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STUART TAYLOR COLUMN: Poet Benjamin Zephaniah and the people of Townhill should be proud

By StuartTaylor  |  Posted: May 06, 2014

Poet Benjamin Zephaniah

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WE always hear David Cameron banging on about The Big Society, but what does that actually mean?
Cameron's aim is to create an environment that empowers everyday people and communities. He seeks to give power back to the people to enable them to run their own communities.
Sounds good? It would be good if it wasn't just a facade to mask Cameron's cost-stripping measures.
I watched BBC Wales's Ugly Lovely Swansea: A Poet On The Estate, in which dub poet Benjamin Zephaniah tried to help the community of Townhill to engage with the work of poet Dylan Thomas and perform his famous Under Milk Wood. It reinforced my belief that Swansea is a city like no other  with a massive sense of belonging.
I'm  proud of coming from Gorseinon and have a deep-rooted sense of community. Why you may ask, as it is only where you happen to live? It is so much more than just where you live.
I went to school there, and most of my family and friends live there, so when you put these things together they  become a massive part of who  I am. Some people go through life not   feeling a sense of belonging, and in many ways I find this  sad. To belong to something or somewhere is so enriching. You only have to witness the support for the city's football team to realise that when you become a player at Swansea City you become one of us, not just as a football club, as a city. As they say, once a Jack always a Jack.
Something that one of the participants in A Poet On The Estate said during an interview for the Evening Post summed up brilliantly what The Big Society should mean.
Julia Manser said: "The people involved were in school, in work, living with an illness, or caring for  family, but we all found time to get together, and we jumped through hoops with each other to get it done. Now we're friends for life."
That is what it's all about and Townhill and Swansea should be proud of who we are.

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  • neathguard  |  May 06 2014, 6:41PM

    It was a brilliant show, and full credit to Benjamin for getting people to explore talents they never knew they had. Acting, writing poetry and acting,, and the grandmother who was a rapper was fabulous. We need more people like Benjamin and Gareth of Military wives, to go out into they community to help people find talents they never knew they had, and helping them to fulfil their lives. Good luck to the people of Townhill, you did your community proud, and helped to restore civic pride in the area. Keep writing and advertise when the next show us on, because I think many people would attend. How about the Grand Theatre, sure you could fill it.

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