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Henrie Kwushue
Via Instagram @henrieviii

Presenter Henrie Kwushue on community, representation, and guilty pleasures

Get to know the effervescent Dazed 100 DJ and creator of Is Your Area Changing?, the light-hearted YouTube series exposing gentrification

Check out the full 2020 Dazed 100 list, and vote for Henrie Kwushue’s idea – which is up for a grant from the £50,000 Dazed and Converse Ideas Fund – here.

“It’s important to me to have black women’s voices heard,” presenter Henrie Kwushue told Dazed last month, as she joined this year’s Dazed 100 list. “The (young black women) I have seen on my journey have been so incredible that it made me want to be incredible for another Henrie.”

The 24-year-old is discussing her Dazed 100 fund idea, which centres on enhancing representation in the media industry for those marginalised by their race or gender. Kwushue hopes to do this via her production company, HTK Productions, through which she premiered her viral YouTube series about gentrification in south London, called Is Your Area Changing?, which offers a light-hearted look at an often depressing topic.

Here, the effervescent presenter takes the Dazed 100 pop quiz, answering a series of quick-fire questions. From how she gets over an artistic block and the best concert she’s seen (Beyoncé, duh), right through to what community means to her, get to know Kwushue below, and head here to vote for her idea.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Henrie Kwushue: Initially I wanted to be a teacher, but then I fell in love with broadcast media and decided I wanted to be a presenter.

What clique were you in in high school?

Henrie Kwushue: All of them – I wanted to be friends with everyone.

Who gave you your first break?

Henrie Kwushue: I’ll always give that to God, but Reprezent Radio was where I first became known.

Why do you do what you do?

Henrie Kwushue: Because I love to put a smile on people’s faces and I really love being creative.

What issues are you most passionate about?

Henrie Kwushue: Race and gender equality. Visibility for black women. 

Who do you think is making real change in the world?

Henrie Kwushue: The doctors and nurses who are working during the current pandemic. They are the backbone of the NHS and our health care services.

If you were in charge for a day, what law would you invent?

Henrie Kwushue: 10 acts of kindness a day.

What does community mean to you?

Henrie Kwushue: Community brings strength, growth, and purpose because it’s a group of people that believe in and encourage each other, and want to see one another do well.

“Community brings strength, growth, and purpose because it’s a group of people that believe in and encourage each other” – Henrie Kwushue

How does your community inspire your creativity?

Henrie Kwushue: I see the things happening in my area (local community) that need change, or need light shining on them, and it makes me feel inspired to show the world a community that wouldn’t have had a voice otherwise.

Explain your Dazed 100 grant idea in one sentence.

Henrie Kwushue: My idea is to give a platform in the media industry to the underprivileged, and those who would usually be marginalised due to gender or race.

Why should people support your idea?

Henrie Kwushue: Because the media industry at the moment is not a true representation of the amount of incredible people and ideas that exist. Some of these people just want a foot in the door, and if they have something great to offer then why not?

When do you feel most creative?

Henrie Kwushue: When I’m sitting down in a quiet room with a pen and notepad.

How do you get over an artistic block? 

Henrie Kwushue: I pray and I sleep.

Name three things that inspire you?

Henrie Kwushue: The need to make a change, the idea of inclusivity, and spreading love.

What’s the best concert you’ve ever seen?

Henrie Kwushue: Beyoncé!!!!!!

If you could own one piece of art, what would it be?

Henrie Kwushue: The original script of 500 Days of Summer.

“The media industry at the moment is not a true representation of the amount of incredible people and ideas that exist” – Henrie Kwushue

What’s the last thing you made?

Henrie Kwushue: A documentary, and before that: rice and stew.

What’s a lesson that you learned the hard way?

Henrie Kwushue: That you can’t love other people if you can’t love yourself.

Which fictional character do you most identify with?

Henrie Kwushue: Eric Effiong in Sex Education (played by Dazed 100 alum Ncuti Gatwa).

What’s your secret talent?

Henrie Kwushue: I learned to play the piano by ear.

What’s overrated?

Henrie Kwushue: Perfection.

What’s underrated?

Henrie Kwushue: Showing love to people who might be mean.

What keeps you motivated?

Henrie Kwushue: Faith in God.

Which film do you never get bored of?

Henrie Kwushue: The Harry Potter franchise.

What song is stuck in your head right now?

Henrie Kwushue: Burna Boy, “Anybody”.

“Tracksuits are the item of clothing that mean the most to me because they represent south London and they can be worn on any occasion” – Henrie Kwushue

What are you embarrassed to admit?

Henrie Kwushue: I’ve seen Justin Bieber live and I cried at the concert.

What did you dream last night?

Henrie Kwushue: I didn’t LOL, sorry.

What piece of clothing means the most to you?

Henrie Kwushue: Tracksuits, because they represent south London and they can be worn on any occasion.

What’s the last lie that you told?

Henrie Kwushue: That I was going to work but instead saw my friends.

What advice would you give your past self?

Henrie Kwushue: You are beautiful, you are of sound mind, and you have to learn how to deal with each obstacle as it comes. Not every down is out.

What’s your favourite slang phrase?

Henrie Kwushue: ‘Bruvva’ – getting into my English cockney bag.

What’s your ultimate guilty pleasure?

Henrie Kwushue: Singing old school pop tunes: Britney, NSYNC, Xtina, THE LOT.

What will the world look like in 2050?

Henrie Kwushue: It will be a completely digital age – we probably won’t even be using physical money anymore. Hopefully flying cars?

“Advice for my past self: you have to learn how to deal with each obstacle as it comes. Not every down is out” – Henrie Kwushue

What’s a misconception people often have about you?

Henrie Kwushue: That I don’t have any downtime – I feel like people think I’m a socialite 24/7.

What book changed your life?

Henrie Kwushue: The Bible.

What song hits you the hardest?

Henrie Kwushue: Sinach, “Way Maker”.  

Which living person do you most admire and why?

Henrie Kwushue: My parents. This is a cheat, I know, but my dad was fearless enough to name me after him even after I came out as a girl, and my mum was fearless enough to agree to it.

Vote for Henrie Kwushue’s idea on the 2020 Dazed 100 now.