Your trusted place for Sierra Leone and global news
HomeGlobalAlim Kamara from Tottenham wins excellence award

Alim Kamara from Tottenham wins excellence award

Alim Kamara from Tottenham wins excellence award

“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” Christopher Reeve.   (Photo: Alim Kamara with his award)

Tuned into the news on an early August morning and jaw dropped in disbelief at the breaking news images from Tottenham, London, Grand Theft Auto had gone live as the streets were terrorised with anarchy.  The mission appeared to be to loot and destroy.  Many of the youth on the TV screen seemed disillusioned and hopeless.  Watching them talk to news reporters, they appeared to have lost their sense of self, had little or no value for life including theirs, and absolutely no care in the world.  The harrowing images of London burning were accompanied by analysis focusing on deprivation and disintegration.  The average youth in Tottenham is angered and disengaged and some may say they have a right to be.  With the largest unemployment figures in London, cutbacks and closures of public services including youth clubs, one can almost see why they feel they have no future, nothing to look forward to and nothing to hope for.  So can a young man come out of such a situation and make something good of himself?  Yes he can and Alim Kamara proves this.

Hailing originally from Sierra Leone, West Africa, but raised in the very town where the riots began, Alim Kamara is a young man who through his deeds and dedication to his craft of music proves that we are not all products of our environments.  We can strive for change.  We can hope for better days.  With a First Class Honours Degree in Creative and Media Writing, he is a one man brand who has become a household name in the UK urban scene.  The seeking scholar was recently awarded the Best Motivational Speaker at the Sierra Leone Excellence Awards.  Ironically, the aim of the awards is to; “…recognise those who have contributed in one way or another to the new beginning and new emancipation of Sierra Leone.”  Alim Kamara proudly flies the flag for both Sierra Leone and the UK.  He also hosted the event which is held yearly and this year honoured the likes of Ellen Thomas who plays Grace in Eastenders and the late photographer and documentary film-maker; Tim Hetherington who was killed in Libya.

On growing up in Tottenham, Alim recalls; “It was too easy to get caught up with the wrong crowd, but I had a mother who kept me disciplined with patience and curfew.  You came to terms with seeing people you know get killed or go to jail.  At that point you decide.  Some young people; they are in too deep and cannot see a way out.”  Rather than allowing himself to be conditioned by the stereotypes of the area where he grew up, Alim decided that he had a choice.  Along with two of his cousins, he set up a movement called ATG (Anything Goes) Entertainment; a collective of rappers, singers and dancers, they inspired young people to share their originality and talents by organising showcases.  One of the highlights of Alim’s career so far was his invitation to a Reception by former Prime Minister Tony Blair.  He has also worked closely with Neighbourhood Resource Centre on Park lane (Haringey Youth Service) and ran a homework club at the Aspire Youth Base, but as a result of the budget cuts the centre has since closed down.  Today’s ATG (Accelerate To Greatness) Empire, consists of creative tutors, media specialists and speakers who travel locally and internationally to inspire young people. Part of Alim’s mission is to take hope and encouragement into schools; inspiring young people to think positively and invest in their dreams and aspirations.

Through his songs; a fusion of hip hop and social consciousness, he continues to inspire and spread positive messages worldwide. He has just returned from a tour of the United States which he says left him with a hunger for more knowledge and a thirst to evolve. Speaking about his influences he says; “I grew up listening to artists I could relate to, who spoke my language, women’s rights, civil rights police brutality, and survival on the streets.  Our lives were no way as close to the extreme violence depicted in the American culture, but still Hip-hop was a way to reach the masses and to express the views bottled in.”  After listening to his music, teachers who were interested in giving their students an alternative to some of the violent lyrics that they had become accustomed to writing, invited him to perform and at times help them to write more positive lyrics.  Later on he learned about his ancestral line of Griot’s and began recollecting the stories he used to hear around the campfire in Sierra Leone.  This inspired him to take on a storytelling module recommended by Maggie Butt, Associate Dean for Academic Development in the School of Arts and Education at Middlesex University, London.  He explains; “Storytelling became a part of my delivery to provoke thoughts and teach moral or just tell a tale for a laugh.  Hence the Griot Collection was born, to elaborate on the beauty that stems from Africa.  This has now developed into an online store that sells, T-shirts, greeting cards, artworks by The Arc Gallery based in Tottenham, shea-butter, carvings and more to come from the continent of Africa.”

Alim credits his mother for the successful young man he has become.  On winning the award he said; “I dedicated it to my mother and mothers of Sierra Leone.  They say it takes a village to raise a child.  That child has now grown to be a man; one I hope they can be proud of.  You never know who is watching your movement; it’s encouraging to be recognised for your efforts.” The Afrikanns Vir Musiek Tour is next on his agenda.  This tour will take him back to his homeland Sierra Leone, then The Gambia, Ghana, and Nigeria.  Alim’s work led me to a new world of revolutionary ‘verbalizm’ and a realm of consciousness that I never even knew existed amongst our generation.  He effortlessly stands out as a role model and in the light of recent events, the unspoken yet highly visible message which one can only hope that those watching his journey take home with them is; if you persevere and endure, regardless of what the obstacles are, you will succeed.

Click here to read Alim’s bio 

Written by Pamilerin Beckley

Stay with Sierra Express Media, for your trusted place in news!

© 2011, https:. All rights reserved.

Share With:
Rate This Article
No Comments

Leave A Comment