Amani Simpson was stabbed seven years ago by a group of 20 people after backing up his friend in an argument. Six years later he met up with Hollywood actor Joivan Wade, known for playing Shiro in Shiro’s Story and also starring in The First Purge. Over the next year they Produced a 20-minute film telling Amani’s story.
We got the chance to speak to Joivan Wade after the premiere and here’s what he had to say:
What we set out to do is to have people respond in a way that will give us the support, help and the platform to be able to take this film forward and get it into school’s and to the young people to make a change.
My hope for the film is that we inspire two million young people, from going into schools to speak to them, seeing the film online… For them to self-reflect. A lot of the young people we are going to speak to are already going down particular paths that I went on and we really want to empower them to turn their lives around.
“In 2017/18 there were 268 homicides currently recorded using a sharp instrument, including knives and broken bottles, accounting for 33% of all homicides – an increase from the 216 recorded in 2016/17.” [House of Commons Library, 2018] This is over a 20% increase in just one year, and it could be argued that the work Amani and others are doing within the community may have a greater positive impact than tactics like making knives less accessible or increased punishment for offenders.
As well as raising awareness of the project, Amani & Aviard Inspires are also seeking public donations towards their GoFundMe Campaign: http://www.aviard.co.uk/amanisstory