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September 30, 2010 Leave a comment

This rough draft essay is from my first year studying my YOUTHWORK masters program.The essay looks into the idea of young people’s identity and the way it is constructed through different mediums and stimuli around them ,which can often create an IDENTITI performance. So depending on the arena a youn person is in they will ‘ACT UP’ in relation to the identity which is required of them.My case study for this piece was the South London rapper: GIGGS

PLEASE BE WARNED !!!This is a LONG piece!!! Let me know your thoughts:)

Until I Type Again….

“I am a thinking body.I posses with which I am intimately conjoined…

This me -the soul by which I am,is entirely distinct from the body.”(Gatens, 1983)

The quest  for a secure and comfortable identity amongst young people ,can be often wrought with confusion and complexities as one searches through the myriad of possibilities of who to become.This search is a particularly rocky terrain to journey across as peer groups,media vices structured institutions all bid for a stake in the makeup of their identity.

While pursuing a personalised sense of who they are in their aesthetic identity,the  added pressure mounted upon adolescents both male  and female is to also  solidify and come to a concluded state of who they are in their gender identity.

In this piece of work, I plan to unpack  the dynamics of masculinity and look deeper into the  pursuit of both a personalised and gender-orientated identity for a young person and will argue the point  as to whether these can be classed as one and the same.I will then look into what gender identities are available for specifically young black males who are aged 14 -18 and will try to determine  what the  hegemonic masculinity for that demographic is ,and what influences its construction has on them.

I will finally use music as an aspect of young peoples identity to show how the hegemonic masculinity for that particular demographic is encouraged and promoted,concluding with a look into the implications this has on my day to day youthwork practice.

(Weeks,1990) puts forward the valid point that each of us as individuals ,consistently live with  a plethora of possibly contradictory identities which rage and fight within us us to gain ground and allegiance.From the inception of puberty -an age of acute awareness of self- a chartered journey of  exploration sets sail to seek out these many possibilities to gain a finalised state of identity.

During this journey,answers  are pulled from different compartments of a young person’s life to gain a better footing and understanding of who they are,what their purpose for existing is and what they are to play in the grand scheme of things.Questions relating to personal desire and taste,interests,talents,views of opinion are all sifted and weighed to either accept or reject inclusion in ones own identity makeup.This identity not only constructed from within but also draws upon our relation to others and our present surroundings,whether it be family or friends,school or council estate all are available  ingredients to be added to the  melting pot of our being.

This journey of identity is often painted in a negative light to promote the idea of identity being a fixed and easily located place of being, and so this stage in a young person’s life is often labelled as a stage of ‘crisis’- an identity crisis.

“It is through such an identity crisis  or key turning point,that the identity process can proceed…. During an identity crisis ,one searches to integrate or reintegrate earlier interests,talents and values into a coherent personality structure that can find suitable forms of social expression and recognition”(Kroger,2007,p.11)

In using the term ‘crisis’, we connote a sense of emergency and danger that presents this search as time bound and conclusive,this in turn places limits and constraints on young people as they are sought to be placed in a box of conformity quickly and safely.However whenever this journey is still seen to be in process or whenever a young person is found to be out of synch with the prescribed accepted structure of personal identity developement ,they are flagged as a problem.

Eril Erikson’s theory on psychosocial developement paints a vivid picture of how theory can unconsciously become a basis on which youth development can be prescribed and structured.His particular eight stage theory explains the different stages or levels that human beings should naturally progress through in developing from a  child to an adult. Each stage in the theory emphasises a particular importance on mastery and competence,starting from 0-18 months leading right up to 65 years and over.Erikson implies that upon successfully completely each stage there awaits an inner satisfaction that fuels a desire to progress,however  if left incomplete will foster a sense of inadequacy and displacement.

Although many young people and adults alike are able to locate where they are currently positioned in the model,its flaw is characterised  its desire to categorise.The developement model can only work in its entirety if human developement is structured and ordered in a  linear form,whereby there is a systematic and regimented  practice of developement widely attested across all spheres or walks of life. Due to our individual experiences and biographies it is safe to say that human developement can fluctuate from a linear form to any other possibility on the model spectrum at any given time.

Using James Marcia’s unpacking of the psychosocial model , we can pull out a clear  example of the possibility of developement  fluctuation. James comprises Erikson’s eight  stages into five states: Diffusion-Foreclosure-Moratorium-Achievement.

