I AM SO ANGRY RIGHT NOW!!!!
A few months ago when I ran the anti gangs, guns & knife campaign, organised marches, seminars, etc, MANY OF YOU FROM OUR COMMUNITY could not be bothered to respond or turn up.
Before the matter became the “serious situation” we now know, I started to talk about the issue of knife crime among our kids via my Blogsite and on my radio show “Baroness Js World on Naija FM” – from 2017.
I turned myself into a common nuisance trying to sensitize our people and open your eyes to what was happening to our kids, and to mobilize us to publicly show our collective moral outrage at the increasingly alarming number of Black/African/Nigerian/Yoruba boys being stabbed to death on the streets of London, but so many of you turned your faces the other way and shut your ears.
“AFTERALL, IT IS NOT MY CHILD. JUST DRUG DEALERS, JAMO KIDS, AND SONS OF SINGLE PATENTS WHO PROBABLY DESERVE IT” was the attitude of very many of you.
Many times, I visited and recorded from scenes where our kids had been murdered – sometimes late at night and early in the morning – just to make you all see the seriousness of the problem and bring home the reality of the involvement of our kids – both as victims as well as perpetrators of violent crime.
I spent thousands of my personal funds (with a tiny amount donated by just a handful of friends and supporters) to put on programs to bring our people together but you ignored my calls and apart from a few empty words on facebook, you mostly pretended it was not your problem. In fact, I was accused by some of you of whipping up fear and anxiety. Some even went as far as reporting me to FB getting me blocked a few times!
I organised a safeguarding seminar at the Woolwich Library and invited God so called community leaders, many council officials, school heads, teachers, police officers – but only a handful of African parents could be bothered to attend.
I put on a total of three peaceful protest marches but on 2 occasions, there were less than 20 of us who could be bothered to show up. The third one, I simply cancelled because I did not think it was worth the effort.
I even spent my personal funds to organise a dinner for the same purpose but what a waste of time and money that turned out to be.
I am totally and utterly disappointed in our community, and every single one of you that now has the audacity to say no one is doing anything about the problem.
WHEN THE CALL WENT OUT TO JOIN US IN DOING SOMETHING, WHAT DID YOU DO???
Our people will attend weddings, birthdays and all kinds of “Owambe” parties even of people the don’t know – just for a plate of jollof rice, and spray 00s of dollars at musicians who don’t know them. But will not spare a few hours to attend events where our kids’ lives are being discussed.
And then there and the African fathers who will attend clubs, every week from Thursday to Sunday, spending 00s of pounds on champagne, brandy and all kinds of drinks for even strange women, and then a few pounds more on seedy hotel rooms to go with their “friend” for the night but when it comes to community events, they claim they were not invited and will never donate just £10 to help organisations.
I have heard more moans from African men over the past 11 months than in my entire life! Grown men blaming mothers for our boys killing each other in the streets or being involved in gangs.
Like the Biblical Adam blamed everyone else but himself for actions God accused him of, so also are our fathers refusing to take any blame in the matter at hand. With the exception of just a handful of community leaders and activists, the faces of African fathers have been shockingly scarce in the entire anti-knife crime campaign picture. They claim “it is a women only thing” or “they were not invited” or “they feel pushed out”
Our men need to start to realise that it is not about them. But our kids’ lives!
My aim for running the knife crime awareness campaign was to get us to get up and work together as a community and find solutions to the problem facing us. My resignation from CANUK (with apologies to my former colleagues on the executive as they are all still my friends) was as a direct result of the failure of the leadership to see the importance or need for the programs I had planned and pull together to support me.
I get so upset nowadays when I see folks jumping on the bandwagon and organising yet another empty “conference” to talk about knife crime with no clear strategy or policy in place. Many of the so called organisers can not even mention names of just 2 of the kids who have been killed through knife stabbings yet they call themselves campaigners!!!!
I remember when I produced the comprehensive list of Nigerian boys who had lost their lives, I was accused by many of you of making things up to boost my blog views.
One woman from my church actually boldly said to my face she had to Google the names to verify my story!
I get really angry in my spirit when I see yet another idiot (pardon me) saying no one in the African community is doing anything when these same folks failed to respond to all the calls we made for their involvement and support.
My sista Daizy Ajisefini and her business partner Kashif Da Flash twice, at the cost of thousands of pounds, hired a London tour bus for another Anti Knife and Gun campaign.
Almost no one turned up – on both occassions!
One friend constantly bugged me for months to send my account details so they can make a donation to my organisation MAGAKC. I eventually gave the details. NOTHING.
And another well meaning sista contacted me with info that they wanted to “give me award” for the work I had done in this area – but then started to bug me about bringing a specific number of people to the event and buying tickets for them.
I realise that a few toes will feel stepped upon by this post, but it will also show the level of anger I had been harbouring.
To God be the Glory, my own kids are safely tucked away out of London and by His grace will not fall victim to any kind of violent attack. But I feel for parents who have not been so lucky. And I weep each time I read the news or see images of another young life being stolen from the blade of a knife or machette. No parent should have to go through this pain.
Preventing this is what has been my motivation. But the process has to be a joint and collective effort. But when those you reach out to, pointedly ignore you, then wail and complain about nobody doing anything – that gets me really angry.
Like my page: https://www.facebook.com/MAGAKC/
Baroness Olajumoke Ariyo – Anti Knife Crime Campaigner
Founder Mothers Against Gangs, Guns And Knife Crime (MAGAKC)
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