Anti-bullying ambassador tackles hate crime

Travel Posted 14/10/19
When the opportunity arose for The Kings Ferry Group to sponsor the aspiring rapper James Okulaja AKA Oktave in his new music video, they couldn’t say no.

The anti-bullying ambassador for the charity The Diana Award, James Okulaja uses his incredible talent to raise awareness around social issues. James is one of 25,000 ambassadors in the UK and Ireland who help create campaigns to tackle cyber-bullying and hate crime. He has worked with the likes of Google, Snapchat and Facebook, as well as HRH Prince William.

Using his youth as an advantage, James is able to connect with young people when discussing the importance of keeping safe online. With the support from Kent Police, he regularly communicates his message in schools through assemblies and workshops. More recently James has discovered a new way of getting his message out there – through his love of music.

James’ previous song ‘Oso Saucy’ is about rising above bullies and haters. The music video was sponsored and filmed in the popular dessert café, Creams, in Chatham Dockside. Since being released at the Medway Youth Awards, the video has received over 30,000 views and has gained the praise of several celebrities, including lead guitarist of popular boyband The Vamps, James McVey.

Off the back of the success of his first music video, James decided to write his next song ‘TEAM’. A song which carries a strong message around hate crime. James explains, “TEAM is about lifting up the people around me, exaggerating the excellence of the people I surround myself with and amplifying the fact that we don’t care about the hate we get or approval from society. We will still be successful regardless of people’s negative opinions.”

When one of James’ friends Ollie Taylor, who works as an Operations Controller at The Kings Ferry Group, approached the business and told them about the work James had been doing, they had to invite him in for a chat. James came to The Kings Ferry Group’s head office in Gillingham to discuss a sponsorship opportunity and it was clear their values aligned.

Carl O’Neill, Group Sales and Marketing Director says, “We have really enjoyed working with James (AKA Oktave) on his latest music video. It’s encouraging to see a talented and driven individual make such an impact in his local community by using what he enjoys the most to raise awareness around such key and relevant topics. James’ latest number is around the challenges we face in day to day life and how our support system, and team help us to tackle these.”

“It was great to be a part of the video by providing one of our VIP coaches and we are really excited to see the finished outcome. The TEAM had a lot of fun during the filming and we are pleased to be working with such a talented individual and look forward to the exciting projects ahead.”

The Kings Ferry Group arranged for one of their luxurious rear-lounge VIP coaches to transport James and his crew between filming locations. They also let them take over their Instagram account, @kingsferryvip, to offer exclusive behind the scenes footage.

The Kings Ferry Group wasn’t the only ones who felt inspired by James’ anti-bullying message, the Medway Rugby Club and McDonald’s Chatham owner Gian Chahal kindly sponsored the music video and allowed James and his team to film exclusively on the rugby grounds and inside the McDonalds restaurant. They were gifted free meals by owner Gian, and given delicious Apple Pies for the coach journey. In addition, they were also allowed behind the counter in the fast-food restaurant where the team made their own iconic Big Macs!

“A massive thank you to everyone at The Kings Ferry, McDonalds Chatham and Medway Rugby Club for supporting this project. I look forward to continuing to work with you in the future and what we come up with next!”, says James.

The music video for TEAM by Oktave will be released in conjunction with Hate Crime Awareness Week (12-19 October 2019) in partnership with Kent Police.

Tweets from @SEBmagazine