WE RISE NEWS: POEM FOR WE RISE – Abstract Benna’s words cut to the heart

When we invited spoken word artist Benna to create a poem for We Rise we had no idea it would be so moving. Benna worked with young people as they prepared their stories, gently encouraging them to find the words to express what they wanted to say.

He understands the lives of young people growing up in Lambeth because he was one of them. He listened to their experiences and captured what he heard in this wonderful poem.

The passionate, talented @AbstractBenna who grew up in South London
The passionate, talented @AbstractBenna who grew up in South London

Here’s an edited version of what he wrote for us:

It takes: a village to raise a child,

one person to see a frown and reshape their smile,

It’s up to us to give them the tools to make us proud

It’s strange how the personality comes together,

Adolescent trauma

it helps shape the person you become forever


In an entrepreneurial world, there’s a reason

the young don’t see them-selves in Uni

But what makes them unique?

The life skills acquired from dysfunctional and violent places

Imagine going through puberty, 

having to be the adult when parents are working

imagine seeing friends get stabbed and feeling fear interfere 

with future aspirations

but maintaining the will to thrive,

No matter the situation We Rise encourages them to live in gear

by supporting their drive


We live to see our young people gain confidence 

If we don’t set them up for a bright future who will?

We see the potential in which the youth show

Even if they don’t see it yet, we know its true so

We make it our business to build their ambitions, 

giving them skills to transition

into a job they deserve and then

we feed and nurture the best version of them.


Watch this video to hear Benna perform his poem at our Futures Graduation event in January.

(He begins at 3.15).

Benna’s words cut to the heart
Play Video

Please help us change more young lives by donating to our Crowdfunding Campaign.

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