Lyrics spell out dyslexia fight

YOU would usually expect gangs, money and women to be the main topics in any popular rap song.

But one young rapper has penned a tune about a less glamorous issue - dyslexia.

Arnaud Touanga, aka Real A, has joined forces with Dyslexia Scotland to produce the single Can't Hold Me Down, which talks about his own struggle with the condition.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He performed it in front of a group of Edinburgh schoolchildren, some whom are dyslexic, at a city library yesterday.

The 20-year-old rapper said he wrote the song because he wanted to relate to young people and help get the message through to them that dyslexia is nothing to be embarrassed about.

Arnaud, who moved to Scotland from the Congo when he was a child, was diagnosed with dyslexia when he was 12, but remembers his frustration and embarrassment before he got the help he needed.

He said: "I was struggling with literature and writing and I didn't know what it was and I felt quite down about it.

"But when I got help and support it was much better and I didn't feel embarrassed any more.

"I know a lot of young people are ashamed to talk about dyslexia but once they are with other people who have it and they start to talk about it, they feel much better.

"I wanted to do something that would interest young people and I got in touch with Dyslexia Scotland.

"My song is about my battle and how I felt battling with my difficulties.

"Rap music can cross a lot of barriers."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Pupils from Holyrood and Liberton high schools and Craigour Park Primary turned up to watch the rapper perform his single at Moredun Library yesterday afternoon.

He also performed a slot at Craigmillar Library last night.

Holyrood High pupil Joe Smith, who is also dyslexic, said the song helped him to realise that he is not alone.

The 15-year-old said: "It was very helpful because of my dyslexia. It helps to know that you're not just a freak and that other people suffer from it as well. I really like his lyrics."

Arnaud's lyrics include the lines: "They point fingers and judge. They say I can't achieve. They do not believe, they mock me. They make me feel forced out."

Former F1 champion racing driver Sir Jackie Stewart launched Dyslexia Awareness Week at an event in the Capital on Monday night.

Sir Jackie, who struggled at school as a result of the condition and is president of Dyslexia Scotland, said: "It's good that someone from the arts and music business has been so eloquent in his choice of words to explain the frustration, humiliation and the pain that he, as a dyslexic, has suffered."