Colors: Blue Color

The Author Behind Award Winning Film “The Pursuit of Happyness” Starring Will Smith Delivers Powerful Motivational Message to Audience at Word Book Fair in Sharjah

Chris Gardner is an entrepreneur, international best-selling author and award-winning film producer. Gardner’s autobiography, The Pursuit of HappYness became a New York Times #1 best seller, has been translated into over forty languages, including six dialects of Chinese and Gardner is also the inspiration for the critically acclaimed film “The Pursuit of HappYness” for which Will Smith received the Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and Academy Award nominations for his performance.

Gardner’s second book, “Start Where You Are” also a best seller was published in 2009. Chris is currently finishing his newest book “HappYness 2.0 The Blueprint” Furthermore, Gardner has recently won a Peabody Award for producing “And Still I Rise,” a documentary about the life of his dear friend and mentor Dr. Maya Angelou.

As part of the #Arabic Book Fair held in Sharjah to celebrate the World Book Capital, Chris Gardner, participated in a panel discussion on his career The session, which was moderated by Richard Dean, dealt with Gardner's life story from his cruel childhood, his suffering as a single father who lived with his son homeless for more than a year, and the radical transformations in his life that sparked his spirit of challenge, leading to his bestselling book and his role as an inspiring international speaker.

Possessing the build of a body builder and the voice of a baritone singer, Gardner began his speech by expressing his delight at visiting Sharjah, which he described as a 'place of peace', recalling the atmosphere of his book, which was transformed into a movie of the same name in 2006, and starred American actor Will Smith,

"For me, it was important to have a certain degree of credibility in my story," Gardner said of why he devoted the most chapters to the story of his suffering and the difficult circumstances he faced during his career. "My friend, the late American writer and poet, Maya Angelo, told me:" I feel that this book does not talk about you alone, but it talks about all of us.

“When you have the courage to talk about the difficulties you have overcome, you are contributing to changing people's lives forever, although you will never meet many of them in your life, so I was determined to be honest through this book in every way.”

Gardner also says. ‘When I wake up, I look at the sky and say “Thank You God”. Because whether the sky is blue or grey, to wake up and to be at this point in my life, where I can work and do what I love to do. That’s an absolute blessing.’

In his second book, “Start Where You Are, Gardner echoes this sentiment when he says, ‘Whenever I’m asked what happiness is to me, my first answer is that it’s the ability to look at where I am in the moment, wherever I am, to remember where I came from and how far I’ve travelled, as a father, a friend, a contributing citizen of the world, and to be able to say, “What a beautiful life this is”, I’m so grateful to be here. More than anything, happiness is being able to appreciate everything

When asked about why he spells Happyness with a Y. Gardner said, as struggling single parent, he saw the word ‘happiness’ misspelt as ‘happyness’ in his son’s day-care centre. “I saw that ‘y’ at a time… when I needed to smile. It lightened the load and has ever since. The ‘y’ is also there to represent you and yours when it comes to defining and pursuing what it is in your terms, and what success, growth, fulfilment and enlightenment mean to you for this life — the only life you’ve got,’

In his first book, The Pursuit of Happyness, Gardner had shared lessons of self-empowerment, and how to beat the odds, his second book, Start Where You Are (2009), motivates others to claim ownership of their dreams and achieve their full potential.

Gardner says his greatest achievement in life was being able to put a roof over his son’s head, a sentiment portrayed in the film. He tells readers to begin wherever they are in life and capitalise on what they have in hand while building towards bigger goals and ambitions.

During the conversation, gave numerous nuggets of advice, while referencing book, which talks of having a Plan A with positivity, courage, tenacity, discipline and common sense. ‘This is what worked for me, a commitment to plan A, says Gardner, who talks about what a plan should contain.

Gardner emphasised the importance of having plan that must be clear, concise, compelling, consistent and committed or what he calls the C-5 complex. ‘You’ve got to have Plan A and not a Plan B. I will point to three people who exemplify this idea — Michael Jordan won six NBA championship rings because he was committed to Plan A, not Plan B.

