On Wednesday 5th April, Men and Boys Coalition member, Ajani, combined the launch of his new EP with a celebration of the powerful achievements of young men from communities across London.
Towards the end of a packed and energised performance in south London, he paused to invite eight young men on stage and hand them awards for achievements ranging from entrepreneurialship and innovation, to boldness and independence.
The awards were given in conjunction with charitable initiative #MOCSI – Men of Conscious Significant Intellect – which “champions celebrating the men who cultivate tomorrow’s future”.
Ajani said: “I decided to incorporate the award ceremony into my concert because I saw it as an opportunity to show my audience that as much as I’m proud of my work, I’m also proud of those young men who also work tirelessly and get little to no recognition for it.
“It’s my way of going beyond having a positive conversation about young men and actually breeding a culture of celebration, the reality of the positive narrative we want for ourselves starts with each of us as individuals.
“The concert was a celebration of my 10-year journey pursuing a career in music, I am happy with what I’ve achieved so far but I wanted the honourees to also have something to be genuinely proud of too – when there’s mutual sense of celebration we are more free and we flourish.”
Ajani also invited Men and Boys Coalition co-founder Dan Bell on stage to join him in handing out the awards.
Explaining why he had invited an MBC representative to join him, Ajani said: “I’m passionate about things that inspire and encourage our lads. I also think it’s a great way to briefly shed light on why we’ve come together as the Men and Boys Coalition, a topic of conversation that can lead to more people on a community level knowing what the organisation is all about.”
He added: “Musically I will now be going by the name Ajani. The meaning of the name is He Who Wins the Struggle. I feel that the importance of the name change resonates the significance of my transformation into manhood.”