What to do if your parents aren't supportive
Image Credit: Crossfya
Crossfya's goal is to use their music as a tool to inspire people with a message of hope and positivity. In the previous part of this interview, we talked to Nana about his journey to join Crossfya and why he decided to release "Amen". Now, we discuss Nana’s experience in more depth.
Juliette: You talk about your family in the song. Did you want to talk more about your struggles with them?
Nana: For me growing up was a cultural battle because I’m Ghanaian. So my parents were bringing me up with Ghanaian values and morals and how we do things within our Ghanaian culture. At the same time, I’m British. I was born here.
It was hard because my parents were very, very strict and I saw my friends being able to do a whole lot more than what I was allowed to do.
My family was very academic, and I’ve always been a creative. I’ve always been into my drawing or into my music and my dance, my design work, and building things with my hands.
My parents never encouraged me or supported me in any of that. So all the performing arts and sports achievements that I did, I had to do them on my own. I’d take myself there and I’d take myself back home.
I became a lot more rebellious.
It was really hard seeing other kids’ parents take them to these things, but then my parents not valuing those things. It just got to the point where when I hit 14, there was a real breakdown. I became a lot more rebellious because I just thought, “Why am I going to listen to you guys when you guys are not fulfilling your end of the bargain.”
I was lucky enough that I had adults and people around me who saw my value and they wanted to help me.
It’s really hard as a young person because you’re trying to work out who you are, who you want to be and if you don’t get that support from your parents or the people around you, you’re going to make a lot of mistakes and you’re going to make a lot of bad choices.
Juliette: Do you have any advice for people in similar situations to you?
Nana: Reach out. Don’t keep things to yourself. We have emotions for a reason and each emotion has a purpose. If you’re struggling with any emotions or any thoughts or any feeling and you can’t manage them yourself, then you need to reach out to people. Reach out to your friends or reach out to your family.
If it wasn’t for the help that I had, there’s no way that I would be here today.
If it wasn’t for the help that I had, there’s no way that I would be here today. I would have made a lot of worse choices, which could have set my life on a completely different path.
Juliette: Why do you think more people are now paying attention to the BLM movement even though it has been going on for a while?
Nana: I think everything happens for a reason. Because of Covid-19, people are at home. It was the first time that people didn’t have distractions in their own lives, so they could actually watch this footage and really be affected by it.
That’s what happened with George Floyd and I think it’s because of the lockdown.
It’s just a time when people could actually focus and see what’s actually happening and understand what black people have been saying for a very, very, very, very, very long time.
Once people realised how bad it was, it touched them. And that’s when this movement really took off.
Juliette: What impact do you hope your song ‘Amen’ will have on people?
Nana: I just want them to know that whatever they’re going through, they will make it through. I think that for every bad situation that I went through, there’s a lesson that I was taught.
I can use my story to relate to another person.
Now I look at my struggles and think: Well actually, I had to go through that because now I can use my story to relate to another person who is going through something similar. I can get them to understand that actually, this is not going to be forever and there is a way out.
For me, personally, it was my relationship with God which pulled me through that because the bible has practical everyday lessons that help you deal with life.
Even when I made those mistakes, it’s almost like Jesus would pick me up and put me back on the path. He’d wipe me off and be like, “All right, now go.” We need that because there’s absolutely no way we’re going to live this life without making any mistakes.
Jesus gives you the tools you need to move forward.
That’s why we need Jesus because he removes that sin and also gives you the tools you need to move forward in his light and in his way.