If we use the example of  a young person who is burdened with the responsibility of helping to  manage a home due to either family bereavement or parental illness,this handing over of responsibility can cause that young person to jump from a stage of  ‘Diffusion’ -where there is a desire to escape or refrain from thinking about responsibility-to a stage of  ‘Achievement’- where maturation has caused the young person to become more rational,successful,effective under pressure,grounded and  secure in self- all at the tender age of fifteen years old.

Alternatively we could also look at how workers within the finance sector, who have  recently faced redundancies in the wake of the credit crunch can easily transition backwards from the  ‘Achievement’ stage to a ‘Moratorium’ stage -where there arises  is a questioning and uncertainty about identity.

If we pair these examples with the advent of postmodernism and detraditionalism which both support the idea that with any social or economic change there is undoubtedly going to be an implication on the way identity is formed and communicated. This implication contests a fixed prescribed identity, giving way to a more fluid and fluctuating construction of identity that exercises agency and autonomous living.

Giving birth to a new and radical form of thinking that says :”I can choose what I want to be!”

I will now briefly touch upon the idea of gender identity being yet another quest for young people to embark on through the course of their lives alongside that of a personal identity, to see whether or not there is truly a demarcation between personal identity and gender identity or if they are composed of one and the same thing.

As concluded in the paragraphs above,the discovery of one’s identity is an autonomous and fluid process, that can very well continue right into adulthood.This agent-led activity  enables an individual to actively construct and navigate his/her way through today’s society on the basis of selection and rejection,picking and choosing identities to embody in direct relation to the environment inhabited.

However,the question I pose is: What happens when the choice to freely choose  identity has already been decided for you?

This is the very dilemma I believe gender identity presents to young people in their pursuit of self, that in tasting the freedom of identity construction , they are at the same time  forced to choose a pre-ordained gender identity, that conforms to the hegemonic  status.

(Ferree,Lorber & Hess,1999) when comparing to personal identity,state that:

“Gender in contrast typically refers to the ascription of social characteristics to each sex.It encapsulates the dominant ideas about feminine and masculine traits and behaviors prevalent in any society at one time.”

Here we see that contrary to the autonomy attached with personal construction, there is already a structured and formatted way of behaving for females and males in the wider discourse of society.We see that there is already a socially accepted model for each sex that has a standard to be met and adhered to,which is often referred to as the hegemonic.

(Gatens,1983) teases this out more when he points out that:

“The psychic illusion of a core gender identity is a catalyst to the continual performance of gender.Symbolic social structures such as law reinforce the idealized gender categories and cast out identities that disturb the socially proper gender divisions.”

“…..(gender) is produced as a ritualized repetition of conventions,and that this ritual is socially compelled in part by the force of a compulsory heterosexuality.”

Again we see here  that against the backdrop of social acceptance there is already a  prescribed gender identity awaiting  young males/females to fit into,an identity that punishes autonomy by the process of ‘othering’. Of course there still remains the  freedom to choose which variation of gender identity you subscribe to,however  to be fully accepted in that choice of identity,young people are taught from birth and expected to act  in line, with the scripted hegemonic performance of  that particular gender identity.

Gender identity for young people  is not predominantly an advocate of  agency, but more of conformity. It separates itself from the general construction of identity with this very distinction.Where general identity can be explored and discovered,gender identity presents a state of being that should not be tampered with or breached.variations of gender performances may be permitted , however a  hegemonic  ideal still rests at the core of what is deemed as masculine  or feminine.

For society will  willingly and  readily tolerate a young person styling their identity and persona with of say a ‘goth’ or ’emo’,but a young male who may decide to take up ballet,in the context of a peer group of  family setup will prompt concern and raise eyebrows

Let us begin to take a more in-depth look into hegemony of masculinity  in relation to specific demographics,and explore how it is  constructed  and the implications it has on young people.

Hegemony presents itself as the ruling ideal, that is to be universally accepted in the wider society . It finds its strength in masquerading as the ‘norm’ and places itself as the benchmark for all to follow,David Marriott writes that:

“Hegemony is the way in which a class achieves dominance or total social authority in a particular sociopolitical situation, not so much by either coercion or consent but by a combination of the two so that it gains acceptance for its way of looking at the world..”

