Monday, March 4, 2024

Rozan Ahmed: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”

20 questions with public relations consultant Rozan Ahmed


The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force?

God and my mood swings.


“Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours?

“The smartest people in the world know that they know nothing” .


Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2013?

Irrelevant famous people. I find the forced celebration of the generally mediocre not only unacceptable, but a little disturbing. As a result, I decided to create bougi to reset the balance.


Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life?

Boredom. And Michael Jackson.


What might you swap all your wealth for?

The guaranteed good health and success of my nearest and dearest.


Donald Trump was once a case of: “If you owe the bank a thousand, they close you down; but if you owe the bank a billion, you own the bank”. What’s your view on the banking crisis?

Some bankers will tell you this crisis was a blessing. Which is why I don’t like banks and why I don’t like some bankers.


What phrase or word do you most loathe?

“Swag”: What I loathe even more is that I still catch myself using this word, despite loathing it.


In the UK, some people consider charity to “begin at home”. What’s your view and what causes do you personally support?

Human empowerment. I really believe that as humans we need to create. To create requires confidence and this fundamentally comes from a sense of self-belief, pride, education and worth.


With that in mind, I choose to be an ambassador for artistically led capacity-building programs, rather than any ‘aid’ or ‘charity’ based idea. The Africa Yoga project in Kenya is a wonderful example of installing hope amongst young people using physical and mental elevation. It has an inspiring process and creates jobs also.


I love music, fashion, art, and so do my best to advocate for ownership and projection of these skills from a very local perspective, particularly with what’s coming out of the Middle East and Africa.


I also play a strong role in Emmanuel Jal’s We Want Peace campaign, which again focuses on our own responsibilities to do what’s right for our community, to contribute and realize our accountability.


Finally, I’ve supported the work of amfAR for a couple of years now. No cure for HIV makes zero sense to me. I’d like to see an immediate end to this virus while I’m still alive.


The judge in Law Abiding Citizen states: “I can pretty much do whatever I want” before being blown up whilst answering her mobile phone. What’s your view on the appropriate use of such devices?

I felt an odd sense of betrayal when this mass switch to iPhone happened. I’m a Blackberry girl you see. Always have been. So anyway that was tragic. I now have an iPhone. And a Blackberry. I hate auto correct. And touchscreens.


Rozan Ahmed
Rozan Ahmed

If you could fill a carriage on The Orient Express, who would be your fellow passengers?

Diana Ross, Joseph Kony, George Bush, Michelle Rodriguez, Kenneth Cole, Nicki Minaj, Damian Marley, Bill Clinton, Akala, Emmanuel Jal, Fahad Al Saud, Uhuru Kenyatta, Mo Ibrahim, Nas and the ruler of Dubai.


If you were unfortunate enough to end up on death row, what would be your last meal and where would you eat it?

Could I have a spa treatment instead?


What time is it acceptable to consume the first drink of the day?

Depends on who’s drinking.


A Negroni, a martini or a cup of tea?

Tea – a good green tea.


Whose parties do you enjoy the most and why?

My own of course. They’re always a perfect mesh of rowdy elegance, natural cool, socially graceful and general rebellion. I really am blessed to have a network of diverse brilliance when it comes to human beings and so bringing them together is in itself a celebration. Diddy’s parties are always fun, Denise Rich, amfAR, Caroline Chopard too. They all exude this lovely reunion feel, just intimate and comfortable. Musically attentive and beautifully executed.


Who is the most positive person you know?

My mother.


What’s your most guilty pleasure?

Idris Elba.


If a tattoo were to sum you up, what would it be of?



If you were a car, what marque would you be?

I don’t know much about cars, but I do like jeeps, big sturdy looking ones with tinted windows. If I had to be a vehicle, I’d be one of those.


Cilla Black presented Surprise, Surprise. Tell us the most surprising thing about you.

That I’d like to become a domestic housewife.


What’s currently sitting on your mantelpiece?

I don’t have a mantelpiece. Is that weird?


Rozan Ahmed is a public relations consultant and founder of bougi. She is a co-founder of the Middle East/Africa (MEA) initiative and has worked with many organisations including amFAR, Artists for Peace and the Africa Yoga Project.


Follow her on Twitter @iamRozan



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    1. Interesting Orient Express guests….Al Saud, the scion of a family which harasses gay people, chops the heads off people who never get a fair trial and persecutes non Muslims. And Kenyatta, who through family influence and corruption has built a vast business empire.
      Kenyatta has also been accused by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of committing crimes against humanity in relation to the violent aftermath of the 2007 election.
      But, of course, in African PR it’s best not to make enemies….so Miss Ahmed is doing the right thing!

