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Tyler’s Leadership Journey at Kinetika Bloco

My name is Tyler and I have been with Kinetika Bloco since 2018. I have done many activities with Kinetika, ranging from Easter courses to large performances. However, out of all the things I have done in my six years with the Bloco, there is one course that I firmly believe has changed my life in an amazing way. This course is none other than the Kinetika Bloco Leadership Programme.

The concept is quite simple, you attend a weeklong ‘Bootcamp’, in which many people from around the globe in different professions come to give talks on various aspects of leadership. After Bootcamp, you return every week for a couple of hours after school to work on a group Social Action Project. The course, however, teaches more than just how to be a leader, but also teaches many important life skills that a young person like myself and the other young people attending would find abundantly useful in the coming years.

Kathryn Ogunbona’s finance session at the Leadership Programme

We learnt about different styles of leading, body language and how to effectively lead according to who you’re leading, however one of the most notable skills that the course teaches is how to properly budget your money. You may ask if a 15-year-old really needs to learn about this so early. Afterall, a teen will still be living with their parents or carers, without bills and without an income stream from a job. Now, while these points are correct, I still believe it is an important skill which every child should learn early. I say this because although most teens do not have a job or bills, the majority of young people still have pocket money and go out to spend it with their friends. If we take me as an example. Before I learnt about budgeting, I was incredibly irresponsible with any money I would receive. I used to get a £5 allowance from my parents every Sunday. That money never survived to see Wednesday. Budgeting has allowed me to be smarter with my money and allowed me to save up to buy something more than a snickers bar after school.

And that’s just one aspect of the course. I could write paragraphs on every single topic covered in the leadership course, but I feel the most important to mention is the Social Action Project. This is the ending statement of the course; a performance to raise awareness about a social issue of our choosing. What makes this so special is that the entire project is created by us. We are taught what social action is and given some examples, but the rest is purely us to work out for ourselves. This is designed for us to use everything they have learnt across bootcamp to create a masterpiece. It’s interesting to see how different groups develop completely unique projects. When I did my course in 2023, we had 3 groups; One made a piece of music about mental health, one made a short film about the struggles in London for young black teens, one made a poem about gang violence. While all 3 were given the same information and stimuli at the start, we all went separately in the issue and presentation. This social action project is probably the most useful section of the course, not for learning about social action, but rather to solidify everything we had learnt over the course. The social action project is a great way to put our leadership into action. Over the weeks, we had conflicts within our groups which we learnt to overcome in a civil way. We all had to learn not just how to lead well, but also how to follow well. This is an equally important skill, though often overlooked.

Watch Tyler’s group Social Action performance ‘Black & Blue’

I would recommend the leadership programme because you’ll meet many people who will become lasting friends. Everyone who takes the leadership course will be of similar age and mindset, meaning you will easily make friends with your peers. You will see many of these friends on other courses, and even lead side by side with, creating a friendship that can last for years to come. This is yet another aspect of the course that will help you build confidence, a necessary skill to lead.

The leadership course has altered my life in many ways, from giving me the confidence to put myself out more, to having the leadership knowledge to help the Bloco to teach their courses, rather than just attend them. I will always recommend that any and everyone able to attend does, as it has done nothing but aid me and many others in countless aspects of our lives.

Leadership Programme graduation!

Keep an eye out on our Join Us page to register for our next cohort of the Leadership Programme in collaboration with NCS!

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