Oprah Winfrey, the queen of media, has been committed to Plan A, and Barack Obama won two terms as the president of the US because he was committed to Plan A, not Plan B. If it worked for those people, and worked for me, it could work for you.

Gardner mentioned how the global financial crisis of 2008 changed the way the youth look at the world today. ‘You know my film The Pursuit of Happyness was released in December 2006. In January 2007, the US economy was going through a recession and spring 2008 was officially acknowledged as the beginning of the global financial crisis.

Gardner, solemnly states that “All the young people who went to college in 2008, saying “Yes We Can”, graduated in 2012, saying, “Wait a minute, what really happened? I did everything I was told to do. I went to school, I graduated and I got good grades. Now I have $100,000 as student loans debt and think I have no opportunity, and I have to move back with my parents hoping that they didn’t lose their house in the subprime fiasco”.

“Now when I talk to their younger brothers and sisters, they have seen how things did not work out for their older siblings. The world has forced them to look at things very differently and they are more focused on not having but being and becoming. This is a whole different mindset we are dealing with, but Gardner emphasises that the greatest gift is the permission to dream.

I tell people that you can be anything you want. Money is important but never confuse your net worth with your self-worth.’ His parting thoughts are simple. ‘You got to do what you are truly passionate about. It can’t just be about I want to make money. Everyone wants to make money. It has to be the thing that gets you up in the morning, and the sun cannot come up sooner for you to want to do that thing you love.”

Delroy Constantine-Simms






Sixteen extraordinary individuals including innovators, activists and entrepreneurs from 12 countries have been shortlisted for this year’s Commonwealth Youth Awards.

A pan-Commonwealth judging panel met last week and selected the top individuals in each of the award’s four regional categories.

This year, the awards received more than 500 entries from 40 countries. Of those shortlisted, the top candidate from each region will be named as a regional winner. One of these four regional winners will become the Commonwealth Young Person of the Year 2020.

All 16 finalists will each receive a trophy, a certificate and £1,000 to expand the scope of their projects.

The regional winners will each earn a trip to London to attend the awards ceremony on 11 March 2020 and will receive £3,000. The overall pan-Commonwealth winner will take home a total of £5,000.

The judging panel included high commissioners, development experts and youth leaders from across the Commonwealth.

The awards recognise outstanding young people whose innovative projects have made a real impact in helping their countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

The Commonwealth’s head of social policy development Layne Robinson said: “Their talent paired with tangible solutions sends a strong signal that they should be equal partners in the development agenda, not passive allies.

“With now only 10 years remaining to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Commonwealth takes great pleasure in bringing these young people’s invaluable efforts to the global stage so their leadership can inspire others and accelerate meaningful youth participation.”

The 2020 finalists, in alphabetical order by region and individual surname, are:


Joshua Ebin (Nigeria)

Focus: SDG 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production

Joshua is the founder of ‘Jumela Limited’; an agro-technology venture which specialises in the production of plant-based compost and novel agro-products for crop production farmers in Nigeria. The venture aims to tackle poor food waste management, pollution problems and low agricultural yield in the country. The venture has so far produced two metric tonnes of compost for sale to national clients and created jobs for more than 25 workers.

Galabuzi Brian Kakembo (Uganda)

Focus: SDG 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth

Brian is the founder of ‘WEYE Clean Energy’; a social enterprise that produces and sells eco-friendly briquettes (blocks of compressed charcoal) made from biodegradable plastics and organic waste to home, schools and local institutions. Profits are used to fund community outreach programmes and training for young people and women in smart agriculture. The enterprise’s work has reached more than 800 women and young people of which 600 are now earning income from briquette making or plastic waste recycling.

