John Boyega is a proud Peck­ham boy.

The Week - - News | People -

The Star Wars ac­tor, whose par­ents are Nige­rian im­mi­grants, grew up on a coun­cil es­tate in what was then a very de­prived south London district. One of his friends was Damilola Tay­lor – the ten-year-old Nige­rian boy who was stabbed to death on his way home in 2000. But de­spite that tragedy, Boyega re­mem­bers a happy youth. His par­ents adored him and he joined a per­for­mance arts pro­gramme, Theatre Peck­ham, that gave him broad hori­zons. “I had a fan­tas­tic child­hood,” he told Ben Hoyle in The Times. “I was ex­posed to a world of dance, tap, mu­si­cal theatre. I per­formed at the Royal Al­bert Hall when I was 13.” Now, at 25, he’s an A-list star, thanks to his role in the Star Wars fran­chise. But he still lives in south London, where he shares a flat with a friend and fre­quents the lo­cal shop – Khan’s Bar­gain on Rye Lane. They stock “my favourite child­hood sweets. They’re like 39p; you get three for £1. When I’m back home and I’m hang­ing out with my friends, we hang out the way we al­ways hang out. And I’m gonna need sweets.” Not long ago, Har­ri­son Ford, Boyega’s for­mer co-star, dropped into the area and asked Boyega to take him some­where lo­cal to eat. They went to 805, a Nige­rian restau­rant on Old Kent Road. “Loads of peo­ple came around him and he was chill. At his level of star­dom, it’s nice to see that ex­am­ple.”

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