The hegemonic view when used to communicate ideals presents itself as an authoritative voice on any particular discourse,this ideal is then permeated and distributed throughout society as the accepted way of living and expression of behaviour.

Masculinity’s hegemonic status has for a long while stemmed from and drawn its origins from the structure of the male body form,using the sheer physique and make up of the male body to  dictate the role and behaviour of what a man should be. From the inception of  childhood young males are given archetypal examples of masculinity found in the sculpted  action figures and soldier figurines. These core ideals of brute force  and strength, are reinforced by parents and guardians when they excuse  fighting and other physical behaviour  as the norm to be expected from this particular gender. Bob Connell (1983) describes what it means to be masculine as to quite literally embody force,and that true masculinity proceeds from a  man’s body ,to either be inherent in a male body or to express something about a male body.

It is this simple concept that I believe informs and acts as a foundation for the hegemonic male to be modelled and structured on.

It is not only from the home these ideals are started,but there is also a more progressive reinforcement from the media ,when presenting what masculinity should be :

– male characters in blockbuster action films reward   the strong, heroic alpha male,by preserving his life all the way through the narrative.All other derivatives of  the hegemonic masculinity are subject to being killed earlier in the film,or are relegated to the ‘token’ character.

men’s magazine elevate the  heterosexual ‘man’ as the hegemonic norm, and therefore feed him with tips on how to better his sex life and dominate women.The magazines also imply all men should be concerned with the common male related subjects of  football and maintaining physique in the gym.The latest gadgets,widescreen television and high-powered car advertisement,make assumptions about the heights of success and wealth a man should be attaining  or already possess.

It is then from this model that we draw up pre-ordained cultural templates for young men to inhabit and fulfill, othering all who do not conform.Though there has been recent changes and acceptance in the different  ways masculinity can be  perceived , there is still an underlining standard or dominant view that every parent is aware of and consciously seeks to align their child with.

Although the hegemonic male is a widespread discourse of thinking, it should not be assumed that it is accessible to all. For the hegemonic standard alters and is modified when subjected to such factors as class,race and surrounding environment.Many young men who visit my training centre,sometimes speak out of anger and frustration of trying to compete with an ideal that is not always admitted to ,but is covertly racialised. A hegemonic standard accessible to the wider society all but unattainable for them who are ‘othered’.

The medals of success and  strength are often out of reach from their grasp due to failed upbringing or adverse financial situations within the home, and so all that seems left to aspire to is  the masculine model they see promoted and modelled around them.

In a book titled Understanding Masculinities ,David Marriot when discussing the issue of black masculinities makes these two points:

“…moral panics created by official discourse on race-related crime, issue in a paranoid policing of the state’s internal and external frontiers,a strategy which descends in advance on the ‘problem’ category of black youth”

“…the assumed absence of paternity and parental legitimation in the social relations of young black men,acquires the status of a state ideology which serves to reinforce negative stereotypes of black masculinity as in need of constant state surveillance and policing”

Touching on these two point made in his writings,can bring to light where this ‘othering’ and exclusion mindset can be derived from.

The idea of black masculinity – whether purposely propagated by those who define the hegemonic or whether through media representation-I argue  has been demonised and misrepresented,which is  having a direct effect on the forms of hegemonic masculinity available to access by young black males.The excessive  highlighting of  racial moral panics,  feeds this representation and presents an assumed black masculinity that society becomes accustomed to and accepts as the norm.

These representations  become the mould from which young males take their masculine identity cues from,taking the negative traits of what it is perceived to be ‘black man’ to define who they are to be as men in the future.The higlighting  and projection of black failure, is now being lapped up and  adorned by young males as part of their inherited gender identity.Resulting in agency no longer being available to them , for the terms and  conditions have already been set.

For many young black males there is only a  handful of  examples of masculinity presented to them , whether that is through the local ‘olders’ found in gang culture or the seemingly successful ‘drug dealer’ or whether that is through negative headlines and news stories they see on a daily basis,they see black  masculinity as inherently contaminated, but seemingly the  only hegemonic form of masculinity for them.

To tease out more practical examples of how this is played out in our wider society and more specifically the effects it has on  my personal youthwork , I will examine how  the creative art form of rap music has been used  to distribute and promote this  misrepresentation of black masculinity.

