David : Inspiring Black Youth to Embrace Their True Identity

by | Jun 6, 2023

This captivating series aims to inspire and motivate individuals to open up about their feelings and experiences, fostering a supportive community where vulnerability is celebrated.
This is David’s Story


Model David Van-Ess Shares His Inspiring Journey of Overcoming Personal Hardships, Breaking Cultural Barriers, and Embracing Vulnerability “I hope to encourage more black individuals especially those around my age to be comfortable in their skin.”

My name is David Van-Ess a black man in London, of Ghanaian heritage
I was born in South East London and I grew up in Lewisham, attending both primary and secondary school there.

I personally had a struggle with my image and how I saw myself, I was a shy, awkward and very lanky kid. I had had my fair share of bullies along the years and found it very hard to stand up for myself.

As an early teen there was a very heavy presence of hip hop and Grime music in my community, which I had been drawn to from the second I heard the music. From artists such as the Wu-tang clan, Tupac, DMX, Kendrick Lamar, to Skepta, Dave, Chip and Stormzy – who are all great creators in many different forms not only music, but in films,Tv shows, fashion etc. Their lyrics specifically though, helped me get through pretty tough times, providing me that confidence to be myself and have pride in my identity as a young Black boy in South East London.This then pushed me to start taking responsibility over myself whether it be my looks, my intellect and even own personal passions and bettering myself as I go along.

I hope to encourage more black individuals especially those around my age to be comfortable in their skin regardless of if they fit in or not and not only that but to also utilise whatever skill, whatever gift they have to the highest capacity because it will payoff in the long run. Regardless how bad their situation may seem to be right now, things always change and life can easily take a turn for the better if you push for it to do so.


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