Marawa is the UK’s most prominent hula-hooper. With a Somali/Australian background, she is now settled in Hackney and forging a career in burlesque and cabaret. When she was on Britain’s Got Talent, Simon Cowell told her that she would be booked forever, but she’s got a bigger ambitions – to be a hula-hooping tycoon.
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Questions & Answers
- What's your first memory of London? When I arrived in the UK in 2007, I went straight to Glastonbury festival, it was awful, the worst thing ever. Then I moved into a house in Hackney and felt at home straight away. I soon had a meeting at Bethnal Green working mens club that kickstarted my career.
- What do you miss when you're away from London? Not the winter!
- What's your favourite neighbourhood? Hackney and East London, Ridley road market.
- What's your favourite building? Fortnum and Mason or Burlington Arcade.
- What's your ideal day out in London? Hanging out at Haggerston park, and then walking up and down Broadway market.
- What's your ideal night out in London? Casa Negra restaurant on Great Eastern St. Then go to a cabaret show put on by a mate.
- What's your most hated building? The Avant Garde building, it's an ugly apartment block that blocks out all the light.
- What's the best view in London? The Paramount bar at the top of the Centre Point building, or from the rooftop bar at Shoreditch House bar.
- What's your favourite open space? Haggerston park, its a walled garden. My favourite spot for quiet picnics.
- What's the most interesting shop? Fortnum and Mason.
- What's your favourite place to hang out? On the bench outside Present on Shoreditch High St.
- What's been your most memorable night out in London? The night we finished a long-running show at the Hippodrome. It was an all night party that went on until 10am when the builders came and started demolishing the whole place. Then we went to Hackney Marshes, it was an insane and bizarre night in June 2010.
- Where would you take someone visiting from out of town? Maybe Ridley Road market, or Exmouth Market because of the cute shops and bars, good coffee!
- What's the worst journey you've had to make in London? London to Blackpool - it took 8 hours to get there by train because of all the changes, it was a disaster.
- What's your personal London landmark? The Natural History Museum, especially the turtle room.
- Who's your favourite fictional Londoner? Hercule Poirot - the eggs and toast perfectionist.
- What's your favourite London film, book or documentary? Eastern Promises, directed by David Cronenberg.
- If you could travel to any time period in London, past or future, where would you go? I'd go dancing in the Northern Soul era.
- For you, who is the ultimate Londoner? Gilbert and George. Does that count?