Racist bullying victim from St Albans impresses rapper with poem at The Tabernacle

PUBLISHED: 19:30 07 July 2016

Young St Albans poet Malachi Baptiste and rapper/writer Akala

Young St Albans poet Malachi Baptiste and rapper/writer Akala

Photo supplied

A young victim of racist bullying has hit back – with words.

Young St Albans poet Malachi Baptiste performs on stage, after being the victim of racist bullyingYoung St Albans poet Malachi Baptiste performs on stage, after being the victim of racist bullying

Twelve-year-old Malachi Baptiste has written a poem and performed it on stage at The Tabernacle in Notting Hill, to acclaim by rapper and writer Akala.

Malachi’s mum, Karen, said that her son had been detrimentally affected by four racist incidents at the school he attends in St Albans, including being hit and kicked.

She said: “He wrote the poem when he was feeling sad and upset as he had been a victim of racist bullying.”

His poem speaks about his ‘hate’ of bullies who have caused him ‘pain’.

Karen said that as the school he attends was ‘dealing’ with the problem, she would rather not name it, adding, “Malachi hopes others will also stand up to this kind of bullying which causes so much pain to the children who experience it – he also hopes the poem will raise awareness of the problem.”

She heard about the Tabernacle’s spoken word event, dubbed the ‘Sunday Roast’, from friends in Notting Hill.

Karen explained: “It’s an open-mike session on a Sunday, run by [writer and film-maker] Ishmahil Blagrove.”

Akala headlined the session, with performers ranging from Malachi, who was the youngest, to those aged in their 70s. The emphasis was on the spoken word and music.

One of those attending later posted on social media that it served as “nurturing hub”.

Karen said: “It was good for his confidence, which he lacks, and attending the session has inspired him. Akala told him his poem was really good. It’s a positive way for him to express himself. I was really proud of him.”

Away from school, Malachi takes part in Living the Dream, a local award-winning performing arts company, and hopes to read his poem at its summer showcase production.

Malachi’s poem:

“I go to school where I’m in the minority

People think I’m a novelty

But there’s a few who hate me and want to fight, they call me names and say my hair ain’t right

I go to school to learn, act and write stuff, but I hate the bullies and I’ve had enough

Bullies make me sad and feel bad, why do they wanna cause pain, we all got blood running through our veins

And we are all the same, I got the heart of a warrior, be strong and proud of who you are

I wanna learn enough and want to go far

Always be kind, even if you don’t understand, then you can grow to be a greater man”

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