WE CELEBRATE A TRUE COMMUNITY AMBASSADOR AND LEADER
It is with a very heavy heart that I include Brother Dougie Williams as a New Chieftain at the time of his passing (March 2020). To say that he has left his mark on Tottenham is a true understatement! The tireless and selfless effort dedicated to the cause of community wellbeing is a true wonder, thousands of people have been positively impacted by his work.
Brother Dougie or Sir Dougie as he was known to many is included in the New Chieftains tribe because of his relentless personal mission spanning over 40 years with a strong focus on brining positive change to Tottenham. We salute you and your efforts Brother Dougie, you truly “FOUND YOUR VOICE”
Greetings my name is Brother Dougie, some people have seen it fit to call me “Sir Dougie” which is quite a bit of a status and makes me push up my chest! I like to think that I am a community activist in the Tottenham, Haringey and Hackney communities. My background and main interest is in personal development and this has always been my main focus and as a result of that the community work naturally fell into place.
Finding my teenage voice
As a youth I was very much into sports, for me it was football, football, football! I was very competitive and hated losing! If I lost I would tend to try and pick fights and argue with people. That was me. When I was young we lived across the road from this park (Chestnuts Park, Tottenham) and my family still do and in the evening I used to come over here and play many sports but mostly football. I loved going to school but I was not a very good student to be honest with you (I liked running up and down and being more physical and connected to sports) but for some reason I was fascinated with history and geography.
As with many young ones I would often act the clown and get myself into a little bit of trouble by mixing with the wrong crowd as you do. I always had an awarenesses about me, as well as being able to connect with my own conciseness, I believe this definitely saved me. I also always had that respect for the elders around me and what they have been through and I had plenty of good examples around me. The elders were always there to guide me and people I grew up with.
Later on I started to rave (In my teen years 17 onwards) checking out as much women as we could because that was exciting. We used to follow FatMan Sound and in those days we used to mainly go to Nightingales night club. This was with FatMan himself and not his son, who runs tings now. Its funny when I see his son and remember being in clubs with the original FatMan (FatMans son and I often laugh about that)
The social aspect of my teens also had a big impact on me and connecting with others has always been an important part of my life. I am not a smoker and was never one for getting drunk when out having fun. I had a little drink here and there but that was it. The raving scene was awesome!
Headstart, my religion
Back in the days I used to go to Headstart a Bookshop on West Green Road every Sunday between 4-8pm. It was like my my church, my religion. Being part of the Headstart community raised my level of conciseness and blow my world wide open. This was nearly 40 years ago now. and it had such a fundamental part to play in my life. I believe this was all made possible by those that went before me.
Someone who I admire greatly is Dr Leyla Africa who said “If you’re stupid and ignorant there will always be a business” and “Intelligence rules the world”. This again, blew ‘my world’ wide open. It was such a profound statement to me, which made me look at the business structures of the pharmaceutical and Cancer research organisations and how they operate. Dr Leyla’s teachings made me question everything and I realised that these were very powerful and well organised businesses with finance being at the highest level of priority. His impact on my life has been and still is very deep and serious.
The betting shop invasion
The event that led to me being more publicly known was my campaign to highlight and fight against the invasion of betting shops in the local area. Not many people knew this at the time but there were over 60 betting shops in Haringey with over 30 of them being in Tottenham. The plan was to put a betting shop where the iconic Body Music shop used to be on the corner of West Green Road. It was just by chance that me and the missus were talking and she said that we should put a petition together. We did, and it started to gather pace on local and BBC radio, the press, media and other agencies.
The question kept being asked “What does your local MP say about this?” I answered honestly and said that after numerous calls, emails and messages, etc we had absolutely no response. However, the following week we did get a response from him because of the exposure. The result of the campaigning and petitions led to us the local community stopping them from opening up the betting shop and the Body Music shop stayed for quite sometime after that.