Salvatory Kessy (Tanzania)

Focus: SDG 4 – Quality Education

Salvatory is the founder of ‘SmartClass’; an online platform which matches low-cost qualified and vetted tutors to students interested in learning basic skills such as numeracy, literacy, computing, agriculture and languages. The offline platform allows users to book face-to-face tuition through a text and the group tuition model allows learners to book tutors collectively and reduce costs. The platform has 5,000 active registered tutors and 20,000 learners in Tanzania.

Elizabeth Wanjiru Wathuti (Kenya)

Focus: SDG 13 – Climate Action

Elizabeth is the founder of the ‘Green Generation Initiative’ which focuses on promoting environmental education and food security in schools, particularly by encouraging a tree growing culture and through its ‘adopt a tree’ campaign. The initiative has so far helped plant 30,000 tree seedlings in more than 40 schools. In addition, more than 20,000 school children have been trained to be environmentally conscious across seven Kenyan counties.


Sheikh Inzamamuzzaman (Bangladesh)

Focus: SDG 4 – Quality Education

Sheikh is the founder of ‘Study Buddy’; a start-up that provides an alternative learning platform to children with learning difficulties and their parents. Using interactive approaches such as augmented reality and gaming, the platform conducts personal assessments to match each child with unique learning methodologies and then connects the child with relevant learning tools and special needs professionals. The programme has so far supported more than 800 children and more than 1000 parents.

Vedant Jain (India)

Focus: SDG 4 – Quality Education

Vedant is a co-founder of the ‘Labhya Foundation’; a non-profit that aims to equip children from low socio-economic with critical social and emotional skills. In partnership with the national government and partnered non-governmental organisations, the foundation co-created the ‘Happiness Curriculum’ to educate children in schools on universal human values, emotional wellbeing and mindfulness, and to enhance their critical thinking and soft skills. The curriculum has so far positively impacted more than 1 million students in more than 20,000 schools in India.

Jaya Rajwani (Pakistan)

Focus: SDG 5 – Gender Equality

Jaya is the technical lead for ‘Aurat Raaj’; a social enterprise which creates technology-based products and services to educate girls on health, hygiene and safety. Jaya has led the development of the enterprise’s chat-bot, a tool which uses artificial intelligence to provide young girls with accessible and non-judgmental information on reproductive health. Jaya’s work has seen the ongoing development of the chat-bot to include local languages and videos while in-school training workshops have helped increase the tool’s reach and impact.

Hafiz Usama Tanveer (Pakistan)

Focus: SDG 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation

Hafiz is the founder of ‘PakVitae’; a social enterprise that produces and supplies water treatment products to provide clean and accessible drinking water to rural communities and refugee camps in Pakistan. PakVitae has so far reached over 11,000 people including victims of the Kerala flood, Afghan refugee camps and remote schools in rural areas.


Lalita Gopaul (Guyana)

Focus: SDG 13 – Climate Action

Lalita is an environmental sustainability activist and researcher by profession. Her research work covers eco-friendly agricultural methods, clean energy solutions and green technologies which have been used in Guyana. Her work has educated more than 100 farmers in the country to adopt more sustainable and environmentally-friendly farming methods to boost production and improve livelihoods in a changing climate. Lalita is also the founder of ‘Eco Club’ which mentors young people on environmental education. The club also runs coastal clean-up activities, tree planting sessions and climate-action walks.

Sowmyan Jegatheesan (Canada)

Focus: SDG 15 – Life on Land

Sowmyan is the founder of ‘’; one of the largest online information sources for global wildlife projects, research and datasets. The platform creates awareness and helps communities build resilience by better understanding global activities around climate change, migration patterns and human-wildlife conflict through the sourced material. The platform has reached more than 100 countries and has been used by research centres, think tanks and universities across the world.

Stephen McCubbin (Jamaica)

Focus: SDG 16 – Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Stephen is the founder of ‘Cheer Sensation JA’; a youth non-profit which works to foster holistic development through the sport of cheer. Through its cheerleading programmes and competitions, the organisation provides a safe space for children and adults to become physically active whilst working as a violence prevention tool in volatile communities in Jamaica. Stephen’s work has enabled him to attract international cheerleading bodies to Jamaica to provide technical support to the organisation, further increasing awareness and support for the sport.

