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Labake’s Story

  • People's Stories
Labake 01

Labake is supported by The Gate Team, but also feels supported by her peers.

I have written and recorded more than 150 songs while coming to The Gate and I love to perform.

When I’m here I don’t feel like I have a disability. I can laugh and cry and have lots of people to talk to. I don’t think of the staff as working here, they are my best friends. We all support one another.

“Music is my advocate, and singing is a way of letting my emotions out.” Labake

My songs are about life and politics. I wrote one called ‘Bury Knives not People’ about Stephen Lawrence and another called ‘My Body’ about being free to do what I want. Most of my songs are fast and but I have also written slow songs for people close to me like Leon who used to come to The Gate but died during Covid.

The world wasn’t built for me, and outside society doesn’t like people with special needs. I don’t feel safe travelling, but I feel very safe here and I can be me. I have fun but I am also allowed to be angry – and SHOUT!

I have been to other places but they ignored my song writing. It’s like The Gate is a good drug which I can have lots of, and it’s protected me from being out there and doing bad things.

I also want to help other people while I’m here as I don’t need as much support as some people. I have put myself forward to be a Peer Advocate. Sometimes when I can’t remember things, I put words to music and sing them. Then I remember, like a musical diary. I call it my ‘beautiful gift.’

“Labake has been coming here for many years and we love having her and supporting her music and art. It’s also an opportunity for us to check in with her and make sure that she’s OK.”
Seb Kellig Manager of The Gate