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Escaping Gangs: Football, Faith & A Funeral | SPAC Nation


This is London. This is home. State of violence. Deaths, shooting and stabbings. By law. We was once the cause of it. So we was the best to solve
the problem. I went to prison for murder.
I went to prison for attempted
murder twice. I went to prison for shootings
countless amount of times. All my life has been a trail
of violence. Violence, violence, violence. And I’ve only changed
in the last year. I stopped because I thought
church could help me. The gang members that I’m dealing
with are the most dangerous guys in the community. They’re the most dangerous guys
in the papers, they’re the most
dangerous guys in the society.
That’s what I’m dealing with. My church, Spac Nation,
is offering gang members everything that the Government can’t offer
them, everything that the authorities
can’t offer them. Do you understand? Which is
a way out. CHATTER In Edmonton, TK, a gang leader
with a violent reputation has
decided he wants to get out of gang life. Went to jail for firearms, so people
would probably say, yeah I’m probably known
for that, and being violent with knives and that. I’ve seen
stabbings, I’ve seen shootings. Lived it from hell to back. Rapper TK is from one of the most
dangerous gang areas in north London. MUSIC PLAYS # Money, money
Coming, coming in the funnel # You talk like you’re bad
but never once have you chilled # Talk about beef… # I’ve played a big role, big, big
role. I was one of the leaders. I’ve done cold stuff and I know
how to get away with stuff. Yeah, I’ve done really cold stuff. TK has been in the gang
for 12 years. It’s been only three weeks
since he turned to the church to help him escape gang life. What made me leave… ..was that I didn’t want to waste my time no more and
leave when it’s too late. I come through Spac and I see real
people that’s been involved deep come off. I think, how did you lot do that? I wanted to see… And I wanted to see how
they’d done that. And I wanted to feel like how
they were feeling. To get gang leaders like TK
off the streets the church are using ex-gang leaders like Kevin to help
them change their lives. I don’t want to lose another brother
on the streets of London. I don’t want…
I don’t want to do it. Everyone’s a brother.
I don’t want to hear about it. I don’t want to hear that this has
happened, this has happened. I don’t want to hear it any more. The reason why I dedicated myself
to a gang was because I believed
in it. The reason why I’m dedicating myself
to this is because I believe in it. Do you understand? I believe that
everybody has the ability to change. We’re snatching people, we’re
taking people from the roads. It’s a war. In south London another church team
has moved Jahiem out of his area and away from his criminal network. Jahiem is a talented footballer
who’d been dealing drugs. I could’ve got arrested that day.
Could have got arrested that
other night before. Could have got arrested. Wasn’t really a choice.
I just went because I didn’t want anything
to happen to me. Since then his mentor, Pastor Kunle,
has been trying to instil some discipline. You know I know you really well. I know when you’re scared you backed
down. You don’t even attempt. I know how
to box. Let Pat walk you through. I know how
to box. I just don’t want to box… Pastor Kunle was involved
in weapons, drugs and pimping until a few years ago. I grew up on the streets. Gang leader. And gang member as well. Jahiem gives me a real perspective
on what I used to be like when I was younger. I think comparing to where he is now
to where I was when I was his age he’s definitely miles ahead. When I first started working
with him he was extremely
antisocial, very stand offish, in fact,
and very difficult to even get a conversation out of him. I can probably attribute
that to stuff he’s been through. Coming up from where he’s come from. I don’t box. I kick ball. I told you, I can’t. Jahiem is to play in
a football trial game where Premier League agents
and scouts will be searching for new talent. He’s in a great place now. I think he could definitely
be in a better place. Even though he has a lot of talent he now sees that he has
to have character. Hey, hey, look. There’s a couple of agents and
that. So they’re going to look at me,
to play today. So today’s my day. This is just my day. In North London, TK is trying
to live without his gang. This is a main road.