I have always been involved in campaigning and demonstrating from a very early age and I have always been in debt to the elders that have taken me to one side and explained to me that “You are either part of the problem or part of the solution” this had a huge impact on me and has never left me.
Supreme, the original collaborator
SLR radio has been the wind beneath my wings in terms of radio presence and understanding the power of this. I was introduced to Radio by my friend Supreme, he was my collaborator on many events over many years. There was one event that I did at a club back in the day, called Night Moves this was over 20 years ago and the subject up for debate was relationships.
One day, Supreme said to me “Why don’t you go on the radio and talk about what you’re doing?” Well I can tell you the fear that rose in me regarding this subject made me really back away. However, in the end I agreed and Supreme went ahead and had a word with management. When I did eventually meet the management I realised that he is guy that I knew from my young days in Jamaica (We used to hang out at the beach and have a drink together with some other people) We had an instant rapport.
I was then invited to come in every Tuesday after a set by gospel singers. I can tell you I had no idea what I was doing technically (Which button to press and what all the lights were for but after a couple of weeks I found my groove)
I then started to impose my personality but my real focus was to raise and discuss issues around personal development and mental / physical health. We started with a brother called Derwin who was a raw food expert and a lady called Michelle who was a relationship guru. After a while people started to call in with positive messages which gave me a real boost and then things really started to roll!
I then started to interview some really great people such as: Muta Baruka, Levi Roots (This was at the very start of his public recondition and he was just breaking through after being on Dragons Den), Bonny Lee, Courteney Pine and so many others… They would met me in the early hours of the morning and join me on the radio station, because they could see I was really passionate about what I was doing. I have always had that love for community and those around me.
Montu “Dub Bug” who runs the radio station also had a huge impact on me because he is/ was a seriously and focussed brother. There’s not that many people in my circle that has that kind of energy. He taught me a lot about the radio and how to get the message out there. Another huge source of inspiration for me was Hesketh Benoit who is a humble giant (Literally) he was the captain of England’s basketball team and not a lot of people knew that, so having this type of status around me was powerful. I am indebted to SLR radio for what they did for me.
“SLR Radio was the wind beneath my wings”
Relaxing has become a real thing for me and I really enjoy my own company. This is one of the things I love to do when I am not working on projects and events for the community. Also love having conversations with people that I am close with. These are the times when I truly reflect. I am also a personal development junkie and can often be found listening to people like Anthony Robins, Les Brown and Zig Zigla. I am a junkie like that and I just like to know what people are doing and saying.
Being a personal development junkie led me to travel to America to see Anthony Robins and Les Brown some people may not be aware of this but one of the things that people do with Anthony Robins is to walk on fire. Now I don’t remember volunteering to do this but I do remember getting caught up in the hype! When you hear “Who’s going to walk on this fire?” and you hear the crowd scream “YEAH!” it’s easy to get right in there. Walking on hot coals with bare feet showed me that if I could do that, I could will my mind to do anything! This had a HUGE impact on me. Les Brown was also amazing.
Coming back to Anthony Robins and the hot coal fire walk, if your mind is not ready for that you can do yourself some real damage. Hours are spent meditating on the notion “Yes – you can do it” just to get you and your mind in that zone (truly amazing) part of this involves looking at things that are holding you back and exploring trauma and past issues. I can tell you people were crying all over the place. A truly amazing 3 day experience. On the 4th day there was an event that talked about health and this is were my awareness grew to incorporate health as well as wellbeing. This all happened within 2 week timescale and I became man on a mission trying to get things done.
At that time in my life my belief system went through the roof and I mean really through the roof. I was like a drunken person on a life buzz, I was alway talking to people from a perspective of “You should do this and don’t do that” but that energy wasn’t going anywhere, which led me to think ‘what do you really want to do Dougie?’ and Find my voice came to me because I really wanted to help people.
Feel the fear and do it!