“To assess music from outside as though it were but one commodity among many,or as though its meanings resided solely within its lyrics,is to fail to locate its pleasures,its means of manipulation ad therefore its politics.”(McClary,1994 pg.38)

I have chosen to single out music because it has for a long time been a voice for social ills and struggles, but also an instrument to unwittingly  promote normalised agendas and ideals.For the young people I work with, it plays a significant part in their culture as its ability and power to dictate lifestyle and identity is held in high regard.Many of them would like to believe agency and individualism dictates their choices, but the reality is music is one of the major driving forces behind their  social and identity construct.

The young people I will specifically  be referring to are males aged 14-18 , from African and Jamaican descent, situated in Peckham,South London.Peckham, located in the borough of Southwark is home to around 25,000 with quite a diverse population,it is one of Europe’s biggest regeneration zones and three years ago had the highest crime rate in London, currently now ranking ninth.It also has the highest rate of unemployment and teenage pregnancy in Southwark. This is the environment these young people are living in, the environment  from which their music creates a social constructionism for them to follow.

A local Peckham rapper by the name of Giggs (Nathan Thompson),is the leader of ‘SN1’ (Spare No One aka Black Gang) -a part music/part street gang collective,who has recently risen to become a voice for a lot of young males within the Southwark borough.His past and current affiliations with gang warfare and drugs and now rap music, seem to many of my young people the epitome of black masculinity.

Being leader of the Black Gang on a street related level, he exemplifies what it means to be a man to many young men who sit under his command.The younger faction of the gang-PYG(Peckham Young Gunners),relate to him as their ‘Older’ and plead their allegiance and loyalty to the gang and his cause.

Raised in a single parent home , due to his father not wanting to take on the responsibility, he represents a hoard of young men who share in  that struggle to become a man without knowing how to be a man and in turn look to him for that direction.

In 2005, after serving time in jail for gun possession, Giggs became a father and decided to put  more energy into producing albums and music for the ‘streets’. Four years later, the result of that hard work would land him a recording contract and a music award which saw him win over major rap artists in the U.S. -finally Peckham has their very own president.

All these factors ,though seemingly trivial have added weight and credence behind his music , creating a following of young men that look up to him as a standard for male living,looking to his music as a mould to build their lives upon.

So, what is the hegemonic masculinity presented by Giggs’s music and hat effect does it have if any on youthwork practice?

His music acknowledges the misrepresentations and demonisation and seeks not to dispel or defend it ,but instead to revel and glorify in it.

“Betta leave now/when I squeeze down/on the Tray Pound (gun)/Clean your blood with a tea towel!” -1xtra Radio Freestyle(Giggs)

The demonisation of black masculinity has definitely cast a menacing shadow over  what it means to be a black man in today’s society,when addressing crime and violence.The heightened moral panics of gun and knife culture over the last 2 years,have almost made a black face or group of black men synonymous with crimes committed in the capital, and therefore to the public eye create a normalised state of affiliation. With Giggs being the leader of one of the most notorious street gangs in London, violence in his music  has been taking on and adorned by many young males as a masculine  medal to be worn and be proud of.

This causes them to subscribe to the thinking that the more violent you are in society, then ultimately the  more of a man you become.

Suzanne Hatty mentions in Engendering Violence that:

“The pressures to speak and act violent are everywhere…violence is not a deviant act, it is a conforming one.”(Toomey,2000 pg.1)

The problems I then encounter on a practitioner level, as a result of this thinking can be found when I have to administer or advise young people on conflict resolution.The idea of walking away from an incident or talking it over, is often too foreign of a concept for them to grasp.Extreme violence is directly linked not only to their generalised manhood ,but  more specifically to their racialised manhood, and therefore to forgo such  a violent retribution is to place a question mark over both entities,which none are prepared to do.

“I’m out the door about half eight/trying to stack dough(money) for my yoot'(son) and my marjay(mother)

…mad poverty niggas can’t get jobs so they buy brown(”   -‘Bring A Message Back’

For many young males residing in Peckham, the absence of a father in the home is a normalised occurrence,and so to is the bitterness and anger held in many hearts towards that fact. In response to this absence Gigg’s lyrics paint a reality for many young men who are forced at a very young age to fill those shoes that have been left vacant. As the ‘man of the house’ it now becomes that males responsibility to uphold all.However ,even though this form of autonomy and independence seems common with the general masculine identity, young black males seem to  draw from their  criminalised distorted representation of masculinity and therefore turn to criminal activities to support the home instead of regular employment.

