DISCOVER THE LATEST NEW CHIEFTAIN TO BE FEATURED BELOW
Celebrating A TENACIOUS TRIBE OF TALENT since 2014
In a world of celebritydom THE NEW CHIEFTAINS are a breath of fresh air. They’re non conformists whose instinct to succeed is driven by passion, transformation and challenge. It is these qualities that make them unconventional. Individually they are powerful and collectively they represent a tribe of talent who embody tenacity. Validation does not come from public accolades but in the form of endeavour, creative transformation and personal achievement.
Creative storyteller Agenda, was compelled to capture their powerful and rich narrative. He wanted to magnify qualities that are typically overshadowed by the importance placed on fame.
We will continue to unveil New Chieftains as they join the tribe and the latest member is featured below.
YOSHI XY JOINS THE NEW CHIEFTAINS TRIBE
“I AM HAPPY, HEALTHY AND HONEST”
Yoshi is a defender of what is right, an agent of change and is unapologetically honest about his life, thoughts and views. These qualities exemplify the New Chieftains energy that lives within the original chapter and the entire tribe. Thank you Yoshi.
Who is Yoshi?
I care about life and with that, I understand that health is a huge factor. I care a lot about what being healthy allows, like a healthy environment and being able to thrive in the place that gives you comfort, joy, excitement, fascination, inspiration. I’m interested in dance; I’m into the arts and much more.
As a son of a restaurateur, I’m a big fan of food; my mother and grandmother are brilliant cooks. My uncle had two restaurants before that he was a pilot.
I’m only thirty-one years old so it’s actually very hard to really state who I really am. I’m still having to do so much learning in that regard, so I think the things that I’ve gotten into now help when telling someone the person I am trying to aspire to be and the direction that I am going. I’m a Buddhist first and foremost, my grandma’s a nun. The principles of Buddhism I hold really dear are about compassion, truth-seeking, how you conduct yourself in the world and make the world a better place. How to view it in an objective manner and not to attach but not to be completely devoid of any kind of compassion either. Stemming from there I’m a social-environmental music activist that’s into hip-hop, underground street culture, the arts, graphic design… I was a biographer for five years too.
I grew up in restaurants my whole life, I like cooking for others. Now I’m doing traditional Chinese medicine and am also a nutrition consultation which all ties together very well.
I really care about conserving life and making things become sustainable as I’ve really seen the value of a genuine sense of joy from that. At the same time, I’m very much driven by harrowing experiences and trauma from seeing illnesses to growing up in Scotland with a lot of racism, being the so-called the black sheep of the family, being stoned by my father, being abused by my father when I was younger and trying to rekindle that relationship, and also being part of the hip-hop or underground street culture.
The dark side of my life experience has informed me and the light side has also helped to form the person I am or am trying to be. I’m still trying to make a lot of sense out of it.
Five elements of this earth
It provides a framework for understanding how everything works on this planet, in this world and how our body works. Before the five elements theory, you have the yin and yang theory. When we are studying Chinese medicine, we first try to understand the source of all life, or energy. You know, some people may think it’s the same thing or other people call it chi, we call it energy so that it’s universal. The five elements are unique to this planet. Everything about this planet and our bodies have an element of what we would call earth, metal, water, wood, and fire, a framework that I, as an traditional Chinese medicine consultant and also as a nutrition consultant, use to help treat the patients and clients that I work with.
My healing mentors
As well as my work in Chinese medicine, I’m starting to do a little bit of Kung Fu training once a week. This is aside from my love for playing basketball every weekend and dancing every week. Chinese medicine and Kung Fu are healing arts with a great long lineage and is an opposite part of my ethnic heritage, being mostly Chinese.
I got teachers to teach me in a sound manner and mentor me in those systems. My teacher in traditional medicine has been Errol Lynch based in Camden, north London. I gravitated towards his senior students because I met a few of them at a dance event. I have had scoliosis since I was a teenager, so I’ve always had severe back pain which caused issues with my dancing. These guys were running a show at that time I was doing a lot of amateur photography and filmmaking, and I was always carrying heavy equipment as well. They were giving away free massages and I loved getting that treatment.
Until that point I never gave that much value to massage therapy until I met this lady and wanted to see what she could do. She was giving me manual therapy preventative medicine (we use it in Chinese medicine) then the next day I bumped into this other guy Ronald Thomas and he would be the guy I saw to get treated for my injuries. Over time he became my mentor in Chinese medicine, especially with Chinese massage therapy. He then introduced me to acupuncture, cupping therapy and my fascination grew with that. At the time I was maturing in a way that informed me that this is what I’m more in line with than the dance part of my life that I practised as therapy. I wasn’t into the competition or the battles I just really cared about the social aspect of it, the artistic creative aspect of it, and at the end, I realised that it was all to do with health so that’s what I enjoyed about the arts.
After five or six years of being exposed, I decided to start training with the teachers of the teachers. Errol He spent time in China studying , so I trained with him for a year, worked in his clinic during that time and it has been an amazing journey. There’s still much more for me to learn. It has been really cool and very empowering. So that’s healing arts.
Earlier than that, as a kid, I had a fascination for martial arts, but I felt like I never had the opportunity to relish in that interest because those things cost. I did karate classes as a kid, but my parents were separating which meant no more karate so that’s how I started.
I still am interested in martial arts, and I kind of fuse that in with my dancing. Many years ago I met DJ Renegade (AKA Kevi) an big name in the underground hip-hop scene. I went to him for martial arts training because I wanted to learn how to have a better understanding controlling my energy, how to apply it physically and in the crudest manner, if you were to get caught in a fight or a competition, would you know how to defend yourself? There’s a place for that, I’m a very sensitive guy and I would say very caring as well so that’s why healing arts is perfect for me because there’s an amount of creativity involved.
