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My weekend... with Jahswill Emmanuel, chairman of Multi Ethnic Sports and Culture NI (MSCNI)


Jahswill Emmanuel

Jahswill Emmanuel

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi

Denzel Washington as Robert McCall and Ashton Sanders as Miles in The Equalizer 2

Denzel Washington as Robert McCall and Ashton Sanders as Miles in The Equalizer 2


Jahswill Emmanuel

The best time to get up at the weekend is?

At weekends I don’t get much of a lie in as I am up early to take my son to his football match and then prepare for my MSCNI sessions with our youth groups. I pick up and drop off kids ensuring that they make it to the sessions as some of them don’t have transport.

MSCNI has sporting sessions at the Ozone Complex in Ormeau Park from 12pm- 2pm each Saturday where we train young people in football, rugby and Gaelic.

We also organise friendly games for the young people who are refugees and asylum seekers.

Today, I will be at the first ever Multi Ethnic Youth Fest at The Ozone Complex, which I organised with support from Belfast City Council.


Breakfast or brunch?

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I tend not to eat first thing in the morning — I’m more of a brunch kind of person. On most days I would go to Costa Coffee where I would have a cappuccino with a toasted ham and cheese baguette.

Sometimes I treat myself to a McDonalds breakfast. As much as I would love a relaxed weekend, they just don’t happen for me.


What does an ideal Saturday look like?

My ideal Saturday would be watching football games with my friends during the day, then later that evening, I would listen to Amapiano Beats, originally from South Africa, as they are relaxing and help me reflect on things.


What would your perfect Sunday be?

A perfect Sunday for me would be sleeping, relaxing and catching up on my TV programmes. Later at night, I would meditate to get me ready for the week ahead and which also helps me to have sounder sleep.


Do you prefer to be indoors or outdoors?

I prefer to be indoors most of the time as I like to keep warm. I like to be in the comfort of my home listening to music, watching documentaries or movies.


How have weekends changed as you have gotten older?

As I have gotten older, I dislike going out in the town. I’d rather be at a friend’s house socialising as it can get too noisy. I have also been focusing a lot on our organisation and am currently studying Community Development at Ulster University, where I spend most nights catching up or working on assignments.


If you could eat out anywhere tonight, where would you go?

I would go to Corr’s Corner in Newtownabbey as their food is delicious and I have never had food taste as nice as theirs when I have been to a restaurant.

It is also located in a quiet place in on a country road. I love nature.


And you would have?

To start, homemade vegetable soup with a few crusty rolls. My main would be chunky chips with steak, which must be cooked well done (really burnt), with peppered sauce and orange juice.


At weekends you’ll always make time to…

Spend time with my family as I don’t get to see them much and struggle to find time to please everyone. But they are my priority — whether it’s watching a movie together, going for a drive or generally just catching up on their week and what they have been doing.


Do you sometimes work at weekends?

I volunteer every weekend. On Saturdays, we are coaching our BAME youth in various sports and hosting friendly games.

We would regularly have events on but due to Covid a lot has been out on hold on the entertainment side.

When I am not volunteering on weekends, I like to watch football and try to socialise with my friends.

Who would you most like to go for a drink with?

Lionel Messi and Pep Guardiola as I believe they are humble, down to earth people and have achieved a lot in their lives. It would be a dream come true if I got to meet Marcus Rashford, as he has the same beliefs as me and always wants to help others.

I believe as individuals we have the same aim in live to help and supports disadvantaged communities.


Are you a weekend cook?

Everyone who knows me knows that I love to cook. When I am feeling healthy and in the mood, I will cook for my friends as they talk and argue too much, and I use the cooking to avoid their confrontations.

My speciality dish would be Suya, which is shin beef roasted in the oven with spice which I then cut up and serve with raw onions and tomatoes, peppered soup (consists of ginger, Scotch bonnet pepper and beef) and roasted yam with red stew.


What’s your dream Sunday dinner?

Pounded yam or Eba and egusi Soup which is spinach, melon, pumpkin seed, red oil, fish or beef and hot pepper.


Too tired to cook — what are you ordering from the takeaway?

If I were to order from a takeaway, I would go for a Singapore fried rice with no seafood as I am allergic to prawns and shellfish. I also get it extra hot and spicy.


Heading for the cinema… what are you going to see?

An action movie as I love a film that has you on the edge of your seat. My favourite actor would be Denzel Washington. I have watched all his movies.


Staying in… what’s on the box?

When at home I tend to catch up and respond to emails, then it’s feet up, watching Netflix. I can wind down and watch any sort of action series or movie that catches my eye. Currently I’m watching LA’s Finest which is action packed.


What are you reading?

Coaching and Mentoring by Eric Parsloe which examines how to create conversations which encourage personal development; exploring the ways in which we can interact to help support and improve performance.


What’s your bedtime routine?

I don’t have a set routine as some nights I could be up till the wee hours. I would struggle to get over to sleep at nights as my mind is so full of ideas. I spend most of my nights reflecting on how my day went or events that we have delivered or the new ventures we have coming up.

To help me get over to sleep I would have peppermint tea and toast with butter and jam.

The Multi-Ethnic Youth Festival takes place today (October 30) at the Ozone Complex, Ormeau Embankment, Belfast. The event starts with a soccer football tournament from 1-5pm and culminates with a concert from 4-9pm. Tickets are free from:  www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/multi-ethnic-youth-festival-mey-tickets-187112637937

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