Croydon Blog blog

Croydon youths meet with rapping role model

MOBO award nominee Faith Child is using his music to help young people in the Croydon area avoid a life of crime.

The Croydon rapper, who was friends with three of the men who killed Shakilus Townsend, is trying to help and inspire young people.

Faith Child, whose real name is Michael Ayo, has been working with pupils who have been excluded or are at risk of getting excluded from school.

The 23 year old rapper hopes that providing positive role models and other avenues, like music, will make a difference and help the pupils to become engaged with learning again.

Faith Child also runs personal skills sessions where he talks to troubled students about self development and how they can better themselves. He uses his own experiences to relate to the students.

He went to school with three of the youths who were sent to prison for the murder of 16 year old Shakilus Townsend in Thornton Heath.

The murder has been made into a docu-film for BBC3 ‘My Murder’. Faith Child has been encouraging his students to watch it,

Speaking about the programme he said: “A lot of my students knew the killers as well, the story wasn’t new to them as it was so close to home.

“The positive of that show was it hit home for a lot students in my school that it easily could have involved them.

“I was saying to them look at this, it’s not just about you. It is the whole family, the whole family is in the public eye.

“If you respect your mothers and family, you would think twice. It’s about teaching them morals, which makes them wise.

“Kids are more likely to listen to public figures than their parents, so I use my influence to steer them on to the right path and do the right thing,”

If you would like more information about Faith Child’s work, visit

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