The martial arts training and philosophy apply the same techniques in a different matter so instead of combat it’s for healing. With martial arts, it gives me another perspective. The fascinating thing for me is that the two go together so well, there’s a time for passivity called yin and a time being proactive and aggressive, yang. They have to be in balance and the more I go on in this life I realise that’s what I’m interested in.
In Chinese medicine; we are trying to balance things. If yin is too low, we bring it up and if yang is too high we bring it down. Yang, we never bring it up. If Yang has gone too far beyond we tip it over, so the balance can be thought about in that different manner. The five elements are all about balance and I realise that it’s the same as dancing. For example, if I feel angry about something or emotional I would turn to Crump, if joyful I would turn to House or if I was playful I would be experimental, and we are all really trying to seek balance.
Happy, healthy and honest
This can be expressed in the prayer that I do quite often, one of my daily prayers when I meditate or pray in the morning or the night. I ask that I and we will be “pleased without being spoilt, that we can be in power without being corrupt and be humble without being blind”.
I really want to live a very happy, healthy and honest life. That’s the best way I can articulate it right now and I want to help everyone else too because I’ve experienced so much trauma, and at the same time I’ve experienced so much joy. I’ve seen the most superficial, complicated things that are popular that can bring so many people down and that’s something I really care about.
Integrity gained from examples in life
“Don’t be in the world and lose your soul, wisdom is better than silver and gold.” And another quote from Omar Epps, he said “what is a true gangster, what is a true hustler? A true gangster is someone who does not change regardless of his circumstances and always stays true to himself. A true hustler is someone who can better his situation without hurting anyone else.” Those are the two quotes that come to mind, you can prepare, and you can be more efficient, but I do not believe in shortcuts. That’s what integrity means to me. To say things when they need to be said.
One of my favourite people to think about is a guy called August Landmesser. He’s the famous guy who didn’t salute Hitler in that picture, instead, he sat there with his hands crossed. People like him, people like Malcolm X, people like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and Nelson Mandela, these are the people I really care about. They’re an example that I hope to live by, in a very modest manner. That’s what integrity means to me, to do the right thing.
The importance of food
I find food from my mum – also my grandma, uncle, and father even though my father and I have a very traumatic past – important because of the good memories to do with that. It’s because we have been through so much, the time we would give a moment to silence and miss all the drama when we were eating and no matter how bad things were, we were eating together, and things were good. What’s that saying? – “a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”.
The living wage, fiercely defended
I want to share another quote. “Cure sometimes, treat often, but comfort always.” This is why I love massage therapy, this ties in with why I’m doing healing arts. I chose this as my profession, so if I hear that you’re ill or that it’s someone’s birthday I don’t want to buy some faceless gift which won’t be used, I would rather cook you a meal or buy you a meal. If you’re feeling stressed I would put my hands on your shoulders to make your headache go away. That’s what I loaned to my friend’s girlfriend when she had a migraine. I gave her a head and shoulder treatment to treat her migraine. Five minutes later she was asleep on the bed.
But with the living wage comes with a lot of breadth and depth so to keep it simple, the living wage stemming from that quote of always comforting… everyone should have access to the things that they need in life. To live a comfortable life. Not in a lazy, passive comfort that stops you from growing and from working, but one that allows us to have our needs matched up and to do other amazing things. If you’re too busy trying to stay out of the cold or rain, or you’re busy thinking about when your next meal is going to come, how can anyone be enlightened? Being a Buddhist, I care about truth-seeking, I care about how people can evolve and live with each other in this life experience that we all share.
So the living wage, it should be provided, especially in a country that is supposedly as wealthy as this county, the so-called United Kingdom. People should be able to get a living wage in contrast to the minimum wage, the minimum wage being something that was to originally safeguard the livelihoods of workers. Now it has changed to become a thing to protect companies and employers who are now in the position of power (which I have no problem with) because if you played the game right then that’s something that you deserve. But when you are in that position you have to be responsible.
If you can afford to have an employee, you should be able to give them a living wage instead of the minimum wage. A living wage is dictated by studying the interest rates of inflation, the basic cost of living and calculating it in a way so that any good humble person working or doing what they have to do is rewarded fairly for that. For their time, their energy and their skills. Sometimes it’s very difficult to do that, especially if you are cashed strapped.
The only argument that I have against the living wage in this country for employers is because of high taxes, business rates and things like that, which would potentially put them out of business. But then I say, don’t undercut the people that are serving you, helping you with your business, you should be more proactive looking at the hierarchy. Instead of kicking the people below, you should be looking at the people up top and making them work harder, so everyone can thrive. When people do that, people are brilliant.
It’s well documented in one of my favourite books The Spirit Level. The book is about how certain countries will thrive economically as well when you have better wealth distribution. When people say that I’m a communist or a Marxist I don’t believe so. They don’t work and it’s very self-evident. I think with capitalism, which I do not adhere to and not fond of, I do think it has its positive role. If anything, I do have more socialist beliefs because if everybody is able to capitalise on the time, energy and skills it should be shared equally because no one does it alone. If things are not shared fairly you’re always going to leave room for trouble.
Closing and transparent thoughts
I want to be very honest and open at this point because this is really self-reflective and mainly for me, want to explain my work and what I want to achieve. I see a counsellor once a week at the moment to help with the demands and stress of my work and my living with depression, something I have struggled for many years. I really care about my health because I understand how it affects your happiness. I don’t think you can live a happy life without being honest. To be able to admit if you’ve made a mistake and to be able to reflect on whether you’re doing the right thing. That’s my main drive at the moment.