FEATURE17 July 2023

Kenny Imafidon: ‘Hopelessness is a big challenge in society’

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After being charged with murder and acquitted at the age of 18, Kenny Imafidon wrote the Kenny Report about the experiences of young people who drift into gangs. Now, Imafidon – founder and chief executive at ClearView Research – has written a memoir, That Peckham Boy, which explores the experiences of people at the fringes. Katie McQuater caught up with him to talk about the book, inclusive insight and how researchers can foster optimism in society

kenny imafidon

What prompted you to write That Peckham Boy now?

I have been keen to share the story I have to share. I started in 2017, so I’ve been writing it for ages. It’s funny, I don’t think I’m actually that enthusiastic about writing. I just really understand the importance of communicating. It’s definitely a long-term project for me.

The book is described as ‘a real-life manifesto calling for positive change for those on the fringes of society’. What is the biggest challenge for marginalised people?

One of the big things I’m trying to do with this book is sow seeds of optimism and hope. Hopelessness is a big challenge in society that I don’t think we spend enough time looking at how we can overcome. A lot of the work I’m doing, whether it’s in research or in any other arena, is about this. There are challenges and life is difficult in many ways, but, for me, hopelessness is one of the biggest things ...