Samuel Neil (Jamaica)

Focus: SDG 4 – Quality Education

Samuel is the founder of ‘The Aviation Club of Jamaica’; a national initiative which encourages young people to enter the aviation sector. The programme provides student members with scholarship opportunities and training programmes through its partnerships with training institutions. The programme has introduced hundreds of local young people to the world of aviation and supported many to go on to become qualified aviation professionals.


Sagufta Janif (Fiji)

Focus: SDG 12 – Responsible consumption and production

Sagufta is the founder of ‘The Fusion Hub’; a social enterprise focused on addressing a lack of access to proper waste disposal methods in remote islands by upcycling waste materials and selling them as furniture, home items and accessories. The Fusion Hub has so far upcycled more than 400 tonnes of waste selling hundreds of items to clients. The Hub also employs single mothers giving them a sustainable livelihood and has helped set up two formal businesses that are now part of its supply chain.

Broderick John Mervyn (Fiji)

Focus: SDG 16 – Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Broderick is the current President of ‘Ignite4Change’; a youth-led initiative which works to empower and educate underprivileged women and youths to grow inclusive governance, equality, participation and cultural preservation within local communities. The initiative runs several programmes including on public speaking training, local governance awareness, climate change advocacy, youth leadership and the protection of the Rotuman Language and Heritage.

Rinesh Sharma (Fiji)

Focus: SDG 2 – Zero Hunger

Rinesh is the founder of ‘Smart Farms Fiji’; an initiative that aims to provide a sustainable food production system by growing fruits and vegetables in a controlled environment all year round. The Smart Farm system’s produce is monitored through smartphone technology and saves up to 70 per cent more water than traditional farming methods. Smart Farms Fiji also runs the country’s first hydroponics course that teaches local communities to embrace modern farming practices.

Fusi Masina Tietie (Samoa)

Focus: SDG 5 – Gender Equality

Fusi is the founder of ‘Her Voice’; an online initiative that aims to empower young women in the local community by sharing their personal stories through art and videography. The project works in partnership with volunteer photographers, make-up artists, bloggers and fashion designers to curate each young woman’s story and share to Her Voice’s online community. Fusi also provides national training to young women on leadership and gender equality.

The search is on for the most inspirational women across the Midlands, as applications open for one of the UK’s longest running annual awards.

Now in its 38th year, the Women of the Year Luncheon & Awards celebrates the achievements of exceptional women, highlighting individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to their business, chosen sector or the wider community.

Taking place at the Birmingham Hilton Metropole on Friday 16 October, the Women of the Year Luncheon & Awards has two exclusive categories open for applications, Business Woman of the Year and Woman with Edge.  Colleagues, family and friends can nominate entrepreneurs or business leaders from across the private and public sectors, or applicants can simply nominate themselves. 

The Business Woman of the Year award is designed to celebrate the success of an individual making transformational changes within their organisation or sector, while the Woman with Edge award, this year sponsored by Freeths Solicitors,shines a spotlight on someone who challenges the status quo, and who understands that the road to success is not always straight.

An additional award for Woman of Achievement is presented to an individual or group of women from across the country who have strived to achieve the remarkable, often for the benefit of others and in some cases against the odds. The winner of this category is selected by the board of directors of Women of the Year Luncheon & Awards.

Creating an extensive network of women who are ambitious and driven, 2019 winners of the Women of the Year Awards were: Business Woman of the Year - Jennie Johnson MBE (CEO, Kids Allowed Ltd), Woman with Edge - Debbie Francis, (Managing Director, Direct Rail Services) and Women of Achievement - The Women of Grenfell. 

Over the last four decades, winners have included Baroness Karren Brady CBE, Katie Piper, Dame Asha Khemka DBE (Principal and CEO of West Nottinghamshire College) and British Paralympian, Claire Lomas MBE.

