Barrow Voice
www.barrowvoice.co.uk -
First Publised 1975
3,000 copies published quarterly and delivered FREE to all households in Barrow upon Soar

Seun Matiluko

Seun has always loved writing and is extremely good at it. Barrow Voice was lucky enough to be able to tap into her enthusiasm and creativity six years ago when she was living here with her parents and studying A levels. She contributed two very lively panto reviews; Babes in the Wood and Robin Hood (2013), Mother Goose ( 2014) and co-wrote an article ‘Digging Up Barrow’ (2013) when the village was surrounded by floods and the gas board, in its infinite wisdom, chose to put in new, bright yellow polythene pipes. Remember?

But since then, what has this talented young woman been up to? I was lucky to talk to Seun over Easter as she was back from Spain for a week visiting her family. Back from Spain - then she must be studying Spanish? No, not at all. She’s certainly improving her Spanish, but is in Granada studying Spanish Law as part of a four-year law degree at Bristol University. Yet although she’s studying law, her true love is still writing and once she’s polished off this degree she intends to do an MA in journalism at Columbia in the glorious US of A. She’s is indefatigable! She’s returning to her first love although her parents were insistent she studied either Medicine (their own profession) or Law. That’s why the law degree comes first.

Once at university Seun continued to write and has not only been published but has self-published a book of poetry, entitled “Identity”. It amazes me that Seun has managed to pack in so much whilst coping with the demands of a law degree. She must be not only talented but highly organised. In relation to her writing she has been published in the Bristol University feminist magazine ‘ twss magazine ‘ (That’s What She Said) and the national magazine ‘ gal-dem ‘ - London slang for a group of girls. This magazine was set up by women of colour who didn’t feel the national press represented them enough. As a sample of Seun’s writing try these two:

http://www.gal-dem.com/why-madein- chelsea-having-its-first-everblack- cast-member-is-important/ Written in July 2017, the article explains in depth why the arrival of Akin Solanke-Caulker to the Made in Chelsea TV series is important. He is the first black cast-member on the show and has been able to present a perspective from England’s black middle-class, reflecting Seun’s own background. Why is this so unusual? Why are black people on TV often portrayed as drug-dealers from sinking housing estates?

https://twssmagazine. com/2017/12/13/the-meaning-ofmeghan- markle/ Meghan Markle became the first mixed-race person to join the Royal Family in May when she married Harry. Seun has mixed reactions to this development and explains why. Apart from the studying law and writing, towards the end of Seun’s first year she ran for the post of Students’ Union Black and Minority Ethnic Officer and was voted in. Once in post she could interpret the role with considerable freedom and one of her greatest achievements was to organise, at very short notice, a ‘BLACKLIVESMATTER’ vigil on the city’s College Green. The Mayor of Bristol attended and it was a great success in expressing solidarity with black young people in America. As Seun pointed out, British police aren’t as trigger happy as their American counterparts, but over the years there have been hundreds of unexplained deaths of black people held in custody. There’s still a lot of work to be done.

And Seun’s one of the people to do it! As a result of her work at Bristol, Seun was listed as one of the top 100 black students in the UK for 2017/18 and one of the top 100 ‘Women to Watch’ at university in 2017. She also inspired the Law Faculty at Bristol to introduce a new module on Law and Race. Wow!
But what lies ahead for this summer? Amazingly, the possibility of three separate internships. Seun has been accepted on two separate one-month internships with both British Vogue and The Sunday Times and may also manage to squeeze in another one with The Guardian. Well, she does have a three month break! Good luck Seun. You’ve an amazing life ahead.

Gaynor Barton