An Evening with Yusuf Enjoyed By All

Evening_Yusuf

We are delighted to announce that ‘An Evening with Yusuf Islam’ on Friday 5th June went spectacularly well, the highlight of which was a fascinating, extended interview with Yusuf.

The audience was treated to a candid, theatre-style interview with a small stage set, props, on-screen visuals and even a vinyl played on an old record player.

Malcolm Gerrie, who has been responsible for some of the most celebrated and well-loved music programmes of the last thirty years, did a marvellous job leading the interview and teasing out a series of captivating stories and facts. Yusuf and Malcolm previously worked together in 2003 during the 46664 charity concert in honour of Nelson Mandela. In describing the concert to the audience, Malcolm said: “The amazing performance that Yusuf did with this wonderful choir from Soweto – it is one of the most moving things. And I remember looking at Mr Mandela’s eyes at the time and he had a tear in his eyes. It was such a wonderful performance.” We were honoured that Malcolm was available for the event (“I am touched to be invited here tonight,” he said in his introduction).

The interview opened with a showreel of clips from Yusuf’s life. Thereafter, items were selected from a wooden chest, prompting Yusuf to tell the story behind each individual prop (“Yusuf’s come up with a brilliant idea to break the monotony of listening to me asking questions for an hour,” Malcolm explained). The items included one of Yusuf’s school reports from 1958 (an “exceptional talent” for Art, it said), the Twist and Shout EP by the Beatles (which Yusuf played, saying that it “changed everything”), a mirror, a Cuban-heeled boot, and more.

Yusuf told of the circumstances that motivated him to start Small Kindness, the charity to which all of the event proceeds went to, to support humanitarian work in the Balkans. The evening also saw moving speeches from two employees of Small Kindness from Sarajevo. One of them, Senada, is a single mother who in 2002 was a beneficiary of the charity at a time when she was suffering from cancer and required surgery. Small Kindness cared for her son during her stay in hospital and she was later offered a position with us visiting other beneficiaries (“If our beneficiaries were here they would thank each of you personally,” she told a visibly moved audience).

Small Kindness would like to thank Deloitte for kindly hosting the event. And of course we would like to extend our deepest gratitude to everyone that attended for supporting our charity and for contributing to the important work we do. You’re still in time to donate if you haven’t already done so by simply clicking the donate tab above. 100% of donations will go directly to helping our beneficiaries.

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