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Sierra Leone Gangster Leaves The Street For A Life Of Poetry

FREETOWN, SIERRA LEONE (RECENT) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) YOUSEF 'GAZ-B', POET AND FORMER LEADER OF STREET GANG CALLED 'GIVERDAMN GAZA' SAYING: "This is Exodus Lane, Gaza. As you can see, it's a very tight and narrow lane but this is where I've done most of my gangster or my thug acts, you know? I used to do my things here." 'GAZA' GRAFFITI ON CORRUGATED IRON SHEET IN THE STREET STREET YOUTHS, MEMBERS OF GIVERDAMN GANG SMOKING AND TALKING MORE OF THE YOUTHS TALKING GAZA-B WALKING TOWARDS THE YOUTHS AND WALKING INTO SHACK IN THE STREET LIGHT BULB AND BICYCLE IN THE SHACK TOBACCO AND PAPER ON YOUTH'S LAP GAZA-B WITH THE YOUTHS SITTING IN THE SHACK TALKING ROLLING TOBACCO (SOUNDBITE) (English) YOUSEF 'GAZ-B', POET AND FORMER LEADER OF STREET GANG CALLED 'GIVERDAMN GAZA' SAYING: "When you're looking for thugs to do whatever activity, bulldozing, to beat somebody up, you just rush to the exodus lane and get these Giverdamn boys to do the act, you know?" GROUP PEOPLE ARGUING, ONE MAN BOUGHT A MOBILE PHONE FROM THE STREET AND IT IS NOT WORKING AND HE WANTS HIS MONEY BACK GAZ-B COMES IN AND TRIES TO RESOLVE THE DISPUTE YOUSEF 'GAZ-B' WALKING WITH GIVERDAMN GANG MEMBERS VEHICLE WITH 'WAY OUT' PAINTED ON IT AT WAYOUT ARTS AND TRAINING CENTRE FOR STREET YOUTHS WAYOUT TRAINING CENTRE ENTRANCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) YOUSEF 'GAZ-B', POET AND FORMER LEADER OF STREET GANG CALLED 'GIVERDAMN GAZA' SAYING: "My future is clear with poetry and I don't want to keep these feelings to myself, I want to give back to colleagues, more especially the little youths. Like I said I have spent more than 13 years on the street." SIGN ON WRITER'S ROOM INSIDE THE TRAINING CENTRE GAZA-B WRITING A POEM POEM ENTITLED 'THE STREET (SOUNDBITE) (English and Krio) YOUSEF 'GAZ-B', POET AND FORMER LEADER OF STREET GANG CALLED 'GIVERDAMN GAZA' READING OUT HIS POEM: "The street is spread big and deep like the sea. You could not see it because you can't relate. Down there, we're running the streets like a taxi. It’s a sharp bulldozing, the risky moves we take. When you fall and get cut, you put your life at stake. The street got rough now everything changed. When the street becomes home, when it was meant for cars to drive, foot to walk, not even a place to sit. Now it has been transformed into a place to sleep. Comfortably, the street becomes home for the homeless. If they talk you overlook, ready for face to beat… " (SOUNDBITE) (English) YOUSEF 'GAZ-B', POET AND FORMER LEADER OF STREET GANG CALLED 'GIVERDAMN GAZA' SAYING: "So seeing the junior youth still coming into the streets, rushing into the street activities, what will I do to stop this? Because I was just like them when I took the streets and I've gained nothing. Just pain, disappointment, jail, long term in prison."

Sierra Leone Gangster Leaves The Street For A Life Of Poetry

Item ID: 125735772

By: Reuters

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