What unfolds is a legitimisation of criminal activity that is justified by the need to fend for one’s self and his family.Drug selling and robbery are carried out by a very young age range – as young as 14 years old  – all in a perceived bid to make ends meet. This is what Giggs’s music promotes on an entertainment level but also on a street level as many of his younger constituency will be roped into criminal activity with the offer of earning large amounts of money ,with little or no risk.

The problems this bears on my youthwork is the resistance  I find with some young males, when it comes to securing a place in education or employment.In searching for regular retail jobs or places in education , I am always met with the phrase- “that’s long!”-meaning the task is too arduous and time consuming.So what has happened is that the fast money of the criminal lifestyle  far surpasses that of  a life wrought with hard work and steady progress.The black masculinity propagated is one of looking out for number one and ensuring that is done, by any means necessary.For the threat of prison or being caught  is of no consequence, rather yet another badge to wear with pride.

“They say THEY wanna cut crime down/I do something positive and THEY fly down…!”

“I used to shot cats whole packets of rock/Now I make music what they planning to block”   – ‘Slow Songs’

In his music Giggs focuses alot on ‘the struggle’ -a struggle that I assume finds it roots traced back to the time of slavery and oppression.The struggle to rise over the ‘white man’s’ colonial rule which he believes still exists in modern-day society .It is this struggle which he identifies in the lyrics above and thus feeds through his music,encouraging others to stand up against the system that seeks to suppress them.

What ensues is a total rebellion against any authoritative institution-the police,governing bodies and educational systems are all places young males are encouraged to go against and rebel.It is the  embracing of the distorted masculinity that others like him,actually find strength in. Being uninterested at school,not wanting a nine to five job and refusing to co-operate with the police , are all acts that seek to ridicule the ‘system’ and reinforce a masculine autonomy:

“Autonomy-equated with independence,stability and rational functioning-is cultivated and highly valued.This emphasis on self governance translates into a specific construction of the self.In this construction,individual responsibility is of central significance.”(Pitch,1995)

Young males who come into my sessions with this extreme desire for autonomy, find it hard to handle authority figures or be told what to do. In turn when placed on courses or work within work settings they find it hard to maintain because once again they feel they are being oppressed and targeted,whereas a lot of the time it boils down to their inability to work in a team work settings or take correction from those in charge.

“I swagger it out!/The True Religion jeans might be matching the Ralph! -‘Dont’ Go There’

From coming out of a position of working class , and feeling unable to compete with the legitimate,widespread  representation of the hegemonic male, young black males will strive to do all they can to convince others of  their status and wealth,even if it does not truly exist.Throughout Giggs’s lyrics you will hear an array of designer clothes  being ‘name dropped’ which is very common in rap,as the art form presents a platform for new identity formation and construction ,enabling one to be what he dreams in song even if his life is a stark contrast.What this creates is a masculinity identified and determined by what clothes are worn.

“Hip hop remains a never-ending battle for status,prestige and group adoration which is always in formation,always contested and never fully achieved.” (Rose,1994 pg.79)

Although this may seem,evidently present as merely an attributing factor in  mainstream hegemonic masculinity ,for black young males this is one of the major determinants of true masculinity.If you are a young  black male and  happen to possess a Gucci belt , Louis Vuitton scarf or True Religion jeans ,your level of respect increases and ensures your masculine dominance is secure.(Lasch ,1984) when describing  the ‘Imperial Self’ stated  that  : ‘The narcissistic dimensions of the imperial self are manifest in the preoccupation with the cultivation of an image that accords with socially constructed symbols of perfection,status, and success.

Lasch comment concerning the Imperial self is highlighted more so  in my practice work, when it comes to examining the materialism that exists amongst the young males.Due to our program being externally funded we offer qualifications that have attached to them  monetary incentives.When each client finishes their course there is a heightened concern as to when the money will be handed over as purchases of clothes and footwear are waiting to be made,when suggestions are made to save  money or put it  towards a  future project -there is an immediate response of laughter and ridicule.I have found that, the materialistic streak within them is not just for display and status but is actually an extension of their masculine identity,marking territory and declaring dominance.

