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Dec 30 / Prinza

Ms Dynamite: how I spent my Mercury prize winnings

Winning album: A Little Deeper (2002)

“It was £20,000 the year I won. Was that the biggest amount I’d seen up to that point? Yeah, definitely. I donated it to charity. No one involved in the music – including me – got any of the money. According to my mum, I actually donated five grand of my own as well, because I didn’t have enough to split it equally among the charities I wanted it to go to. I gave eight grand to the NSPCC, eight to Sickle Cell, and eight to the Caribbean studies department of the Metropolitan University where my mum did her degree, which was facing closure. And I donated a grand to Highgate Newtown, my local community centre, to their gymnastics class, because I did gymnastics when I was younger and they needed new equipment.

“No one tried to stop me but secretly a few people were probably annoyed. But I’m happy with my decision. I can totally get how people might think: ‘What a raving lunatic.’ How did my 10 brothers and sisters feel about it? Do you know what? We’re all right. The people that benefitted from that money needed it more.

“It took me so long to get my head round the fact that I’d won. I’d been living in the same street for years and suddenly I couldn’t go anywhere without the most random of people, from old pensioners to little kids, coming up to me. My life changed overnight. But St Dynamite? Do me a favour! No, there are a lot of stories about me I could tell you that are the complete opposite of holier than thou, believe me.”