‘Mafdoyou’ aka Matthew Francis, aged 20, was involved in armed robberies and other criminal activities including fraud from the tender age of 13. At the age of 16, his friend got shot so his concerned mum sent him to Nigeria in the hopes that time with his Muslim family would change his ways. Matthew changed his name to Abdul as a result but found himself involved in more fraud and criminal activity.
He said, “I found it a lot easier to be part of the gangster lifestyle in Nigeria because there was a lot of poverty, so we did anything to get money. I got myself involved in a cult out there. I didn’t think much of it at the time and just felt like it was a level of protection because of the lifestyle I was living. But when I left Nigeria I released that it had affected me mentality and my way of thinking. I just needed help. ”
In desperation, his siblings sent him back home to the UK where he settled in Wolverhampton where Mafdotyou took the opportunity to make new friends. He was still involved in fraud despite his UK based siblings trying their best to prevent him from doing so by isolating him, and limiting his access to the internet and mobile phones.
Mafdotyou had always enjoyed listening to the Grime music. Artists such as Wiley, Dot Rotten, Getts, Lethal Bithel, Skepta had played a large role in how he lived and expressed himself. One particular evening He received an invitation to go to a gospel concert where a couple of his old friends were performing in a group called ‘Love for Christ’.
“I was just amazed at how passionate these guys were and I was just really excited about the fact that they were really good rappers.”
One of the group members – whose mother is a Pastor – invited Matdotyou to his house. The pastor ministered into His life and ushered I a new start for the young gangster.
“She explained to me that even after all of that I had done, God still loved me. It was mad to hear that after going through so much and being such a notorious guy, there was actually a possibility that I could be forgiven. From there the growth started. I gradually began to love the Lord more and tried my best to become a better person.”
Since his conversion, Mafdotyou has been studying at Sandwell College and is the Student Union President/ Ambassador. He has organised community concerts and events for the college to help other young people.
Mafdotyou tells his story through his music and has entitled his mix tape ‘MY Calling’ as he attempts to help the youth of today to make better decisions. Mafdotyou released his first mix tape in 2012 and has since been signed to GL360 Records. He delivers a number of styles on his mix tape including hip hop and afro beats.