WHY THE NAME
Is the name, “THE POSITIVE DIRECTION FOUNDATION” (name has now been changed to “Positive Youth Direction”), something you guys came up with?
We spent the best part of the last three years putting this program together. During the busy period of recording our Album, we had the team with us brainstorming ideas. We knew what we wanted to do for the children, the impact it will have, and the legacy we’ll leave behind. We decided on the name ‘Positive Direction’ because it amplifies our ethos, going on a positive journey to reach a desired destination.
We’re interested in the title of your Foundation as it points to you guys having a real awareness of how important it is to maintain a positive outlook in life. You have had your share of tragedy, when those things happen, how do you stay positive - do you train yourself to look for the positive in life, wherever it is to give you energy to help you move forward?
We have to always remind ourselves where we want to go in life. Despite all the negative things that has happened whilst growing up, our goal is to be successful. Becoming successful means that we can help all our families, friends and the community we’ve grown up in. Everything we do is for them, and that’s our main ammunition to keep going when times have been hard.
WORKING WITH CROYDON COUNCIL
Councils often get a lot of negative publicity – but they also do a lot of good. Why did you decide to work with the council? Is it because you focus on the end result , and you think that by working with the council you can do more good, more quickly, than by working by yourselves?
We were invited to the Houses or Parliament by MP Steve Reed at which point we told him about our plans to set up this organisation. Croydon Council were very responsive to the idea from the very beginning. We felt that it was important to have influential allies to support this program, as often you can face barriers when enter a space or industry you’re not used to. We have managed to build a strong partnership and gain better access to the children who need us most by working with the Council.
Most people who are successful have some kind of a mentor – and you’ve got mentors helping you in the PDF. Did you guys have anyone to help you, someone who showed the way – who showed the possibilities?
We didn’t really have any role models whilst growing up. During our school years our elders were getting into trouble, Dad in prison, brothers getting kicked out of school, there were no role models. But we always had each other, like Ying and Yang. We remind each other where we want to go in life, and along the way, we met people who helped us. We’ve gained knowledge and experience that we now want to share with the youth.
IT’S A MATTER OF HEART
Krept, You say that “Paving the way for the next generation is a matter of the heart, and the PD Foundation is in our hearts.”
You guys have always followed your hearts and done what you believed is right, but when you get criticised, how do you how do you stay strong? If your environment isn’t encourage you , how do you stay true to yourself – is it a matter of heart?
I think it’s important not to allow yourself to become distracted. Remember what your purpose is, and don’t let anyone bring you down. Once you know where you want to go, focus your mind look for the positives in every situation, even when there seems to be no way out.
EXPANDING THR PROGRAMME
You have 100 hundred students from different schools becoming involved in the PDF, could you see this programme expanding – would like it to roll out to other cities – what about partnering up with other councils and other acts – say Bugzy Malone in his home town of Manchester – if other performers were into this and committed would you work with them and expand the programme?
We currently have a mandate to deliver the program to 300 students in Croydon, South London boroughs, starting with 150 in the first cohort. We have every intention to expand to other cities in London and eventually to the whole Country. We want to work in partnership with local businesses, and other influential people, whether musicians or sports personalities that the youth can associate with.
GIVING AND TAKING
Konan, You say “I’ve lost and gained so much over the years, but now in my position, I want to breathe life back into the community. “I chose to give something back to Croydon because it made me who I am today.” Good and bad things happened in Croydon for you both – and you’ve chosen to give back. Do you think your lives could have gone in a different direction, downhill, if you chose to react to the negative instead of using all your energies to try and crate something positive, in your music, your clothing, your charity?
Yes, things could have gone wrong very easily and very quickly. But negativity only breeds negativity, and that’s why its so important to know what you stand for and what you want to make of yourself. Nothing good ever came from doing negative things, so we now want to inspire the next generation to take a positive direction, and change their lives.