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