20 October 2022

Griffith rapper to launch online space for local youth to showcase talent

| Oliver Jacques
Start the conversation
Two men in front of citrus sculpture in Griffith

Aduny Takele and Amidu Issah want to shine a light on Griffith talent. Photo: Oliver Jacques.

An Ethiopian-born Griffith-based rapper is planning to launch a website that will give local youth a platform to showcase their talents in various fields.

Aduny Takele, who released his first official music video clip, Bluffin, last year, says a lot of young people in Griffith are doing amazing things, but it’s hard for them to get outside recognition or exposure.

“I want to bring more light to Griffith, it’s always been home to me. If you’re a skateboarder, or you mountain bike, you sing, you dance, you draw or whatever else it is, just hit us up on our Instagram page. If you want to get a video done, we’ll put it out there to get some attention,” he said.

Mr Takele and good friend Amidu Issah have set up an Instagram account – SCTN80 – which refers to the Griffith postcode 2680. They are developing a webpage with a similar name.

READ ALSO Griffith’s Princess of Wool relives her past glory

The rapper believes there is a lack of things to do for young people and this can be a contributing factor in higher than average mental health problems and suicide rates in his town. In January, the 22-year-old set up a free basketball tournament to bring adolescents together, which included live music, a free barbecue and prizes.

“Everyone here has lost someone dear to them due to suicide. If we can set up events that can bring youth together, it can’t be 100 per cent of the solution, but if it’s something it’s better than what it is now,” Mr Takele said.

In 2019, the Murrumbidgee Local Health District, which includes Griffith and Wagga, had a suicide rate of 16.2 per 100,000 people, almost double the rate of the Sydney Local Health District (8.7), according to NSW Health data. A decade ago, the Murrumbidgee and Sydney had similar suicide rates – but the suicide rate in the Murrumbidgee has increased 59 per cent since 2011. Other regional areas such as Western NSW, Northern NSW and Southern NSW have experienced a similar sharp rise in suicide rates over the past decade.

Two spectators watching basketball

A community basketball tournament organised by Mr Takele. Photo: Raiya Gyles.

Mr Takele’s community work and concern for mental health issues has been recognised in NSW Parliament, where he was awarded a community recognition statement along with Mr Issah in February 2022.

“Aduny and his team recently returned from Melbourne after a two-year stint making and producing music videos at the Australian Institute of Music, believing that there was a real opportunity to create change in their hometown. To achieve this vision, Aduny and his team set about organising a youth basketball tournament aimed at engaging young people across community in a positive activity,” the statement read.

READ ALSO Veronica Collins’ grandchildren launch ‘deadly’ art business in her honour

The Griffith musician is continuing to write and perform rap songs, which also draws attention to the plight of his home country Ethiopia, currently suffering from the impact of a civil war and famine.

His work, which is shared on Instagram, has been promoted by big name acts such as Adrian Eagle and The Buoys. Now he wants to organise more community events and help other locals to get some exposure.

“I’m from Griffith, I did it tough but now things are improving. Some kids are in a less fortunate position; I want to let them know as long as you try success is not too far away,” he said.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Riverina news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riverina stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.