Five minutes with Hannah Azieb-PoolThe artistic director and CEO of Tottenham’s Bernie Grant Arts Centre on Nigerian tapas, natural hair salons and her go-to restaurant for injera
Where do you call home?
I live in Tottenham. I’ve been here nearly eight years, so I still consider myself a newcomer with much to learn about the history and people that make this part of London so special.
Which local shops do you rely on?
Cinnamon Leaf on Tottenham High Road for tasty organic treats. For self care, Ama’s Hair Salon on St Ann’s Road. They specialise in natural afro hair and the atmosphere is one of healing and nourishment. They’ve just won ‘Afro Hair Salon of the Year’, well deserved. For books it’s got to be New Beacon on Stroud Green Road which specialises in Black literature.
Best meal in the borough?
Mama restaurant on Philip Lane – delicious, authentic Eritrean food. Great for vegans and meat eaters, the best injera this side of Asmara.
Where do you go for a good time?
My daughter and I spend a lot of time in the parks of Haringey. People never think ‘green spaces’ when they think of Tottenham but our parks are our secret. As the weather warms up there’s nothing better than an ice cream and a splash at Lordship Rec or Bruce Grove paddling pools.
Why do you love Haringey?
The diversity, the energy and the sense of community, particularly in Tottenham.
Where do you go for a moment of quiet?
I love to walk around Tottenham Cemetery. For a reset it’s Park Road Lido in Crouch End, especially in January.
What’s your secret Haringey spot?
It’s not a spot but it is a local gem. DOX – Dancer’s Of Excellence – an incredible local, Black-led performing arts school. They run beautiful children’s classes out of Tottenham Community Sports Centre.
Where in the borough would you recommend for a first date?
Chuku’s on Tottenahm High Road – a date that starts with Nigerian tapas is destined to go well. You’ll also find out quickly if your date is a good sharer.
Where do you get your culture fix?
I’m lucky to be able to have access to formalised culture all the time due to running an arts centre. But culture doesn’t only exist in theatres, museums and galleries. My biggest culture fix is every time I walk up Tottenham High Street.
What should HCP readers be watching, reading or listening to right now?
I’ve just finished Billie Porter’s autobiography on Audible, which was incredible. I loved Colin In Black and White on Netflix, a drama series about the early years of Colin Kaepernick. Great storytelling has purpose.
What are you working on at the moment?
My first book, My Fathers’ Daughter, was republished this year by Penguin and Bernardine
Evaristo as part of the Black Britain Writing Back series, so I’ve been doing a mini book tour. I’m also directing Refilwe, a Southern African retelling of Rapunzel, which will debut at the Tottenham Literature Festival at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre in autumn.
Hannah-Azieb Pool’s book, My Fathers’ Daughter, is out now