This led me to get together with a few people and we started to put on events in London discussing relationships. I will never forget the time when one of these events was held in a wine bar we had only planned for around 30 attendees but 70 people came which made my chest feel a high and I felt big but I was also frightened at the same time. I remember I asked a friend to host it for me because I was so scared. but.he said “It’s your ting so you do it” which was good for me and the event turned out very good. We then moved on to events like ‘Feel the fear and do it’ and again many people turned up, Amazing!
I was now on a roll and began to see life very differently, this coincided with my introduction to The yes group which came from the mind of Anthony Robins. He wanted to create an environment where people could express themselves openly. Speakers held talking sessions on many different topics and the atmosphere was so supercharged, that you would think people were on drugs! All I could hear was “Yes yes yes – You can do it!” which was amazing.
Once again, I found myself meeting a few new people and we became very close as I stared to go more regularly. Out of nowhere I became head of security for the events. This also had a huge impact on me and I could see real changes within myself. We created a big event at the Cochrane Theatre calledThe Power Of The Mind. This has all been documented on audio and video and are just sat at home. I would like to put these online so that the public can benefit from the knowledge that came out of these moments. The Libraries were my next venues as this felt close to the local people.
Just for the record, I’m repeating, for those who do not know what I do I am a community activist and I also put on events focussed on personal development, health, education, life choices and relationships and I empower people with the tools to take responsibility for their lives. That’s what Brother Dougie is about doing. So those people that see me up and down on the local streets, this is why.
The key thing here is sincerity, being sincere in what I do and I know personally some people that have been positively impacted by my activities and I can relate to them. Without sincerity I don’t think I would have the impact, that I have had over the years. For example the campaign we created, which focussed on betting shops in the area.
I used to love going to the sauna every Sunday and I remember telling a brother about this campaign that I am involved in (Beating the Betting Shops) he said “Your not going to beat them and your wasting your time” I said “No problem” Sometime after this I was at my usual Sundays sauna sessions when the same brother asked me how the campaign was going and I said “We beat them” he could not believe it!
In the last 6 or 7 months I have been doing a lot of events on mental health. The reason why I got into this is quite sad! There was a young man that I knew, a real sweet boy (Dressed up nice and looking good all the time) Then one day I heard he had committed suicide and I couldn’t believe it! I couldn’t imagine that he would do this to himself as he was a motivational speaker. I just wanted to know WHY.
I started to link this to the fact that men just don’t talk. Women do, they talk to male friends, female friends and even strangers. Men, simply will not talk. We should really talk and get whatever it is that’s happening to us out. The real focus Is to break the ignorance around mental health because as we all know if a man doesn’t look too well people would just say “Thats a mad man – stay away” and to me that is just insensitive because we all go through our things. There is physical health, spiritual health and there is mental health and we would not be human if any of these we’re not challenged at some point.
The challenge is that we need the tools to deal with these challenges. With this as a focus I was doing some work with Mind and it was centred around weekly meets where people can have banter and talk over what happened in your week and connect with others.
“Brother Dougies energy and selfless giving to his community in Tottenham and beyond will be ever living.” AGENDA BROWN
Sadly we never managed to complete part 2 of the interview with Brother Dougie where we had planned to talk more on present and future endeavours.
TRIBUTES TO BROTHER DOUGIE
THERE HAS BEEN AN ASTOUNDING AMOUNT OF TRIBUTES POSTED IN GROUP MESSAGING FORUMS SINCE THE PASSING OF BROTHER DOUGIE. HERE ARE SOME TRIBUTES FROM THOSE THAT KNEW HIM AND HAVE BEEN IMPACTED BY HIS ENERGY
Brother Dougie was such a kind, calm, quiet, caring, thoughtful, gentle human being. Who really cared about all aspects of his community. ie. Health and Well-being, Economically, Socially, giving opportunities for voices to be heard by providing a platform & organising events that supplied Education and Entertainment to the community.