In a newspaper article ,an ex-member of the Peckham gang  had this to say concerning image and status :

“It’s all about whose got the best bottle of champagne, who’s wearing the best trainers, who’s pushing the biggest weights, who’s got the biggest jewellery, who’s driving the best car.’

According to Mr X, if you can scoop every title – best champagne, best gun, best trainers – you will deemed the ‘winner’ of your area, or ‘ends’ as it is more commonly known: ‘Once you got your status, you’re made in your “ends”. You go put on certain cable channels and you hear it all in the music: “Rep [represent] your ends”. They’re glorifying it. Talking about drugs, guns, it’s all gone mad!’

In conclusion,I put forward the viewpoint that gender identity is a separate performative  identity to be pursued and discovered  alongside that of the general identity.The masculine container for identity is ever-changing and shifting but I believe that the core hegemonic still exists as an overbearing  ideal.An ideal  racialised and sexualised,an ideal not available to all but paraded by the ruling bodies.However , I have found that this ideal  is subject to many variants such as class,race  and one’s surrounding environment and if  any of these factors are drastically altered, so too are the perceptions of what it is to practice ‘true’ masculinity.

For many young black males their hegemonic masculine identity can only be drawn from the negative examples they see depicted around them and so instead of refuting them,they embrace and live out the negative examples because it happens to be all they know.Rap music is a significant carrier of this message amongst black males,educating and raising them up as Fathers dictating to them best way to manhood.

“Belonging is tied up with our most intimate feelings and that disregarding or disrespecting these is likely to produce defensiveness.For this reason it is important that those who work with young people gain an understanding of what belonging might mean to them.” (Thomson,2007,pg.173)

A lot of youth work practice is spent trying to undo and re-boot the minds of young males on their summations of life, but as practitioners we should come to a healthy understanding that all identity, boils down to an  innate desire to belong .It is therefore our role to take the first step  to  truly understand where these summations come from,and the value its holds for them ,to then be able to  guide and help boys become men.



1. Sunday Mirror;col1

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September 1, 2010 Leave a comment


Lead from the front ..and fear NOTHING!

Until I type Again…

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May 17, 2010 5 comments

Hey Blog Family,take time to view all 5 parts and watch as Shelley Lubben talks about the harsh realities of the pornography industry and those involved in it .Watch how putting her faith in Jesus Christ ,enabled  her to escape the industry and become a beacon of hope for men and women still looking for a way out. If you know those that can benefit from such a post , PLEASE DO  pass onto them whether they are actually involved or just consumers.THANK YOU!


Until I type again…

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April 23, 2010 1 comment


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April 20, 2010 2 comments
Saturday, February 2, 2008 at 3:50pm | FLASHBACK
My head hit my pillow  around 1.30am in the morning ,and after quite a long day I was intending to sleep in before going  to the studio the next day.I surprisingly  found myself awake at 6am in the morning, just staring at the ceiling thinking what the heck am I doing up at this time!What wisdom is there in being awake at this time, while others are walking in dreamland! lol

Anyway I took my  inability to slumber  as a sign that HEAVEN wanted me awake for a reason, so  grabbed my Bible and began to go through the book of ECCLESIASTES . Now…I hadn’t  read my Bible for a while, so this was a great opportunity to catch up,so ended up  reading all the chapters and noticed above all things a verse that read :

Wisdom preserves the life of its possessor


After reading it over and over, at around 7.30am I too slipped into dreamland thinking about this scripture! BOYYYYY! LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THE DREAM I HAD!!!

COMMISSION(the music duo i’m part of) had just performed  at  a show and I in the foyer of the building next to some stairs,waiting for the group so we could leave.People began to leave the auditorium and then one woman came up to me, hugging me  and congratulating me on the show. (Now this is why I try to leave events QUICKLY!lol) So she was hugging me and then started pushing herself up against me RIGHT THERE in the foyer !

I’m thinking like rahhh! Half thinking I need to get away…Half thinking boyyy! If she’s on it…im on it!
Anyway, a male friend of hers was standing behind me and whispered in my ear,to in a sense  encourage me:


She then turned to me,pointing at her backside saying “I WANT YOU TO DEAL WITH THIS!” —woweeeeee! I was like mannnn the temptation was even greater now, but  at the same time I was wary of my position and how strange this all was.

