HERE & NOW CHATTED TO HENNA CHOWDHURY, a British-Asian mother of three girls who has lived in Worthing for over 30 years, works as a receptionist at a GP surgery in the town centre and has just been elected as the Labour councillor for Gaisford Ward.
I’ve loved Worthing since I moved here at the age of 10. It’s a town that I have seen change and grow beyond all recognition since my childhood.
When were you happiest?
Hmmm, that’s a tough one; there have been so many happy times in my life! The birth of my first daughter was so exciting and the start of a completely different chapter in my life, but the other two will kill me if I don’t say their births were equally exciting! Being elected for Gaisford has also been a whirlwind of excitement. I cannot say just how proud, honoured and actually humbled I feel that the people of Worthing have put their trust in me at this critical time in our town’s development and history.
If you could bring something extinct back to life, what would you choose and why?
As I love the history of our area, I would pick something that we have lost and which if I could bring it back would enrich our lives for the better, so I would choose the old Sussex county accent. It just evokes in me rural tranquillity, peacefulness and ducks around a village green!
Who would play you in the film of your life?
It would have to be Beyoncé, a proud independent ethnic woman with her own views, or Helen Mirren, as she’s such an amazing actor.
Which book OR piece of music changed your life?
That’s easy; it’s the Koran!
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A Bollywood actor of course! Everyone wants to do that: the singing, the dancing – just amazing.
Who would you invite to rave/party with you on Worthing beach?
As long as they were respectful of the environment and other beach users and behaved themselves, I would invite all the people of Worthing. It would be a great community gathering with music, food, laughter and love!
What single thing would you do to improve Worthing?
That’s easy, and it’s the main reason I stood for the council: it’s to give all those people in Worthing who feel ignored, unrepresented and marginalised a voice, a voice that says they do matter, they do count.
What would you donate to Worthing Museum?
I would donate my VERY large collection of hijabs, as a way of explaining and demonstrating how the Asian-Muslim community in Worthing has contributed to the rich cultural diversity that we all enjoy in our amazing town.
What event did you last pay to go to in Worthing (and where)?
I prefer free events in all honesty! But I love the traditional pantos in Worthing and we always try and go every Christmas. It’s such a great experience and shows my girls they can successfully combine their Asian heritage with their British identity.
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