Chibueze Atuchi, also known as Raphael, is a passionate young man with a desire to create positive change in the world around him, and he has a lot to talk about. Raphael grew up in Nigeria and his family actually had to save money for years to afford to send him here, to the United Kingdom, for just one year while he gets his Master’s degree in civil engineering. Unless Raphael finds work in the United Kingdom before his one-year visa runs out he will be going back to Nigeria. Raphael came from the Nigerian middle class, which is nothing like the wealthy middle class here in the UK, and thus he can provide a unique insight as someone fairly new to our country.
Raphael is studying civil engineering and until I sat down for a chat with him I had no idea what that was; civil engineering is the design and construction of the structures that we need as a society to function, that means the building of roads, houses, hospitals, schools, transport systems. And this isn’t a field that’s just about relaying new tarmac over an old road, this is about innovating and using new ideas to deal with the rising issues of overpopulation and climate change. Raphael is passionate about civil engineering because he wants to have a positive impact on the world, to change people’s lives for the better, and that’s a very noble thing.
This desire to reach people and affect them positively is what unites Raphael’s two passions, civil engineering and rapping; Raphael described to me with great passion the power of music to change people’s lives, their beliefs, their perspective. Raphael described to me how he discovered this new passion for rapping, and freestyling particularly, a couple of years ago when listening to an album by J. Cole, suggested to him by a friend. He was surprised by how the lyrics were different to most rap he had heard before, which usually dealt with quite shallow topics, all about women and drugs and money, the album instead dealt with real things, real issues, real experiences, and this inspired Raphael to start writing his own lyrics, his own raps.
Now Raphael is developing his talent, he is a member of the voices society, which specialises in all forms of using the voice as art, be it for singing or rapping or poetry. Raphael also recently performed at the university venue, Square One, for black history month.
This is a proud, young, black man from Nigeria, politically aware, with a desire to cause positive change in the world through his two passions, civil engineering and rap. He has big ambitions and a unique perspective and his story deserves to be told.
Andrew Sheller is a Media Production student at Coventry University. You can see more content from Andrew at their Facebook page through this link.