All proceeds from the Women of the Year Luncheon & Awards go directly to charity, with over £500,000 raised to date.  For 2020, the event will support The Prince’s Trust: Women Supporting Women Initiative, a passionate group of supporters who are committed to changing the lives of young women, and Elle for Elle, a charitable foundation that connects a wellbeing programme to refugees in the UK.

Applications and nominations for the 2020 awards are now open andZalena Vandrewala, chair of Women of the Year Luncheon & Awards, commented:

For 38 years, these awards have been dedicated to profiling and recognising the most inspiring women across the UK.  We are excited for this year’s applications, as we encourage successful and strong women to showcase their talents and celebrate their achievements with us.”

We would also like to thank our business community, sponsors and associated charities, for their continued support.


A new Black British history series exploring subjects from Afrobeats to the power movement is underway.

‘A Quick Ting On’, a ground-breaking new non-fiction series focuses on the Black British community, all written by young Black British writers.

Created by 24-year-old publisher Magdalene Abraha, the series is the first of its kind and will cover topics from grime music to bamboo earrings, plantain to the Black British power movement, Afrobeats to Black British business.

A Quick Ting On is published by Jacaranda Books, the award-winning independent publisher dedicated to diverse books, with new titles to come out over the following year.

One author is Zainab Kwaw-Swanzy who says she loves that the series could help readers outside Black British communities understand the importance of their culture.

“Black history tends to be focused around slavery – which was such a big part – but to be able to say there are so many other things that are important to this culture and this country, that’s something I would have loved to know more about in school. It wasn’t until I got to uni’ that I started to find myself

It would be great if some of this stuff was covered earlier.”

Abraha said: “There’s nothing like this out there – that’s one of the reasons why I had to do it.

“I created this series to provide a space that can celebrate, pay homage and explore culture. It’s about the everyday conversations that we have about art, music, hair, history, politics, food and so much more.

“The whole point of the series is that the subjects are limitless, it can last forever”.

Other writers set to contribute include Chanté Joseph, Tobi Kyeremateng, Rui Da Silva, Tskenya-Sarah Frazer and Franklyn Addo.

King G Mall was awarded the BIGGEST AWARD of his 52yrs of hard work at the lovely Professional University Jalandhar. He was honoured by Mr Randeep Singh Kohli  president of World Book of Records London for "Introducing & making Dhol Popular around the World".With God's blessings his 52yrs of hard work paid off with this great wonderful Title.

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Frederick Jones is an inventor and entrepreneur who is credited for his great invention of the portable refrigerator. He received over 60 patents for his other inventions whilst managed to achieve all of these accomplishments living in the era of Jim Crow laws and other propaganda used against Black Americans.

Born in May, 1893 in Covington, Kentucky, at the early age of 9, he lost both his parents and was then put under the care of a priest. He left school after 6th grade as he thought the strict educational system wasn't suited for him. By 11-years old, he returned to his hometown in Cincinnati where he taught himself mechanical engineering.

During World War I, Jones was deployed as an American soldier to France and he became known for his skills in fixing military gear. After the war, he made a living working at a repair shop, a steamship, at a hotel, and on railroads.

Around the same time, he started inventing things such as a radio transmitter for the Minnesota city radio station, a gasoline motor that could start on its own, as well as race cars that he used to compete in local race events. He designed them so well that they always beat the other racers, even an airplane once. He also built movie sound equipment that supported the advancement of the film industry in the late 1920's.

Jones became most popular for his invention of the first portable automatic refrigeration system for railroad cars and trucks that travelled long distances in 1935. It became beneficial in avoiding spoilage of food as well as blood and medicine during World War II. He eventually co-founded U.S. Thermo Control Company (later the Thermo King Corporation).

Throughout his life, Jones was awarded 61 patents, in which 40 were for refrigeration equipment, while others were for portable X-ray machines, sound equipment, and gasoline engines.

Frederick Jones died from lung cancer in 1961, but he inspired a lot of Black people that they can do whatever they aspire to do - even when living in a rather unfair environment.