Nadia Cattouse was born on November 2, 1924 in British Honduras, now known as Belize. Her father, Albert, was a civil servant who later went on to become the Deputy Prime minister of British Honduras. In 1943 during World War Two, Nadia went with other West Indians to travel to Britain to join the war effort as a volunteer.
Once in Britain, she trained as a signals operator in Scotland and served as a part-time physical training instructor with the Auxiliary Territorial Service. Cattouse was in the first group of six women to be recruited in British Honduras. Once the war had ended, she qualified at a teacher training college in Glasgow and subsequently returned to British Honduras. There she became a head teacher of a mission school and delivered lectures about infant education at teachers’ training college and summer courses. In 1951, Cattouse returned to Britain to study social sciences at the London School of Economics.
A few years later in 1954, she then began her television career, appearing on productions such as Freedom Road: Songs of Negro Protest (1964). She also acted on stage in Jean Genet′s The Blacks. As a folksinger in the 1960s, Cattouse’s notable songs include Long Time Boy and Red and Green Christmas. On stage, she performed at Les Cousins folk and blues club in Greek Street, London. She married musical composer and arranger David Lindup and had a son, Mike Lindup, who is the keyboard player of the successful funk-rock band Level 42. In 2003, The Windrush Foundation honoured Cattouse with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to the arts as a distinguished actress and singer. A few years later, in September 2009, she received the Meritorious Service Award from the Government of Belize, acknowledging her progressing of “social, cultural, and political awareness among Belizeans and other Caribbean people in the UK’’.