Both my parents are from Nigeria. My village in Nigeria gave me my name, Fumen. That means ‘wisdom’, which is where Whiz comes from. I went there for the first time at age 6 and learned the language that I use now called Hausa. Being born in London and going to Nigeria taught me a lot of things about lifestyle and family. Not many kids are blessed that way.
At 18 I realised I wanted to do film. There were DVDs, street videos, that inspired me, plus SBTV was coming up, it just made sense. I couldn’t vocalise it at the time, but that passion for film came from wanting to help other people express their stories.
I had pulled away from education a bit, but I knew that education was a way of getting away from the stereotypes and just getting out of depression in general. It just gives you hope in yourself to go further. I joined a training programme where I saw people much older than me getting back into it, so I was like why am I holding myself back? Let me get something solid, I’m going to take on the challenge of education again. I did and now I’m a trainer myself.
Getting involved with Babbasa was sort of a walk-in thing. I saw the opportunities they create for young people and I chatted to the team. What I respect about Babbasa is that they recognise me and my drive as an individual, and offer me the 1:1 support I need. They got me involved in their enterprise competition ‘Bright Ideas’ where I actually won some money to buy my first video camera. As a result of that, I’m currently developing my first documentary.
In the future, I feel like I’m going to set up a social enterprise which helps young people express their ideas and express themselves. I feel like I can do it in my own way and speak to a certain niche of young people. That’s where the passion is, just telling stories, letting people speak in their own lyrics.