I don’t like being seen. Do you know what I mean? Since 2011 there’s been an ongoing
blood feud between TK’s old
gang in Edmonton and a gang in nearby
Enfield. When someone dies in a robbery
that’s when there’s no going back, there’s no shaking hands after
that. Squashing beef, they call it. All of that. He was drawn into the gang war
after Negus McClean from his area was chased by members of an Enfield
gang and killed. Westminster Road, where it happened
and that. As you see you went past the chicken shop, run
through, then run down here. They’ve come on pedal bikes,
then they caught up to him and
then… Yeah.
They stabbed him up. He was close to my brother
and my brother’s close friends so… So if, if, if, my brother
hurts, I hurt. The rival gangs had violent exchanges
following the murder. I don’t really want to think
about it, to be honest. What I’ve done,
I try… I know that wasn’t me anyway. I know I was being possessed anyway
because when I would do something and then I wouldn’t feel no way
about it after that, it’s just… It’s not normal. That’s not how we got brought up. TK says he practised black magic
which helped him to be violent. # To Calvary
Where Jesus… # At the church it’s a chance
for him to seek another path and get redemption. In every postcode from north London
to south London, every bloodshed
must cease. In the name of Jesus. During the service gang members are asked to come
to the front to renounce their past lives. This is the moment. The time is now. As Pastor Kevin prays with TK
he’s overcome. I remember feeling fire, hot,
I was very hot, like all them demons was sort of coming
out. Like it was an exorcism. I just remember waking up weak,
like I was just weak. He was moving around profusely. He was moving around as if to say
something was inside of him. Most definitely I believe
that it was evil spirits coming out
of him. Most definitely. It was meant to happen. It wasn’t emotional, it was just
power, more of showing him the power
of God because ever since he’s never left. Many of the people who come
to service are still in gangs and some are armed. The church hands over weapons
to police and records it. A guy walked to the stage and he was carrying a bag
as big as this. We saw this was a samurai sword and
everything he’s been keeping and, whatever he’s been
up to with it, he decided to give it over
that day. Gang members are encouraged to leave
drugs and weapons in the church to show they are serious
about giving up gang life. We have those who’ve always
been in a gang, all their life, “making money” through drugs, through guns
and through robbery. People like Kevin, the first time he came to church, he came to try to attack
one of my guys and then he joined
the church from there and he’s become a business owner. Kevin’s come a long way since
he was a gang leader in Beckton. Today he meets Pastor Toby
to update him on TK. TK, how is he progressing? What’s up with him? You won’t even see him in the hoody
any more. He’s actually someone that’s
been on the roads and we took him and we know what he’s doing 24 hours
a day, seven days a week. He’s got a long way to go,
but there’s a line that you have to cross
and he’s crossed the line. There’s normal life now he has to
face. TK has been moved into a flat
in south London by the church to separate him from his
old gang environment. Demon said that, “I’m waiting
to feast on you.” He has taken power from you. APPLAUSE He believes, during services, evil spirits have been
getting cast out of his body. Before joining the church, TK’d been practising black magic for
five years. I grew up in a Christian family, so I knew, my mum always
told me, either you’re with God or you’re with the devil. So,
I just thought, “You know what? “I’m going to…I’m going
to be on the devil’s team.” He started worshipping the devil when he was in prison
facing serious charges. I got arrested for… ..with intent and, during our time in prison, we got arrested for murder. And then that’s when I was thinking,
“Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah. “I can’t go down for this.” So I was looking for ways out. That’s when it really started. TK was acquitted of the crimes, but carried on practising
black magic. When you go out on the streets
and catch something, like, as in, like, you do something,
you do someone, you harm someone,
um… ..the adrenaline will be… ..for me, I was, um, I, kind of, liked the feeling. Like, I was celebrating it,
kind of thing. Pop a bottle. Yeah. But all I can say is that… ..that wasn’t me. I was being possessed, bruv. It wasn’t me. Do you actually think about
the individual people, though, that you’ve hurt? Um… ..I don’t know, I don’t know
how to… ..I don’t know how to… I don’t
know what to say to that, really. I don’t really know
