Education > Sanctions
The game itself was a one of the shining lights of the season, the newest member of a newly formed team put together by a home grown Villa boy, made an immediate impact. Marvelous Nakamba, alongside his team-mate in midfield John McGinn dominated the midfield to give Villa a dominating 1 - 5 victory.
Fans everywhere were ecstatic, over the moon! We were all in joyous celebration together, all on the same page - weren't we?
A day after the victory, what came out would shake Villa's fandom to the core. A group of lads who attended the game were filmed singing a song about Villa’s newest signing and stand out performer on the day, Marvelous Nakamba.
The chant went, quote:
"Marvelous Nakamba, Marvelous Nakamba, his dad's a Rasta, Mcginns his master..."
What was filmed was shocking but what was even more shocking was that the fans singing were in their teens to early 20's. How has this happened? Youths singing openly about Nakamba whilst referencing some of the most inhumane times in history.
Once this clip was on social media, it immediately blew up and went the only way it was ever going to go, viral. Fans, media, pundits and influencers alike all came down on these lads and their disgusting chant demanding the proverbial guillotine.
Was it deserved? At a glance, probably.
Was the declaration for severe punishment and death threats warranted? Absolutely not.
The Punjabi Villans aren't just a supporters’ group. Not only do we support a team we feel is the greatest team on earth but we are also servants of community.
We saw these kids, in celebration, singing a horrible song, but in a moment of joy, not with hate in their eyes and evil in their hearts. Every situation needs context, we always need to listen to both sides of the argument. What was the other side of the story? Where was the context? Why was no-one asking these questions?
It reminded us of a great advert from 1986 called ‘Points of View’
We broadcast a message which, instead of condemning the boys’ actions, wanted to help educate them on their words. We reached out to them to offer to talk about the effect of their words on others - the minorities, the immigrants, those for whom these words had a deeper meaning.
We had so much support and positive feedback. National Radio & Newspapers wanted to hear our story. Everyone, except the very group we wanted to reach out to us, until a few days afterwards, when a brave father of one of the boys reached out to us in desperation.
He explained we were the only people that had shown any type of empathy towards these boys and if it was possible to meet to have a conversation to get their side of the story to us. It was music to our ears, we have a chance to educate, a chance to let the Mr Everyman feel the pain that we, the sons and daughters of immigrants have felt. To not meet up would be an injustice to what our families went through, it was a duty.
We communicated to our social media followers that we’d had contact with one of the families and the reaction we got back was amazing. The general public were very pleased we were taking this opportunity to try help these kids when no-one else was willing. The courage of this family was immense.
Meeting the family was a very uplifting, emotional journey. We talked and had something people worldwide should have when in trying times - a conversation.
One of the key outcomes was that the boys were repeating a chant they’d heard at the Arsenal away game earlier in the season – but without thinking.
Chardi Kala is the Punjabi term for aspiring to maintain a mental state of eternal optimism and joy – Punjabi Villans try to live by this mantra.
It doesn't matter if you're not from Punjab, can't speak Punjabi, or can't dance!
Be more Punjabi Villan !!!