ROOT-ed Zine Fundraiser
Amy Wain 28/02/2018
Unity Theatre, Hope Place, Liverpool.
I have been very excited leading up to the ROOT-ed Fundraising Event, seeing first-hand the preparation and development that the founders, Amber Akaunu and Fauziya Johnson, have had to endure. With little background or experience in event planning and management, they successfully delivered a very entertaining, fully packed night of performances, varying from monologues, poetry, spoken word, singing and rapping. On arrival, both of the hosts were very warm and welcoming, taking an admission of £4 which went directly to the fundraising of their publication, ROOT-ed. We were then directed up to the event space, in which there were snacks and various other refreshments on arrival and a bar provided for the guests. The space was small and intimate, but appropriate for the event – a gathering of people who want to support a cause. Although not everyone knew each other, we laughed together during the performances, and the event overall created a comfortable and friendly atmosphere. The turnout of guests on the night was very impressive for a starting business, a mix of friends, family
and followers of the zine. The hosts were very pleasant and caring towards the guests, with them also performing several other tasks throughout the night such as photography, management of acts and their props, announcing raffle winners and individually thanking people for their presence.
The performances of the night were very diverse, some humorous, whilst others were extremely emotive and moving. Majority of the acts spoke about the cause, sharing their voices and opinions, their own personal stories of struggle and discrimination and sharing their backgrounds and proud heritage, whereas others approached with hilarious acts, showing that the current struggle of the cause does not outshine the hope and happiness in which they all held. Regardless of the colour, race or background, everyone in that room laughed together, nodded in agreement and applauded each and every act for their talents, and that no one agreed that racial discrimination should still exist within this world.
One thing that all of these acts showed was their appreciation towards Fauziya Johnson and Amber Akaunu, for what one act explained as “allowing a creative to have an opportunity to share their talent, which is valuable in itself, however allow us to have a voice.” Both Amber Akaunu and Fauziya Johnson are talented artists in themselves, and clearly talented entrepreneurs, yet they are also both humble, not fully realising the monumental success they have already achieved, and the great opportunity they have allowed others to have, overcoming the discrimination to share their passion, their soul and their voice with everyone. The night overall was a huge success, and will be very remembered from all who attended. I am both very proud to have had a glimpse into their progress, and very proud to know them both personally. I have no doubt that ROOT-ed zine will be an outstanding success, exceeding themselves time and time again, but also, will help so many wonderful and talented individuals that with their assistance, will become the artists, performers, writers and musicians of the next generation. A generation without borders, limits or discrimination.