Best known for her acting roles in many British television programmes, such as Play for Today, Crown Court and Johnny Jarvis, Nadia Cattouse is a Belizean actress, singer and songwriter. In 1943, Cattouse left her home and came to Britain as a World War II volunteer. She became a part-time physical training instructor with the Auxiliary Territorial Service. Once the war was over, Nadia Cattouse attended teacher training at a college in Glasgow. Once she had qualified, she went back to her home island, British Honduras which is now known as Belize.
Nadia Cattouse continued down the teaching route for a while, becoming the headmistress of a mission school. She also lectured on infant education. Cattouse returned to Britain in 1951 to study at the London School of Economics. She began singing and acting to fund her way through college. Her TV career began in 1954. She appeared on Freedom Road: Songs of Negro Protest in 1964. She also appeared in many stage productions, such as Jean Geret’s ‘The Blacks’.
As a singer in the 1960s, Cattouse performed at ‘Les Cousins’ folk and blues club in Greek St. In 1967, she made ‘Songs of Grief and Glory’ with Robin Hall and Jimmie MacGregor. Her album ‘Earth Mother’, released in 1970 was partly recorded at the Edinburgh Festival in 1969. Her most notable songs are ‘Read and Green Christmas’ and ‘Long Time Boy’. The latter had distinct influences of both French pop and also the London folk scene.
Nadia Cattouse’s father was the Deputy Prime Minister of British Honduras. Cattouse married the composer and arranger, David Lindup. Together they had a son, Mike Lindup, who is the keyboard player of the funk-rock band Level 42. Cattouse is known as ‘one of the giants’ of the folk-song revival in Britain. In 2003, the Windrush Foundation honoured her with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to the arts, as a distinguished actress and singer. She was later awarded with the Meritorious Service Award from the Government of Belize in September 2009. This award was to acknowledge her dedication to the ‘advancement of social, cultural and political awareness among Belizeans and other Caribbean people in the UK’. It is evident that her artistic contribution has been next to none. Nadia Cattouse, Caribbean1st absolutely salutes you.