1. Expulsion: Being thrown out of Uganda and growing up in Dundee

MY Mum and Dad had £7 when they got here. They got 90 days to leave. Going from Jinja, Uganda, to Fintry, Dundee was a big leap.

It was a life changing moment when IdiAmin made that decision and when he coined himself “The Last King of Scotland”. The synergy of what he said sent my life on a trajectory to better understand my identity: “What does he know about Scotland, wearing a kilt doesn’t make you Scottish”.

2. Rabbie

O WAD some Power the giftie gie us. To see oursels as ithers see us!

Winning the Robbie Burns poetry competition when I was nine-years-oldchanged my life. It gave me back something I’d lost. Rabbie’s words were instrumental in making me feel at home then I got right in about the Dundee dialect and Dundonian took

over me. You know the banter on the streets filled with emotion, warmth, like Rabbie in his top notch flow, ken. The gift of the gab…

3. Steetcar Named Desire

I GOT in trouble watching movies at school and a teacher Dr Starky, who taught, English gave me a theatre play to read – A Streetcar Named Desire, written by, Tennessee Williams. I just couldn’t get enough of it. I was like I’m going keep this, so I remember I knocked it.

4. Another Saturday Night

I MOVED to London, went to Film school, My degree film, Another Saturday Night, was about mates growing up in Dundee, the nights you try to blag yer way into a party, all the shenanigans, but mainly it was about the people that change your life. Making that film changed everything, that sense of camaraderie, community.

5. Porbander

I WAS working at this cafe in London that made these legendary tuna melts. My friend Lea went on about going to yoga – yoga wasn’t in the mainstream at the time. I started yoga with Lea and went on to become a certified instructor. Me and Lea would go on about places we wanted to see. I always said Porbander. Lea got me into Yoga, and got me into India.

6. Mahatma, Me and Vishnu reunited

PORBANDER is where my family is originally from. Gandhi’s from the same village. I stood where he was born, saw his mother’s portrait. Being in India made me think about my parents, everything they went through. I’d stand on Juhu beach in Mumbai, watching the sunset. I stopped feeling angry about Idi-Amin, I started to feel my Mum and Dad. I felt like I knew them – not what the expulsion had done but before that, the true bond of family.

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Now I don’t know if it was all the anti-malaria tablets that were making me go a bit trippy but I just got the sense that what Idi-Amin had done had left it’s mark but nowhere near touched the soul, and that’s the truth. Straight fae the streets – fae Gandhi’s street.

7. Andalucia Bubión – Family Borracho mountain

I’D gone to live in Spain, Andalucia – Bubion in the Alpujarras, this remote village in the southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada, the mountain of the Sun. My friend Sue said “you can see Africa from here”.

Sue saying “Africa” really started it all. It got me thinking about it all, and I started my poem Last Queen Of Scotland. I recited it on the mountain of the sun – we were outside on the open terrace and you could see above the clouds. So then I decided to leave Spain and go, to find out about him – Idi-Amin and why he really kicked us out.

8. Uganda

I WAS pure shitting myself going back to Uganda but when I got to passport control the guy opens my passport and he looks at me and says “welcome home”.

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I kept telling my Uganda mates Dundee words, “I’m not mingee”, ‘I’m just f-ing skint”. They didn’t know what Creative Scotland was. I met Mr Mehta only because he’d heard about my poem. Mehta is big business, and meeting him in his home, where they filmed The Last King Of Scotland, he told me that Idi-Amin was a friend, if you could call anyone like him a friend.

Mehta turned to me and looking dead straight at me, he said “Where you are sitting Amin has sat in that chair”. I couldn’t get my breath; the first time I had got so close to Idi-Amin in real life. See, I’d never met him, but I felt like I did because he was with me from the very start.

9. Last Queen Of Scotland

IT was my love letter to Dundee for giving me a home and because of that I wanted the first show to be on at Dundee Rep. It was sold out at the Edinburgh Festival. There was a lot of media attention.

There was this electric vibe because all these people were in the story.

It was about Dundee and seeing my whole family there, the Scottish crew, and feeling all the reactions in the room was incredible.

It was right there in the theatre not on the stage but everywhere because my home the city – Dundee, has the ability to breath the life right back into you – when you give her the nod.

10. Hindu Times

PANACEA for the people.

Writing Hindu Times surprised and continues to surprise me: a great adventure in itself, right fae the get go. I had to do it – bring the Hindu Gods to Dundee.

This play is about love. I thought the divine is everywhere, even in the darkest of places. Dundee is a spiritual place, the schemes, those characters have radiance. So I brought the Hindu Gods to Dundee, in their Dundee avatars cos I knew they would deliver.

Hindu Times wasn’t just a play, it is THE play.

It showed me the importance of play in self realisation.