Wellbeing

An absolute force! Powerful poet who will leave you speechless wins grant

Rising star wins cash prize from The Shawn Mendes Foundation

If you don’t already know her name, remember it now: Fanta Ratty.

Born and raised in Harlem, New York, this powerhouse is using spoken word with social and political messaging on a mission to create change for the future.

Fanta’s lyrical genius is not only gaining her a loyal fanbase online, it is also catching the attention of A-list royalty.

And now mega star Shawn Mendes – who has a casual 59million followers on Instagram and is dating fellow pop phenomenon Camila Cabello – has awarded her a cash grant.  

At just 22, Shawn has already set his sights on philanthropy work as well as climbing the charts.

Using his stardom for good, he set up The Shawn Mendes Foundation to inspire his fans to learn about causes that they are passionate about and help empower them to bring change.

In particular, the foundation focuses on healthcare, sustainability, anti-bullying and mental health.

[Credit: Shutterstock]

Just recently, they teamed with Google to give out their first ever set of ‘Wonder Grants’, which will go to young change-makers using their voice to make positive change in the world.

The first lucky recipient was none other than Fanta.

“My black is CEO for taking it on the chin, because no matter how low they go I always have to be the bigger person.”

Fanta Ratty

Having written and performed poetry since the tender age of 11, the now 18-year-old says her craft is a work in progress and she is constantly trying to elevate herself within it as well as inspire other young creatives around the world to nurture their talents.

Her winning entry, shared by The Shawn Mendes Foundation on Instagram, sees Fanta proudly wearing a T-shirt with ‘Harlem’ emblazoned across it as she explores black issues.

[Credit: Fanta Ratty / Instagram]

In the poem, she says: “My black is CEO for taking it on the chin, because no matter how low they go I always have to be the bigger person.

“My black was told that her public school education didn’t belong with the private school guys, and that same black will be graduating for a Bachelor’s in economics in record time.”

She continues: “It doesn’t matter if you are a dropout, graduate, doctor or bawler, your life matters because black is immortal, our martyrs would never die because their name would ricochet through every Twitter chain, while their whole life gets reduced to a hashtag.

“My black is not controversial.”

Be sure to check her out here: Fanta Ratty.

And remember, you heard her here first!

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