Teen Nation Showcase in aid of Mother’s Against Guns

Teen Nation Showcase in aid of Mothers Against Guns

Student Rebecca Williams went along to the Teen Nation Showcase at North Finchley’s Art Depot on Saturday, a show in aid of Mothers Against Guns. Here’s her report: ….

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Sharina, 21, who works at the Art Depot told me:….

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” Generations are changing. Eight-year-old kids don’t want Barbie dolls and Action Men anymore. The kids of today are mind trained and programmed to think a certain way, almost as if they are one person. If youth clubs were given long term funding, the workers, most of whom are voluntary, would be able to work more closely with youth and introduce more engaging projects that will keep them busy.”

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I also had a chance to interview some of the performers:….

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JP, 21, who describes himself as a “positive rapper” has been using his music to communicate the consequences of gun and knife crime. He won Best Male UK unsigned MC at the Soul Bruva’s UKSoul Awards. ….

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Rachel, 17, a singer currently studying performing arts, lost her friend Kiyan Prince two years ago. Kiyan, 15, a budding Queen Park Rangers footballer, was stabbed to death only yards from his school gates in North West London…..

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Kwesi, 20 is a rapper who was found in possession of a knife…..

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RMW:What personal experience do you have of gun and knife crime?….

Rachel: I lost my friend of four years, Kiyan to knife crime.

JP: I haven’t witnessed anyone get stabbed but I’ve known of people that have been stabbed of shot.

Kwesi: I’ve been arrested before and served time in jail for carrying a blade. My cousin who is 21 has been stabbed before and is currently serving time now for carrying a weapon.

RMW: Kwesi, why did you carry a weapon? ….

Kwesi: At the time it was hectic in the streets. I feel stupid now for doing it, but I did it for protection. When you’re that age you do some stupid things.

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RMW: What’s your take on the media coverage surrounding the issue of gun and knife crime?….

JP: I think gun and knife crime has always been really bad but it’s only now that the media are picking up on it. I think Fallout (recent drama aired on Channel 4) sent out a positive message and was realistic. I mean, you can look at someone the wrong way and they get offended. Some people even hate on you because of what you wear or have.

Kwesi: I thought Fallout was stupid. It showed police as being corrupt and the only black police officer as being crooked. What kind of message is that sending out?

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RMW: What do you think are the causes of gun and knife crime?….

Rachel: Young people can order knives from the internet now without it even being regulated. I think some people who grow up in estates find themselves deprived and isolated from society and turn to crime not always because they want to but have to.

Kwesi: Peer pressure as well. When your friends are egging you on you feel like you have to otherwise they see you as weak. You have to be strong minded not to listen though.

JP: There are parental issues where the mum or dad don’t know where their kids are or who they’re with. Not having a father figure around when you’re growing up doesn’t necessarily mess up a child ‘cos I didn’t have a dad around me when I was growing up and I turned out fine. I think a lot of the older generation are influencing the younger kids. They should be guiding them down the right path. I’ve got 2 younger brothers and I’m scared for them growing up in this world as it is now. I’m trying to send out a positive message but Channel U rejected my music video Diary of a Broken Man.

RMW: Why do you think they did that?….

JP: Because it was sending out a positive message.

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RMW: Is there a solution to gun and knife crime?….

Kwesi: I don’t think there is a solution. People talk about community centres being the answer but most people just go there to jam. Community centres if they’re going to work need to keep the youth busy.

JP: Instead of building loads of flats, more prisons and community centres should be built. If a sentence is given as life then that person should serve life, not half of their sentence and let out on parole. I think if you’re caught with a knife you should go straight to prison. If you’re let off on a warning who’s to say a life won’t be lost?

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Up and coming artist Teezy, 19, from North London gave me a few minutes of his time to discuss the current situation of gun and knife crime in the UK and what he’s doing to try and reduce the current spate of murders in the capital. ….

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RMW: What experience have you had of gun and knife crime?….

Teezy: I lost my friend Tyke. He was only 15 and bricked to death. Even though he wasn’t knifed or gunned down, he was brutally murdered with a weapon. If people can’t get hold of a gun or a knife, believe me they’ll find a weapon just as dangerous.

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RMW: What’s your opinion on the current situation of gun and knife crime in the UK? ….

Teezy: Some people who live in the estates have nothing to do. I think a lot comes down to where they’re from. Stop and search can be good but it depends on how the police go about doing it. A lot of people are to scared to do their own thing and be an individual.

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RMW: Where you influenced by gang culture when you were growing up?….

Teezy: I was surrounded by it but not influenced by it. Discipline is key. I grew up in a Christian household. But I know people whose parents are really strict but they still disobey them. Fallout was so true. I’ve been chased before by a group of boys for no reason. Young people need to take responsibility for themselves.

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RMW: Tell me about your new single Take Your Shoes off…..

Teezy: It’s released on August 4th. It’s basically a feel good track that’s about dancing. The message I’m trying to tell my peers that they need to come off the streets and get onto the dance floor. Reclaim and enjoy your youth. I’m not about cursing in my music or glamorising gang culture or anything like that.

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RMW: Do you think there is an answer to gun and knife crime?….

Teezy: Definately. Me. I hang around with loads of different people and have a strong following. Some girls may just think I’m cute but I’m still sending the right message. I wear bright colours. No bandanas. It’s about gaining respect because you are an individual.

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RMW: You say that you are the answer to gun and knife crime. How? What are you specifically doing to help tackle the issue?….

Teezy: 2Free Mobi- a free internet-based helpline for youths via their mobile. Through this I’ll be able to bridge the gap between the youth and the government. It’s a way of keeping youth engaged by speaking a language they understand and can relate to. It’s kept fresh and current. It offers loads of different services. There’s 24-hour counselling for anyone who may have a worry about or has been affected by gun or knife crime or any other issue. There’s also a section called Question Time where young people can pose questions to those in power about issues that affect them. These questions will go to an organisation that will answer and address their concerns. Young people can use these services free on their mobiles even if they don’t have credit. I, like many of my peers, just want to bring peace in the streets amongst young


One Response

  1. I have read most of above and I have to disagree with JP. Gun and knife crime has not allways been this bad.

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