Witnessing violent killings and gunshots at a tender age of 12 is enough to scar one’s entire life. This story travels all the way from the bustling streets of London to share the horrors of what Karl Loggo had to go through.
At an age at which young boys play ball and engage in hobbies, Karl Loggo would play with guns. Having witnessed his first gunshot at 12, he was an active member of a gang by the age of 16. As Loggo recalls, by the age of 16, he had been “cut on the face, stabbed in the chest” and had witnessed one of his best friends being killed days before their GCSE exams.
Gang culture or gangsterism as they call it is penetrated deep within the English society. It is like an epidemic which rots the entire population, leaving no one of them behind. Those living on the council states were the hardest hit by it. The criminal activity was on the rise and students could be seen on the streets, carrying guns. Their morals had all gone haywire. Karl would sometimes find himself questioning the path he’d taken, while all that his parents had charted out for him, lay waste.
Surrounded by nothing but bloodshed and bruised bodies, Karl Loggo found a sliver of goodness when he met Pastor Mimi Asher, who’s son was Loggo’s close friend and a member in the same gang. She was worried about her son and wanted him to abandon any connection with the gang. So, she started an informal form of community therapy for all the boys who were a part of the gang along with her son.
She started the informal community rehabilitation programme at her home, which was also the place where Karl was shot just outside the door and the bullet passed through. However, this did not hinder Pastor Mimi in achieving what she had planned to. With counselling and Bible-based intervention, Karl was once again able to trace his life back on the right track. He understood the philosophy of life and denounced his darker life which revolved around the gang and their members.
With continued therapy, things got better and a decade later, Karl started volunteering with ‘Youth in Action’. He donned the avatar of Pastor Mimi and extended the kind of guidance he was once receiving himself.
A large number of young adults are still caught up in the marshy chaos of gang culture. They may have realised that they need to get out of it, but it’s clutches are so strong that they can’t do it alone. Karl believes that if more charitable organizations such as ‘Youth in Action’ start addressing this rising issue, people can be helped to a large extent.
Gang culture begins with playful threats which soon turn more serious or even fatal. It is then when you try to get away, that you feel you’re all caught up in a vicious circle. Fear begins to conquer your self belief and one begins to feel alone and lovely. Loggo believes that it is this feeling of loneliness that needs to be addressed.
“People need to know that they are not alone and that they can’t be helped,” asserts Loggo. He is the living example that darkness makes way for a brighter life, that no matter how distressed you are right now, there is love coming your way.
Kavya Mukhija is a student of Psychology, a writer, a calligraphy artist, and a creative content creator. She loves traveling and exploring new places. Always dressed with a smile, she considers spreading happiness a good deed. Last and the least, she is a woman with a disability who believes that more than the disability, it is the negative perception towards ‘disability’ which is actually disabling.