May 19 2013 Latest news:
by Alistair Kleebauer, Senior reporter
Saturday, September 8, 2012
A Chadwell Heath rapper has helped his Ilford friend turn from crime to music and the pair want to help more young people change their lives.
Rychus Ryter, 22, was there for Sila Misambu, 29, when he needed a new direction after three spells in prison including a three-and-a-half year stretch for robbery.
Now they record music in an Ilford studio, tour with their band and encourage young people to play football, with Rychus recently organising a tournament with West Ham United.
Sila, a drummer who like his friend was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, said: “When I was young I followed other people and what they were doing and I got involved in trouble with people.
“I wanted to change that.”
After getting out of prison, he started going to church in East Ham where he met Rychus, whose real name is Jonathan Kabamba.
They’ve since performed shows in Chadwell Heath, Ilford and Barking under Rychus’ name with a group of 24 people.
They also play football matches at The Warren School in Whalebone Lane North, Dagenham and South Park, South Park Drive, Goodmayes, at which they try and speak to young people. Sila said: “I always tell them, I’ve been there.
“You just try and do something positive and try and help them, it can be anything.”
Rychus, a former Warren School pupil, added: “They play with us and Sila keeps them positive. Some have come out of jail, we had one player who had to leave early because he was on a tag.
“Now he wants to follow a football career.”
Rychus’ group recently shot a video for their song It’s My Time and the rapper, who writes the songs with Sila often contributing beats to the productions, dreams of coming up with a mainstream hit.
And for his friend, there is pleasure just in performing too. Sila said: “I’ve played the drums since I was young. Whenever I’m playing, I feel happy.”