Young Citizen Award: Ilford pupil nominated for promoting gender equality through theatre

PUBLISHED: 12:00 24 September 2017 | UPDATED: 12:03 25 September 2017

Ryan as Peter Pan and another member of the cast. Picture: Highlands School

Ryan as Peter Pan and another member of the cast. Picture: Highlands School


Peter Pan, the Dodger and the Tin Man are not characters that would normally appear in a sentence about gender equality – until today that is.

Year 7 pupil, Ryan Magalama, has been nominated for the Recorder/Rotary Club Young Citizen Award by his former teacher for his great strides in promoting girls’ rights.

Through the medium of theatre the ex-Highlands Primary School pupil highlighted the female voice.

When developing script for Peter Pan – a play in which he had the lead role – he added in focus to the back stories of Tinker Bell and Tiger Lilly so that “strong female supporting characters” could tell their story.

His former teacher Harsheron Kaur at Highlands Gardens, Ilford, put Ryan, 11, up for nomination because he cares deeply about the community and the world.

“He has been giving to the local community and promoting human rights through school performances since he was seven,” she told the Recorder.

“His passion, for all members of the community to have the opportunity to enjoy the arts, has been amazing.

“His belief that being a good human will heal the world is beautiful to see in such a young soul.”

Ryan has played several lead roles throughout his primary school career and is continuing his flair for the dramatics at a performing arts school in Wanstead.

“He supported his female actresses and enabled them to show their characters in a powerful way,” added Miss Kaur.

“He has input not just in the script but through his actions – the respecting your rights plays give out a good message but in a different way.

“I put him forward as he is a really good example for other young people.”

The award is run by the Recorder in conjunction with Redbridge Rotary Club, and sponsored by The Exchange shopping centre, Ilford, which will provide each monthly winner with a £30 gift card.

The aim of the scheme is to highlight all the good things that young people do in Redbridge.

The overall winner will be crowned at next year’s Mayor’s Community Awards.

You can nominate any person from Redbridge, as long as they are under 25, by emailing

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