Leeds artist Nicolas Dixon is heading to Africa to help street kids

Leeds artist Nicolas Dixon. PIcture: Jonathan Gawthorpe
Leeds artist Nicolas Dixon. PIcture: Jonathan Gawthorpe
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Jet-setting city artist Nicolas Dixon’s work has already taken him to Australia, but this weekend his latest challenge will take him to Africa, teaming up with an Ibiza-based charity to help street children in Tanzania.

The trip, with the Last Night A DJ Saved My Life Foundation (LNADJ), will see Nicolas once again team up with legendary New York graffiti artist SEN-One and two other street artists at Angelsgate, a charity which houses boys that would otherwise be on the street.

The Street to Street project will see artists create artwork with young people and communities that face social exclusion and trauma. In the first phase, Tanzanian street art group Wachata will work with international artists Nicolas, George ‘SEN-ONe’ Morillo, Inkie and Chapter to help develop the creative skills of boys helped by Angelsgate, which houses 26 boys aged from eight to 18, most of which have had a harsh beginning on the streets from sex slavery through to heroin addiction at ages as young as 11.

Together, they will work on art for a new LNADJ music school and also learn business skills as they go. All of the artists involved will be donating a piece of their artwork for an online auction to fund the project.

Nicolas said he was “super excited” for what will be a “truly amazing adventure and life experience”. He added: “I am deeply humbled to be part of this project. I’m looking forward to meeting the children and staff of Angelsgate; contributing to the already amazing work that is going on there and leave them with skills that will help them in the future.”

The trip will also see Nicolas visit Featherstale Village, a home built for children with special needs, that received funding from a LNADJ challenge last September, that saw local music makers DJ, producer and filmmaker Neil Kemp, from Pontefract, and Nightmares on Wax star George Evelyn, who is from Leeds, climb Mount Kilimanjaro to perform the world’s highest DJ set.

The Angelsgate charity, based in Moshi, helps boys that have lived on the street to “heal, and move on from where they have been, both physically, and mentally”.

Its pioneering approach uses male carers, instead of typical women carers as “big brothers”, after they found the children interacted with male peers better, opening up about the trauma they had experienced.

LNADJ founder Jonny Lee said: “Launching Street to Street will enable us to develop talents in developing countries and be a great form of therapy for all involved.”