Gospel saved me from the street - MOBO winner Guvna B
PUBLISHED: 08:57 30 October 2010
FRESH from achieving MOBO glory, Guvna B has revealed to the Review how becoming a Christian saved him from life on the streets.
The 21-year-old, who grew up in Custom House as Isaac Bourquaye and now lives in Bennett Road, Chadwell Heath, was crowned Best Gospel Act at the prestigious awards in Liverpool last month, where he got to meet one of his boyhood idols, Jermaine Jackson.
He said: “It was great. It was a very humbling experience. I didn’t expect to get it.”
He added: “I grew up listening to the Jackson Five. To meet a legend was a statement of where I have got to in my career.”
But amid all the stars and bling and glamour, he made a point of recognising how gospel had saved him when making his acceptance speech: “Four years ago I was at a crossroads whether to do right or wrong and the gospel changed me.”
Speaking to the Review last week, Guvna B described the turning point in his life when he was taken to Glory House church in Plaistow by his cousin.
“Becoming a Christian got me off the streets,” he said. “There was a lot of trouble around when I lived there. I lost a lot of friends through knife crime.”
It was through the church that Guvna B discovered his love of gospel music.
Four years later having played with many of his gospel heroes, including Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond and Marvin Sapp, as well as sharing the stage with rap stars such as Tynchy Stryder and Chipmunk, the young star said his dreams had come true.
Despite moving to Chadwell Heath three years ago, Guvna B still maintains his links with Newham.
He owns a home in Custom House and regularly visits his old primary school, St Luke’s in Canning Town, to inspire the children. “They see me as a role model. I speak to them about making the right choices in life.”
Making the big time has brought its complications, however, as he has to balance being a star with his studies at Hertfordshire University in Hatfield where he is in the last year of a business management degree.
“It’s hard to find the right balance and not led my grades my suffer,” he said.
But being famous does have its upside at college as Guvna B has found that he has got a lot more attention, especially of the female kind, although he confesses that he does not have any time for girls.
He is working on his new album in south London, which is due for release next year.
“It’s very personal music which people can relate to,” he said. “The music draws upon my experience of growing up in Custom House.
“It’s a fusion of different genres and full of positivity, which is what I am all about.”