Brother Dougie showed a lot of concerns for everyone around him. I must Thank Our Great beloved Brother Dougie, when I asked if he could host Auntie Jean’s Afrikan Culture Market (ACM) in North London, he didn’t even hesitate and said it would be an honour, I stated to Brother Dougie then and I state it now, I am the one who was truly Honoured to have Bro Dougie as part of the Afrikan Culture Market team. Brother Dougie has never missed hosting any of the ACM’s. Always smiling and loved to laugh, literally joined in with everything.
Brother Dougie was always encouraging me and pushing me forward.
For a little while we shared a the Radio show on Bless fm on Thursdays from 8pm – 12pm then changed to 10pm.
The Radio show I shared with Brother Dougie, I got to learn how deep his care and concerns was for the welfare of our community. Brother Dougie even came over across to Southside in support when my Mother passed onto the Ancestors, just over 3 years ago. Brother Dougie had such a Beautiful Spirit and has left a legacy that we all can learn from. It’s our time now to pick up the mantle and carry on. If we don’t we would be doing his memory an injustice to the Great individual our Brother Dougie was.
May he Rest in Eternal Peace and Rise in Power.
Missing his smile and the sound of his laughter already.
Peace Love & Harmony.
We at From Rehab To Life Foundation (fromrehabtolifefoundation.org) feel compelled to express our heartfelt Love, honour and respect to Our Beloved Brother Dougie. Although recently departed, he continues to be a Mighty Pillar of Light in our communities. Our deepest empathy also goes out to his family, friends and listeners.
We’re also humbly and sincerely grateful to him for being immensely supportive in our work which involved being with him twice a week on SLR and Bless Radio and as a member of the panel on Effective Parenting Workshops since 2019. We will continue with the plans that we made with him knowing that he’ll be with us in Spirit and would be humbly grateful to be included in Tributes and Celebrations to Honour His Good Name and His Good Works by The Grace Of The Most High.
With Love and Thanks,
Tamara Gabriel CEO.
Brother Dougie was not only a brother who looked out for his brother but brought the phrase “Your health is your wealth”
I never heard him angry and he always paved the way & made a difference
“FIND YOUR VOICE”
Rip brother, You are greatly missed!
Great uprising beautiful souls of the universe,
It was such an honour to be part of the Dougie Williams tribute. Whenever I tell the story – When the drum beats – from now on I will forever think of him and dear sister Nkechi Ode of Alkebulan Rivivalist movement. My bike ride home was a glide all the way up and over the hill and down the other side. Thank you lovely people for the support and encouragement.
Divinely yours, Griot Chinyere xxx mwah
Whilst in a state of shock, the Alkebu-Lan Revivalist Movement pays tribute to Bro. Douglas ‘Dougie’ Williams, a stalwart in our community for decades, as we learn of his untimely passing. Bro Ldr. Mbandaka remembers him fondly as a young peer starting out on liberation road back in the early 1980s. Bro. Dougie was always community oriented, emphasising self-reliance and self-determination. He demonstrated this through his famous ‘Afro mantic dances’ aka ‘Dougie’s Dances’ and later as a merchant of Afrocentric goods.
He was one of the first person selling ‘Black posters,’ outside tube stations. What many probably know him best for though is his ‘Find Your Voice’ show on Tuesday evenings on SLR Radio. The show dealt with a wide range of issues but community health and well-being was always a recurring theme. In more recent years he took ‘Find Your Voice’ on the road, hosting events in the community providing a platform for some of our leading wellness advocates. We know Bro. Dougie suffered ill-health for some time but that never dampened his warm, engaging spirit. Our deepest condolences go out to his family and indeed to the entire community for this collective loss. May his spirit rise on the wings of Ma’at after a favourable judgement in the counsel of Asar.
ONLINE AND BROADCASTED TRIBUTES
ONLINE TRIBUTES WERE ASO SHARED