From the Congo to Chadwell Heath: Rapper launches youth centre embracing the best parts of his motherland
PUBLISHED: 10:00 26 February 2018
A rapper is launching a youth centre in Chadwell Heath to tackle gang crime by using football, music and mentoring.
Rychus Ryter, real name Jonathan Kabamba, is set to launch the centre, dubbed Zaire, in the High Road on March 30.
With the support of 15 staff, and financial backing of his management company, it will give between 30 and 50 under-18s the opportunity to hone their sports, dance and music skills.
“In Redbridge I feel there are not enough opportunities and there is a lot of crime,” he said.
“I want to give young people a future but I don’t want to sell kids dreams.
“We will give them opportunities and if they take it, they take it.”
The team of staff and volunteers supporting the venture, which includes former and current professional footballers, music producers and support workers, will be unveiled at the launch event.
The centre will provide both one-to-one and group mentoring to support youths involved in gang crime to find a way out and achieve their ambitions.
Music producers August 7even and ATG, also known as Alexander the Greatest, will lead sessions in a music studio fully kitted out with instruments and speakers.
Zaire takes its title from the former name of Rychus’ country of descent - the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Former president Laurent Desire Kabila changed the name in 1997 after overthrowing Mobutu Sese Seko.
Explaining the rationale behind the name, he said: “Currently the country is like a war zone.
“When it was called Zaire there were still a lot of problems.
“But there was a freedom, where people were able to travel, and that’s what we want to bring here.”
In 2014, Jonathan’s music video for single Finally Found You was nominated for the best video category at the Congolese Achievement Awards.
He plans to run activities at Zaire twice weekly and is appealing to businesses in the community to provide sponsorship and financial support.
The launch event begins 7pm and the address will be announced in due course.
To sign up for the launch email email@example.com
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