Goodbye, Amerah

On 7th February 2013, I celebrated my 20th birthday. I had known of a poetry night starting up in the city but as it fell on the same day, I decided not to go. Who would have known that that poetry event would be the turning point of my career? 

I had met the Founder of what would now be Beatfreeks –  no logo, just a brand colour in her mind. I was at mac Birmingham, rehearsing for God’s Property. Anisa Morridadi was sat with Deborah Stevenson and Laura Yates – I have no idea what they were talking about but I joined, naively and if they were talking about poetry, I wanted to be involved (naivety gets you a long way…well in this instance). After the meeting, Anisa and I exchanged business cards (more she gave me hers) and we arranged to go for a coffee.

I didn’t know who Anisa was, but she gave me a good gut feeling. Who would have known that this woman was about to change my life? We went for coffee, without being too personal we spoke about a lot of our backgrounds, our story, who we are and she offered me a freelance contract as a poetry facilitator at Beatfreeks’ first Summer Academy that year – this woman had never seen me in action but I guess the gut feeling was mutual?

On 7th March 2013 a few poets and I turned up to this poetry event, Poetry Jam – it was busy, it was epic, it was exciting in a way no other poetry event was at the time. I wanted in. Whatever it was. I wanted to be involved. 

I say this because I have been at Beatfreeks for almost 9 incredibly life-changing years, starting as a facilitator, Special Projects Coordinator, Schools Coordinator, Head of Campaigns & Experiences, Lead Producer, General Manager… My journey has not been ‘traditional’ nor was it ever expected. I left college at 17, pursued a career in the arts and 3 years later found myself working at this new organisation called Beatfreeks.

When I look back at my experience and approaching my 30’s now, I honestly sometimes just have to say Alhamdulillah. Anisa took me under her wing, saw something in me and worked so closely with me to get to the point of leading.

I would be lying if I said I was living my dream, things like this weren’t even in my dreams because I did not know it was possible. However, I am utterly grateful that I have had the privilege of being involved in what Beatfreeks has achieved over the years. I am in awe, at the teams that have come and gone, the community that has grown bigger than us and of myself for everything I have been able to achieve. 

My utmost gratitude goes to Anisa, for believing in me and for putting up with me mostly lol.

If you haven’t gathered, I am leaving Beatfreeks as an employee at the end of November, but Beatfreeks could never leave me, everything I have learnt, my life changes, my career, makes Beatfreeks a part of my core story. 

I will be spending my time freelancing in community engagement, ED&I, creativity and being a poet until the right job/career/work comes along. Maybe I will resume my theatre show again, maybe I will travel a bit and maybe I will be around at Beatfreeks in different ways. But I will not be going far. 

I am going into the 29th year of my life and when I look at Beatfreeks, sometimes having 20 staff seems like a huge achievement – let alone the impact we make on a daily basis to young people and to businesses. 

I cannot wait to hear and watch all the incredible things Beatfreeks is going to be doing over the next few years. It is massive. It is growth. I have spent almost the last year leading alongside the amazing Amy Clamp, which has been a dreamy, challenging and vulnerable journey. Co-leadership for the future, I am so down to back! 

My takeaway for you is to go and ask that person for a meeting (or gatecrash one) if you get a good gut feeling. There are so many incredible people, like Anisa (maybe not exactly like Anisa ;)), who will give you an hour for a coffee that may change your life. 


Don’t hold me to that.

Until next time,


Javaughn Forde


Sakshi Kumar

Visual Arts

The Rap Poet


Mohd Jayzuan


The Urbansong


Projects Prodets


Anika Christopher


Adjei Sun


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