Inspire: Changing the World One Hug and One Poem at a Time
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In this mini interview l sat down with Boston, a young creativewho put together the Rhetoric Literary Society, a group formed of talented of DJ’s, poets, singers and rappers. We discussed internatioonal volunteering, being a poet, going back to the motherland and changing the world with poetry
How did Rhetoric Literary Society come about?
Rhetoric was designed to be a gateway to literature for the modern literacy artist because it’s dominated by a lot of older men, on a Shakespeare vibe. For me, it’s like they use words and l use words so why is it looked at with different regards. So l realised as individuals we can only have so much success fighting a barrier but if we have a company or something to represent us that will hold more of a punch.
What does it represent?
It represents a new dawn or a new recognition in the modern literary world. It’s about being a breakthrough and championing the work of the new age of bloggers, writers, poets & rappers.
Tell me about The Gambia, why you volunteered there?
I first went to Gambia in Jan 2015 when l was approached by Global Hands which is an international charity. It was the first time l had ever been to the motherland. I ran a series of workshops on Creative writing which aimed to enhance the literacy skills of teens which was the first time workshops had been ran there. I then performed on national TV with some of the participants of the workshops. We worked with young writers across Gambia, developing their personal and social skills using words as the vehicle, while exploring social issues through literacy.
I also went back in June and continued some of the work. This time participants’ performed on National TV, we then put on a show in a small village, attracting 50 people. Ultimately participants felt that their skills and confidence had improved as result of both programmes. One participant who didn’t write creatively prior to the programme is now performing regularly and has a keen following.
On the experiences of youth in the UK/West versus Youth in Gambia…
I feellike so many young people (African Diaspora) would benefit from going to visit Africa, see their culture and heritage. The situation is very different over there. If you’re rich then you can go to university and get a decent job, but for a majority it’s not the same.
Having the experience of living the village in Gambia where we only had solar power it meant that if there was no sun, there was no power. The young men and women there learn about real life in comparison to the UK. Every young guy l came across could build, could cook and saw. They could do everything. Life is really different over there.
And everyone thinks Africa is just a run-down place because when we see Africa on TV it’s a charity advert. But Africa is doing a lot for itself but we don’t hear that and it doesn’t get filtered through the media. There is opportunity in Africa, it’s just that currently not all Africans can capitalise on it.
Ultimately Africa has what we want, that’s why so many people move there because it’s beautiful.
As a young person who volunteers and gets involved in social action projects, would you say us ‘the millennials’ are too self-involved or are we more willing to be involved with social issues?
Despite the churning of capitalism which promotes this “me” culture, I’d say there’s an undercurrent of people that do say “I’m going to live for my fellow person” and there’s a tsunami of people that are flying the flag, more creatives and philanthropist connecting who care about social change. Especially due to social media we don’t need the news to tell us what’s going on in the world, we now connect globally and create the change ourselves.
On the topic of change, what’s is the one cause you support or are passionate about?
I’d say anything to do with protecting nature, jungles and oceans and marine life. Animals and nature are beautiful and everything around us comes from some sort of natural resources so we have to protect our world.
Lastly, as a poet what do you stand for?
I stand for love and empowerment. I want to see people happy. Changing the world one hug, one smile and one poem at a time. If l can do one thing to help someone and they help someone else, eventually we’d change the world.
It takes one individual to say lm going to do a good thing today and hopefully it’s contagious.