Don't Believe the Hype
Former rapper from The Outlawz comes to Ealing high schools to warn of the dangers of gang culture
As violence affecting London's teenagers continues to grab the headlines, a former gangster is urging school pupils to avoid crime.
Mutah Beale, who sold millions of records with American hip hop group ‘The Outlawz’, before turning his back on the gangster lifestyle, is visiting Ealing high schools this week to promote an anti-violence message.
The visit comes hot on the heels of worrying findings published by the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) on gang activity in high schools. Students in some urban schools are wearing stab vests to school because they fear violent attacks, the report claims.
Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:
“The research suggests that there is no widespread problem of gang-related activity in schools but where it exists it is of significant concern.
“It is clear that gang problems need to be acknowledged by schools to enable them to be tackled head on. There is a real danger that some schools will be tempted to conceal or fail to address such problems for fear that the reputation of the school will suffer.
“In order to tackle gang culture effectively, the myth has to be busted that being part of a gang is either safe or glamorous."
Beale used to hang out with notorious rapper 2pac, shot dead in 1996. Now he's a motivational speaker. His talks warn young people of the dangers of glamourising gang culture, drawing on his personal experience of losing friends to violence.
When Mutah was three years old, he witnessed his parents violently murdered in front of him during a botched robbery.
Cabinet Member for Safer Communities, Councillor Vlod Barchuk, said: “By drawing on his own compelling life story, Mutah Beale is able to connect with young people and deliver a positive, powerful message.
“He has worked successfully with young people across London and we expect his programme in Ealing will be equally engaging.
Mutah Beale will deliver talks at Acton High School, Greenford High School, Villiers High School and West London Academy this week.
A further session at Greenford Town Hall at 7pm on 12 February will be open to the public. Please contact email@example.com for further information.
February 5, 2009