Grime against crime: Rappers Dappy, Kojo Funds and Youngs Teflon take part in charity football match
- Credit: Garry Castle
Grime artists have raised £4,000 for a football club trying to turn young people away from gang culture by playing in a charity match in the Olympic Park.
Dappy, Kojo Funds and Youngs Teflon were among 20 grime artists who played in the London Marathon Track Stadium last Friday.
Former N-Dubz frontman Dappy said: “The objective is to try and put a stop to the onslaught that is happening on our streets, and we can start to tackle the problem by all uniting together.
“Grime, drill and rap music is not the reason this is all happening. Everyone has got their own choice in life. You are your own human with your own heart, it is up to you if you want to pick up a weapon and go and cause harm.”
All proceeds from the match went to opposition team Hackney Wick FC, a community football club founded by ex-gang member Bobby Kasanga.
The club aims to tackle gang culture by giving young people positive activities to do in their spare time.
Bobby said: “Knife crime has risen in the capital. The musicians have recently had bad press over their lyrics, so we wanted to give them a platform to say ‘whilst we may say things in our lyrics, we are all about supporting youths and we are going to come out here and play this match because we are united against this.’
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“We want to give children other avenues. Our after school clubs give the children opportunities to do all kinds of activities such as coding, graphic design and drama so that they can pursue better lives.”
Dappy added: “If all of us being here can stop just five out of 100 children from joining this madness, then I will be really happy.”
The game finished 5-5, with Hackney Wick FC sealing victory on penalties.
Property developer Henry Smith, who is CEO of Aitch Group, founded the Wickers Charity in partnership with Hackney Wick FC to offer educational sessions, workshops on the dangers of gang crime and inspirational speaker events.
Plans are being made for a re-match next year, he confirmed.