    2. Another weird guest…Joseph Kony has been accused by government entities of ordering the abduction of children to become child-sex slaves and child soldiers.An estimated 66,000 children became soldiers. And from 1986 up until about 2009, there were at least 2 million people internally displaced. He is a war criminal; on the run and thoroughly evil. Why would anyone wish to be with him. Is this some sort of sick joke Miss Ahmed?

        • I doubt it: her choice of the President of Kenya and the fact she spends much time in that country rather dispels the notion. Equally, her creeping to an Al Saud: a family that persecutes gay people and non Muslims

    3. I like this lady’s style. She is witty and amusing. I’d definitely like to know more about her but the bougi webpage links don’t all work. Thought I should point that out.

      • very witty and amusing to have as guests a war criminal and one accused of crimes against humanity….and the grandson of a ruler who terrorises and oppresses gay people and beheads ‘witches’.
        Surprised she did not include Stalin and Hitler in the guest list. So Theresa what is witty about wanting to socialise with war criminals?

    4. I normally don’t respond to uninformed comments, but here goes: Peter, do you know any of these individuals? In your impressive splurge of statistics, are you not aware that for Kony to remotely do anything of any impact, he requires funding? And arms? Where do you think he gets them from? Since you note he’s been around for 20 odd years, why target him now? in 2012, after YEARS of activity? Why wish to “find him” now, when he’s actually become a non-entity? Do you know that the Al Saud comprises of approximately of 4000 people? Who, believe it or not, don’t ALL adopt the same opinions? Have you been to Saudi Arabia? What has Kenyatta done that Obama hasn’t? Other than NOT bomb 40 plus countries around the world in order to sustain the most vast of business powers? Why is he on trial? When Blair isn’t? You seem to be a good researcher… look into these things, and perhaps a little into my career before making anymore baseless statements. Finally, what’s “African PR”?….. Theresa: you can find everything on we’ve been changing servers and hosts, lots going on at the moment. But the new website has gone live, content remerging slowly but surely? Merci 🙂

      • So because child killer and rapist, Joseph Kony has been inactive over the past few years you consider him to be a perfect guest?
        Most weird! I think most British people are aware of the size of the Al Saud family ( why would we not: it was once part of our empire and we did foolishly install the Al Sauds), but again, what on earth has that to do with the fact that your other guest, a grandson of a former king, would not wish to public condemn the vile and barbaric practices of this grotesque,medieval regime….but, of course, you might feel it a potential source of income!
        Turning to Kenyatta….an international court is demanding that he stand trial for crimes against humanity. And let me dilate on one more issue you choose to ignore…the vast Kenyatta fortune.
        As with South Africa is it seems that families descended from ‘freedom fighters’ seem be be terribly successful at garnering large fortunes for themselves, whilst their people starve!
        Obviously ‘freedom fighting is a lucrative industry for these families.
        Oh….I was unaware that President Obama had been called to answer charges.

        As for your extraordinarily vain and self promoting website: I did take a look and found that modesty and literacy are not qualities you can claim. What a puffed creature you seem to be.
        You claim to be ‘British bred’, but clearly not British educated: you need to learn to spell.

        I was founder of a global PR company and have still not discovered how African PR works!!
        I imagine it revolves around paying off corrupt leaders…..

    5. Dear Peter,

      Before you spend another moment criticizing every leader you clearly know very little about, as well as bordering prejudice (and sincerely high brow) assumptions on the conduct of public relations outside of the UK – despite starting a “global” PR company which I imagine can’t have done very well based on your abysmal lack in global understanding, and if it did, then I commend your ability to deceive so very well… here’s one more thing you’re welcome to grasp: Most leaders, the world over, aren’t the best examples of nobility. You were right about one thing, the British did play a part in the Al Saud power (because they benefit), they also colonized and mutilated and enslaved and exploited Kenya (far more and for much longer than ANY Kenyatta, by the way) as well as many other African countries. And West Indian countries. And other countries in the Middle East. In fact, they continue to. In further fact, the currently dwindling British empire is based on the most horrific of human exploitation, divide and conquer, manipulation, trickery, greed, colonization, and a very obvious mission to sustain under-development in so many parts of the superbly maintained “third world”. Well, the UK too (just ask the Scots). You see Peter, pretty much every leading power is guilty in some way or another, the installed, the acting, the puppets, the puppeteers, the fancy and veiled with fantastic PR campaigns, and so on… I don’t agree with some being highlighted and potentially punished for their actions, while others just aren’t. That is my fundamental point here. Nothing else. Finally, my guest choices are based on fascination. They’re also none of your business. You know absolutely nothing behind my reasons for choosing them, and yet, with an extraordinarily ignorant arrogance, repeatedly concluded as to why I chose them. This isn’t just a little ridiculous, it’s also laughable… Oh and PS. I had NO idea the British education system was based on good spelling. Gosh oh dear me. I’m terribly sorry my typos offended you in this way. I’ll work on my spelling, Peter. Let’s hope you can now sleep at night. That will be all from me now. Your utter foolishness has been entertained enough. Get your life, and stop watching mine. Toodles 🙂

