Singer Ms Dynamite honoured with paving stone at Hampstead’s WAC Arts
PUBLISHED: 22:20 31 October 2016 | UPDATED: 10:18 01 November 2016
Singer Ms Dynamite paid moving tribute to her old performing arts college in Belsize Park as a paving stone was unveiled in her honour
The star, who was born in Archway, brought tears to the crowd as she told them how WAC Arts was her “saviour” from “a most fearful” time in her young life and unveiled a paving stone in recognition of the school.
The musician, the oldest of 13, left home at aged 15 and lived in a local hostel.
She said she felt alone and that no one understood her until she joined WAC.
“WAC felt like home. There was a real sense of family there. It gave me a level of confidence. I owe WAC so much. I wouldn’t be the person who I am today”.
Ms Dynamite, whose real name is Niomi McLean-Daley, said she felt “overwhelmed and a real sense of pride” to be recognised with the paving stone which was installed outside the entrance to the college at the old Hampstead Town Hall, in Haverstock Hill.
The MOBO awards selected Ms Dynamite, 34, as part of the ‘Paving the Way’ initiative which celebrates “trailblazers” in their field and carves a path for others to follow.
Speechless, the former Acland Burghley pupil unveiled the plaque which read: “Those who are afraid to fall never fly, how will we ever know if we never try”.
Surrounded by students from WAC, she posed for photographs and met the students.
A select group of current students serenaded Ms Dynamite with samples from her own music. The singer was deeply moved by this performance.
WAC Arts was set up in 1978 by Celia Greenwood, Teresa Noble and Ed Berman, to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds succeed in the performing arts.
Thirty eight years later, the college has seen over 30,000 students pass through its doors.
The 2016 MOBO Awards will be held in Glasgow on November 4 andbroadcast live on ITV2