My names Osei Johnson and I’ve just turned 25. I am currently doing a course at Bristol Old Vic called ‘Made in Bristol’. I also work for an artist support community called BLACK* Artists on the Move, among a dozen or so other things. My main hobbies are dancing and gaming. When I’m not working, I spend most of my time on my PC that I built. Outside of that I also read and watch a lot of political content. My favorite thing about Bristol is the creative scene, especially music.
I found out about Babbasa from an event they held at The Station in town. I joined Babbasa as a youth ambassador and did the Challenge Programme which was planning and running the Ask Us event. I also got to spend time with a couple of different mentors. Through this I gained lots of skills and confidence such as project management and planning. This in turn allowed me to develop lots of other projects.
Growing up I faced many different barriers to achieving my goals such as being from a working-class background or being black. This was most evident to me when I became homeless and was forced to engage in a lot of government systems that are not optimally designed to help people. What motivates me to keep going and overcome these barriers is a desire to be better than I was before. A need to prove to myself that I am capable of doing anything I want. When I was younger, I was extremely disheartened and unengaged in most of the world, whether it be work or education. I didn’t feel like I was represented or heard in most spaces. I had very little hope of being successful as I didn’t have any contacts or experience.
Now, I feel more confident in my abilities and readily able identify and relate my strengths and weakness to others. Allowing me to work efficiently in almost every setting I enter.
My aspirations are still to just be better than I was before and to just keep doing what I love. Which is acting. If I had to give advice to my younger self it would be “be kind to yourself” the world and people will change around you, as long as you know you are on the right path you are ok.
A Trailblazer should be determined and imaginative, the older you get the more you try to abide by rules and traditions. Don’t be afraid to utilize the time and freedom of youth.