|Campaign:||Changing the focus from gangs to talent|
I grew up in the Handsworth area of Birmingham and so gang culture was something I was used to. I got roped into that way of life so I know what it can be like. I know 10 people who have been shot and 2 people who have lost their lives due to gang related issues. I have realised that when young people have nothing to do, they hang around on the streets and get involved in gang life. The same could be said for substance abuse; if young people had more going on, there would be less drink and drug problems and less gang culture.
In my opinion, it is all about ego. When ego’s are used in a negative way they turn into gang culture and negative street trends. So I decided I wanted to come up with something which young people could focus on to get them off the streets and with the help of Fixers I devised an idea for a community theatre workshop and performance.
Ego Theatre was all about channelling your ego into something powerful like performing arts rather than letting it get you into trouble. We held auditions in Birmingham and found a huge number of talented people, some with very similar backgrounds to me. I found that a lot of young people want to do something good with their lives, but they rarely get the opportunities. The project was a great success and I’m glad I was able to use my experiences to elevate other people and to help them get out of that gang culture.
I have now moved to London and am continuing my work in community theatre and hoping to put on a huge production one day!