MEANING: you’re attractive and everything but tell me about who you are? your value,your worth? When I said this she  just went blank ,she couldn’t answer me  anything.I slipped out of the dream and awoke on my bed ,immediately reaching  for a pen to write it all down.

 While  brushing  my teeth I said  to the Holy Spirit ,that  “you know what …that was a mad interesting dream!”,as I said this God made the dream clearer to me and reminded me of that scripture:


I was in my bathroom shocked like ITS TRUE!!!THE GIRL WAS LOOKING TO TAKE ME OUT ON A NEXT LEVEL but the wisdom of the Bible had preserved my life!

Pondering upon it  more , I realised that at a lot of single conferences or relationship seminars tend to focus on the women having VALUE and WORTH , but never address the men in valuing themselves . They never seem to encourage the men to guard and value their  own heart.They never seem to encourage men to respect themselves by not sleeping with every TEMI,CASSANDRA or SHANIKWA , but instead to uphold the VALUES  they stand for ,because they are worth something aswell.

To all my guys out there LOVE YOURSELF, VALUE YOU! Learn to appreciate the person you see in the mirror , for YOU TOO were fearfully and wonderfully made …you’re worth is also more than rubies!

Use the Bible as a tool of wisdom in different situations it will preserve you from making bait mistakes and will help you think clearer…I ENCOURAGE YOU TO READ PROVERBS FOR A MONTH AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS!!! TRUST!!

PROVERBS 31 is a classic chapter that has been hijacked for the use of portraying what an ideal women should be , but be not deceived there is a note for us MEN in verse 3 of that chapter,IT SAYS :

Do not give your STRENGTH to women,or your ways to that which destroys kings.

My brothers VALUE WHO YOU ARE! Spend time on loving you,FOR IT WILL THEN GOVERN YOUR BEHAVIOUR AND WHAT YOU PERMIT IN YOUR LIFE ,celebrate the unique being God has created,you owe it to yourself…because you’re worth it!

Until I type again:)

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Prayer For A Gunman

April 16, 2010 5 comments

Dear Lord , you know how wrong it feels doing this, and how uncomfortable I am doing this,BEFORE I even wrote the FIRST post I knew you wanted me to pray for him  …I know it’s what you would still do in this situation.(sigggh!)Lord where ever Agnes’s killer is right now I ask that you would be with Him and comfort him during this time.

What happened on Wednesday whether he shot at her intentionally  or as a  unknowingly it still happened,and as much as he has taken someone’s daughter-he is still someone’s son.I know in the midst of all  this you still have LOVE for him ,I don’t know WHY this was allowed to happen and honestly that aspect of things I leave within your sovereign ability but I ask you would comfort a heart that MAY be stoney, that may be cold ,one that may be fearful and regretful.A heart that may be suffering with self-condemnation, I ask Jesus that you will hold him back from the brink of suicide but at the same time let there be CONVICTION in his heart for what has happened.

Let there be a realisation of the futility in this STREET life and find a new life IN YOU.I pray you will help him to understand what his actions have caused her family but also provide people around him who he can confide in , people who he can offload on ,who can them advise him wisely , NOT in a negative way but for the better of the situation. God whoever you can use to get to him, that is a child of yours,a believing Christian- Lord you can do anything …cause them to meet  so that your light can reach into his life and that he may receive SOUND and PROFITABLE counsel!

Lord ,if he is to be caught and lands in jail , even their restore and change  his heart, let him be an example to those around him ,both in prison and on road that CHANGE can happen that you can  BE ONE WAY but CHANGE TO ANOTHER by your grace Jesus .

By no stretch of imagination Lord do I leave out Agnes’s family in all this,you know i’ve only tasted death from the distance experience of others, but you Lord lost your Son,your Son lost a best friend, so I believe to a HIGH degree you understand the range of emotions that go through a human in this circumstance.

Jesus I ask that  you PLEASE  just cradle the family in your arms …provide comfort and release at this time,from the oldest to the youngest .Lord I ask that you would provide everything in regards to finances for funeral arrangements and things of the like,provide emotional support for school friends and generally all that knew her.

Heal a community and fight back the violence with YOUR PEACE  that passes all understanding , for you are MORE than able ….may your LIGHT shine in the midst of the  DARKNESS….in Jesus NAME!


