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Inside/Out with Paul Brickhill, jazz and blues musician, and star gazer
February 19, 2013

Describe yourself in five words?
Passionate, honest, a dreamer, trusting, African.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
"Tell no lies, claim no easy victories."

What's the most ridiculous thing you've ever done?
Start playing saxophone with no tuition and get on stage with accomplished musicians as a youngster (it's also the smartest thing I ever did).

What is your most treasured possession?
My old tenor saxophone.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Children suffering in the midst of capitalist gluttony for insane material wealth; and war.

Do you have any strange hobbies?
Supporting Arsenal football club (fanatically).

What do you dislike most about your appearance?
Nothing, I am what I am.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Buying books.

What have you got in your fridge?
Everything an enthusiastic cook might have, in small quantities, a piece of meat, vegetables, sauces and leftovers, a chicken curry (it gets even better in the fridge).

What is your greatest fear?
That anything bad may happen to my children. Otherwise forced closure of Book Cafe or being uprooted from Zimbabwe, for any reason.

What have you got in your pockets right now?
$45, keys, a pencil, a lighter, cigarettes, ID.

What is your favourite journey?
Any long distance journey by car in Africa (best was to remote villages in Tanzania).

Who are your heroes in real life?
My late mother, followed by a long list of people, mostly unknown heroes, who fought for emancipation in their own situation, and asked little in return.

When and where were you happiest?
On stage, playing jazz and blues, anytime, anywhere.

What's your biggest vice?

What were you like at school?
Rebellious, but friendly.

What are you doing next?
Going home to cook, say "hello and how was your day today" to my son and watch the sunset and the first stars come out.

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