stories.

Majid is now working with Aspex Gallery as part of their bid for this year’s the People’s Projects with ITV and Big Lottery Fund. The Gallery are calling for the City to vote for their project, Welcome, which will lead to a weekly art workshop for refugees and asylum seekers (both adults and children), improving vital life skills, confidence and creating opportunities to make new friends. There will be opportunities for everyone to get involved, through events and art exhibitions.

What do you consider your biggest achievement so far in your career?

Being involved with the People’s Projects with Aspex Gallery - and their project Welcome. They’re looking to support members of Portsmouth’s refugee and asylum seeker community through art and need the public’s vote to make this a reality.

Earlier this year I also performed alongside Natalia Michalska on the stage at Portsmouth’s New Theatre Royal, as part of the Guide Awards. That was an amazing experience.

What has been the best thing to happen to you in the last year?

I would have to say being able to showcase my poetry to wider audiences and also connecting long-term residents of Portsmouth with the City’s refugee and asylum seeker community.

What do you want to happen in the next year?

To see the Welcome project win the People’s Projects in the ITV Meridian West region - changing people's lives - allowing members of the City’s refugee and asylum seeker community to grow despite their horrible memories, being away from home, isolated and struggling to integrate.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

Fulfilling my dream of opening up a space where the less privileged in the community will be able to come and grow, turning their lives around, with the right support and honesty.

What do you like doing in your spare time/to relax?

Writing poetry, spending time with the one person that makes me feel complete and happy in my life. Spending time with my little girl also.

What do you like about living/working in Portsmouth?

It’s diverse and the people are friendly. It’s open minded and just a lovely city to be living in.

What is your favourite place in Portsmouth?

Aspex Gallery, performing spoken word poetry.

What one thing do you think would make living in Portsmouth better?

I strongly believe looking after the homeless people. We need to try harder as a community to support them and try to guide them. We need to build a place of peace and less poverty and drugs.

Imagine yourself as a child. What would you say to your younger self?

Don’t change - be yourself. However, always remember that every action has a consequence. Be strong always.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself that we might not know.

I sleep walk at night!I usually raid the kitchen for something sweet and wake up wonder why there’s chocolate on my pillow.

Visit thepeoplesprojects.org.uk and select ITV Meridian West to cast your vote.

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