Samuel Yerokun of Action for Culture and Ethics is one of the organisers of Africa-Paisley 2021 , and took some time out ahead of the event to talk about his adopted town.
Tell us about yourself and what you do
I study Computer Animation Arts at the University of the West of Scotland.
Prior to starting my study in 2016, I led the Association of African Community in Renfrewshire (AACR) from 2011 – 2015 and during which time Renfrewshire Gospel Choir was set up in conjunction with Diane Mitchell School of Music, planned and coordinated Renfrewshire’s diversity events during the 2014 Queen’s Baton Relay/Commonwealth Games and led a session of the ‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes’ as a representative member of the Diversity and Equality Alliance in Renfrewshire.
I served as the Community Ambassador (through CRER – Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights) to gather the views of the BME communities in Renfrewshire in the lead up to the drafting of the new Equality Framework for Scotland by the Scottish government.
I am a member of both Creative Renfrewshire and Paisley West & Central Community Council. I am one of the directors of the PaisleyFM and currently heads Action for Culture and Ethics which is handling the AFRICA – PAISLEY 2021 cultural celebration.
I relocated from London in 2007 in the course of seeking a more spacious environment for my young family and lived briefly around the Hillington area. The search for a place to use for our church fellowship around 2009 led me to Paisley (as I am also a Gospel minister) where we located the abandoned No 16 Wellmeadow Street property, formerly used by Adelphi Missions, and carried out the initial renovation to bring it back to good use.
What makes Paisley a great place to live and study?
Paisley is great to live and study as it is not a too-busy town, although will love to see a bit of more activities. It’s a place where work-life and family-life can be well-balanced. Residents still go about to enjoy their evenings.
What makes the area special?
Paisley is loaded with heritage sites and deep histories. Paisley also shares a historical heritage with my area of Africa (among others) with its historical weaving industry.
If someone was visiting here, where would you recommend they go?
Thomas Coats Memorial Baptist Church, The Observatory, Paisley Abbey, the Museum, Weaver’s Cottage.
The best hidden gem or untold story in Paisley is…
I think the town’s diversity should be celebrated.
When we say ‘Paisley is…’, how you would finish the sentence?
‘’……..the place to be’’. Paisley/Renfrewshire is a developing area, with many untapped potentials.