Above: Trooth talking to our class, Rush waiting his turn. Photo supplied.
By EVA MARSHALL and JORJA PURDIE
As business students we have all the opportunities of the world ahead of us but we don’t know which path to take. Hip hop artists and youth ambassadors Trooth and Rush provided a talk that opened the doors and showed us the way.
They told us about their journey to get to where they are today, and it was not an easy one. They both had challenges in life but showed us that through all their struggles, if you believe in yourself and what you do “things just seem to fall into place”.
Trooth’s main message about choosing your way in life was to “find something that you can do for five hours that feels like five minutes”. In other words, you’ll be doing “what you love” and “If you do something that you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
They were also adamant about telling us to not let “the fear of failure stop you from taking a risk.”
They said if you love what you do and you are meant to be doing it, it will happen. That doesn’t mean it will just fall in your lap, you have to get out there and take a risk, because you only truly fail if you never try.
For Trooth it works like this:
Ya see this rap thing
Gives me bat wings
Life throws a curve ball I hit back with a bat swing
So I’m batting while I’m battling
Rapping like a gatling
and the wack I’m combatting
(from the song “Tender Lovin” on his album Reborn.)
Ryan Trooth Samuels and Rush Wepiha both run multiple businesses, each with their own youth hip hop programs.
Reach1Teach1 is the program run by Trooth, aimed at youth from Years 8 to 12. It’s specifically for youth who have trouble engaging in a classroom environment. He visits youth in community organisations, tertiary institutions and schools and provides five- or 10-week workshops, mentorship and guidance services.
He uses hip hop and lyric writing as a method for emotional and mental development and acceptance.
“I want to inspire people,” he says, “I want someone to look at me and say because of you I didn’t give up.”
Rush Wepiha runs the program Break Thru Hip Hop 4 Health. He told us that to have a business you need a clear mission statement and you need to stick to it.
His mission statement is: “To deliver health through creative self-expression and performance; while enhancing the conscious connection of body and mind, built on the foundation of the four pillars – mind, body, spirit and community.”
Both of these programs have helped the youth who attend them by increasing their engagement and attendance at school, reducing conflict, improving literacy, and increasing confidence and self esteem.
The programs are also known to reduce levels of anxiety, build positive relationships and resilience through reflection. The youth learn about themselves through creative outlets.
Trooth and Rush have also found the programs to be an effective way of teaching writing skills to students who struggle with the English curriculum.
They also teach them important life skills and lessons – to always be yourself, to act with respect, turn negatives from the past into a strong future, do it without drugs, and suicide is not the answer.
As for starting a business, one of the most important things Trooth and Rush said was, “Don’t do it for yourself, do it to make other people happy, because selfishness and happiness cannot exist at the same time.”
They told us if you are only trying to make a business for the money it will fail, but if you do it because you love it, and you want to help other people, it will succeed and make you happy.
Meeting Trooth and Rush was an incredible experience: seeing two people who came from such troubling backgrounds to where they are now was inspiring.
We already believed people should do what makes them happy in life, and they proved to us that that was true.
Note: Eva Marshall and Jorja Purdie are Year 11 Business and Enterprise students at St Philip’s College.