MARCH 29 will see the first in a series of conversations addressing issues of manhood in the 21st century.
Taking place at Canada Water Theatre in south east London, The Story of Man Conversations will bring together 150 men, each with their own fascinating stories to tell.
Founder and host, Andre Ferguson, has made it his life’s mission to teach men how to master manhood through the sharing of his story and experiences.
Born in Jamaica in a single parent home and discovering only two years ago that he had a brother and sister on his father’s side who too were raised without their father, Ferguson left university. In 2001, at age 19, he travelled to London in pursuit of a better life for himself.
However, shortly after arriving in the United Kingdom, his experience would be far from anything he had imagined.
“My initial excitement in coming to London was short lived. Unable to gain permanent employment, I found myself living on the streets of London, sleeping on park benches, breaking into and squatting in derelict flats in Peckham.
“With no family or other support mechanisms around it was a difficult time for me which led to me falling into a deep depression, often with thoughts of suicide.”
With hopes of making a better life for himself seemingly gone, Ferguson would soon after experience a turnaround.
Along with a friend, Ferguson began selling CD’s, a venture which proved so successful that it would later lead to them opening up a small music shop.
Ferguson then found himself in a position where he was able to pay rent for a one bedroom flat but this was just the beginning of a huge turning point in his life.
He explains further: “At 24 I had my first child who at age one began to lose her hearing. We received little help from the NHS so we decided to seek private medical support.
“While it was a challenging time for my daughter’s mother and I, we never gave up. As a young man, I had to grow up quickly and was determined to be there for my children in a way that my father was not.”
Having run a successful music shop, Ferguson then went on to work for Fitness First but soon realised that he was not happy.
It was only upon discovering what his true purpose and calling in life was that Ferguson felt fulfilled.
That fulfillment came when he went on to found the Mastering Manhood Academy, teaching young men how to master manhood through learning from the lessons of their past in order to shape a better future for themselves.
Alongside this change in fortunes, Ferguson met his sister for the first time at his wedding in 2018 and his daughter (now aged 14) is the first deaf child to have been accepted onto the Royal Dance Academy.
And now in this latest venture – The Story of Man Conversations – Ferguson has enlisted the support of high profile men from the world of music, sport, media and law enforcement who like him have their own stories to share of mastering manhood.
Invited speakers include rising young Arsenal and England footballer, Miguel Azeez, top UK rapper, CASHH, sports journalist, Ade Oladipo, music, film and spoken word artist, Louis Baptiste, entrepreneur of Changemaker, Nathaniel Peat and Metropolitan Police Officer, Delroy Anthoney.
Themes being addressed on the day include: negative policing, the effects of fatherlessness, overcoming adversity and how to write your own story.
“We hope that with this line up of men from various backgrounds and ages and each with different stories to tell, that we can reach out to other young men, letting them know that their story, voice and life is important and that they should not let anything get in the way of them sharing that story and of fulfilling their own true purpose and calling in life,” said Ferguson.
The Story of Man Conversations event is FREE for 15-24 year olds and £10 for 25+ year olds. Tickets can be purchased now at: canadawatertheatre.org.uk under the section ‘Whats On’