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Giving a Sense of Purpose & Identity to Young People, Nigerian Born Filmmaker Michael Adeyemi Takes Us into Life in Peckham | Watch



When he was 19, Michael Adeyemi decided to do something for the youth community in Peckham. Football is a sport which gives a lot of people a sense of belonging and a sense of identity and as such, getting a group of young boys together to start the ‘Peckham Youngsters FC‘ was how Michael began his give-back journey.

Here’s a look into Peckham from the eyes of Adeyemi – Film courtesy of Dazed Digital.

Michael met Sodiq Adeojo when the latter was 12 years old. Sodiq was a young member of the football team who wanted to become a doctor. 8 years later, Sodiq was fingered as a suspect in the murder of Sylvester Akapalara who was in the same school with Sodiq. He is currently serving a 30-year jail sentence in Feltham Young Offenders Institution.

Michael, who had gone to film school at that time, decide to make a documentary about the life of a young man who showed so much promise.

According to his interview with the Guardian UK, Michael said:
Why did it happen? It’s complicated. When you become involved with life on the streets you’re given a new name, a new identity and you start losing touch with reality – you lose touch with yourself. Sodiq went to college but people knew about his street identity so he couldn’t escape it. You get to the point where even if you want to turn back, you can’t. You can’t see a way out. You get dragged deeper and deeper. For me it was different. I was very strong-headed growing up and wasn’t prepared to be like everyone else. I wanted to be myself and keep my identity and become well known for being me, my dreams were bigger than the street fame of Peckham.

I’m not a campaigner, I’m a film-maker. I returned to Peckham to finish a very different documentary to the one I started five years earlier and to find out why Sodiq’s life turned out as it did.

The purpose of this 44-minute documentary is to discover what the turning point was in Sodiq’s life and how this is a microcosm of wider societal issues in Britain today.

Watch the trailer for “Sodiq” here

Credits: Dazed Digital


  1. dami

    October 5, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    I absolutely love Peckham! Makes me feel at home but. …..

  2. Msunderstood

    October 6, 2013 at 4:55 am

    The other side of London. As much as I love London, peck am is *lips sealed*.

  3. juliana

    October 6, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    i went to school in peckham and grew up in peckham, i am
    still here with big dreams and future, family plays a massive role
    in our lives. pardon me but some nigerians that live in england
    only exist to work day and night get paid and then spend their
    wages on gold and aso ebi, the sad thing is, at these parties their
    children look so scruffy and unkept but the parents are wearing the
    biggest gold in the party – SAD. some parents neglect their
    children all in the name of material things , when the child is
    suppose to go home after school they play around because their is
    no parent to go home to, (parents are at work), so they can join
    gangs etc, and when their parents are at home, they are gossiping
    on the phone, finding balance will save a lot of lives, children
    need affection and love and not material things like some parents
    think. parents you need to pay attention to your children, spend
    time with them and support them emotionally.

    • Dubem

      October 7, 2013 at 5:17 am

      Sometimes Juliana, it is not because the parents want to have the largest gold, just sometimes, they are trying to put food on the table so they are always out at work. Ignorance sometimes plays a role….they have no idea what to with their kids. I have seen children from strict Nigerian homes struggling likewise those from homes with no parents…it really is all about that balance.

    • Juliana

      October 7, 2013 at 11:04 pm

      I understand, it’s just so sad, growing up I had to go to unnecessary parties with my aunty, she looked after her children thank God, but we make such a farce about going to these parties, what to wear etc, I am like damn it, it’s a 1 year old party, when I compare my English friends and African friends, my English friends rush home cos mother is waiting for them, they do homework together, have dinner together. Don’t get me wrong some English family are just as bad or even worse, Sometimes, spending the weekend(the only time you are off work) with your children at home instead of gallivanting can improve a child’s life. 🙂

  4. MAMAMIA!!!

    October 7, 2013 at 9:28 am

    I just wonder why Nigerians can’t come home and fight for what they deserve from their government. Y turn someone’s country into yours. Peckham is an eyesore in London and we all know why. Imagine if reverse was the case here in Nigeria, I’m sure we will complain about being colonized once again

    • Juliana

      October 7, 2013 at 11:07 pm

      Nigeria is not for the faint hearted, we can’t all hack it!!!

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