[Taveena Atsu | Features Sub Editor]
George Mpanga is a young poet who sets out to send a powerful message: ‘There’s a lot of power in your decisions, but you decide how much power.’ At King’s’ College, Cambridge, George studied Sociology, Psychology and Politics where he was able to learn about issues that affect the generations of today.
Mpanga isn’t new to music, he’s influenced by rap artists such as Tupac, who also started out as a poet, and has been writing since the age of about fourteen. Mpanga tells us, “I started writing lyrics, because I wanted to discuss what I was saying,” he said. “But when I was nineteen I realised that it’s better for a live performance if I can talk my lyrics, so I decided to be a poet.” He prefers to deliver his message through poetry as it allows him to deliver his messages with more impact. That’s not to say that rap music is a bad thing, but Mpanga believes that as a rapper it’s often “quite hard because they put you in a box. As a poet, all the doors opened up to me.”
At the moment, Mpanga is doing a university wide tour to start a discussion about issues such as premature parenthood and other issues that young people are faced with in today’s society. George came to perform at The Attic, where he and the crowd engaged in a controversial conversation on relationships and other things that can impact them. The crowd were fired up by this, alongside the messages he delivered through his poems from his EP ‘The Chicken and the Egg’ which is ‘about the cycle of premature parenthood.’
‘The UK has the highest teenage birth and abortion rates in Western Europe,’ according to fpa.org.uk. ‘And groups who are more vulnerable to becoming teenage parents include young people who are: in or leaving care, homeless, underachieving at school, children of teenage parents, members of some ethnic groups, involved in crime, and living in areas with higher social deprivation.’ It’s no wonder George feels so strongly about it! Mpanga aims to start a conversation, and get everyone involved in order to start making young people think before they act.
You can listen to more from George the Poet on iTunes and find out updates from him at http://georgethepoetblog.tumblr.com