      • I am just about to have my mug of Ovaltine and then off to bed, but I will, when time and inclination allows, respond in detail to your curious and intemperate response.
        But reflect upon this: many would suggest the British Empire was a force for great good and those countries that were part of the Empire benefited in many ways…infrastructure, democracy, legal systems and much more besides.
        PR group I founded….well, it does encompass the world and employ some 2,000 so I suppose it cannot have been too unsuccessful….
        As to the Scots, my dear lady, they were the main drivers of the British Empire. Look to the HK based trading companies for evidence of that so were likely to have been oppressors, rather than the oppressed! Who is Toodles btw?

    6. I experienced the difference in the leadership styles of Ian Smith and Robert Mugabe. Many Brits have worked in Africa. The Mau Mau uprising in Kenya is still fresh in my mind. I was known as “Kalahari Chaim” by the locals in Botswana. So you can spin and spin again. Don’t you dare lecture us on Africa. I don’t mean you Peter.

    7. Chaim
      Unlike you, I have no great knowledge of Africa, but I am surprised ‘It’s is I”( I think she means “It is I’ or ‘It’s I’!)
      does not address the point you make about the ruination of Zimbabwe and the gross corruption that seems endemic in most African countries. She also refuses to address the issue of how the Kenyatta family have managed to hijack vast chunks of Kenyan business, nor how Zuma can state that SA businessmen who support the ANC will see their fortunes multiply!
      Odd that she tells me that her guest choices are none of my business, yet airs them in the interview.
      I admire her in insouciance inherent in the suggestion that good spelling was not an essential element in the British educational system: I suppose that is what happens when you do a media studies ‘degree’ at Greenwich University.
      Unlike most of Africa, I am proud of the fact that the talented can thrive on our little island, irrespective of race, religion et al….
      Something that her favourite home ‘island’ the dictatorship of Bahrain cannot claim!

    8. @chaim who’s lecturing? Or spinning? We’re all entitled to opinions last time I checked. And opinions are based on experience. Well done for yours in Zimbabwe. I’m pleased for you. I guess. I’m even more pleased that the nation’s now back to being run by Zimbabwens.

      • “We are all entitled to opinions last time I checked” Crassness personified!
        I doubt very much those who live under Mugabe or the rulers of your favourite island, Bahrain would have much entitlement to an opinion. I don’t want to appear horrid, but you seem a bit ludicrous.
        But your website listing all your accomplishments gave me a larf!

    9. I guess you are entitled to your opinions, but the next of kin of hundreds of farmers brutally murdered on their farms in Zimbabwe and South Africa might not agree with you. I am a firm believer in freedom of speech, and wish you the best.

    10. @chaim you have to understand why that happened in the first place. If Zimbabwens came over to England, exploited the land, took it over and brutally enslaved anglosaxons for hundreds of years, don’t you think there’d be some kind of outrage? I’m sure you know there’s a difference between alliance and colonialism… and if anything, Mugabe’s installed an overdue sense of empowerment back into the Zimbabwen people, making them realise once again that they must take control in development of their land, that partnerships should be just that – equal partnership, that blatant thievery is unacceptable… the next of kin of the thousands (upon thousands) of slaughtered Zimbabwen citizens may too, not agree with you. We’re going off topic here, and that is not my intention, but I do feel that if you believe in free speech, you should also have a firm understanding of cause and effect, action and reaction, BOTH sides of this tragic coin. Thank you for approaching in an amicable manner. All the best…. @peter you sir, should really have stayed in bed.

      • I think that you might mean that your psychopathic friend, Mugabe instilled… not installed!
        Your knowledge of English is lamentable!
        Ignorant, ill educated woman…..


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