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“Dear Agnes’s Killer…”

April 16, 2010 21 comments
Hi ,…(yet to be found male/female..because you never know nowadays)

I’m sure you’ve either ducked off ends or you’re hiding out at a bredrins yard, either way by now you MUST be fully aware of what the results of your actions were  on Wednesday evening, as now  the WHOLE of the  UK searches for you.We had the MAC- 10 ,Grime Daily shooting last week(where people close to me narrowly escaped by the Grace of Jesus!)  and now you’ve given  us this…

I never knew Agnes..but I got a few questions for you…just a few and then I’ll be on my way……

Sooooo??How u feeling?How you holding up?What emotions are you feeling right now?You been drinking?Smoking?What you been up to in the last 24hrs?Are you on twitter?Did you catch that ‘Welcome to Lagos’ programme? Hilarious right??lol so oh yeh did you catch the DEBATE..who you looking to vote for..I mean ….im feeling some of Cameron’s policies but at the same time don’t like the squeeze they are trying  to put on the public sector jobs…but yh you been mannnn….like have you been eating and sleeping well? Hows the traceable gun residue going?Just out of curiosity…Where did you ride off to on your mountain bike…all in a hurry?Hope you were well aware of all the CCTV cameras in that area and their positioning at the time,cos getting caught on them can be a RIGHT pain-especially in the NECK!

Speaking of which…forgive me for the RANDOM question.Were you aware that you let off the t’ing at a 16 year olds neck or were you just spraying at random,because after a few shots you probably didn’t have the courtesy to see the results of your WRECKLESS act?
I mean…if you weren’t ACTUALLY aiming at her,in my opinion… personally I think its wise to NOT to hold what you can’t shoot?Sooo…You on facebook?Who are your friends right now?As in who amongst you’re boys can you REALLY trust to not SNITCH on you?Who are you able to trust right now to NOT be sickened by the extremity of what you did?Someone who may say in their heart – “you should’ve ‘llowed it bruv,didnt need to dead her”.

Did you know you were going to kill someone on Wednesday when you woke up, or was it just a spur of the moment t’ing like… ‘yawnnn…I feel like shooting someone in the neck today!”

But yehhh sorry.. about that..taking the attention away from you and focusing on such an insignificant event in your life …how are you?
Are you fearful?remorseful?panicky? paranoid?  proud? which one?…Have you texted or confided in anyone?How are you proposing to numb YOUR pain away..cos trusay EVERY MAN no matter how BAD they think they are..GOT A HEART!Do you’re siblings know you did what everyone is talking about?Does you’re mum or dad know they referring to you on the TV?

Remind me again how much ratings does a girl shooting get it 150 or 170 points?…skipped my memory! Because I know for a fact her family don’t RATE you right NOW?

By any chance did you know Agnes?or was she just some gyal you saw 2 secs before taking her heatbeat?Maybe you knew her heartbroken mum? you have a sister or maybe female cousin…just asking so you can relate for a quick sec before you’re heart starts beating again when you hear a siren in the distance!..

Have you done this before?Who thought of the idea to shoot into the shop?Do you regret the idea or still think it was a good one?Are you angry that everyone wants to pour blame on you and not the person you was with aswell?what started the original beef?do you feel there will be reprisals coming your way,or will it all blow over after a week or so?… errm what else…

Will you be handing yourself IN this week or next week…just so i know when to pick up the newspaper….dont want to miss that…What do you think of the current state of the prison system in this country?Do you think its lax or just what is needed to forge change and rehabilitation in the heart of  the convicted.

Well that’s all for now…I know you got alotttt of HIDING to do, so I won’t take up anymore of  your time.But yeh eeermm thanks for adding to the Hackney Crime Statistics and giving the police  more gang- related/violent youth work to deal with,thanks for taking a young  light from our future, as you revel in your dark acts …and ahh yess a MASSIVE thank you for causing YET ANOTHER family to CRY every birthday and Christmas!

Well got to  run ,but hopefully see you ON THE NEWS SOON…

  P.S-Here’s a prayer for you : ‘PRAYER FOR A GUNMAN’ –

Take care…

Yours Sincerely,
Tope Chiedozie 


  Agnes Sina-Inakoju

       (1994 – 2010)
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