what to say… All I can do is just
pray about it and… ..pray for, um, people who’s been affected by my actions. But TK’s past would
soon catch up with him. He was arrested at Sunday church
for robbery and possession of a firearm – crimes dating back to 2015. Can you stop recording him, please? After six months on remand in jail, the case was dropped
and TK walked free. Jahiem was dealing drugs
on the streets of south London until recently. Now, he has a chance to reignite
his football career. He’s playing in an under-21
showcase match despite only being 16. SHOUTING Football’s been my thing from young. That’s always been me,
football, football, football. It’s just that the area,
when I go out with my friends, it was always something else. I want to make it as a
professional footballer, get my mum out of the area. Football is a big ticket to me. He’s doing really well so far, man,
considering the fact that he’s 16, you get a lot of lip there and it’s a lot of mental,
mental toughness. CHEERING You just saw Jahiem score a nice,
little goal there. Very tidy. Managed to keep his head,
which is really good. Professional agents and scouts are
watching with an eye out for talent. The thing with football is it’s
fine margins, you know. So, there are boys who have a chance
and there are boys who stand out. Number 11, yellow, I think
he’s…he’s got a chance. Well, I’ll be getting Jahiem’s
number. Let’s see what happens. Let’s see what happens today. Let’s see how he does
in the second half. His team are losing, but Jahiem has still caught the eye
of Stoke City’s scout. Number 11, very quick player. Yeah. Left foot, Jahiem!
Left foot! Left foot! There you go. Oh! See there? Once I found out his age,
that’s when the alarm bells started ringing in my head,
going, “Yes, ding, ding, ding.” SHOUTING I honestly believe that he has all
the tools there for him to become a professional football player… ..as long as his application is
right. His talent is there for
everyone to see here today. It’s just down to him, whether he is
committed to becoming a football player and putting in all
the effort that’s required. I’ve spoken to the coach and I’ve
got all the details that I need, so hopefully we’ll see what happens. Not much people make it
from Brixton. Not much make it from south. I want to be one of them people who
say, “Yeah, I lived in Brixton “all my life, but now I live in
where-where and I’m doing things.” So, that’s what I want to be. In this battle for souls,
not everyone can be saved. Fabs. Yeah? Let’s stay together. Today, Kevin is burying
his cousin Reece, who he was trying to help
escape gang life. Reece is my cousin,
he’s my family, you know. He got stabbed. It’s…it’s like… Yeah, he’s a very close, he’s a
very close person to me, you know. Reece was coming to the service
for a good three months, nonstop. He wanted to change. Kevin and Reece were affiliated
to the same gang in Beckton, east London. There’s no words, man. I mean, his physical being is gone.
Do you understand? So, it’s, it’s something, I might
be talking to you calmly, here, but the pain is on the inside. Do you understand?
The pain is really on the inside. We know the circumstances
around…Reece’s death. They are awful! I don’t care how he died and I don’t really care
what he was doing during his life. It is very, very cruel! It is awful! It is evil! CRYING AND SINGING We pray for our community,
there will be no more bloodshed. That parents would no longer
bury their own children, in the name of the Lord Jesus. Amen! Lord, comfort this family and
grant them, oh, God, strength, to bear this loss. Kevin was Reece’s leader
on the streets before he found his redemption. 23-year-old Reece never
quite found his way out. I only feel guilty if
I’d done nothing about it. Do you understand what
I’m saying to you? Because I cannot, I cannot
feel guilt with what helps me now,
to do what I’m doing. Do you understand?
I can’t feel guilt. Because this is the energy
that I rely on now, to do what I need to do. It just makes my passion
even stronger. It makes my zeal for what
I’m doing even stronger. That… ..instead of just trying to
help one person, I need to go for more people like Reece, who are making the change. Everyone knows what’s going on. Reece isn’t the only person
that’s died. Do you understand? It’s happening everywhere in London. When something like this happens,
it’s, it’s either a wake up call… ..or… ..you go back to sleep. Either you wake up and
you do something about it, or you just keep on watching it
happen. There’s too much people that
have opinions on what’s happened. Do you understand what I’m saying to
you? When we don’t need opinions, we need people to do things.

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