Justin Rollins wants to turn troubled children away from crime.
A reformed Morden gang leader hopes his poetry, showing his experience of survival from the darker side of the streets, will help turn troubled children away from a life of crime.
Justin Rollins, 29, believes hard to reach youngsters will learn from his mistakes and benefit from reading his poetry because he understands what it is really like for them and will show there is hope away from gang culture.
His Gang, WZ aka Warriorz, comprised of members from Merton and Sutton, based themselves in Morden.
He said: “With living such a hectic lifestyle on the streets for so many years I have so many stories to tell.
“After I was brutally attacked outside a night club I started to question my lifestyle and realised for the first time it was wrong.”
As a troubled child he expressed his creative side through graffiti and poetry, but it was after the birth of his daughter that he discovered his real talent for writing.
Mr Rollins has continued to write poetry on and off for years, but it was after his friend Jamaine Taylor committed suicide in Morden in February that he was inspired to write his poetry book and dedicate it to him.
“It has been a release for me, maybe a coping mechanism to get things off my mind and if I can use that to help people it is even better,” he said.
A resonating line from the title poem of the collection, Mr Rollins writes: ““What’s your vision? For me it’s like kids are stuck in a prison/ Or a position/ Where they are hooded-up/ And can’t make the transition/ It’s like they carry weight and more.”
Mr Rollins will take part in Open Mic nights across London, reading poetry and offering talks for youth groups.
His poetry book, Street Crhyme, is released on November 25, published by Waterside Press.
Photo courtesy of streetstarzonline via YouTube, with thanks.
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