What is the most South London way to promote new music? Free chicken and chips of-course.
That’s exactly how one Lewisham rapper launched his new mixtape last week, partnering up with the iconic South London chicken shop, Morley’s.
Vic Santoro, provided free meals to local kids at four stores across his home borough, Lewisham, last Wednesday, April 14.
The rapper, who attended John Stainer primary school, gave out free chicken and chips at the branches he used to frequent as a child in Brockley, Lewisham, Catford and Ladywell.
He said: “I’m a Lewisham baby, so to come back and do this is amazing. I remember going to chicken shops and not having enough money to get anything – it was a bad feeling.”
“These are the Morley’s I used to hang around outside as a kid. I grew up in Brockley and when I was younger I never really travelled outside the borough.
“I always said to myself, if I get the opportunity to give back to my community then I will.
“It’s not just about the food being free, it’s about raising awareness and providing young people with a role model.”
Santoro went to prison at just 17 and served 11 years for armed robbery, finally getting out aged 28.
He wants young people to use his experience as a lesson but also to prove that there is always hope for teens who find themselves in a bad situation.
“Before I went to prison I thought I knew everything at 17 – then I realised I was just a kid. Sometimes circumstances in your life lead you to operate like an adult when really you’re just a teenager,” he said. “I learnt a lot about myself and the harsh realities of life during my time in prison.
“A big contributing factor to why I made these bad decisions was my insecurities. I wasn’t confident in myself and sometimes that leads you to being around people that you shouldn’t and doing things you shouldn’t do.
“Lewisham is not the best area in London but equally it’s not the worst. I want the young people in this community to realise that life is going to be what you make it and there’s no substitute for hard work.
“There is a lack of self-worth in this area, especially for young men, and I know because I was one of them.
“There was a time when I thought I needed to leave this area and escape but here I am now.
“For years I developed an anxiety about the area I grew up in but when I was able to create a platform I realised that I needed to create a positive impact.
“The kids around here need to see that if I can turn my life around and make something of myself then there is hope for them too.
“My son can see that even though his dad has made mistakes in his life, he’s now doing the right things – I want him to see that anything is possible.”
You can listen to Vic Santaro’s mixtape here: https://soundcloud.com/viczofficial
Please support your local paper by making a donation
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.