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Birmingham A-level star says riots inspired him to study law

POLITICAL AMBITION: Ezekiel Braithwaite is off to Coventry University to law

THE SMILE says it all. A-level student Ezekiel Braithwaite has won his place to study law at university and pursue his dream of becoming a politician.

The 18-year-old, from Erdington, in Birmingham, was over the moon at securing the place at Coventry University’s Law School after getting the necessary grades in law, psychology and English.

The first in his family to go to university, Ezekiel is a student at Handsworth’s Holyhead School and says he developed an interested in politics after last summer’s riots.

“I was watching Question Time after the riots last year and felt what was being said was so wrong. Everyone was blaming young people, saying they were bored but that’s so untrue,” says Ezekiel, who got two Cs and a D to add to his 12 GCSEs.

“Even though I’ve got my place at uni I can’t afford to live away from home, so I’m looking for a part-time job to help me with the cost of everything. That is proving really hard. I’ve been looking for part-time work for two years with no luck – it makes you want to cry.

“Getting involved in politics would be my way of leaving my stamp on the world and trying to make a difference to people’s lives.”

And he paid tribute to his mum Donna, a nurse at Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield, for keeping him on the straight and narrow.

“Who knows, I might have been out there in the riots if it wasn’t for my mum – I’m still scared of her,” smiles Ezekiel, who has two younger sisters.

“She always wants to know where I am. If I came home with something that I clearly hadn’t bought it would probably be the end of my life because my mum would be furious. She’s a very strong person, but I know I wouldn’t have got these exams without the support of my family and my school. I can’t thank them enough.”

Ezekiel has another string to his bow – as a performance poet and was a long-standing member of Holyhead School’s poetry slam team.

The team includes 15-year-old Damani Dennisur, who was Birmingham’s Young Poet Laureate for 2011, when Ezekiel was also commended.

Ezekiel added: “The poetry team really helped me - I used to go up on stage shaking when I was performing, but now I enjoy it and I’ve started looking for open mic events.”

Tony James, Holyhead School’s Head of Sixth Form, said: “Ezekiel has been with us for seven years and is a superb role model. He’s been a great addition to our school and I know we will all miss him. We wish him every success.”

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