January 10, 2020
Rosena Allin-Khan, the wildcard in the race to be Labour’s next deputy leader, is a Cambridge University-educated doctor. 
Rosena Allin-Khan Interview: Labour Deputy Leader Hopeful Says Growing Up In Poverty Puts Fire In Your Belly
But unlike many of her peers at the university’s prestigious medical school, her story is not one of private education and privilege. 
Brought up by a single mum in a working class home in Tooting, Allin-Khan failed her A Levels - with two Es and a U - and at 18 never imaged she would go on to represent the London borough in parliament and realise her dream of becoming a doctor. 
“It all felt pretty bleak,” she tells HuffPost UK. “I remember crying on the phone to my mum and feeling absolutely lost.” 
Allin-Khan, who describes the task before Labour’s next deputy as a “roll your sleeves up” job in the wake of December’s devastating defeat, re-sat her exams but life was a struggle. 
“My mum was a single mum and she had to work three jobs, so my brother and I always had jobs and it was quite tough,” she says. “So I was an ice cream scooper, I worked in Next shoes and accessories, I did silver service waitressing, I worked in a call centre trying to sell quality assurance manuals, I worked trying to sell weddings. You name it, I’ve done it.”
Allin-Khan, who is 42, describes her younger self as someone who “refused to give up” and thanks Labour health reforms for opening up access to Cambridge’s Lucy Cavendish College to graduates after 2000. 
She admits battling confidence problems and applied only after months of regular appeals from her close pals. 
“I had lived a life where not that much was expected of me,” she says. “I was living under a Thatcher and then a Major government as a mixed race kid from a poor family in London.”
She feels getting into medical school was her biggest breakthrough and recalls her mum “crowdfunding money from friends” so she could prove to university chiefs her daughter had cash to fall back on. 
“She said I’ll be damned if you don’t get in because we don’t have money and so off I went to this interview with this pretend money in the bank,” she says, adding: “For me it was a lot of pushing through barriers. 
“I was just never ever giving up. I was just so determined to do it, because I knew it was the way that I could transform other people’s lives. I really believe that.” 
The mum-of-two, who is Muslim and wife to a Welshman, used her education to work in humanitarian aid and has a decade of experience working in conflict and disaster zones, such as Gaza and Lebanon. 
A fan of extreme sports such as boxing and skiing, Allin-Khan, who is thought to be among Labour’s moderates, was asked by Jeremy Corbyn to serve as shadow sports minister and has used the role to speak out against racism in football and campaign for free standing at grounds. 
Like her rivals Ian Murray, Richard Burgon and Dawn Butler, Allin-Khan will struggle to beat the clear favourite Angela Rayner, but her energy and enthusiasm are infectious and will leave an impression.If you have grown up in poverty, you know that it doesn’t know regional discriminationRosena Allin-KhanShe is also keen to reframek the narrative that only politicians from outside London can communicate about the realities of poverty and hardship. 
“I think it’s important to have a breadth of candidates on the ballot paper,” she says. “And if you have grown up in poverty, you know that it doesn’t know regional discrimination.
“And it gives you a fire in your belly to fight for everyone else, regardless of where they’re from. 
“The deputy job is going to be a roll your sleeves up job, and I have a lot of ideas.” 
She also hopes that opening up about her own triumph over adversity will inspire young women from ethnic minority backgrounds. 
“There’s nothing like growing up under the Tory government with my ethnic background and my socio-economic background and having people try and put me in a box,” she says. “The only box you should ever go in is the one you make for yourself. And I’m learning that more and more as time goes on because, even this place [Westminster], you’re forced to identify one way or another.
“And actually, why do we have to? What can I just be, like, proudly British and proudly Polish-Pakistani.“Why do I have to feel more one more the other. I just feel like, actually the only thing that matters is how I see myself and how I treat others.” 
It was also at Cambridge that Allin-Khan first got involved with the Labour Party. 
She was elected to Westminster when Sadiq Khan decided to run for London Mayor in 2016, sparking a by-election. 
Her time in politics has been marked by turbulence. The day she was elected, Jo Cox was killed by a far-right terrorist and just days later the country voted to leave the European Union. 
She strongly supported a second referendum on Brexit but, following Boris Johnson’s Conservatives securing a commanding 80-seat majority, now accepts it is time to move on. 
Labour infighting has also been rife since Corbyn was elected but Allin-Khan hopes the leadership and deputy leadership contest will bring unity. 
“The thing I learned the most from my humanitarian work is that we all come to our political opinions based on our past and life experiences. And you can’t ever take that away from someone - that is their lived experience,” she says. 
“And once we accept that we’ve all had different lived experiences, you work with the information that you have about someone else or their ideology. 
“I think people are inherently good and  everyone generally in politics Itruly believe is just trying to do their best.”
While leadership favourite Rebecca Long Bailey gave Corbyn “ten out of ten” for his leadership, Allin-Khan does not agree. 
“I would have to give him six out of ten,” she says. “He did get us to a point where we are an anti-austerity party and we have a record number of young people signed up to the party and registered to vote, but the biggest judge is the electorate and we didn’t wow anyone at the last election, did we.”  
Following Corbyn’s claim that Labour “won the argument” at the election, Allin-Khan also stresses that the party has to reflect on the fact it has not won a majority since 2005.  
“It’d be an incredible error to not recognise that we have suffered a catastrophic defeat and a blow to our party,” she says. 
“We’ve lost the last last four elections. We need to learn from the mistakes of 2015.
“And I think we need to really look deep and listen in every corner of the country.” 
The winner of the deputy leadership contest will be announced on April 5. Related... Angela Rayner Surges Ahead In Deputy Leader Race – But The Frontrunner Has Competition Rosena Allin-Khan Launches Labour Deputy Leadership Bid Richard Burgon Is Officially Standing To Be Labour Deputy Leader
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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