Extraordinary People

UK’s youngest DJ, 11, is fighting poverty with epic challenge

DJ Zel is helping friends in London’s Newham

When the adults in charge don’t do their jobs, most of us despair.

But not Zelda Manteaw, she takes matters into her own hands.

At just 11, this rising star is showing off her flair for fundraising and her passion for philanthropy as she helps tackle poverty in her London borough of Newham.

When Zelda heard from friends that their families were struggling, she decided to kickstart her 11 for 11 campaign, launching her mission to raise £11,000 on her 11th birthday.

[Credit: DJ Zel]

The talented pre-teen, otherwise known as DJ Zel, also just so happens to be the youngest disc jockey to play on UK airwaves and currently hosts the UniAfrik Show on GN Radio.

Using her profile to spread the message far and wide, DJ Zel is encouraging her 10k-strong Insta army to help the cause by donating whatever they can to the residents.

Speaking about her ambitions, the pint-sized humanitarian said she hopes to stamp out food and education poverty and close the widening inequality gap in the UK and Ghana.

[Credit: DJ Zel]

Zelda said: “Half of the children in my community live in poverty. Some of my friends have told me how hard it is for them to afford the simplest things.

“£10 will enable a child to join a homework club, acquire literacy and numeracy skills and increase their chances of social mobility or give them a way out of poverty.

“£100 will provide a Covid-19 safe learning environment or resources for remote learning and increase long-term educational attainment levels.

“£150 will provide healthy food packages for 10 families experiencing food poverty.”

[Credit: DJ Zel]

Newham – which borders Stratford, Canning Town and East Ham – is the second poorest borough in England.

It is estimated that more than half of children (52%) are in households that battle poverty, compared to 38% in a typical London borough.

Now, DJ Zelda hopes to change that narrative by committing to help her neighbours.

She added: “Some of my friends have told me how hard it is for them to afford the simplest things.

“Please support my 11 for 11 campaign and help me make life better for children and families who live in unimaginable poverty.”

If she’s using her voice for good before she’s even hit secondary school, imagine the power of that voice when she’s in her 20s.

What an inspiration!

To support Zelda’s mission, click here: DJ Zel.  

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