Updated: Aug 28, 2020
As we approach the Bank Holiday weekend, we’ll certainly be missing Carnival - which in response to the pandemic is going digital this year, however, there have still been great stories this month to smile about!
26 year old becomes the UK’s first female Muslim referee
Jawahir Roble was 10 years old when her family moved to London to escape the civil war in Somalia. Now, she’s making a name for herself as English football’s first-ever female Muslim referee.
Roble says she first fell in love with football when she was a player but had been forbidden by her parents from attending club trials, in favour of pursuing a “normal” career. She got back into the game when volunteering at her local football club and finding they were short on referees for the local girls’ league.
Even though she’s already made history, Jawahir still has her eyes set on going even further. Asked on her aspirations to officiate in the English Premier League or the Women's Super League, Roble, who is a qualified level-six referee, told the Press Association: "honestly, that's the mission.”
Black influencer inks a solo collection deal with a leading fast-fashion brand
Mariam Musa has become the first Black female British influencer to launch a solo collection with a leading fast-fashion brand. In a time where influencers are becoming real trailblazers, Mariam has paved the way for the growing swell of Black British influencers by partnering with well-known fashion brand ISAWITFIRST.
Musa demonstrated her ability to connect to an audience as she began creating styling videos giving tips on how to save money without compromising on appearance. In 2018 Mariam collaborated with ISAWITFIRST in these popular videos and worked with them as an ambassador for their Love Island 2019 sponsorship; placing her in promotional ads and billboards across the country.
Mariam’s collection features 52 pieces with prices ranging from £8 – £50 and is a mixture of styles that embody Mariam’s character and fashion sense.
Boxpark Shoreditch features Black-owned online marketplace, Jamii
This month saw Boxpark welcome Jamii, an online marketplace and discount card for Black-owned businesses in the UK with their first-ever pop-up. The pop-up, which ran for a limited time, showcased 20 Black British e-commerce brands across haircare, skincare, clothing, stationery, food and greetings cards.
Jamii was founded by Khalia Ismain in 2016 in response to the first wave of the Black Lives Matter movement with a mission to make it as easy and convenient as possible to show with community-owned brands. This pop-up was the first time Jamii brought its digital platform to the real world, but following its success, Khalia has plans to run more pop-up shops across the UK in Bristol, Birmingham and Manchester.
Taylor Swift donates £23,000 to help Tottenham teen attend university
When 18-year old Vitoria Mario set up her GoFundMe page to raise money so she could attend university, she couldn’t have expected to attract assistance from one of the globe’s biggest pop stars.
Vitoria achieved the A-Level grades she needed (two A*s and an A) and was accepted into Warwick University to study mathematics, however she was unable to cover the living costs. Mario, originally from Portugal, but living in Tottenham, was not eligible for the maintenance loan or grant because she had not yet lived in the UK for 5 years. This meant she would need to raise £40,000 in order to take up her offer.
A comment posted by a donor using the name Taylor Swift on Mario’s GoFundMe page read: “Vitoria, I came across your story online and am so inspired by your drive and dedication to turning your dreams into reality. I want to gift you the rest of your goal amount. Good luck with everything you do! Love, Taylor.”
Vitoria told Sky News, whilst she wasn’t able to verify directly with Taylor Swift that the donation did in fact come from her, she does believe it was the singer. She added: “It was a blessing out of the blue, a blessing that I definitely needed.”
Those are just a few of the many positive things that are happening in our community; if you have a positive story you think we should know about, why not let us know via our social channels or our website? Follow Black Happiness Matters on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and stay tuned to our website or BHM Club newsletter for even more happiness content and reasons to keep smiling.
Sources for images:
Jawahir Roble. Shutterstock/Rex
Vitoria Mario Image: Darren Pepe